Proverbial Homemaker https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com Overcome the chaos and cultivate a Christ-centered home. Tue, 30 Mar 2021 18:41:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.2 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/cropped-coffee-cup-teacup-ph-icon-32x32.png Proverbial Homemaker https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com 32 32 5 Tips for Getting Out of Homeschool Burn Out https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschool-burn-out.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschool-burn-out.html#respond Tue, 30 Mar 2021 18:27:22 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27994 The other day I saw a meme on Facebook that said “we have reached that magic moment when planning for the next homeschool year is loads more fun than finishing the current one.” 😆 It made me laugh because it’s true! Homeschool burn out is real. Browsing curriculum is the antidote. (just kidding) Spring is when […]

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The other day I saw a meme on Facebook that said “we have reached that magic moment when planning for the next homeschool year is loads more fun than finishing the current one.” 😆 It made me laugh because it’s true! Homeschool burn out is real. Browsing curriculum is the antidote. (just kidding)

Spring is when homeschool mamas start to get worn down and feel restless.  They start to plan and shop for curriculum. They also often start to feel fatigue, burn out, and weariness set in. But it happens other times of the year, too. 

Struggling with homeschool burn out? Feeling blah and like planning next year is more fun than homeschooling this one? These tips are for you!

If you’re feeling homeschool burn out or blahs creeping in right now, here are some things to prayerfully consider:

1) Lighten the load – just knowing it’s a thing helps you recognize it and adjust. If you’re really feeling it, lightening the load may help. Build margin into your days by switching to a 4-day week for a while, focusing only on the 3 most important subjects, or taking a full break for a week. Use that time to focus on rest, time with the Lord, and relaxed family time. Your homeschool will be better for it.

2) Change things up – Sometimes our kids aren’t the only ones who start to lack motivation when things are feeling… stale. For me, there are some easy fixes for this:

  • Tweak the routine: try a different time of day for lessons, take it outside, or invite another family to join you once a week.
  • Add an experience: start nature walks, go on a field trip, or take up a new hobby together.
  • Add something FUN: bring in a fun new resource, add beauty with art or music, or start a Fun Friday tradition with board games, documentaries, and outside play.

3) Go ahead and plan… or not – Some time back, I realized something about myself: I need to look forward to something or I start to feel restless and moody. Again, just realizing that helped a lot. Now, when that restlessness looms, I turn that energy into planning! Go ahead and plan for the next year’s homeschool. Or plan a vacation or other fun event. Looking ahead and putting things on the calendar energizes me.

4) Remember that we’re all different –  Find what kind of energizing and refreshment works for YOU and pursue that, not only for your sake but in order to better homeschool and serve your family in the long run. That may mean spending more time in prayer and God’s Word, finding rest, getting lost in a book, or connecting with friends.

5) Pray and listen – Somehow, the most important thing we can do when we’re stuck in the homeschool blahs is always the hardest. Spend time in prayer for your homeschool, seeking the Lord’s encouragement and wisdom. He knows you, your family, and your homeschool even more intimately than you do. Listen to what He would have you do during this time and follow His lead!

Above all, show yourself and your kiddos grace!

Here are some posts that you may enjoy if you’re dealing with homeschool burn out:

You Might Also Like… 

Teach good habits for kids by starting with prayer and these Scriptures on diligence! Includes a download of printable Scripture bookmarks in ESV and KJV.

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Meaningful Easter Traditions Your Family Will Love (Plus ideas from readers) https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/meaningful-easter-traditions.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/meaningful-easter-traditions.html#comments Sun, 07 Mar 2021 03:27:03 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=25882 Easter is my favorite holiday. There is nothing so important to our faith and my work as a Christian mom discipling her children than the work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection! I love making just as big of a deal out of Easter in our home as we do for Christmas because it’s […]

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Easter is my favorite holiday. There is nothing so important to our faith and my work as a Christian mom discipling her children than the work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection! I love making just as big of a deal out of Easter in our home as we do for Christmas because it’s SO important. So we make sure to do some meaningful Easter traditions during this time of year.

Teaching our kids about Jesus, His sacrifice, and the meaning of what happened when He died and rose again is an ALL-YEAR activity for us. But we take Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday as extra opportunities to focus on these important historical events and on Jesus Himself.

Meaningful Easter Traditions Your Family Will Love

Over time we’ve added some great meaningful Easter traditions that I’ve collected to share with you here. I’ve also asked the Proverbial Homemaker community what Easter traditions THEY love, and have included them below! There are great last-minute ideas, meaningful traditions, and even sweet treats to share. 

I pray you have a blessed Easter season, friends, as we focus on Christ! 

Easter Traditions Your Family Will Love

Stories of the ResurrectionStories of the Resurrection is a 4-7 week Easter family devotional and activity pack that focuses on the gospel of Jesus Christ! Your whole family can go deeper into the story of Easter, learning about 20 characters from the resurrection account, enjoying a Holy Week family worship guide, and coloring and activity pages for kids preschool through elementary!

Stories of the Resurrection Easter family devotions and activities

Easter Story Lego Challenge – We go through our Easter Story Lego Challenge starting with the story of the triumphal entry. This is something you can do throughout the week or as a fun activity on Easter Sunday afternoon with the kids. 

The Triumphant Entry

Or try some fun Easter Lego builds with this free download and step-by-step instructions! 

Love these visual build instructions for 8 different Easter Lego builds!

Easter Gardens – We’ve done a few different kinds of Easter gardens in the past. You’ll want to start these a few weeks before Easter to give the grass time to grow. Our Mini Easter Gardens have been our favorite tradition because each kid gets to have their own. 

These Mini Easter gardens tell the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. They would make great placeholders for Easter morning breakfast!

Good Friday Dots – On Good Friday, we read another book about the Easter story with a special focus on the death of Jesus on the cross. Our lessons from our kids’ theology curriculum get a review, and we sometimes watch videos like this one from What’s in the Bible. Each of us gets a red dot on our hand to remind us of the incredible sacrifice Jesus made, taking our place on the cross to pay for our transgressions, and taking all our sins upon Himself. Then we write on their hands a reminder that Jesus did it because He loves them. 

Jesus Is Easter Banner – This Jesus Is Easter Banner is something we just downloaded this year to give a try. It is a fun Easter banner activity all about who Jesus is, including devotions!

Resurrection Eggs – Make your own Resurrection Eggs with this activity from History of Holidays from Homeschool in the Woods! I love all the holidays they cover. This is just one activity. Here is a photo of the eggs we put together on Easter.

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OR you can buy one from Amazon – Easter Egg Set – 12 Resurrection Eggs With Religious Figurines Inside – Tells Full Story of Easter HINT: These go perfectly with the book Benjamin’s Box

Find great activities for Easter the Charlotte Mason way with this little roundup! 

Explore the meaning of the cross and resurrection with these fun Charlotte Mason Easter activities!

Simple Easter Art – My littles love these Easter art ideas using tape resist and a salad spinner! 

Christ-Centered Easter Art Activities for Littles

Great Easter Books – We love to incorporate read alouds into our Easter season! Check out my favorite Easter book selections here

Christ-Centered Easter Books and Resources

More Easter Fun – There are so many possible Easter traditions. Over time I’ve learned that we can have a bunch in our toolbox and spend more time on just one or two each year, keeping things simple. It should be a time of meaningful reflecting, loving others, and praising God. Not stressing out about whether we’re doing it right or packing our calendars full. But having great ideas, resources, and books on hand for traditions is really helpful when we keep that in mind! Here are more great Easter tradition and activity ideas for your toolbox. 

Easter Traditions Submitted by Readers

Here are some wonderful Easter traditions that were submitted by Proverbial Homemaker readers. Feel free to add to our list in the comments with your own favorite traditions and activities! 

Palm Sunday Parade (from our family)

We get some dollar store palm branches and attach pretty ribbons. We read the whole Easter story, or just the triumphal entry portion, from a Bible story book or straight from the scriptures. Then we have our own parade, marching around the house and saying “Hosanna! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!” We close with a prayer, thanking God for King Jesus. 

Movies, Music, and Easter Lilies

“One thing that I think my children of all ages enjoy most is that we cancel all other “watching” (except what we need for schoolwork) for the six weeks prior to Easter and on Sundays have a family movie night with the thread of redemption running right to the accounts of Christ. We start with Joseph King of Dreams, then the animated Ten Commandments, followed by a musical production of the Book of Esther which we found online on YouTube by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, then The Story of Jesus for Children (by Jesus Film project), Miracle Maker, He Knows My Name, and on Easter Sunday, we see Emmaus (Bruce M. From the visual Bible Matthew series). These are always so uplifting and good quality time together while being very child-friendly and in some cases child-focused but not childish.
 
“For music, we found A Very Veggie Easter at the library years ago and ended up buying it so we wouldn’t have to risk someone else checking it out during Easter! We have played it in the car as well as sung a couple of the songs from it at church.
 
“We also always buy an Easter lily with as many blooms as people in our family. Our children get very excited about watching “their” lily open, and when one of their siblings’ is about to. We aim to plant it outside after it fades. (My mom has done this with extra Easter lilies from her church for years and now has a beautiful Easter lily garden that comes up in the summer each year, so she gets to enjoy them twice!) We are hoping to do that in our new house, as we just moved out of renting for many years.
 
~ Julia 

Tomb Rolls

 
“We have made our own bread each week for years, so it was no surprise that one of our favorite Easter traditions became Tombs. Wrap a small (roll sized) piece of dough around a regular size marshmallow. Add a small flattened piece of dough on the side. (We made sure to have at least a couple for each family member.) Bake like regular rolls. In the morning you find it is hollow and the white inside  the bottom resembles the linen that wrapped Jesus’ body.” 
 
~ Laurie

Unique Yearly Easter Sunday Photos

“Forget about pictures with the Easter Bunny! My family would take photos on Easter Sunday every year of me and my three siblings decked out in our dresses, hats and suits and lined up on our various-sized bicycles in our own family Easter parade. It is so cool to see the progression of yearly photos on my parent’s hallway wall. (Granted, once we got to our teen years, the girls were mostly standing next to our bikes so as not having to straddle them in dresses. But a memorable tradition nonetheless.) “
 
~ Brittany

Balloons Instead of Easter Eggs

“When my son was little he had a lot of trouble finding the hidden easter eggs, so the next year I put surprises in ballons, blew them up and left them scattered around the house.  What was supposed to be a one tine thing persisted over the years and the kids, now teenagers, still look forward to gathering their ballons and sitting on them until they pop and reveal their prizes.”
 
~ Julie

A Sense of the Resurrection

“Our family loves doing A Sense of the Resurrection by Oh Amanda. I think we have been doing it for four years now.” It is a simple and meaningful activity you can do with young children to help them engage and interact with the story. 
 
~ Joanna

Passover Seder Meal

“We sometimes do a Passover Seder meal with our kids. It’s another way to show how the Bible foreshadows the things that Christ would do for us. As a homeschooler, it adds to our history lessons as well.” You can find some great ideas for a Passover seder meal here and here.
 
~ Rebecca 

Resurrection Eggs

“A few years ago we found a set of Resurrection Eggs at the local Christian store and we just love doing them together. It’s more meaningful than just candy eggs. We go through them in the days leading up to Easter. Then we hide them along with other eggs during the Easter egg hunt. Then as the kids go through their stash, they put the Resurrection Eggs in order on the mantle based on the progression of the story.” You can make your own resurrection eggs or get them on Amazon
 
~ Candace

Keep it Simple

“We mostly just read our Bible and Easter story books and have a special family dinner. We keep it simple up in here for the sake of my sanity. ;)” 
 
~ Heather
 

How about you? What are your favorite meaningful Easter traditions? Tell us in the comments!

 
 

You Might Also Like… 

He is Risen Resurrection Sunday Printable Pack

Teach your children the true meaning of Easter this year with this 100-page He Is Risen Resurrection Sunday Printable Pack.

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Christ-Centered Easter Books & Resources https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/christ-centered-easter-books-resources.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/christ-centered-easter-books-resources.html#comments Sun, 07 Mar 2021 02:20:15 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=4849 We like to make a big deal out of the Easter season in our home. It’s just another great opportunity to focus on Jesus, especially the life-changing truth of the resurrection! Easter is our favorite holiday, so we like to enjoy several special Easter books just for this season. There are so many Easter books […]

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We like to make a big deal out of the Easter season in our home. It’s just another great opportunity to focus on Jesus, especially the life-changing truth of the resurrection! Easter is our favorite holiday, so we like to enjoy several special Easter books just for this season.

There are so many Easter books to choose from. Many of them are ok, and fun to have on hand. But if you’re looking for some true gems, here’s a list of my favorite Christ-Centered Easter books!

My favorite Christ-centered Easter books!

Like I said, we love Easter books. 🙂 But it must be emphasized that they should be used ALONG WITH reading the Scripture itself. In addition, be aware that many times Easter books with have some inaccuracies or can miss some points that you’ll want to make sure are a part of your conversation with your children, such as a clear gospel message.

What is the gospel message? Remind your kids that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Our sin separates us from Him. God loves us so much that He provided the solution to that problem. He sent Jesus to live the perfect life we could never live and then take the punishment for our sins. Through His resurrection, Jesus conquered death, giving us freedom from sin and the promise of life lived eternally in fellowship with God. This Salvation is a free gift that nobody can earn, but is given to all who repent of their sins, put their trust in Jesus as their Savior, and confess with their mouth that He is the Messiah! 

Great Easter Books That Point to Jesus

The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale – Gain a new perspective on the life of Jesus, as told by the trees who carried Him throughout his life. We like the sweet story! Although it doesn’t really talk about the resurrection, it provides a springboard to discuss three important events in Jesus’ life. We tend to read it during Christmas time as well. 

