Monday, August 29, 2011

The Blessing ~ a book review

I recently finished a book that I have long wanted to read - The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley. 

from the front cover - "Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance"

from the back cover - "Children of every age long for the gift of "the blessing" - the unconditional love and approval that come from a healthy relationship with their parents.  This lift-changing gift, essential for instilling a deep sense of self-worth and unshakable emotional well-being, contains five essential elements......"

This updated edition of the book, originally published in 1986,  thoroughly outlines implementing the "five essential elements."  It details the application of each element and offers real-life examples of both individuals who experienced that element and those who suffered the lack of it.  Utilizing personal anecdotes and scripture, Trent and Smalley present their strategies both with clarity and compassion.  In addition, the authors pepper the chapters with noted links to further resources online at their website The reader is left confident that they too, can offer "the Blessing" to each of their own children and to the other significant people in their life. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  As mentioned earlier, I have long wanted to read it and count it an honor to have it as a parenting/life resource.  It is thorough, but very readable.

I received a complementary copy of this book for review from
The opinions are my own.

Monday, August 22, 2011

in praise

1921. bedtime ritual again
1922. the comfort of rituals
1923. always grace
1924. reading aloud Little House on the Prairie
1925. Stevia in the Raw (I like my coffee even better now, Jennifer!)
1926. rearranging furniture
1927. my office space
1928. our school room
1929. the freshness of repurposed spaces
1930. kids journaling in their night-time journals
1931. looking at their journal entries with them
1932. today's early morning walk
1933. being drenched with sweat
1934. the blessing of a cool shower
1935. new lotion
1936. in our 3rd week of school
1937. antibiotics for strept throat
1938. the sound of my kitchen fountain
1939. the tapping of my computer keys
1940. shutting my eyes
1941. getting a letter in the mail
1942. a dad's homeschool prayer group for my husband to be a part of

Friday, August 5, 2011

our 2011-2012 homeschool schedule

As always I really, really enjoy designing and planning each year's homeschool schedule.  The grade levels that I am teaching this year are 6th, 3rd, and 1st.  This schedule is what we are aiming for on Monday through Thursday.

8:00 - 8:30 Morning Devotions
8:30 - 9:00 1st Silent Reading (each child will read out of a pre-chosen grade level book)
9:00 - 12:00 Grammar & Math Instruction/Seatwork
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 History (M/W)/Science (T/Th)
2:00 - 2:30 Mom Read Aloud Time (probably history/science related)
2:30 - 3:00 Peer Spelling Drill/3rd graders read aloud to me
3:00 - 3:30 2nd Silent Reading

Friday's schedule looks like this:
8:00 - 8:30 Morning Devotions
8:30 - 9:00 Silent Reading
9:00 - 10:00 Math Testing (all)
10:00 - 11:00 Comprehension Quizzes/Handwriting (completion of a History Review Sheet in their best handwriting - doing double duty here)
11:00 - 12:00 Art Activity or additional History/Science Project
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch

I have also come up with a Daily Rhythm for which to aim.  I have never tried this before, so we will see how it works.   

 - Good Morning! + Breakfast (7:30 A.M.)
 - Morning Devotions
 - Homeschool
 - Daily Chores (Desk Ready, Public Rooms, Bedrooms)
 - Free Time
 - Supper + Kitchen Cleanup
 - Free Time
 - Night-time Ritual (8:00)
         TV off
         Pajamas + Brush Teeth
         Prayers + Monthly Memory Verse
         Journal + Story
 - Bedtime (9:00 P.M.)
 - Good Night!  Lights Out! (9:15)

I really enjoy reading other's schedules and plans, so I thought I would put mine up!