Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child: The Importance of the Walk

Do you have a strong-willed child?

The kind that you see screaming and throwing tantrums at the grocery store? Or in Sunday school?
Yep, I had one of those.
The kind you actually think might NEED medication?
Even though you can’t believe you are thinking that?
Here’s our story.
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When you have a child like this, it is easy to feel like a failure as a parent.
This kind of kid tests all of your reserve strength. This kind of child teaches you to pray!

Our first child was extremely strong willed.

I even talked to our Christian doctor about my daughter. I was ready to put her on medication to help me keep my own sanity. But . . . Continue reading “Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child: The Importance of the Walk”

Christmas Gift Giving: NO Toys! Buy Them Hours of Creative Fun.

Don’t buy your kids toys, buy them hours of fun.

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Whether you are looking for Christmas gift giving or making a special kid in your life happy, think in HOURS not items. By this I mean you should look at the time your child will play with an item as you evaluate whether or not to buy it.

Continue reading “Christmas Gift Giving: NO Toys! Buy Them Hours of Creative Fun.”

Homeschooling Basics: Getting Started

Expert Help for Home School Moms: I want to help you be successful like I've helped others. Picture of kids squirting water at each other outside in backyard.

Welcome to homeschooling! I have homeschooled my four and been working with homeschoolers for over 30 years. Here are the Basics to help you get started and have a happy homeschooling experience.

Homeschooling: You Need Some Books

If you are choosing to home school or teaching from home due to the quarantine make sure you are getting the material you need. Generally with home schooling, you purchase and teach the subjects your child needs. However you may be getting some material from your school district during this time. Whatever you are teaching, please join me on Homeschool with Confidence on Facebook for additional support. If you are having difficulty with finding curriculum or other resources, I can help you in that forum.

There are very good boxed all-in-one curriculums out there. I used and recommend BJU Press Homeschool curriculum for all my kids K thru 12. You can do parent led where you teach or purchase the DVD’s or get the same material through the computer. For any of those ways, there are recommendations for grading or they do it for you. I love the BJU curriculum because they have thought of everything. Subjects are well put together, they list tons of extra resources if you need it and all the prep work is done. On day one, you teach lesson one, etc. So the value of that kind of complete curriculum was worth every penny to me. Continue reading “Homeschooling Basics: Getting Started”

The Crazy Day That Changed My Perspective on Church Nursery

little kids smiling wishing you would help in the nursery

Church Nursery

Have you ever looked forward to Sunday as a time to go to church and renew your spiritual batteries?   I know I do! It is nice to catch up with friends, too, but the spiritual encouragement from Sunday school, morning worship service or other services just seems to help me make it through the week.

THEN, I had children! Continue reading “The Crazy Day That Changed My Perspective on Church Nursery”

Homeschooling and the Difference Between College and Kindergarten

This image shows a young student working matching the correct word to a picture with an inset of an older student studying chemistry

What’s the Difference Between College and Kindergarten?

  • Type of Learner.
  • Level of dependence.
  • Maturity.

Your last formal education may have been college: however,  remember that in kindergarten, your students are new learners.

Besides the monetary aspect, to the tune of $40,000 or more, the learning is different! (See more about college tuitions below.)
In college, the students are mature learners.
In college, a student is responsible to know the material in the assigned reading, the extra reading, and the lecture material. He is expected to be a mature learner.

In college, the students are independent learners.

Most college students have already had 12 or 13 years of formal education and are ready to take responsibility for their learning. Most college students know how to study and learn new material.

Warning: If you are teaching a young student, be careful not to expect a college student’s learning ability and level of responsibility.

Your kindergartener may have been read to for hundreds of hours, played with and taken places. However, most kindergarteners have never been asked before to identify a letter with a sound, been required to make that sound and then be asked to identify that sound at the beginning or end of a word. This example is one of many totally new concepts.

In kindergarten, the student is a dependent learner.