The Garden the curtain and the cross

The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross – A colorful and beautifully illustrated book that gives a good overview of the gospel and important elements of the story. 

The Donkey Who Carried a King – The Easter story told by R.C. Sproul from the perspective of the donkey who carried Jesus into Jerusalem. Focuses on the servant heart of Jesus.

The Easter Story by Carine MacKenzie

The Easter Story: The Bible Version – Carine MacKenzie gives a great retelling of the Easter story that’s biblically accurate and includes lovely illustrations. 

The Easter Story - a great Easter book with beautiful illustrations

The Easter Story This book by Brian Wildsmith has beautiful illustrations that will make a memorable reading experience. This one also follows the donkey through the whole story (although the donkey wasn’t there the whole time, obviously). Note that it shows Jesus nailed to the cross.

He Is Risen: Rocks Tell the Story of Easter – I stumbled across this book and decided to get it for my kids. It would make a wonderful read aloud followed by an activity to build a scene from the story with rocks, Legos, or other materials! (I thought this short review was also helpful to point out a few issues to look for.)

The Easter Cave – Rhyming and colorful illustrations will draw children in to this beautiful story of the Good News. 

That Grand Easter Day - from a great list of Easter books for kids

That Grand Easter Day – A beautiful and simple book written in a build-upon way (like The House That Jack Built) that focuses on the empty tomb.  

More Christ-Centered Easter Resources

Stories of the Resurrection Easter family devotions and activities

Stories of the ResurrectionStories of the Resurrection is a 4-7 week Easter family devotional and activity pack that focuses on the gospel of Jesus Christ! Your whole family can go deeper into the story of Easter. 

Easter Story Brick Challenge

Looking for a fun way to review the Easter story? Check out our Easter Story Brick Challenge! Your kids can build their way through the Easter story, along with coloring pages, scripture copywork, and more!

Teach your children the true meaning of Easter this year with this 100-page He Is Risen Resurrection Sunday Printable Pack.

Teach your children the true meaning of Easter this year with this 100-page He Is Risen Resurrection Sunday Printable Pack.

 

Such a fun twist on this idea! Teach your kids about the resurrection story with these mini Easter gardens!

A favorite tradition in our home is the Easter garden or Resurrection gardens. Check out our twist with the mini versions! Walks your kids through the simple points of the Easter story. 

You might also like…

Meaningful Easter Traditions Your Family Will Love


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Ways To Minister To A Mom In Need (+ Grief Scripture Printable) https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/ways-minister-mom-need.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/ways-minister-mom-need.html#respond Sat, 27 Feb 2021 21:23:49 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=8420 Moms are a part of everyone’s life in one way or another. Therefore, we will all be presented with the opportunity to minister to a mom in need more than once in our life. You may know a mom who has been made a widow, a single mom, a mom who has lost her own […]

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Moms are a part of everyone’s life in one way or another. Therefore, we will all be presented with the opportunity to minister to a mom in need more than once in our life.

You may know a mom who has been made a widow, a single mom, a mom who has lost her own mother, a mom who has lost a child, or a mom who is struggling to conceive. Here are some ideas you can minister to her.

*** Heads up: There’s a FREE download at the end for a Scripture prayer calendar! ***

 Ways To Minister To A Mom In Need

Ways To Minister To A Mom In Need

There are several ways you can help any mom in need.

  • Bring them a meal.
  • Clean their home.
  • Watch their kids.
  • Do yard work.
  • Help with home or auto repairs.
  • Pray for them often.
  • Be available to them to chat about their struggles.
  • Give them a themed care basket (include something pretty)

In addition to the above ways you can help a mom in need, here are ideas for the single mom.

  • Take her and her children out to do something fun.
  • Donate money or gift cards.
  • Donate new or gently used clothing for her children. 
  • Donate groceries or offer to pay for a grocery shopping spree.
  • If she homeschools, donate new or gently used curriculum.

All of the above (applicable) ideas, plus these ways to help the grieving mom.

  • Sit with them and just listen to them talk about their loved one.
  • Share memories of their loved one with them. 
  • Send them a card letting them know you remember.
  • Visit the gravesite of their loved one & leave flowers or gifts.
  • Text them a picture of the gravestone to help them feel closer to their loved one (especially if they do not live local to the cemetery, but even if they do). 
  • Hug them when you see them. 
  • Let them know you are there for them as they grieve.
  • Let them know you will never forget them or their loved one, even years later.
  • Make them a memory book of their loved one.
  • Give them a devotional filled with encouragement. 

Thoughts on Grief

Grief is a lifetime event, the pain changes but never goes away. Every grief journey is different and each person travels their own path. Whether she is grieving her husband, her mother, or her child much of the ways you can be there for her are the same. Acknowledging their pain and loss, comforting them, and encouraging them with God’s word are probably the most important things you can do.   

And for the woman who desires to be a mom, but is struggling to conceive; some of the above ways to minister to a mom in need are applicable to them, too. For example, they are grieving a loss and may be suffering financially or medically. Here are some more ways to be there for them. 

  • Support them in their unique journey. 
  • Schedule time with them without your own children (in addition to family time with them).
  • Let them share their mixed emotions with you if/when you announce your own pregnancy.
  • Let them know you are aware of their pain.

Let your children minister to a mom in need either on their own or with you. Teach them by example how to care for others who are hurting. Children can donate of their time or money to complete many of the ideas above, too. Hopefully this will encourage and equip you and your family to be a beacon of hope to a mom in need!


Pray through grief with this printable Scripture checklist! Includes doodle coloring page and a notebooking page for kids. 

Go to the Read Pray Love page to find out how to use these and download printables for more prayer topics!


 

You Might Also Like…

Have Your Best Mother's Day Yet


This post was originally a guest post by Clarissa is a Christian – Wife, Homeschool Mom to 7 Children with Medical & Special Needs, Grieving Mom to 1 Child in Heaven, Homemaker, and Writer. You can find her at ClarissaRWest.com sharing practical tips & encouraging others to count blessings, seek joy, and find strength in Jesus.

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10 Tips for Homeschooling Consistently https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschooling-consistently.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschooling-consistently.html#respond Fri, 26 Feb 2021 00:33:55 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27850 Life has a tendency to get in the way of any perfectly laid plans you make. Certainly, this is true of homeschooling. With little ones underfoot, play dates, field trips, errands to run, and chores to do, life gets crazy fast. Sometimes… something has to give. It is so easy to put aside lessons for […]

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Life has a tendency to get in the way of any perfectly laid plans you make. Certainly, this is true of homeschooling. With little ones underfoot, play dates, field trips, errands to run, and chores to do, life gets crazy fast. Sometimes… something has to give.

It is so easy to put aside lessons for a day here or two days there until one day you realize you’ve had more days off than you’ve had days on. Homeschooling consistently is important for sure, but that doesn’t make it easy in the midst of life.

Life can be hard and unpredictable. We’ve all been there.

Homeschooling is such a blessing and a worthwhile investment in our children's education. But it can be a challenge to homeschool consistently! Here are 10 tips that work for any stage of your homeschool journey.

Homeschool moms want to be faithful in teaching and training their kids. We want to succeed with homeschooling. When we aren’t consistent with regular homeschool days, it can feel like we’re failing.

Just know that this is extremely common, especially in the early homeschool years, and it doesn’t mean that you aren’t cut out for homeschooling. It just means that, like with everything, there’s room to grow and improve. With homeschooling, you have time to do that! 

In that spirit, here are 10 tips that will help you start homeschooling consistently.

1) Being inconsistent isn’t always bad.

Yes, there are good things about homeschooling consistently that make it a worthwhile endeavor:

  • It helps children to build on what they’re learning when there aren’t long stretches between lessons.
  • Being consistent and diligent is, in itself, a good life skill to teach your kids.
  • It will bring a valuable sense of order to your home routines.
  • In the long term, it is important in order to educate your children well and prepare them for high school and beyond.
  • Of course, it’s also essential if you have state laws dictating hours or days you must homeschool. 

But… being inconsistent isn’t always a terrible thing. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Homeschooling consistently doesn’t necessarily mean sitting at the table with worksheets for hours. There are many methods and ways to make home education a part of life, too!
  • Remember that homeschooling = flexibility. Part of the beauty of homeschooling means working around big family changes and busy seasons.  
  • It takes time to find your groove. Most homeschoolers need a few years to find their groove in terms of methods, daily routines, preferences, etc. And even then it will change from time to time. The early years are actually a great time for that.  

2) Start the day with the most important things.

Decide what your priorities are in your homeschool and take care of those FIRST thing. Many times that’s the subjects you deem most essential. In our home, Bible, reading, and math always happen. Those are our priorities, and so even on “light” homeschool days, we tackle those first.

Your priorities might look different and that’s okay. Here’s the point: start with the most essential subjects so that no matter what life throws your way mid-day, the most important part of your school gets done.

Of course, from year to year your priorities might change. When you’re deciding on goals for your homeschool, you might decide to focus on writing progress for one child and getting another child reading fluently. Mark those the things that you work on right after Bible time in the morning so they’re more likely to get done! 


The Rhythms & Routines Homeschool Planning System helps you craft a flexible schedule for your homeschool and use a simple but effective planner to hold all the pieces together! You'll get a customizable planner and a course to guide you through each step of the way, including videos and helpful worksheets!

The Rhythms & Routines Homeschool Planning System includes a printable planner and a course that walks you step by step through how to use routines for homeschool planning and set up a system that works with YOUR family and personality, with fillable pages and various templates to choose from.


3) Have a plan with milestones to aim for.

Work on setting milestone goals for the homeschool year. When you’re doing homeschool planning, decide what books/curriculum you are hoping to finish by the end of the year and then work backwards on the calendar to figure out about where you should be at each quarter. For example, “complete math 6 lesson 32 by Nov. 30.” Then set reminders on your phone or in your planner to check on your progress before the end of each quarter.

This is helpful for two reasons:

  1. Having milestones will do more to motivate YOU to be more consistent.
  2. When you see you’re not on track, you can make adjustments in your daily priorities so you can better meet your milestones, or adjust your milestones.

The purpose here isn’t to be rigid or be a slave to your plan. (So, no need to get crazy and triple your daily math lessons to meet some deadline.) Instead, the idea is to have a general plan, be flexible, and work steadily toward your homeschool goals

4) Set and communicate clear expectations. 

Make sure your children know what you expect them to accomplish each day and the quality of work required. Homeschooling consistently also means being consistent in our expectations. Here’s how we do it:

  • We set up rhythms and routines to our day and the kids know when lessons happen, when we do chores, etc.
  • For older kids who can work independently, I make sure the kids know what is on their daily and looping list of tasks each day, and they are responsible for working through them diligently.
  • If someone has been trying to avoid their work, they get extra supervision (doing all their work at the table, checking in after each subject, etc.) 
  • Our goal is to finish all work by a certain time of day. For those who have finished there is a reward (free time, a short video, etc.)  

5) Teach diligence – Do the next thing!

When Dory the forgetful fish is swimming in the ocean of overwhelm, she has a mantra. Just keep swimming. It’s another way of saying “do the next thing!” These short phrases are incredibly powerful for homeschooling moms as well. In every moment, you can choose to keep going. Move on to the next thing, and the next thing, and then the next thing.

Teach your kids this same approach. Work breaks into your daily routines, obviously, but teaching your kids to do the next thing will keep you all moving forward and help them with the habit of diligence. This isn’t only true for lessons, but for personal habits as well. 

Our younger kids use a simple loop schedule and our older ones use the Student Work and Habit Tracker. It helps them build a habit of doing the next thing for their school work as well as habits like cleaning their room, hygiene, practicing piano, personal devotions, and so on. 

6) Build good habits and routines by anchoring.

Having good routines is essential for homeschooling consistently. It can be a challenge to accomplish, however. I’ve found that it’s much more successful and sustainable if moms work on building a routine from the ground up instead of trying to fit their family into someone else’s schedule or routine.

How do you build up your own routine? Through anchoring! The idea is that you choose one activity you’d like to do (such as a read aloud time) and choose a “rock” in your day that you can anchor it to. Rocks are things that your family already does most days anyway, and so anchoring a new activity to it means your’e more likely to make it a habit. 

For example:

  • Anchor chore time right after breakfast and right before bed. 
  • Anchor read aloud time (Bible, literature, history, etc.) to mealtimes. 
  • Anchor group work time (such as rotating through Charlotte Mason activities) to after chores. 
  • Anchor music or art time to a Fun Friday tradition. 

Be creative and do what works for your family! As you build habits, they become “rocks” that you can anchor new activities to. Read more here about homeschooling with rhythms and routines

7) Reward consistency.

There are natural rewards in life when we are consistent with our work and diligent to complete it in a timely manner. It makes sense to encourage our kids (and ourselves) to be consistent by rewarding those efforts!

The first way to reward improvement in homeschooling consistently is to build in natural blessings. As I mentioned before, we do a fun activity or short video in the afternoon at the same time every day for those who have finished their work. The kids are motivated to get things done so they can enjoy the special activity and their free time afterward! 

Another reward I have done is to surprise them with something special when I notice we have had a really good week or month in homeschooling consistently.

  • Surprise fun family outings or field trips
  • Unexpected playdates
  • A special treat or “party” meal
  • An end-0f-the-week movie and popcorn time
  • Getting to stay up an extra hour
  • Letting the kids build a fort and sleep in it for a night (bring your patience, moms, lol!)
  • Anything else special or unexpected you can think of to delight your kids!

When you do this, make sure you tell your kids you’ve noticed what a great job they’ve been doing and that you wanted to bless them with a special treat.  

