Category Archives: Homeschool

Staycation Ideas

Sharon Gamble is founder of Sweet Selah Ministries, helping busy women carve out quiet spaces to meet with God, to know Him and to love Him more and more. With stories, humor and biblical truth, Sharon speaks at women’s events and offers Sweet Selah retreats. The former USA National Director for Moms in Prayer International, she is a wife, mother of two daughters, and “Nina” to an ever-growing number of grandchildren. Learn more at www.SweetSelah.org or email Sharon at Sharon@sweetselah.org.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)

Last week, I wrote about the fun we had with our family in planning day trips and discovering unique adventures. Here are some of the ways we spent our staycations over the years:

Beach day – picnic lunch or sometimes sub sandwiches from a local shop; beach ball for 4 square; ice cream on the way home

Mini-golf day – oodles of fun playing as teams; after several games, home for a video—yup, a video in the days before DVDs—all together on the couch, munching popcorn, and enjoying root beer ice cream floats

Board and card games day – each game chosen by the person whose “day” it was and included much glee in making the rest of the family play “their” favorite game. We all had fun, even if some of us initially thought we wouldn’t with the particular game chosen. ( !!! )

Boston Aquarium day – with a library pass for admission into the aquarium, we drove to a station and took a subway ride; relished our aquarium visit; and topped the day off with treats from an ice cream truck.

Roller skating – remember roller skating rinks? We all enjoyed skating, and when it was time for the “couples’ dance,” Ray took turns skating with each of his three girls – we all delighted in “our turn” at the couples’ dance.

White Mountains day – drive along a beautiful highway in the mountains with a cooler full of picnic food; stop by the Swift River to swim in an icy cold mountain stream that “slid” us into a pool of water—Brrrr! But fun!

Thrift store day – one of our daughters divvied up the money between the four of us, and we all went to her favorite thrift store. We each found treasures and compared notes, then went home, and watched movies.

You know, looking back, what really mattered was that our family was together. Having fun together. Enjoying each other. We were intentional about being with each other on those days, not hidden away in our own spaces doing our own separate activities. Whether we were amazed by the Alps during our “richer” days or comparing finds at a thrift store on a staycation … the best part was the contentment that came from being “us.”

Oh, Father God, thank You for the gift of family. Please give us the ability to be content with what we have, knowing that You are always with us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Joys of a Staycation

Sharon Gamble is founder of Sweet Selah Ministries, helping busy women carve out quiet spaces to meet with God, to know Him and to love Him more and more. With stories, humor and biblical truth, Sharon speaks at women’s events and offers Sweet Selah retreats. The former USA National Director for Moms in Prayer International, she is a wife, mother of two daughters, and “Nina” to an ever-growing number of grandchildren. Learn more at www.SweetSelah.org or email Sharon at Sharon@sweetselah.org.

When “making do” turns into “that was really fun!”

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)

When my husband retired from the military, he decided to teach at a Christian school. I was supportive, and very excited for him to serve in this way. The downside to this wonderful decision, however, was a huge income drop for our family. Suddenly, Switzerland for Christmas was no longer an option. (We had been stationed in Germany during his last tour.) In fact, going away anywhere was not an option. What was our little family to do? How would I be “content with what we had” as Hebrews 13:5 commands?

We decided to save our change. Every penny, nickel, dime, and quarter went into a big jar sitting on the kitchen counter. I know many families save $5 bills, but, at that time, loose change was all we could save. (And we were grateful for that—some folks need every penny. Literally.)

At the end of each school year, our big savings jar would contain about $120. Not a lot, is it? We divided it up between the four of us, and each family member could choose a daylong activity to spend however they wished with their $30. Oh, the ideas we had were endless. It’s amazing the vast choices available for $30 a day! Our daughters loved being the ones “in charge” for a change, and planning a day was filled with joy.

Looking back, the decisions about what to do have blended together. I can’t remember who chose what which year. What I do remember is that our family had fun—fun planning and fun discovering unique adventures together for our little staycations. The time we invested with each other, the opportunities to cater to one another’s desires, the fun in learning what each member had chosen, were good for all of us, good to learn to follow another’s lead.

Next week we will take a look at some of the ways we spent our staycations over the years.

Oh, Father God, thank You for the gift of family. Please give us the ability to be content with what we have, knowing that You are always with us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

New Study about Struggling Readers

Liz Sedley, the creator of Dyslexia Gold, a suite of neuroscience based computer programs to help your dyslexic child read, write and spell. Liz has 3 children with combinations of Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Aspergers. She spent 10 years researching these conditions, and what caused them, before creating her first computer program to help her daughter to read. She’s now created 4 programs to help children with dyslexia, and is very proud to say they all get fantastic results.

The latest study found that 98% of struggling readers have poor eye convergence. This means they can’t focus both eyes on the same letter and don’t ‘track’ across the page.

When we read, our eyes track across the page, from word to word. When struggling readers read, their eyes jump around the page, with both eyes looking at different letters. This makes reading almost impossible and causes eye strain/headaches.

When children with poor convergence read, each eye looks at a different letter. This may make words look blurry or letters appear to move as the brain alternates between images.

Students with poor convergence will find spelling hard. They don’t see the letters clearly when they read, so they can’t visualize the word later.