The under 6 crowd will “catch on” to the best of their ability but their brain is still developing. I had one teacher tell me that she didn’t expect any of her students to read until they their teeth started to wiggle! 
And then just when you think your young charges are starting to understand, their body will go through a growth spurt and they may regress. That’s normal.
Many curriculum use a spiral teaching method: A subject is introduced, and then re-introduced and then talked about again throughout the year. This spiral learning teaching style  (Bruner, 1960)  is based on the premise that a student learns more about a subject each time the topic is restudied.
Little by little.
Inch by inch.
Some children catch on very quickly to reading or math. Unfortunately it is usually your annoying neighbor’s child, but be that as it may, that is NOT the norm for kindergarten. A good song for kindergarten learning (and our Christian walk) is Little by little, inch by inch. . .  
The maturity you are expecting will come but it will come in increments over the next 13 years. Be patient.
I do recommend finding a good homeschooling co-op or group. These groups provide friendships and encouragement to the children and parents.
God Helps When We Ask: Kindergarten through College!

Remember James 1:5, ESV: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Asking God for wisdom is evidence that we trust Him. (

How do we get wisdom? We ask. Every day.

Homeschooling Kindergarten Tips:
  • Pray aloud for yourself and your students before beginning class each day.
  • Plan to have fun learning with your child.
  • Plan a bathroom break before school starts.
  • Halfway through the morning, plan for a snack.
  • Plan a rest time after lunch called Quiet Reading Time.
  • Plan 2 exercise times to get those large muscle groups working.
  • Plan a creative project after lunch.
  • If your school day isn’t going well, it’s okay to take a break and try again in 15 minutes.
  • Have enrichment activities or worksheets ready if needed for an emergency day plan.
  • Have a plastic tub for storing schoolwork and artwork.
  • Take photos often. You’ll thank me later for this one.
What’s the difference between college and kindergarten?    TIME.
12 years of learning! So enjoy the early dependent years and set the stage for success and independent learning later. Happy Homeschooling!
Some additional thoughts about kindergarten readiness:

From the Conversation: When to worry

According to the developmental milestones, parents should seek advice from a professional if their three- to five-year-old child:

  • is not understood by others
  • has speech fluency problems or stammering
  • is not playing with other children
  • is not able to have a conversation
  • is not able to go to the toilet or wash him/herself.
At least there are some things you won’t have to worry about!
Fortunately for the homeschooled crowd, you won’t have to worry about your child being embarrassed to get permission for bathroom breaks and having an accident, too much stimulation in a crowded cafeteria so that forget to eat, fatigue from a long day without the possibility for a nap or very limited outdoor and exercise time. In homeschooling, you get to control the schedule and it should work to fit your family. Click here for more scheduling ideas.


If you liked this article you may also like:

How to Teach Sharing: Everyone Wants the Monkey

Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child: The Importance of the Walk

Homeschool Mission Statement: Is It Necessary?

Christian Homeschool Mindset Help from 2 Veteran Homeschoolers

Homeschool Christian Mom Elizabeth Estelle is ready to help you!

Let’s connect:

Join me! Homeschool Christian Mom FREE Facebook group with tips on grading, scheduling and more!

Youtube: Homeschool Christian Mom These videos discuss homeschool scheduling, working with your Littles, thinking long term, and many other topics.

For additional home schooling support, work with me!

Alexa skills: Subscribe to Homeschool Christian Mom News

Twitter   @hmschchristnmom


Do you need some extra homeschooling help? Use this link to get on my calendar and let’s chat! Move from being a hesitant homeschool mom to a happy homeschool family.

*About college tuitions: Vermont has the highest tuition and fees of $43,748 and North Dakota has the lowest tuition & fees of $12,678 over 50 U.S. States and territories for the academic year 2021-2022. Click here for more information on college costs by state.

Happy Thanksgiving! Avoid Unrealistic Expectations

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving day with your family and friends. God made us to be connected to people- so no matter what that looks like this year (In person, outside, Skype, FB, Duo, Zoom, etc.) I hope you take the time and make the effort to stay connected.

People do better when they are connected to people.

People do best when they are right with God.

Continue reading “Happy Thanksgiving! Avoid Unrealistic Expectations”