You might be more of a chart person and a box checker and that’s okay too! If you prefer that approach, make consistency charts for your kids (or use the Student Work and Habit Tracker) and follow up with rewards when the boxes are all checked.

8) Guard your homeschool time.

We are so tempted to say yes to every request, aren’t we? As homeschool moms, we have to be extra diligent to set boundaries. Just because we are home all day doesn’t mean we are available for every daytime volunteer need or every field trip opportunity.

If you want to homeschool consistently, you need to be home often enough to do the job. Of course, I know that many families need to be out and about often for things like medical appointments, and in that case, car-schooling (bringing along lessons and making use of audiobooks) is invaluable.

But otherwise, guard your homeschool time and make sure you’re home long enough to get the important work done and have time to enjoy each other in the process. If your week is imbalanced in the direction of outside activities, learn to say no.


Teach good habits for kids by starting with prayer and these Scriptures on diligence! Includes a download of printable Scripture bookmarks in ESV and KJV.

The Student Work & Habit Tracker is a simple tool that helps students from about 3rd-12th grade to manage their time and stay focused. They will craft meaningful goals, manage their weekly and daily work efficiently, and build in important habits. Most importantly, the Tracker will help them keep God’s Word at the center of their daily life, doing all in the name of the Lord.


9) Teach children to work independently. 

One fantastic way to make sure you are homeschooling consistently, even  through a crisis, is to build up independent learning skills, particularly in kids grades 3 and above. 

  • Teach them to do as much of the work as they can on their own and then ask when they need help. 
  • Teach older kids to self-correct their work and come to you with any sticking points for further instruction. 
  • Give them opportunities to explore their own interests for delight-directed learning
    • Let them pick which read aloud book you’ll do next
    • Let them choose between suggested independent reading
    • Provide resources or build elective courses into their rotation based on their interests
    • Give them ample time in the afternoon to pursue fun activities on their own
  • Gradually give them the responsibility to tackle their work and manage their time (although inspecting their work daily or weekly is important) 

Again, building in good routines and providing tools like the Student Work & Habit Tracker and loop scheduling have helped this process quite a bit in our home.

10) Build in accountability to homeschool consistently

Expect your kids to do their work. However, remember that expectations don’t do anything for you unless you have accountability. You can’t say you expect your kids to do a writing assignment unless you are willing to follow up and read the writing assignment and provide feedback.

Here are some ways to help your kids stay accountable: 

  • Have your kids bring their finished work to you after each subject to go over it together. 
  • Have a daily “check point” before school is considered done where you go over the day’s work together and talk through any issues and questions. 
  • Put a laminated loop schedule or checklist on the wall and teach them to check things off as they go. Be sure they show you the checklist before the homeschool day is considered complete and they can enjoy their free time. 
  • Have a “weekly meeting” (perhaps where Dad joins you) to discuss/review the previous week’s work and set expectations for the coming week, praying for diligence and understanding. 
  • Share accountability tasks for challenging subjects or those that fall through the cracks. Online courses, having Dad review work, and other solutions can help. 

Sometimes, WE are the ones who could use some accountability and improvement in our habits in order to make homeschool happen or to ensure that certain subjects don’t fall by the wayside.

  • Use a loop schedule for yourself to make sure those subjects that never seem to get done actually get done! You can work them in one or more times a week or a couple of times a month. But you’ll keep making progress!
  • Parter with another family or two and share the load. We used to have another family come over once a week. I would teach art and the other mom would teach piano!
  • Sign up for a class together! We’ve done homeschool choir once a week and it was a huge blessing. Now we’re doing a theatre subscription box with weekly sessions by the organizer to help teach acting skills and practice our play. Without that, I’d have a harder time working it into the schedule!
  • Consider a support group or co-op for encouragement and accountability. 
  • Find an accountability partner. Ask a like-minded homeschool mom to join you for three months in praying for each other and checking in via text message once a day to report on how you did with homeschooling consistently. 

 

Homeschooling is hard work. When you homeschool consistently, you give your children a strong foundation for the future, both in the strength of education and strength of character.

Hang in there, mama. You’re doing important work!

~ Tauna

 

You Might Also Like… 

The One Thing That Saved Our Homeschool

Are you struggling in your homeschool? This is the one thing that helped save our homeschool! PLUS get some free tools for homeschool prayer. #homeschool #homeschooling #prayer #homeschoolmom

 

 

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Preschool Easter – Caterpillars and Wordless Bible https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/preschool-easter-caterpillars-and-wordless-bible.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/preschool-easter-caterpillars-and-wordless-bible.html#comments Sun, 07 Feb 2021 18:01:00 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.dreamhosters.com/?p=429 A while ago, we picked up a wordless Bible at the Christian store. I knew I’d use them for something eventually. I pulled one out the other day and unfolded it and… hey! It looks like a caterpillar! We had just been reading the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I was inspired!     […]

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A while ago, we picked up a wordless Bible at the Christian store. I knew I’d use them for something eventually. I pulled one out the other day and unfolded it and… hey! It looks like a caterpillar! We had just been reading the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I was inspired!

 

 

 

I searched high and low (for five whole minutes) but didn’t find any caterpillar wordless Bible printouts. So I drew and colored my own and made copies for the kids. There really is something therapeutic about using crayons.  


You know you’re a real (wound up) homeschool mom when you stay up until midnight making your own printables because nothing is “just right”. It is available below to download if you’d like to use it, too!

Each section of the caterpillar represents a different part of the gospel story, which, after all, IS the Easter story.

Your kids can color them in and/or put a short description of the meaning. Below, I added the hill of calvary and the empty tomb.

  • Sin – black/gray
  • Jesus – red
  • Clean heart – white/silver
  • Baptism – blue
  • Grow – green
  • Heaven – yellow

I also decided to teach the kids to respond to “He is risen!” with “He is risen indeed!” and added that in the poster as well.

Caterpillar Preschool Wordless Book

Click here to download the caterpillar Easter page.
(2/7/20 update: I wrote this post in 2012! Whew! Lol! I just updated the printable so it’s not just a scanned hand-drawn picture. Hope it’s a blessing to you!)


First I explained the concept of the wordless Bible and told the story using the ones I’d purchased.

  • Sin – We all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. Our sin separates us from God and brings spiritual and physical death. We can’t get rid of sin on our own. We need a Savior!
  • Jesus – God loved us so much He came to earth in the Person of Jesus as a little baby. Jesus grew up and led the perfect life we cannot live. He died on the cross to pay the price for our sin. Then He rose again and conquered sin and death forever!
  • Clean Heart – All who turn away from their sin, put their faith in Jesus as their Savior, and confess with their mouths that He is the Christ are saved! We are given clean hearts and the Holy Spirit to help us live for Jesus. 
  • Baptism – Those who have put their faith in Christ follow His example and are baptized, publicly declaring that they are disciples of Christ. The old self is gone and the new has come – God has made us a new creation in Christ! 
  • Grow – The Holy Spirit works in our hearts, changing us from the inside out to be more and more like Jesus until the day we see Him face to face! 
  • Heaven – Those who are in Christ will live forever with Him in heaven! One day, Jesus will return to earth and restore all creation. Jesus is King, and His kingdom reigns forever! Amen. 

Then I gave them each a bowl of pompoms from the dollar store, making sure that all of the needed colors were in each bowl. We worked through the story all together, choosing and glueing the correct color pompom to each section.

Then we did a caterpillar/butterfly craft.



Cocoon. Each kid got a toilet paper tube. I had selected some papers beforehand and drew dashed lines where they’d need to cut. They chose their color and cut along the dotted line, and then I helped them tape it around the tube. 

Caterpillar and Butterfly. The kids glued pompoms onto a clothespin to create a caterpillar. They did a second one and then we decorated and glued wings to the bottom to make a butterfly. When all was dry, they rolled up the butterfly and stuck it into the cocoon.  

They push the caterpillar into the tube to release the butterfly. They loved this craft and we had a talk about how Jesus transforms us too when we ask Him into our hearts. 

I hope you have fun with it too! These are great activities for not only caterpillar and butterfly units but also along with other Easter resources to celebrate the risen Christ!

 

You Might Also Like: 

He is Risen Printable Pack

Teach your children the true meaning of Easter this year with this 100-page He Is Risen Resurrection Sunday Printable Pack.

 

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5 Ways Busy Moms Can Get Quiet Time with God https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/morning-quiet-time-for-busy-moms.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/morning-quiet-time-for-busy-moms.html#respond Thu, 28 Jan 2021 06:53:17 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=5365 One of the biggest struggles of a busy mom is making a habit of morning quiet time with God. We know we need quiet time with the Lord desperately if we’re going to survive our day, let alone thrive in it. We know we cannot serve our families and be gentle, joyful moms when we […]

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One of the biggest struggles of a busy mom is making a habit of morning quiet time with God. We know we need quiet time with the Lord desperately if we’re going to survive our day, let alone thrive in it. We know we cannot serve our families and be gentle, joyful moms when we are spiritually starved. 

We know we need more Jesus. 

*** Heads up: There’s a FREE download at the end for a Scripture prayer calendar! ***

Still, it’s hard to actually make morning quiet time happen. Sure, developing the habit and having self-discipline is a big part of it. But so is the season of life that we’re in. 

  • Interrupted sleep and exhaustion
  • A never-ending to-do list
  • Very little time to yourself
  • Fuzzy brain that makes it hard to focus

Sound familiar?

Hey, busy mom! Struggling to get morning quiet time with God? You're not alone! Here are some helpful tips and encouragement!

When we do find time to sit down with our Bibles, it’s easy to struggle to focus. And in the end, morning quiet time may not end up as satisfying as we hoped.  

Moms, we need to be realistic. The scene of rising before dawn, showering, and padding downstairs to read our Bibles and pray over a cup of tea… that may not be our season right now. (Especially if your kids are like mine and can sense when you’re awake.)

And that’s ok. Quiet time with God doesn’t have to look like that.  

Now, if you’re a mama who is an early riser and can manage morning quiet time during these early childhood years, then definitely keep that going and consider it a blessing! 

But if you’re a mama who is struggling and just really needs that extra rest in the morning…. take heart! There are other ways to be faithful in our quiet time with God.  

5 Busy Mom Ideas for Quiet Time with God 

1) Carve Out a Quiet-ish Pocket of the Day

Let me tell you a secret: Our quiet time with God doesn’t need to be in the morning. It doesn’t even need to be quiet! Here are some things I’ve done over the years:

  • Institute a “Bible time” in the morning where the kids pick a book from the Bible basket and sit read / look at pictures until the timer goes off. Meanwhile I’m doing the same at the kitchen table. It takes a few weeks of training but it’s worth it! 
  • Do Bible lessons with them and take a little extra time afterward for Scripture writing and prayer. 
  • When homeschooling is over, let the kids go play while I don my noise canceling headphones/ear buds and spend some time in prayer and God’s Word. (My husband got me the Apple noise cancelling air pods, but these will work for this purpose, too. They don’t block all noise – just take the edge off.) 
  • If I woke up before the kids, I’ve hidden in the bathroom where I stashed an electric tea kettle and read my YouVersion app while I sipped hot tea. 
  • Teach them to stay quietly in their rooms until a certain time each morning, then camp out on the floor in the hall with my Bible to guard the doors 😆 

2) Pray the Scriptures

Many times, especially when I had a new baby or a busy toddler, in-depth Bible study or morning quiet times of any significant length were not happening. I developed the habit of praying the Scripture and it has been a blessing ever since! 

Simply read the Scripture, whether one verse or a whole chapter at a time, and pray through it. Incorporate the ideas and phrases in your prayers of thanksgiving, praise, and request. 

  • Put your favorite Scriptures on cards and a book ring and pray through them while you sit in the car or wait for appointments.  
  • Go through a book of the Bible and pray through it. 
  • Use a journaling Bible with wide margins and write your prayers in the sides as you read. 
  • Use a simple prayer calendar such as the one at the end of this post. Pray through it or more of our Read, Pray, Love Scripture calendars and resources!
  • Just open to the Psalms or Proverbs and pray through a verse at at time. It can be that easy!

3) Focus on Memorization

Memorizing Scripture was another habit I started working on with those little babies and long nights. While I nursed or rocked a baby to sleep, I would pray and practice memorizing Scriptures. 

This was especially helpful with Scriptures about overcoming anger or dealing with overwhelm, which is a common challenge for moms of young ones. Read more ideas for how to memorize Scriptures here. 

4) Use Tools That Make It Easy

I’ve definitely picked up some helpful tools for these habits. Keep looking for ways to make quiet time easier for your busy mama life!

  • Journal Bible – I use this to write my prayers in the margins. 
  • Scripture prayer calendars – I have them for praying for love (see below), joy, our husbands, pastors, homeschooling, and more. 
  • Mama’s Refill – This is an online Bible study resource  from Doorposts that I LOVE. They’re easy, short Bible study lessons that are designed just for this crazy season, and many include lessons and activities you can do with the kids. If you prefer print versions, find those here with their Busy Mama Bible Studies. 
  • YouVersion App – Sometimes just opening this app is a helpful way to get more Scripture in! It also includes handy reading plans, devotions, and ways to connect with friends to do studies together. 
  • Bible Memory App – This is a fantastic app that you can use to help you memorize and review Scripture verses. 
  • Scripture printables – We have used these beautiful Scripture coloring pages and art prints to memorize Scripture together as a family for years. 

5) Creatively Add Bible to Your Day

There are many other ways you can add Scripture to your day. Just get creative! I have added Scripture art around the house, listened to an audio version of the Bible while I work, put Scripture-based music on while we homeschool, and more.

Read more great ideas on adding God’s Word to your day here. 