Comprehension is also difficult. Their brain is overloaded, trying to decipher what is seen. There’s very little processing power left to remember or understand it.

Poor convergence also causes erratic eye movements. Eyes wobble when reading, so they can’t track smoothly across the page.

How would you know if your child has poor eye convergence?

Children with poor convergence may:

  • Reverse ‘b’s and ‘d’s

  • Skip lines and words

  • Say that the letters move or are blurry

  • Read slowly

  • Have poor spelling

  • Have difficulty copying

  • Refuse to read out loud

  • Not understand what they have read

  • Get tired, headaches or sore eyes from reading

  • Need coloured overlays to read

Dyslexia Gold’s latest research tested eye convergence in children who are behind in reading. The results clearly show that this problem is widespread amongst struggling readers – 98% of them could not converge their eyes.

The great news is: eyes can be trained to converge using daily exercises. Dyslexia Gold has created an online program specifically designed for this called Engaging Eyes. Pupils play for 10 minutes a day for a few months.

The History of Our Nation’s Independence

This country, the greatest on earth, enables its citizens to live freely under certain guidelines of law. However, those of us who live in the twenty-first century often forget the lives that those American soldiers gave up in order to pass on that freedom to our generation. As we approach the anniversary of our nation’s independence, we ought to remember those who put their lives into the hands of their enemies in order to save this country. Since they sacrificed so much for us, it is only reasonable that we take time to teach ourselves and others about the history of our nation’s independence and the utter importance of keeping this country free.

After the new world was colonized, the pilgrims had little governmental regulations. When the French and Indian War ended in 1763, however, unpopular British policies began to plague this new country. Here is a list of things that spurred on the War for Independence and eventually brought about freedom in our nation:

  • In February of 1763, after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the British still continued to fight Indian rebellions. As a result of the costliness of these wars, Britain imposed taxes and produced other regulations that began to anger the colonists.
  • The following year, the British passed the Grenville Acts and the Currency Act. These aimed to raise revenue owed from the French and Indian War and prohibited the colonies from issuing paper currency respectively.
  • In 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act, which greatly angered colonists. This new act was the first direct tax placed on the colonies. By the end of the year, the citizens of the states utterly refused to use and purchase stamps, which stopped business almost entirely.
  • Next year, the Stamp Act was repealed, and the colonists continued to fight against other unpopular acts.
  • 1767 was the year in which the Townshend Acts were passed. These produced many more regulations which further angered the colonists.
  • In 1768, Samuel Adams and the Massachusetts Assembly sent a letter to the British Parliament protesting the Townshend Acts, and many other legislative assemblies promoted it also. However, Parliament continued to enforce their acts of taxation.
  • In March of 1770, the infamous Boston Massacre occurred. This action was later held as propaganda against the British government with the death of five colonists and the injury of six.
  • Later, in 1773, the angered colonists reacted by dumping a shipment of tea into the harbor, also known as the Boston Tea Party.
  • In 1774 and 1775, more and more actions of Britain angered the colonists. These events were at a climax when Patrick Henry said in his famous speech, “give me liberty or give me death!”

As you can see, these events would anger anyone under the authority of a government. The colonists of the New World knew what was going on would eventually lead to more aggravation and injury. In order to protect the rights of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, those who lived in the new-found land of America followed the path they believed to be right, even when those who had power over them were not. As we celebrate Independence Day, never forget from what you have been made free, and always remember to fight for those freedoms which cost the lives of so many Americans in years past.

Happy Independence Day! We at EverBright Learning wish you and your family a happy and blessed Independence Day! We’ll return to you next week with more educational and inspirational content to assist you through your homeschooling journey.

God Bless America… Land That I Love

You can find out more about Todd, Debbie, his eight children, their RV, and ministry at www.familymanweb.com

Hey Mom,

Happy Fourth of July!!! I’m speaking at a Family Camp in Nebraska over the holiday. A few of my kids are a little bummed that we’re missing the Fourth at the Family Lake Cottage where all the cousins willbe, but a few bounces on a giant lake blob should ease their pain.

There’s just something wonderful about the Fourth of July with all its patriotism, hot dogs, apple pie, fireworks, and family. We live in a great country and the Fourth gives us an opportunity to celebrate it with the people we love most.

As we celebrate… I feel a tinge of sadness, because America isn’t doing so well. The headlines glorify evil and what was once looked upon as despicable and morally wrong is now celebrated as good. Just about every time I listen to the news on the radio I shake my head in disbelief and think, “What’s wrong with us??!!”

Of course when you remove God from the equation… bad things happen and will continue to happen. I don’t have much hope for this great land of ours. Our only hope is that godly parents will raise godly children who will raise godly children… who will… you know.

So as you get ready to celebrate our independence, remember that what you do as a parent matters and changes cultures. So keep loving your children, keep staying married, keep pointing them to Jesus, keep teaching them the WORD when you rise up, when you lie down, and when you walk along the path… and KEEP HOMESCHOOLING!!!!!

And then pray. Pray that God will help your children stand in this wicked generation, that they’ll cling to the truth and only the truth, and that God would heal our land.

So Happy Fourth of July… eat lots, play hard, and enjoy your family and the great heritage we’ve been given which is so close to being forgotten.

Enjoy the adventure!

Todd

“The Familyman”

#stayingmarried

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