Heaps of Grace for You, Dear Mama

It’s good to keep looking for ways to grow in faithfulness and saturate your heart and mind in God’s Word. But if it doesn’t look like your ideal right now, give yourself grace! 

You have years ahead of you. There will be time for rising early and sipping tea with your Scripture. For now, enjoy the snuggles, get your rest, and anchor yourself to Christ throughout the day. Progress, not perfection. 🙂 

Download the Praying for Love Scripture Calendar

This Praying for Love Scripture Calendar helps you use morning quiet time praying about love – God’s love, our love for God, and our love for each other. This is part of the Proverbial Homemaker community 2021 Read, Pray, Love Scripture and prayer challenge, so be sure to click over there and see them all!

  • Scripture calendar – 30 verses to read in your Bible, pray through, and write out if desired. I like using these these spiral notecard packs to write the verse and my prayer each day. A main memory verse is highlighted. There’s also a spot for you to record prayer requests you’re praying for and a place to jot down practical actions the Scripture inspires you to do this month to love God and others.
  • Kid’s journal page – Your kids can use this page to create a drawing based on the memory verse. There are also places for them to write down things they can thank God for, ways they can love others this month, and things they are praying for. I recommend posting it on the wall or fridge and helping them come back to it a few times during the month. 
  • Coloring page – This year we’re doing a custom-illustrated Scripture doodle coloring page each month for you and your kids!  

(I’ll be updating the main RPL page each month as new 2021 printable packs are published.)

I hope this resource is a blessing to you as we pray for joy together!

~ Tauna

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Teach Kids About Injustice in the World & Take Action https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/injustice-in-the-world.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/injustice-in-the-world.html#comments Sat, 16 Jan 2021 19:57:56 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27878 As parents, we need to be teaching our children how to recognize injustice in the world and understand it through a biblical perspective. The root of all true injustice is sin, and it is an affront to God.  *** Hey! Don’t miss the limited time FREEBIE audio drama below as well as the GIVEAWAY for […]

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As parents, we need to be teaching our children how to recognize injustice in the world and understand it through a biblical perspective.

The root of all true injustice is sin, and it is an affront to God. 

*** Hey! Don’t miss the limited time FREEBIE audio drama below as well as the GIVEAWAY for a complete series from Brinkman Adventures! ***

One of the gravest forms of injustice in the world is when people are exploited and oppressed. People who are made in God’s image and precious in His eyes. God values human life, cares about how we treat each other, and wants us to take action when we see true injustice. 

“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.” Psalm 82:3

Teach kids about injustice in the world and take action

Injustice in the World is Ugly

Is it really appropriate to talk to our kids about things like this, though? Oppression, injustice, and exploitation are so ugly. Won’t we traumatize them? 

I’m so glad you asked. 🙂 I believe that all followers of Christ are called to take action and help victims of injustice in the world. If God presses on your heart a desire to to do so as a family, He will provide a way that is appropriate for your child’s age and maturity while also preparing them for good works.

Pray and ask the Lord for these things: 

  • Wisdom and guidance on how to tackle difficult subjects carefully
  • A gospel-centered perspective and the grace to teach it to your children
  • Practical ideas for how your family can take action together

Tackling Difficult Subjects

My husband and I have the view that we want our children to learn about injustice in the world from us first. We want to be the ones to discern the right time to introduce a difficult subject, adapt the discussion to their level of maturity and sensitivity, provide biblical insight, and always point them to the good news of Jesus Christ. 

Our kids understand that there is evil, sin, and injustice in the world and they learn about it in a safe, Christ-centered environment. But even more importantly, they understand that there is a loving God who saves and redeems, and who provides a way for us to be a part of helping others, all for His glory.  

Opportunities to Discuss Injustices in the World

There are great opportunities to introduce these kinds of discussions. Here are my favorite ways to do this: 

  • Reading through the Bible – it’s definitely not PG and full of examples of injustice, so you’ll get plenty of practice there. It’s certainly how many of our conversations start.
  • Reading/listening to missionary biographies – missionary biographies and audio dramas are full of powerful accounts of God using faithful men and women to help the poor and oppressed around the world. 
  • Discussing current events – we use a heavy filter until they’re older, obviously, but we use current events to prompt age-level appropriate discussion about abortion, oppressive regimes, persecution, and more.
  • Supporting ministries that fight injustice in the world – we choose too support Christian ministries like Remember Nhu that help fight injustice and help those who are exploited, teaching our kids to take action in practical ways.

It’s always the right time to start practicing these kinds of activities and conversations, turning them into a natural part of your family culture. 


Remember Nhu is a Christ-centered, non-profit organization committed to ending child trafficking through prevention.  They currently have 100 homes for children in 16 countries, and have prevented over 2,000 children from being sold! They identify and remove at-risk children from harm by placing them in a home where their physical, education, emotional, and spiritual needs can be met. Click here to learn how your family can help!  


Family Service Project: Fighting Human Trafficking 

As an example of this process, let me show you how our family approaches the VERY difficult subject of human trafficking

What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is slavery. It is forcing or coercing someone to provide some kind of labor or service against their will. It’s sinful and horrible, and God hates it. That is the watered-down, child-friendly version. 

I personally don’t tell my kids the details of the physical and emotional abuse that these children suffer, although I know they will learn of it as they grow older. Truth be told, I’m not able to get too far into those weeds myself. But it does help for us as parents to have some facts. You can find more information here and here. 

How to Discuss Human Trafficking with Kids

We first learned about a ministry called Remember Nhu at a homeschool conference. It was clearly God’s answer to our prayers for ways to help with this issue. So my husband and I worked out how we would talk to our children about it. We made it an ongoing family service project.

Here are some important things to keep in mind when you’re discussing this and similar topics with your kids.  

1) Pray for wisdom and discernment.

The Holy Spirit will help you know what, when, and how to talk about these kinds of injustices in the world. This is the MOST important thing you can do. We also pray that through these discussion and experiences, our children will learn to live by the command to “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8)

Our Remember Nhu lemonade and brownie stand fundraiser! Be sure to hand out flyers for these events. People were very moved by the kids' efforts and several decided to look into supporting Remember Nhu.
Our Remember Nhu lemonade and brownie stand fundraiser! Be sure to hand out flyers for these events. People were very moved by the kids’ efforts and several decided to look into supporting Remember Nhu.

2) Always point to hope in Christ.

These topics involve sin, pain, death, and sadness. They’re HARD! But the purpose of discussing them with your children isn’t to dwell on the evil… it’s to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to always point to the Savior!

It’s also so that WHEN they encounter these issues in the world, they won’t be caught completely off guard. Instead, they’ll be better equipped with:

  • biblical worldview
  • trust in our Sovereign God
  • faith that is spurred on to good works

And what’s more, they will have the opportunity to begin to do those good works NOW with your family. What a blessing!

3) Find helpful materials for children.

You know your children best. Decide what level of detail is appropriate for where they are right now. Look for age-appropriate materials with a Christian worldview that you can use to facilitate discussion. Books, movies, audios, web sites,… just make sure to preview everything first before sharing it with your kids.


One of our family’s favorite resources is Brinkman Adventures audio dramas, which are based on true stories of missionaries and Christian heroes around the world. We were thrilled to find out they had an episode about the Remember Nhu ministry and how it got started! 

This is the episode we listened to as a family to introduce this subject to our kids. Here was our discussion:

  • In parts of the world it is common for this to happen because of poverty. However, the root of slavery and human trafficking is sin.
  • Many children are sold into slavery, never seeing their families again.
  • It’s a terrible way to treat these children, made in God’s image, and brings great sadness and righteous anger.
  • The particular story we are going to listen to has a happy ending. It will give us some ideas for how we can be helpful for children going through this terrible experience. 
  • We also discussed several Scriptures about the value of human lifewhat the Bible says about trafficking, and that God’s people should defend the weak.
  • I prepared them for a few rough parts in the audio drama. The grandma slaps Nhu and tells her she is being sold. However, they do not mention details of what physically happens to Nhu.

Then we listened to the Brinkman Adventure episode about Remember Nhu. We cried, we laughed, and by the end of it… my kids were excited and ready to take action!

We looked up pictures of Nhu and learned where she is now. We prayed for children to be saved from injustice. Then we brainstormed ways we could help support Remember Nhu and their amazing ministry. 

FREE AUDIO EPISODE – LIMITED TIME ONLY! 

Brinkman Adventures is generously offering Proverbial Homemaker readers a chance to listen to the episode about Remember Nhu for FREE! Now through the end of January 2021 you click here to listen to it for free. Be sure to check out all the other great audio dramas in their store. (They have curriculum, too!) 


Take Action Together

Your family can always help others in difficult situations.  Here’s our list of ideas for how our family can take action and support the work of Remember Nhu. Join us or use them as a starting point to plan your own family service projects!

  • PRAY! This is the best service you can do! Even if this is all you can do right now, make it a priority as a family. 
    • Write prayer topics on popsicle sticks and put them in a jar, selecting one each day to pray for together.
    • Email the ministry and ask for prayer needs, or see if they have prayer opportunities on their web site. 
    • Sign up for emails and follow them on social media. Make a point to take a moment to pray whenever you see something from them.
  • Sponsor a child – There are several ways to donate to Remember Nhu, including sponsoring a child and providing a new life for them safe from child trafficking. We love praying for the child we’ve sponsored, writing her letters, and getting updates from her!
  • Check employer matching – Many companies offer fund matching for qualified charities. Be sure to check with your employer, because it can possibly double the donation!
  • Do a fundraiser – Fundraisers can be big efforts a couple of times a year or little efforts you do all year round, Everything helps! 
    • Lemonade stand
    • Hot chocolate stand
    • Bake sale
    • Walk dogs
    • Mow lawns
    • Weed yards
    • Sell snacks and treats
    • Collect cans and bottles to recycle for the deposit refund
    • Donate a day’s income (from your day job, product sales, babysitting, etc.)
    • Do a social media fundraiser, such as those can do on Facebook for your birthday
  • Raise awareness
    • Share posts about it on social media
    • Invite people to join you in fundraising or praying
    • Share about it in your church or homeschool group
    • More ideas from Remember Nhu

I’m sure you and your family can brainstorm more great ideas to add to this list!

I hope this post provides some great resources and discussion ideas for addressing injustices in the world with your children. ❤

~ Tauna

GIVEAWAY – Season 4 of Brinkman Adventures Audio Dramas!

In addition to the FREE episode they are offering everyone (see details above), Brinkman Adventures is generously giving away a complete Season 4 of their audio dramas!

By entering this giveaway you agree to be added to the Brinkman Adventures email list (if you aren’t already signed up). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contiguous U.S. states only. Giveaway ends January 31st at 11:59pm PST. Vendor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen.

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Get it Done! Managing Your Work with a Loop Schedule https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/loop-scheduling.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/loop-scheduling.html#comments Thu, 14 Jan 2021 09:00:53 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=11760 We all have a lot to do and a limited amount of time to do it. Figuring out how to get more done — or at least, the most important things — is a challenge you probably face every day. I get it! I am a busy homeschool mom of 6, a small business owner, […]

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We all have a lot to do and a limited amount of time to do it. Figuring out how to get more done — or at least, the most important things — is a challenge you probably face every day.

I get it! I am a busy homeschool mom of 6, a small business owner, and have lots of other projects and interests on the side. So there’s no shortage of things to do. But for years I struggled with how to organize my time and my tasks most effectively. None of the typical systems seemed to work for me. 

  • They were too complicated
  • When I fell behind the whole thing seemed to fall apart 
  • They couldn’t adjust well to my busy life and sometimes unpredictable (kids) life

So i just kept falling back into winging it and trying to scramble to keep up. 

Then I discovered the loop schedule and my life was simplified.

Use loop scheduling for flexible task management for homeschool, homemaking and housework, blogging, projects, and more!

What is a Loop Schedule? 

A loop schedule is simply a way or organizing your work into a rotating list. Anything that doesn’t NEED to be done today gets put on the list. You start at the top, do one (or more) things a day, and then when you get to the bottom of the list, you loop back up to the top. 

It’s so simple. But it’s incredibly useful. Loop scheduling is an easy method that adjusts to your needs. Plus, it’s flexible to fit any type of work you need to manage: 

  • Homeschooling (try a looping list for your routine, or a loop schedule for electives)
  • Homemaking (make progress on deep cleaning, decluttering, and projects)
  • Business (be more consistent with training, special projects, etc.)

I even put my prayer life into a loop schedule at one point to be more intentional!

How I Mange My To-Do List & Use Loop Scheduling

Having a long and unrealistic to-do list was causing me stress and weighing down my productivity. Here are the three things I do to manage my tasks reasonably: 

  1. Do a “brain dump” every night before bed. Keep it all in a master file. Even if you never look at it again, you’ll sleep better. Trust me. 
  2. Keep a mercifully short to-do list of 3-5 things that HAVE to get done the next day. If it’s a rough day, drinking coffee counts. 😉 I call this my “daily-do’s” and even though I used to make it 7 things, 3-5 is really more realistic now. 
  3. Put everything else on a loop schedule. Anything that I want do regularly but not every day. Items I don’t want falling through the cracks.  I call them my loop-de-loos. 

Each day, I do my best to get the 3-4 daily things done. Then I do the next 1-2 items on the loop schedule. If you need something to happen more frequently, add it more than once to the loop.

If you need something to happen less frequently, use a sub-loop. A sub-loop is basically when you make one of the items in your list point to another looping list. For example, an item in my loop schedule might be “deep cleaning.” When I get to that item, I turn over the page and select something from a long “deep cleaning” list. 

Here is an example of a loop schedule I had back when our youngest was a baby (4 years ago!) and I was just getting back into routines. 

Simple example loop schedule for housekeeping

And here’s an example of my 9 year old’s homeschool / work routine. You can use something as simple as that or our more advanced Student Work & Habit Tracker. But you get the gist. Daily Do’s, Loop-de-loos, adjust as needed, good to go. 

Simple example loop schedule for homeschooling student

Get Started with Loop Scheduling

It’s really easy for you to get started with loop scheduling. 

  1. Download the free loop schedule printables here
  2. Try creating a loop schedule for your homemaking or homeschooling. 
  3. Adjust things as you go. Tweak things to fit your needs, changing the frequency of items or creating sub-loops to make it fit your goals. 
  4. Want to make the most of this tool? Check out the Loop Scheduling Workshop!

That’s it! I hope you enjoy trying out this tool and I would love to hear how it goes! Let me know in the comments.  

~ Tauna

 

Loop Scheduling Workshop

The Loop Scheduling Workshop will provide you with several additional templates to get you started as well as a guide to begin implementing loop scheduling in your home right away

 

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Homeschool Organization: Six Strategies to Calm the Chaos https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschool-organization.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/homeschool-organization.html#respond Thu, 31 Dec 2020 07:30:34 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27845 If you’ve been part of the homeschool community for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that some mamas naturally super organized with all their neat rows and brilliantly white school rooms. The rest of us ooh and ahh over all the shininess and then get back to looking for that math book we’ve been […]

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If you’ve been part of the homeschool community for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that some mamas naturally super organized with all their neat rows and brilliantly white school rooms. The rest of us ooh and ahh over all the shininess and then get back to looking for that math book we’ve been trying to find for over 15 hours. It’s ok, friend. I am your people. 

I’ll the first to tell you: you don’t have to be a super organized, “Type-A” mom in order to homeschool your children successfully. But it would be nice to know where the math book is. Organizing your homeschool to some degree is necessary because it helps you keep track of your stuff and get more done. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that. Even us “Type-B” homeschool mamas can swing it. 😉 

Use these realistic and effective strategies for homeschool organization!

Put some simple strategies in place for homeschool organization so that you can get on about the business of educating your children well and building relationships with them. No alphabetized books or label makers required. 

Homeschool Organization: Six Strategies to Calm the Chaos

Tip #1: Get rid of all the extra stuff.

Lol! Ok, well, it’s easier to say than to actually do, I know. Especially when it comes to books or curriculum. I mean, I’ve been known to hug a book or two. And for a homeschool mom, aaalllll the books spark joy! ((group hug!))

However, the fact is that the more you keep the harder it will be to find what you need. This is my number one tip for all areas of home management, actually: get rid of the extra stuff!

If you won’t need it in the next couple of years, but you aren’t ready to get rid of it just yet, put it in a plastic tote for storage. (I have two in a closet upstairs just for that purpose – but I won’t let myself go over that.) Decide that whatever books and supplies you don’t need will be donated or sold. Also, all those broken crayons and pencils and empty markers? Throw them out.

Be as heavy handed as possible when deciding what to toss/donate. It’s ok if your “get rid of it” muscle needs to be developed over time. It certainly did for me. But start now make it a regular habit. 

✅ DO IT TODAY: Pick 10 things to donate or toss today. That’s it. Just 10. Yes, a piece of paper or a broken crayon counts.  Feeling good? Try doing that every day for a week or as often as you can. Keep a bin in your van specifically for those donations and move them there immediately to get them OUT of the house. Baby steps, friends. It works. 

Get your house in order! Check out these tips for decluttering your home plus a FREE printable pack of checklists!

Tip #2: Put every item in its proper place.

The first thing is to decide on a place for everything. Try to use the storage and organizational items you already have on hand. Fancy storage pieces don’t do a lot of good if you don’t need them or don’t use them well. 

Start with one type of item (scissors, maybe) and ask yourself where you’d look first if you were trying to find that thing. This might be a good place to set up a little spot for them! Noting where you usually are when you need those kinds of items is helpful too. For example, the kids color while I read at the table, so we need a little caddy of coloring supplies near the table.

Over time you’ll change things as you observe what works, the flow of your tasks or layout, and what is still getting lost or cluttering things up. And you’ll organize homeschool supplies a little bit more. It’s a work in progress. Keep at it!

Once you have things mostly where you want them (at least for now), the tricky part is making sure all the kids know where things go and they actually put things away. Here’s what can help:

  • Keep working at Tip #1 and whittle down the extra stuff. It will make it easier for everything to have a proper and useful home.
  • When you organize things, take your kids on a mini-tour and explain where it all goes. Be ready to patiently remind them as often as needed. 
  • Make phrases like “let’s put things away properly” or “everything has a home” a part of your daily vocabulary.
  • Have your kids take turns each day organizing homeschool supplies and putting them away. Help them the first few times until you can see they know where everything goes and are diligent to put things away correctly. 

✅ DO IT TODAY: Make a short list of the types of items that are causing you homeschool clutter grief (art supplies, curriculum currently in use, binders, pencils, etc.) Pick an easy one to start with and ask where you’d look if you needed it. See if that spot or something nearby can be redesigned a bit to provide a home for that item. Repeat for other items! 

Want to be extra? If you have time and courage to spare, another good strategy is to dump ALL the homeschool stuff in one spot and then start identifying homes for each type of item based on when and how they’re used most. 

IKEA entertainment center for homeschool organization

This is an IKEA entertainment center we’ve used for years. In this photo it was in our dining room and our main hub. Nowadays it’s in a separate room for storing all the books and supplies we don’t need every day. See the magazine files, colorful dollar store baskets, and fruit crates on the top for storing art supplies? Still use them all! 

Tip #3: Strike a good balance with homeschool organization.

Let’s be strategic here because a microscope stuck away in a box so it doesn’t break is two things: it’s a microscope that won’t break and a microscope that won’t get used. Homeschool organization is all about striking a good balance between hidden away and visually displayed so it will actually get used. It’s sort of like how I put the cheese in the refrigerator drawer (let’s face it, I’ll dig that out every day) but the fresh veggies are displayed on the center shelf. Lol!

For example, the books I want to make sure we read this year or that curriculum I keep forgetting about? Those get pulled out and placed in a basket or bookshelf at eye-level so I don’t forget. The microscope sits on a dresser in the schoolroom where it can be easily used but isn’t terribly likely to get knocked over by playing kids. On the other hand, the perler beads I’d rather the kids forget existed (am I the only one that twitches over those?) are hidden away in a drawer for rainy days. And the glitter is in a lockbox.

✅ DO IT TODAY: Identify one thing you want to make more visible so it actually gets used. Then find a place where it can belong and catch your eye more readily. Now find some things that can be tucked away nearby without worry that you’ll forget them and identify a good spot for them to belong.  

Homeschool command station with maps, checklists, calendar, and more

This is the current setup in our dining room. Nice big wall map (use it daily), a loop schedule checklist for each kid, Scripture cards, history/Bible map, calendar, a clipboard for our art study selection and a clipboard at my eye-level of our current routine.

Adams chart of history homeschool

This is a fold out timeline that was one of those things I could easily forget if I didn’t see it all the time. We ended up putting it next to our living room bookshelf so it was visible and super easy to grab and use during a history lesson. This is the Adam’s Chart of History from Master Books

Tip #4: Make the kids responsible for their own stuff.

Once your kids know where everything belongs, make them responsible for their own stuff. For example, all my kids’ binders and books are on two bookshelves in the dining room and they are always there… unless they don’t put them back. Whenever we clean up, they know where the homeschool supplies go.

When the new homeschool day or week rolls around, if they can’t find the necessary book, it’s on them. If it becomes a pattern, they may have to pay me for my time (x amount for every y minutes) while I stop the other lessons or work I was doing to look for it. 

That puts a little bit more gumption behind their searching and over time encourages them to actually put their stuff away and take responsibility for it. Or instead of money, you can have them pay with their own time in the form of extra chores.

But keep your head about you, dear mom, and don’t go grumping. This isn’t only about making life easier. It is about instructing them about life consequences, as well as helping them understand the value of time and the importance of being good stewards of their resources. 

✅ DO IT TODAY: First make sure you have already set them up for success by having a place for everything and plenty of practice to know where things go. THEN, if you still see a pattern of carelessness, talk with your kids about what is expected of them and why (because it’s an important life skill you want them to learn) and what the process and consequences will be if they can’t find their items in the middle of the school day. Remind them that you are there to help them develop better habits in this area. 

Homeschool morning basket with items we're reading aloud from

This is where I keep the read alouds and my own binders for easy access.

Storing three ring binders in our homeschool

An IKEA buffet has bins for toys and we use the horizontal cubbies to store binders. Each kid has one 3-ring binder for all loose papers. The older three kids also have a Bible notebooking binder and a piano binder. 

Our main bookshelf for homeschool supplies

This bookshelf is in our open floor living/dining room area. It holds all our Bibles, readers, and curriculum books that are currently in use. ALL the books go back on this shelf at the end of the school day. We should probably vacuum the floor eventually too. 😀 

Tip #5: Get the right tools for the job.

Eventually you’ll need to get some containers and similar supplies to help you keep all the little bits of things together. Things like manipulatives, colored pencils, erasers, playdough, glue, and learning toys need containers. Contain all the homeschool things! Just make sure whatever labeling you do can be easily changed. 

I have found three things most helpful for us:

  • Bins: The Ikea cube units are handy if you have space. Or anything that will hold bins that you can stack or slide in and out. Just a heads up that you can’t see what’s in bins without sliding them out. So if you’re like me you’ll need to go through them once a month or two and clean and organize. 
  • Drawers: If you don’t have room for a lot of bins, drawers can help. Dresser drawers or even the plastic storage drawers can be used to organize homeschool supplies well. 
  • Bags: Ziplock bags! I get the gallon size and the sandwich size most often, and use them to hold busy bags for the younger ones, counting bears, math blocks, erasers, decks of cards, etc. Plus bags go nicely in bins and keep things from being a mess.
  • Some helpful bits: Besides containers, a good pencil sharpener increases student productivity and stewardship. A good three-hole punch encourages personal paper organization. A cool spinning bucket and easy carry caddies attract more pencil returns.

✅ DO IT TODAY: Remember, first use things you ALREADY HAVE. Identify little bits you need a container for. Find or buy a container to help you make that happen. Again, check out thrift shops, “buy nothing” groups, or local marketplaces for anything beyond ziplock bags. 

Organizing homeschool supplies

We have the plastic caddies, but you can use whatever you have to make it work. Recently I organized all these from around the house and made a little caddie out of a repurposed wood box, an ice cream tub, a plastic easter basket, and plastic cups. It works!

Tip #6: Homeschool organization rocks – Now keep on top of it as much as you can.

This is the toughest part of homeschool organization. Getting organized is not so bad (although it’s not always easy) but staying organized is a whole different ballgame! Here are TWO big things that will help you succeed:

  • Have everyone spend a little time at the end of each day to put all the homeschool things back where they belong. If you do this consistently it should only take a few minutes each day and will make a huge difference to the useability of your homeschool space.
  • Once a week do a little tidying, organizing, or decluttering with your homeschool items (including the bins tucked away things). Just one of those tasks – it should take no more than 10-15 minutes. Put it on your loop schedule or perhaps set a reminder for every Monday or Friday afternoon. 

If you can take just a few days to work on homeschool organization, and a minutes each week to keep it up, it will make a huge difference for your school year.

✅ DO IT TODAY: Decide what time each day you and your kids are going to be organizing homeschool supplies. We like to right before lunch or dinner. Then once you’ve got that habit down, decide one time each week where you will either find some things to toss/donate or do a 10-15 minute organizing sprint in your all the homeschool, craft, toys, etc. Put it on the calendar and set a reminder. It will make a HUGE difference!

I hope these homeschool organization ideas helped you! Don’t forget to revisit tip number one often — getting rid of stuff is one of the most freeing things you will ever do and if you keep practicing it won’t seem so overwhelming after a while. We don’t need to hold on to every single homeschool thing that comes our way in case we might need it later. The Lord will give us all we need to educate our children well! 

~ Tauna 

 

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Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Traditions (Free Time Capsule Printable) https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/family-friendly-new-years-eve-traditions.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/family-friendly-new-years-eve-traditions.html#respond Tue, 29 Dec 2020 19:10:54 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=7488 New Year’s Eve is a great time for families to reflect on the past year and look with hope and vision into the new one. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for special family fun as you ring in the New Year and a chance for a fresh start. You’ll love these great ideas for meaningful […]

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New Year’s Eve is a great time for families to reflect on the past year and look with hope and vision into the new one. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for special family fun as you ring in the New Year and a chance for a fresh start. You’ll love these great ideas for meaningful AND fun family friendly New Year’s Eve traditions!

Looking for some family friendly New Year's Eve traditions? You'll love this list of ideas!

Our Own Family’s New Year’s Eve Traditions 

My husband and I got married on New Year’s Eve! But most years we save our anniversary celebration for another day (to avoid the crowds) and enjoy some really meaningful and fun New Year’s Eve traditions with our kids. Here’s what we like to do:

Yahweh Jireh Box Sometime around New Year’s Eve (sometimes it’s a few days before or after) we sit down as a family and list out all the ways that the Lord has provided for us during the year in both material and non-material ways. We praise God and thank Him, and tuck all those memories into our Yaweh Jireh box. We also like to look back at the things we recorded in past years.

Time Capsule Questions – Many years I have the kids fill out a few sheets all about their favorite things and some “time capsule” style questions. You can download the sheets below to do your own time capsule questions  The kids enjoy them and it’s fun to look back on past years!

Look Through Photos We have all our photos on the computer and they can be easily assembled into a slideshow for each kid or the entire year. Those are a hoot to look through on New Year’s Eve and watch how the kids have grown. You could also do old school photo albums (having physical photos to flip through is meaningful for kids) or try a quick and easy photo book service like Chatboooks.

Minute to Win It Games – This is by far our kids’ favorite activity. We decide on some minute to win it games to play after dinner. It’s a fantastic way to liven up any celebration with this family friendly New Year’s Eve tradition. Here are some we’ve done or you can find more here and here

  • Straw Race – Give each kid two plates, one empty and one with a handful of M&Ms or Skittles. Set the timer for a minute and have them use a straw to pick them up and transfer them to the other plate. The one who transfers the most wins. 
  • Oreo Face – Have each kid look up and put an Oreo on their forehead. The one who can use their face muscles to work the Oreo into their mouth (without dropping it) before the timer goes off wins. 
  • Basket Ball Bounce – Fill a medium to large box with empty cups so that the openings are facing up. Put it on a table or on the floor. Mark a spot for them to stand and have them bounce balls once on the floor/table and into the box. At the end of a minute see how many balls they got into the cups. The one who ends up with the most wins.

Fondue / Dippy Dinner – We bring out the fondue pot or put together a fun dinner with lots of dipping involved. It’s always a good time to reinforce the no double dipping rule. 😉 Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Cheese fondue with cubed apples, celery, carrots, bread, pretzels, etc.
  • Chocolate fondue with apples, rice krispie treats, strawberries, etc.
  • Mini meatballs with various dips to try
  • Crackers and veggies (cucumbers, bell peppers, celery) with cheese dip, artichoke dip, spinach dip, etc.

Sparking Cider with Sprinkles – This is an accidental tradition that started when I spilled sprinkles into a glass of sparkling cider, and the kids have loved it ever since! We have some with dinner and to toast the new year. 

Countdown to the New Year – So far we always do the faux countdown provided for kids (whoever thought of that is my favorite person). You can find them through Disney online, Netflix, and I’m sure other places. Another idea is to have your kids help you pre-record a countdown and sin Auld Lang Syne and/or Be Thou My Vision. They’ll love counting down and singing along with themselves!

New Year Time Capsule Questions Printable

Download this fun New Year time capsule questions printable for a fun and family friendly New Year's Eve tradition!

Here’s a simple printable I put together for our kids. I hope your family enjoys it!

More Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Ideas

I asked the Proverbial Homemaker community what their favorite family friendly New Year’s Eve ideas are and they were happy to share! Here’s a great list for inspiration as you build your own family New Year’s Eve traditions.

  • We do a piñata in the living room!
  • We have communion at midnight.
  • We burn our Christmas tree in the bonfire at midnight.
  • After 6 pm we pop a balloon on each hour.
  • We always try to go out and watch the sunset together.
  • Toothpick dinner (everything you can pick up with a toothpick)
  • We splurge on dinner, and I make a seafood feast… shrimp, lobster, and crab legs. Lots of pasta and veggies.
  • I plan on going over a Bible verse with her (Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever) to talk about how Jesus has always been there for us, and He holds our future too. 
  • We put together sushi. We make candy sushi, cookies, and sushi bowls.
  • We have a memory jar that we fill throughout the year. Pictures, wristbands, notes, receipts, etc. We take turns reaching in. We talk, laugh, cry about the times we had.
  • When my kids were little, we did a Noon-Year Party. I share about it here.
  • We gather friends, have yummy snacks and hot chocolate and play Mexican Train
  • We have a “super fancy” dinner, we all dress in our very best and have a candlelight dinner.
  • Growing up, it was eating Black-eyed Peas and Cornbread. Not a tradition I kept. 😬
  • We play a game of pictionary. First round everyone draws something they enjoyed doing in the current year. The 2nd round they draw one thing they are looking forward to in the new year.
  • Go to church and play games until midnight, then ask the Lord to bless the new year.
  • Travel to visit friends, eat junk food, and play card and board games until midnight.
  • It’s usually just me and the kids, so we have party food for dinner, which for my kids means pigs in a blanket and Sprite in disposable champagne flutes.
  • We always order Chinese or Thai food and play games. We are in bed asleep by 10pm. 😜🤣
  • We cook and eat Mexican-ish themed food while we gather and visit. Tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, cheese dip, salsa, etc.
  • The past couple of years we have made a fire in the fire pit in the back yard, roasted hot dogs, and made smores while we watched and listened to the fireworks around us. 
  • We put on Fiddler on the Roof about 9pm and that takes us to midnight (always accompanied by snacks and leftover Christmas cookies).
  • We’re trying something this year a friend does – new year new food! They pick new fruits or veggies or a new recipe to try. Sounds like fun to me!
  • It was tradition to play hours of bingo with random crazy luck of the draw prizes.
  • Completing a puzzle, playing board games, building LEGO, dancing, staying awake until midnight.
  • We eat Pizza and ice cream sundaes. We watch movies til midnight.
  • Dinner is appetizers. The menu is centered around foods thought to bring good blessings in the new year. I am not superstitious, this started as a joke. 🙂 
  • Last year we watched a couple countries in different time zones ring in the new year. That was inspired by our Italian exchange student. 😊 I think we’ll do that again this year to help give our kids a global awareness.
  • Countdown clock, each hour from 1pm to midnight we move the hands on our posterboard clock and remove the circle for that hour. 
  • We sometimes do fondue and a family movie. Puzzles are fun to work at throughout the day.
  • I decided this year, I want to start a tradition of scrapbooking on New Year’s Eve.
  • Movie marathons.
  • Eating menudo.
  • 12 grapes at midnight
  • Sleeping…🤣

I hope this gave you some great ideas to add to your list of family friendly New Year’s Eve traditions. Have a Happy New Year, friends. 🙂 

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Yaweh Jireh Box: A New Year’s Tradition for Families https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/yaweh-jireh.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/yaweh-jireh.html#comments Tue, 29 Dec 2020 09:22:50 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27826 One of my favorite New Year traditions in our family is the Yaweh Jireh box. It is a way to establish in our family culture a rhythm of remembering what the Lord has done in our lives. It gives us peace and confidence in a God who is with us and sees ahead, understanding our […]

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One of my favorite New Year traditions in our family is the Yaweh Jireh box. It is a way to establish in our family culture a rhythm of remembering what the Lord has done in our lives. It gives us peace and confidence in a God who is with us and sees ahead, understanding our true needs and establishing our way.

We have several fun New Year traditions but this one is the most meaningful by far. I encourage you to start a Yaweh Jireh box of your own! I’ll tell you how. But first, let me share a little bit about what brought us to developing this tradition: memorial stones and the meaning of Yaweh Jireh.  

Looking for a meaningful and Christ-centered New Year tradition for families? Set up a Yaweh Jireh box and spend time each year remembering what the Lord has done!

Memorial Stones – Remembering What God Has Done

He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ …that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (Joshua 4:21, 22, 24 NASB)

Joshua chapter 4 is an amazing story. God instructs the Israelites to set up a memorial of stones to remind themselves of what He did for them. The Lord parted the waters of the river Jordan so that they could pass through to the Promised land! He tells them that the memorial they establish will serve as a reminder to them and to future generations of His provision and power.

In the Bible, stones of remembrance, commemoration, or memorial are used several times in this way. In another example, Genesis 28, Jacob sets up his stone pillow as a holy memorial of the vision of the heavenly stairway and God’s promises to him. It becomes a pivotal event and location in Jacob’s life. For the Israelites, stone memorials marked out an event that showed God’s faithfulness so that when they would look upon them, they would remember.

We need these memorials in our lives today.  We forget too easily and live blind to the truth that God sees and goes ahead of us, preparing and providing. We do not trust because we do not remember. Our lives are so often lived weakly, worrying and fretting over who/what/when/how. No wonder our days can start to feel so powerless! No wonder so many of our children live powerless lives as well.

A deep, unshaken faith is tied to the remembrance of God’s provision. We would do well to build this kind of remembrance into our family’s culture. Whatever we are faced with, we can go back to those marks in time and be encouraged by who God is and what He has done. We can look upon and touch those “stones,” knowing that this same God promises to be with us and guide us today.

Looking for a meaningful and Christ-centered New Year tradition for families? Set up a Yaweh Jireh box and spend time each year remembering what the Lord has done!

Incorporating Memorial Stones in Your Family Culture

I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:12

How can we mark out God’s faithfulness? The days between Christmas and the New Year are a perfect time to make your own memorials, although you can certainly do it any time of year. My challenge to you is to find a fresh way to commemorate God’s faithfulness in your life and start now. Then revisit it once a year around the New Year to add more “stones” to your memorial!  

Here are some ideas to get you and your family started in building your own memorial:

  • Write out a list of thanksgiving and post it on the wall.
  • Cut out and write on paper stones with the kids, taping them to a window. 
  • Write words or phrases on real stones and put them in a large vase.
  • Put up a shelf and add mementos from events in your life that remind you of God’s faithfulness.
  • Write songs or assemble a playlist that reminds you about examples of God’s provision in your life.
  • Make a collage of pictures and drawings representing your experience of God’s work this year.

Our Yaweh Jireh Box New Year’s Tradition

Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means ‘the Lord will provide’). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.’ – Genesis 22:14

Several years ago we started a “Yaweh Jireh” box. (We read a book where it was spelled Yaweh Jireh but it’s also more commonly spelled as Yaweh Yireh or Jehova Jireh.) 

Yaweh Jireh means “God will provide” or “The Lord who is with me sees ahead.” It was first uttered by Abraham when God stopped him from sacrificing Isaac and provided a ram in his place. What a beautiful foreshadowing of Christ! The same God who provided for Abraham that day provides for you and I today and all the days to come.

Over the years we have filled our Yahweh Yireh box with “memorial stones” that remind us of God’s faithfulness. We started out with little wooden ornaments and would draw and and written on them our remembrance. These days, our stones are scraps of paper, and each year we transfer the list into a little booklet that we keep in our box so that we have an ongoing record.

Every year around New Year’s Eve we sit down together as a family and talk about all the ways the Lord has gone head of us and provided during the year. What do we write down? Everything from major events to the small but meaningful examples of His care.We fill up the box with our “stones” and write our records.  

The Yaweh Jireh box is a tradition that tells the story of God in our lives! Reading through the past years of God’s provision encourages our faith and the faith of our kids by remembering Yaweh Jireh.

Looking for a meaningful and Christ-centered New Year tradition for families? Set up a Yaweh Jireh box and spend time each year remembering what the Lord has done!

Start Your Own Yaweh Jireh New Year Tradition

It’s easy to get started with your own Yaweh Jireh box for a New Year tradition. You can use a box like we have or just a notebook you bring out with the Christmas decorations each year.

We started with a wooden box I found on sale at a craft store. It had a chalkboard finish on the top of the box and I wrote Yaweh Jireh on it. (I haven’t been able to find the same box since then, but you can use a craft box and chalkboard labels or signs.) I also got blank wooden ornaments and we’d use that to write down our remembrances. 

One year, once the tradition was established, I ordered a nice box from Etsy with a custom engraving on the top and inside. I purchased a little booklet to keep inside it, and we traded wooden ornaments (which were hard to keep up with) for paper scraps and a journal to record past year’s “stones” into. It has worked beautifully! 

Yaweh Jireh – Yaweh Yireh – Jehova Jireh

A deep, unshaken faith is tied to the remembrance of God’s provision. I want a deep, unshaken faith, don’t you? I want that for my children and for future generations, too.

The Lord provides. He gives wisdom, guidance, and care. He provides for physical, spiritual, and emotional needs… Above all that, He gives Himself. That’s what we really need, isn’t it? We can rest in the knowledge that He provides. It may not always look like what you expected. It may not happen when you wanted it to. But it is always in His perfect way and in His perfect timing.  

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Sound Words for Kids: Lessons in Theology – Great for family discipleship or homeschool studies!

Teach your kids essential doctrine and theology with Sound Words for Kids curriculum!

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Grumpy Mom? We Need the Joy of the Lord (Free printable) https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/joy-of-the-lord.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/joy-of-the-lord.html#comments Wed, 23 Dec 2020 20:12:13 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27784 Recently I saw a quote on Facebook that said “Cheerful mothers who love Jesus make Jesus attractive to their children. Grumpy mothers who love Jesus make Jesus unattractive to their children.”  Let me just tell you, dear reader, that this quote really bothers me. It frustrates me and even angers me. As my children tease […]

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Recently I saw a quote on Facebook that said “Cheerful mothers who love Jesus make Jesus attractive to their children. Grumpy mothers who love Jesus make Jesus unattractive to their children.” 

Let me just tell you, dear reader, that this quote really bothers me. It frustrates me and even angers me. As my children tease me for saying… it really frosts me. 

Are you struggling to be a joyful mom? Do you feel like the grumpy mom instead? We need the joy of the Lord! Here are some important truths and encouragement you need to know, as well as a Scripture and prayer printable to help you pray for joy!

On the one hand, there’s some truth there. A mom who is always talking about Jesus but then spends all day every day grumping out does not really demonstrate the joy of the Lord. We have to be honest… not only is unrepentant grumpiness and irritability a sin, but God’s Word says that the world (including our children) will know we are His disciples by our love for each other and because of the joy that lives in us.

The quote doesn’t bother me because there’s no truth in it. The problem I see is that it’s a woefully (even dangerously) incomplete truth, as memes and quotes often are by nature.

It too easily thrusts heaps of guilt and shame on moms. The moms who aren’t naturally bubbly. The ones who are sincerely wrestling with the sin of constant irritability. Or the moms who are struggling, exhausted, confused, frazzled, and just want to do better. I’m just going to raise my hand here. I’ve struggled with all these things, and while I’ve made much progress by the Lord’s grace, He’s still working on me.

Of course, I don’t know who said or posted the quote and that doesn’t really matter anyway. Perhaps it was taken out of context, and either way I’m sure the intention was conviction rather than guilt. I know I’ve shared things without realizing how they might be read!

However, we can still do our best to make sure that when we share things on social media or make casual comments in conversation with fellow moms, our messages build others up rather than tear them down. Especially those hard but necessary lessons where we mamas need a nudge in the right direction.

Speak truth in love, friends. That goes for how we speak to ourselves, too. 

Important Truths for Imperfect Moms

Here’s more truth to hold on to, dear fellow imperfect mamas: 

  • Mothers who model true confession, repentance, and forgiveness make Jesus attractive to their children. 
  • Mothers who don’t hide their shortcomings but instead submit to the Lord and seek transformation in Him make Jesus attractive to their children. 
  • Mothers who preach the gospel of Jesus Christ who came to save sinners make Jesus attractive to their children. 
  • Mothers who don’t demand cheerfulness at all times but instead show grace and point to Jesus in all circumstances… they make Jesus attractive to their children.  
  • Moms who realize they need the JOY of the Lord and take steps toward growing in that fruit of the Spirit make Jesus attractive to their children.  

What really makes Jesus attractive to children — or anybody, for that matter — is the Holy Spirit, who draws them to the Lord and brings them to repentance. It’s the free gift of salvation in Christ alone.  

Being saved and loving Jesus doesn’t make us perfect moms — it makes us worship a perfect Savior who loves, redeems, teaches, guides… and does an ongoing sanctifying work in our hearts that is only complete on that day when we stand before Him. 

Goodness. Our Savior is beautiful. 

Joy of the Lord for Moms

The joy of Lord is a deep and unshakable joy in spite of our circumstances.  The more we know God and spend time with Him, the more we are transformed by the Holy Spirit. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, after all, and not something we just drum up on our own effort. 

And, yes, the more joy we demonstrate in our lives, the more our children will be attracted to Christ in us and to the promise of salvation in Him. So, keep preaching the gospel, dear moms, even if you don’t quite have it all together. Keep showing your kids what it looks like to confess, repent, and walk with Jesus.  And keep pursuing the joy of the Lord.  

30 Days of Praying for Joy (Read Pray Love)

Pray for the joy of the Lord with this free 30-day prayer calendar, kids' journal, and coloring page!

I know I need more of the joy of the Lord in my life, especially in my mothering. Will you join me and pray for joy? 

Our 2021 Read, Pray, Love Scripture and prayer challenge in the Proverbial Homemaker community is kicking off with 30 days of prayer for JOY! Here’s what the joy printable pack includes (in ESV and KJV):

  • Scripture calendar – 30 verses to read in your Bible, pray through, and write out if desired. I like using these these spiral notecard packs to write the verse and my prayer each day. A main memory verse is highlighted. There’s also a spot for you to record prayer requests you’re praying for and a place to jot down practical actions the Scripture inspires you to do this month to love God and others.
  • Kid’s journal page – Your kids can use this page to create a drawing based on the memory verse. There are also places for them to write down things they can thank God for, ways they can love others this month, and things they are praying for. I recommend posting it on the wall or fridge and helping them come back to it a few times during the month. 
  • Coloring page – This year we’re doing a custom-illustrated Scripture doodle coloring page each month for you and your kids!  

(I’ll be updating the main RPL page each month as new 2021 printable packs are published.)

I hope this resource is a blessing to you as we pray for joy together!

~ Tauna

 

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Memorizing Long Scripture Passages as a Family https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/memorizing-long-scripture.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/memorizing-long-scripture.html#comments Wed, 23 Dec 2020 05:00:33 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=22042 Are you ready to dive into more intentional Bible memory and prayer? Praying through and memorizing long Scripture passages can be a wonderful experience for your family. They can actually be easier to memorize (because of the context) than shorter verses! In this post, you’ll find a running list of all the longer passages we […]

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Are you ready to dive into more intentional Bible memory and prayer? Praying through and memorizing long Scripture passages can be a wonderful experience for your family. They can actually be easier to memorize (because of the context) than shorter verses!

In this post, you’ll find a running list of all the longer passages we have tackled over the years as a part of the Read, Pray, Love system in the Proverbial Homemaker community.  You’ll even find setup files for making your own Read, Pray Love binder system. Then just choose the individual passages you want to work through with your family.   

Want to memorize long Scripture passages with your kids? Find out some great tips and printable resources to help you make it successful.

What is Read, Pray, Love?

Read, Pray, Love is a challenge we’ve been doing for years in the Proverbial Homemaker community. The goal is to be intentional in your Bible reading, prayer, and life application. Many of us also take the opportunity to memorize the Scripture we’re praying through. Each year we tweak things for a change of pace. You can find more about Read, Pray, Love here, including all of the monthly printables and the binder setup files.

For a few years, we focused our Read, Pray, Love efforts on longer passages of Scripture. Below you’ll find a list of those! You can work through the list in order or pick and choose which ones you want to do. They are designed to be a month of intense prayer and Scripture memorization, although you can easily spread it out over two months for more practice or to accommodate younger children. 

Long Memory Passage Printable Packs

Tips for Memorizing Long Scripture Passages With Your Children

Going through these Scriptures, our family learned things about memorizing long Scripture passages. 

  • Read through the whole passage every day the first week, and once a week after that. 
  • Have the kids help you come up with hand motions for each phase and use them as you practice and recite. This especially helps visual learners.
  • Use a gradual progression of memory work.
    • Start by having the kids repeat the first several phrases after you, then read the rest aloud. 
    • As they learn the words, have them repeat more and more of the phrases after you. 
    • When you hear that they are becoming familiar with the phrases, start having them repeat larger portions after you (stringing two or three phrases together)
    • Start reciting the first few lines altogether and see if they have memorized them, then continue with the rest of the passage, having them repeat after you. 
    • Continue this way until you can all recite the entire passage together. 
  • Have consistent review. Years ago we set up a memory work review system that has served us well. It helps us keep revisiting the Scriptures and other things we memorize. You can see that setup in this video, starting at the 10-minute mark. 

I hope these tips and resources are helpful! Again, you can learn more about Read, Pray, Love here, including the current year’s challenge, all of the past monthly printables, and a download of the binder setup files.

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Tips and resources for scripture memorization

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Birthday Gifts for Jesus (A Christmas Family Tradition) https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/birthday-gifts-jesus-christmas-family-tradition.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/birthday-gifts-jesus-christmas-family-tradition.html#respond Sun, 06 Dec 2020 05:00:51 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=3801 Gifts are good things. They can help us practice generosity, thoughtfulness, as well as remind us of the gift of God’s only son, Jesus Christ! However, Christmas time can too easily slip into a me-focused distraction, especially for our kids. The world around us pushes us to want more, “need” more, and therefore buy more […]

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Gifts are good things. They can help us practice generosity, thoughtfulness, as well as remind us of the gift of God’s only son, Jesus Christ!

However, Christmas time can too easily slip into a me-focused distraction, especially for our kids. The world around us pushes us to want more, “need” more, and therefore buy more for ourselves and our family members. However, there are some simple things we can do as parents to encourage an others-focused season that puts Jesus first.

Birthday gifts for jesus

Worshiping Jesus with Gifts

One way our family does this is by giving Christmas or birthday gifts for Jesus. Of course, we know that December 25 is not necessarily Jesus’ birthday. But we can choose to use the Christmas season to focus more on Christ, the gospel message of salvation in Him, and the wonder of the Incarnation.

So, we talk to our kids about gifts:

  • The ultimate and perfect gift of Jesus
  • The blessings and gifts God gives us every day
  • Giving out of that abundance to others  

We can bless the Lord by giving to those who are hurting or in need, especially those who are within the body of Christ. We are blessing them in Jesus’ name and that honors Him. For our family, it is an act of worship. 

That’s what we want to do most during the Christmas season, right? Honor and worship Him! 


Consider supporting Remember Nhu or even sponsoring a child as a family! 

Support Remember Nhu! They are a Christ-centered, non-profit organization committed to ending child trafficking through prevention.  We first learned about their ministry at a homeschool conference. They currently have 100 homes for children in 16 countries, and have prevented over 2,000 children from being sold. We identify and remove at-risk children from harm by placing them in a home where their physical, education, emotional, and spiritual needs can be met.

Click here to learn how your family can help! You can sponsor a child, raise money to support Remember Nhu, pray for their efforts, and help write letters to the children. 


Birthday Gifts for Jesus

How can your family give to Jesus during the Christmas season? Here are several ways to consider! You can give time, gifts, money, prayers, and encouragement. 

  • Extra support to those in the church who depend on gifts to continue their ministry (pastors, missionaries, ministries, etc.).
  • Financial or practical help for a church member who is struggling right now. If you’re not sure who that may be, ask your church leaders who in your congregation might need help, and what kind of support would be most useful to them. 
  • Have your kids help you put together a stocking for Jesus, adding prayers, money, and other things to it during the month of December to bless others in your church or community.  
  • Choose a gift from the World Vision catalog and pray for the needs described there. (This is one of my kids’ favorite things to do each year.) 
  • Make a list of various acts of service your family can do during the month. There’s one in the Every Good and Perfect Gifts unit, or you can come up with your own and work through the list during the holidays.  
  • Raise money for a charity. Pick a favorite or have your children help you select a charity to help. Sell cookies, Christmas cards, gift items, or do extra work to raise money. 
  • Sponsor a child together. Take time with your family to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child. We love the Remember Nhu ministry that helps prevent children from being sold into trafficking. Praying for our sponsored child and  sending them letters and drawings is a favorite activity in our home. Compassion International is also a wonderful organization to look into as well!  
  • Give toys to needy children. Spend time with your kids cleaning out their toys and belongings. Encourage them to pick some nicer toys that they can gift to kids in need. Something they are truly giving as a gift and as an act of love, not just something they would toss.  

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:40

As you can see, there are many ways to give back and bless others. Make giving gifts to Jesus a part of your gift giving traditions this Christmas! 

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Read this post for some ideas on how to make gift-giving a fun and Christ-focused activity in your family this year. 

Christmas gift giving

 

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Looking for a Better Way to Do Christmas Gift Giving? https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/christmas-gift-giving.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/christmas-gift-giving.html#comments Sun, 06 Dec 2020 01:42:57 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27749   I’m an over-thinker. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. In the earlier years of my parenting, I spent a lot of time fretting over Christmas gift giving. I mean… it can be stressful. There are expectations (mine and others’). But, mostly, we just want to do things right. Here are some of the things I […]

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I’m an over-thinker. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. In the earlier years of my parenting, I spent a lot of time fretting over Christmas gift giving. I mean… it can be stressful. There are expectations (mine and others’). But, mostly, we just want to do things right.

Here are some of the things I would fret over: 

  • How many gifts is too many? 
  • How do I bless my kids without spoiling them?
  • How do we focus on Jesus instead of a wish list?
  • How do I teach them to GIVE instead of just receive?
  • What are the grandparents getting them?
  • What are the “right” gifts to get? (Christ-centered? Open-ended? Learning toys? Non-cluttering?)
  • Should we just ditch gifts altogether?
  • What is everyone else doing about gifts?
  • What is my [super impressive and godly] friend doing about gifts?
  • What if I’m doing this wrong and my kids will need therapy?

Fret, fret, fret.

 I told you I’m an over-thinker. 😉 

Christmas gift giving

Nowadays, I don’t worry about these things. Don’t get me wrong, though. We are still intentional. We still focus on Christ. And we still make adjustments to how we approach gifts and the Christmas season in general. 

BUT you know what I’ve stopped doing? Fretting. 

Here’s the thing: You don’t have to get Christmas gift giving and all the traditions perfect this year. In fact, there are many ways to approach gift giving that are just fine, and you’re sure to change how you do things over time. The real goal isn’t getting everything “right.” It’s honoring the Lord and building character. 

Don’t compare or worry about what other people are doing (really). And don’t judge them for doing things differently, either. Instead, ask God for wisdom and for one small change you can make this year toward a more peaceful, joyful, and Christ-centered gift-giving season.

A “better way to do Christmas gift giving” will vary from family to family. 

Christmas Gift Giving Ideas to Consider

Now, if we can set aside comparison and fretting, it can actually be pretty helpful to look at other Christmas gift giving ideas for inspiration and encouragement.

In that spirit, here is what our family has done over the years, along with some posts with more ideas that you might find useful.

We Focus on Jesus

For us, the Christmas season is about the wonder of the Incarnation. It is about the most perfect gift from God and the gospel message of salvation in Christ. Of course, we focus on Jesus all year long, but we use this time as yet another fantastic opportunity to do so. 

One particularly fun Christmas unit that our family enjoys is Every Good and Perfect Gift. I wrote it as a Bible study, devotion, and activity pack all about a biblical perspective on giving and receiving gifts.  

We Keep Gifts Simple

For simplicity and to avoid over-buying, we give each kid pajamas on Christmas Eve plus something to READ, something to SHARE, something to DO, and something to WEAR. 

We also attempt to keep clutter down and give meaningful Christmas gifts or ones that are highly useful. Not everything will turn out that way, and that’s ok. (No fretting!) But we’ve found it helpful to focus on these kinds of Christmas gift giving: 


Download these beautiful Scripture gift tags for Christmas!

free Scripture printable Christmas gift tags


We Give From What We Have

At the beginning on December we like to purge all our toys and belongings. Anything that’s been in the house for a year or more is game for purging.

I like to encourage my kids to pick some nicer toys that they can gift to kids in need. Something they are truly giving as a gift and as an act of love, not just something they would toss. They have also found ways to use what they have to craft or assemble gifts for their siblings or friends. 

We Give Thoughtfully

Each year after Thanksgiving, we write Christmas gift GIVING lists instead of wish lists, and focus on the joy of making/choosing and giving those items. Many times those lists include actions or kind words, not just objects.

We also started encouraging our children to be prayerful and thoughtful about gifts, considering someone’s needs, personality, interests, or what they just hope will be a blessing to them. 

There are enough kids in our family (and lots of winter birthdays) that this year we decided to try a “secret Santa” style Christmas gift exchange between the kids so they can really focus on choosing or making a thoughtful gift for one sibling. 

We Give to the Least of These

Christmas is another great time to bless the “least of these.” Of course, there is an abundance of opportunities around us to help others and share the light of Christ. 

We especially like to find members of the church body who are struggling, give extra to pastors and missionaries who rely on support in order to continue their ministries, and help Christian organizations who serve the poor and oppressed or work to spread the gospel.  The kids can help come up with ideas and raise funds. 

Here is a list of ideas for ways to give gifts to Jesus (giving to the “least of these”).

We Practice Acts of Service

This is a wonderful time to serve others as a family. Encourage your children to always be looking for new ways to help others, whether it’s planning to serve in a soup kitchen or seizing an opportunity spontaneously to just bless someone.

You can look at this Random Acts of Kindness page for ideas or use the Acts of Service calendar from the Every Good and Perfect Gift Christmas unit. 

We Acknowledge Yahweh Jireh

The Lord Provides. We remember and talk with our kids about how God provides us with all we need. We can trust Him and not fret over what we receive or are able to give, but instead give what we can with a cheerful heart and rest in His care. 

(This leads into our special Yaweh Jireh New Year’s Eve tradition, which I’ll be writing about for you soon.) 

What we DON’T Do for Christmas Gift Giving 

Now, I’ll tell you what we don’t do: 

  • We don’t do Santa and my kids aren’t missing out on any blessing or on the wonder of Christmas. (You do you – I’m just saying this for those who are considering taking the same route we did and are worried the kids will miss out. They won’t.)
  • I don’t worry about what the grandparents or other relatives are getting the kids. At all. I just let them enjoy that part of giving and teach my kids to be thankful.
  • With extended family, we either don’t do gifts or we do gift baskets with food or a mix of fun purchased or handmade items, and my kids help. 
  • I don’t try to make Christmas perfect. Only Jesus is perfect. 😉 Heaps of grace and flexibility for myself, my kids, and everyone else when Christmas doesn’t go the way I expected. (Pro tip: adjust your expectations.)
  • I don’t expect my kids to be giving and thankful at Christmas if I haven’t been teaching those things to them all year long. Selfishness and entitlement don’t happen overnight. Take the wide view on parenting, friends. If you see changes that need to be made there (we all do sometimes), spend this season prayerfully planning the lessons and habits you want to instill in your family in the coming year. 

If you’re looking for a better way to do Christmas gift giving this year, I hope this has been encouraging to you!

Don’t try to be perfect… don’t compare… seek God’s wisdom and guidance about what’s best for YOUR family… and then take intentional steps in that direction. 

To God be all the glory!

~ Tauna

 

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FREE Jesse Tree Scripture Printable https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/free-jesse-tree-scripture-printable.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/free-jesse-tree-scripture-printable.html#comments Sat, 21 Nov 2020 23:00:51 +0000 http://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=3380 The Jesse Tree is our favorite advent activity every Christmas season. It is a sweet and meaningful way to walk through the story of Jesus from creation to the incarnation. It’s a simple idea: each day you read an account from the Bible and then hang an ornament up that relates to that story. All the […]

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The Jesse Tree is our favorite advent activity every Christmas season. It is a sweet and meaningful way to walk through the story of Jesus from creation to the incarnation.

It’s a simple idea: each day you read an account from the Bible and then hang an ornament up that relates to that story. All the stories point to Christ and His first coming, when God Himself came to us as a baby in a manger

The Jesse Tree is a Christmas activity that families use to walk through the story of Jesus from creation to incarnation. Begin the Jesse Tree tradition in your home during Advent this year and use this beautiful custom-illustrated Jesse Tree Scripture art print and coloring page to start!

The Jesse Tree Christmas tradition is based on this passage in Isaiah:

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. – Isaiah 11:1-2

This Jesse Tree Scripture passage is one that our family is very familiar with after years of doing a Jesse Tree. It’s still one of my favorite passages. 🙂 You can find out more about the Jesse Tree here, as well as several ideas on how to use the Jesse Tree in your Advent celebrations.  

This year, I also invite you to print off the beautiful custom-illustrated Jesse Tree Scripture art print and coloring page below for a fun way to help your family memorize the verses together and kick off your Jesse Tree activities. They are available in ESV and KJV.  

Every day, have your children repeat each phrase after you. When you think they’re beginning to remember it, start having them repeat larger chunks. Eventually, switch to reciting it together each day instead of repeating after you. Coming up with hand motions for each phrase or idea helps the little ones, too! 

FREE Jesse Tree Scripture Art Print & Coloring Page (ESV & KJV) 

Download the Jesse Tree Scripture Print

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What is the Jesse Tree? Read a little bit more about what the Jesse Tree is all about and why I love it as a teaching tool in our home!

Jesse Tree Brick Challenge Use these printable ornaments, Bible reading plan, and Lego build prompts to have a simple and memorable Jesse Tree activity this year! 

Jesse Tree Action Bible Reading Plan – The Action Bible is a fun comic book style Bible that my boys in particular have really enjoyed for extra reading. We created this reading plan to go along with it, including printable ornaments! 

25+ Jesse Tree Ornament Ideas Check out this roundup that includes even more ideas for ornaments and activities for a Jesse Tree this Christmas! 

More Advent Ideas 

There are several ways to count down to Christmas and focus on Jesus and the Word of God. The Jesse Tree is a fun way to do that, but here a more ideas to try!

  • Names of Jesus: Advent Family Bible Study and Activities – This is a fun way to go through 25 names of Jesus during Advent. It includes four weekly devotions, Scripture art prints and coloring pages, memory verse cards, printable ornaments to color use as decorations or gift tags, Scripture writing journals, and more! 
  • Every Good and Perfect Gift: Family Christmas Bible Study & Activities – Spend December learning about what the Bible says about gifts and gift-giving! Focus on gratitude, acts of service, and the most wonderful gift of all: Jesus!
  • Christmas Bible Brick Challenge The Christmas Story Brick Challenge & Learning Pack lasts 12 days and includes 29 pages with build challenge prompts, a memory verse with copywork, drawing pages, coloring pages, a cut and paste nativity scene, and more!
  • Nativity Printable Pack – A free 70-page printable activity pack with Scripture, literacy, and math activities to enjoy. 
  • Nutcracker Printable Pack Not about the Bible at all 🙂 but a fun side activity to do with the kids, especially if you like watching the Nutcracker ballet together!
  • Three Kings Printable Pack – 126 pages with Scripture, literacy, and math activities to learn about the wise men from the account of Jesus’ birth! 

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Tips & Scripture to Help Your Child with Fear https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/child-with-fear.html https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/child-with-fear.html#comments Thu, 22 Oct 2020 23:30:16 +0000 https://www.proverbialhomemaker.com/?p=27510 All children struggle with fear at various times. It can be hard as a parent to know how to help your child with fear. They may be challenged by something scary they saw or heard, an experience they had, or an expression of the deep down fears we all have.   So how do we […]

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All children struggle with fear at various times. It can be hard as a parent to know how to help your child with fear. They may be challenged by something scary they saw or heard, an experience they had, or an expression of the deep down fears we all have.  

So how do we help our kids through these challenges? We can listen to them, encourage them with the truth, and give them helpful tools, all while pointing them to God.  

Is your child afraid? Help your child with fear with these tips and Scripture about fear. Includes a do not fear Scripture printable pack!

Listen to Why Your Child is Afraid

When your child shares with you that they are afraid, don’t be too quick to dismiss it. Saying “there’s nothing to be afraid of” doesn’t help. Fear is something everyone has to deal with in life. We can start now to prepare them to handle it in an honest way that also points them to Christ. 

Begin by listening to your children well. Be patient and give your scared child time to explain what they’re afraid of and why. Acknowledge their fears and say you understand why that could seem scary. Perhaps share a story about a fear that you’ve struggled with in the past.   

Don’t focus too much on explaining to your kids why their fear is irrational (assuming it is). When adults experience fear, many times having more information about a situation helps alleviate that fear.  This is far less likely for kids.

For example, with a scared child, explaining to them that there are no monsters under the bed may not actually help them stop being afraid. It may be worth it to explain it briefly and even look under the bed with them, but don’t hammer on it. Their irrational fears may not go away with more information and your kids might become confused and upset that they’re still afraid. 

Encourage Them with Truth

Let them know they’re not alone. Fear is alienating. It makes us turn inward and feel like we’re struggling alone. Kids can especially feel this way when their big feelings take over. Remind them often that they are in a family that cares about them. Even more importantly, remind them that God is with them all the time and everywhere. They are NEVER alone, even in the middle of the night or in those moments when they’re suddenly afraid.

Teach them to cry out to God. Help them practice pausing to pray when they feel afraid. Just telling them to pray doesn’t work. We need to hold their hand and practice with them! Bedtime is a good time to start. Take turns with them praying for God’s protection, asking Him for courage, praying that they would trust Him, and thanking Him for listening and always being there.

You can set an example of this kind of prayer life, too. Make a point over the next few weeks to pause in the middle of your day and pray out loud for different needs, especially those that are internal (“Lord, I’m feeling anxious about this appointment, please give me courage. Thank you for always being with me!”)

Remind them that God is BIGGER and MIGHTIER than anyone or anything else! No matter what they’re afraid of, God is bigger and He is in control. We can trust Him to care for us and be with us no matter what. This is a good time to study the attributes of God. When we focus on who God is and how much He loves us, we’re less likely to stay stuck in fear! 

Is your child afraid? Help your child with fear with these tips and Scripture about fear. Includes a do not fear Scripture printable pack!

Give Your Scared Child Helpful Tools

After they’ve talked to you about their fears, give them some good tools. We first teach them to calm their bodies, taking big breaths and relaxing their hands, shoulders, back, etc. if they feel like they are tense. Then we help them learn to focus their minds on the truth.

It’s true for adults as well as children: when we are full of fear, there is little room for truth and peace. It takes practice and patience to teach ourselves and our children to intentionally focus our minds on the truth when we are in the clutches of fear. Here are some ways you can help your kids do it:

  • Pray through and memorize Scripture – Choose some special verses that will encourage your scared child to not fear and instead trust God. I’ve listed our favorites below along with a printable for the 3 we’ve used most often. Pray though them out loud with your kids, memorize them together, and post them around the house!
  • Focus on Key Phrases – Come up with a few key phrases together that can help you remind each other to redirect your focus. Perhaps “do not fear, for God is with you!” Or “focus on the truth!” 
  • Sing Songs – Find or make up songs that put your favorite “do not fear” Scriptures to music. Play and sing them together. They can be especially helpful for sleepless nights.   

Scriptures About Fear

Choose a Bible verse about fear (or a handful of them). The ones listed below have been helpful to our family. Read through and discuss them with your kids.

How are they encouraging? Which ones are their favorites and give them the most courage? Pick a few to memorize together and/or find songs that incorporate them. Put them on index cards and pray through one every night. Be creative!

Also, be persistent and give it time. Even though it may seem like it’s not helping your child with fear at first, we know that God’s Word never returns void. I have learned that if I keep discussing, memorizing, reciting, singing, and praying the Scriptures with my children, the more GOD’S WORD becomes a natural part of our thoughts and words. That is powerful when you are battling fear!

  • If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24 
  • fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
  • “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
  • The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
  • For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
  • But now thus says the Lordhe who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.'” Isaiah 43:1-2
  • I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
  • “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
  • The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
  • “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
  • For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’”Isaiah 41:13
  • For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:6-7
  • “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4
  • “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
  • “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
  • “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will saya] to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91 (This is a good one to read aloud and memorize as a longer passage, especially for older kids) 

More Ideas for Your Child with Fear

  • Learn the Armor of God Scriptures together. Here’s a Scripture pack for that passage and a fun printable pack you can add to your activities. Talk about putting on the armor of God to guard against and battle fear. 
  • Listen to this song “God is Bigger Than the Boogey Man” from Veggie Tales (or watch the episode if you have it)
  • Read stories from the Bible about facing scary things but putting trust in God in spite of the circumstances. Here are a few:
  • Read about the courage of missionaries and how they demonstrated courage (pre-read and edit for sensitive children)  
  • Our family has particularly liked these songs:
  • Draw it out. I have one daughter who is really into drawing. Having her draw her fear on one side of a page and the truth on the other side helps her a lot. 
  • Scared at bedtime? Pray together, read Scripture. If they are still struggling to sleep, have them recite the Scriptures they know in their head until the fall asleep. Or record yourself reading the “do not fear” Scriptures listed above and play it for your children at night.   
  • I asked my older kids what they do. They said that when they’re afraid, they: 
    • Pray
    • Read a book
    • Read a book from the gospels
    • Go into another room / get a change of scenery
    • Find someone to talk to 
    • Play a movie through their head from start to finish  

I hope you found some good tips and tools to help your child with fear and point them to God! 

~ Tauna

Do Not Fear Scripture Printable Pack (ESV & KJV)

Is your child afraid? Help your child with fear with these tips and Scripture about fear. Includes a do not fear Scripture printable pack!

Download this Scripture printable pack! It includes a custom illustrated Scripture art print, coloring page, and card for Proverbs 3:24. It also includes bonus coloring pages and cards for Isaiah 41:10 and John 14:27.  

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