Category Archives: Child Training

POWs

Teri and I were shocked to see what seemed like two POW’s within 60 seconds of each other. I have seen photos of POW’s in history books, but I’ve never considered someone to be a possible POW. Then to see two of them within a minute was hard to imagine. These men were walking skeletons due to starvation for some reason. Yet, here they were in Walmart. Their arms and legs were just bones without muscle. How these two guys could even walk was hard to imagine. They both had shorts and tee shirts so their physical condition was obvious. Could they both have been cancer victims or have some other illness? Maybe, but the rest of their appearance indicated most likely otherwise. They broke our hearts. They were possibly prisoners of a cruel master. Satan was winning the war in their lives and likely using addictions to kill them. 

What a contrast to having the God of creation as one’s Lord and Master. The One Who cares for and blesses His children. “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.” (Psalm 128:1). It doesn’t mean we won’t have sickness or problems in life, but we know that everything God allows in our lives will be for good. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

Brothers, Satan is crafty, and cruel and wants your family. He’s happy with just an inch. Give him one bad choice, and he will give you another “opportunity.” It may be alcohol, weed, or a spicy movie. That is the beginning. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). If it isn’t glorifying to God, don’t do it.

Helps for Your Productive Summer

Most have noticed the negative effects on today’s youth from spending hours watching TV and movies or playing video games. Laziness, bad worldly attitudes, and an appetite for more entertainment is the consistent downward trend of today’s youth (sadly including Christians). “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Philippians 3:19). I believe you don’t want that for your children. May I encourage you to redeem these summer hours and turn them into beneficial use of time for your children? “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). I was thinking about how we could help you with that and the resources we have available. Let me briefly share those ideas with you.

What about reading rather than screen time? Here are ways to use the 14 children’s reading books that we offer. Of course, children who can read could simply read them. What about an older child reading them to younger siblings? Maybe you want bonding time and would read them out loud while your children cuddle around you. After that, you might have discussions about the book’s content. You could also look at what is in the book that your children can try themselves – starting personal Bible time, a garage clean-out/organization project, an anniversary date at home for Dad and Mom for the children, or an IJN (In Jesus Name) project. So many are pleased to tell us of the great things their children learn and then emulate from the Moody books. There are multiple options for using these books this summer or at any time.

What about making a chore plan and teaching chores to your children of all ages this summer? I have a delightful story of a mom who invested in her children when they were little, giving them chore responsibility, and the delightful memories a now grown-up daughter has of that. 

“One of my earliest and fondest memories is when I was something like 3 years old. We lived in a small apartment — my parents and my brother. He must have been at kindergarten, because it was always in the morning when my mother tidied up. At that time we had a rug with fringes, and it was my job to straighten the fringes! Just imagine! Straightening the fringes is more or less useless in a family with little children, but I remember how eagerly I tried to do a good job. My mother always pointed out how good we worked together in making our home neat and clean. I guess my mum just wanted to keep me busy so that she could do the cleaning as efficiently as possible. What I remember up to this day is the wonderful feeling of being helpful to my mum. I told her the other day, and we both laughed about this. She also remembers those days as a precious time.”

That mom was doing much more than building memories in her little girl’s heart. She was teaching her to enjoy work and be responsible. She was giving her a sense of worth in contributing to the good of the family and home. She was building a sense of accomplishment in a job well done. What a powerful investment for the future good of her little girl! We have a book called Managers of Their Chores to help you with a chore system.

Finally what about helping your children become good conversationalists this summer? Being able to have a conversation is at the root of relationships – in the family, neighborhood, work, church – wherever your children are and whatever their age. A good conversation might be the forerunner of a beautiful marriage. It might help your child obtain his dream job. It could be the path to leading someone to the Lord. Are you equipping your children with conversation skills for life? Our book Making Great Conversationalists assists you with this task and gives you projects as you work toward this goal.

Be committed to a productive summer with your children, instilling good habits and character in them rather than taking the path of least resistance by letting them be entertained by their devices or TV. Make plans now so that it will happen. If you don’t, school begins before you know it, with disappointment in your heart for nothing of value to show from your summer. 

Words are Cheap

There is a common saying: “Words are cheap.” Likely we are all guilty of saying something that sounds good but has no heart-backing and certainly no follow-thru in actions. How often do you tell your wife that you love her? Do your attitudes and actions sound a loud “Amen”? How much does she really mean to you, and how grateful are you that God brought her for your helpmeet? 

If you are a dad then she is (normally) the mom. Do you desire that your children learn to love and honor her as their mother? Oh, my brothers, demonstrate it. A woman who will invest her life in raising children is worthy of praise, but a mom who will homeschool them is worthy of love and honor many times over. Sadly, many moms don’t even get the words.

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). When we do, hopefully our children will follow. Look at the blessing they receive in so doing. 

“Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Deuteronomy 5:16).

June 2023 Mom’s Corner – The Productive Summer Schedule for Homeschoolers

A productive summer schedule can help homeschoolers (or anyone) toward desires or goals you have for your summer months. Perhaps those would include doing some homeschooling, accomplishing activities that don’t fit into a homeschool year, or simply relationship building.

Whatever the desire, purposefulness in making a schedule should give time to work on various aspects that lead to its achievement. Often moms get to the end of their summer dismayed with their lack of productivity and disappointed that they didn’t accomplish what they had envisioned. Your schedule is a tool that will let you look back on summer with satisfaction rather than regret.

If you haven’t scheduled before, summer is a perfect time to learn scheduling because usually summer has a more relaxed pace than the school months do.

List and Pray

To begin, write your desires for summer accomplishments onto a list. Having these desires in writing means you can visualize the ideas all together. You have a limited amount of time and energy so what you want to accomplish will be mitigated by that. The list and then the schedule is a reality check for what is reasonable to try to do.

Before you work on the actual schedule, you want to pray and seek the Lord’s direction for what He would have you and your children accomplish this summer. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). You may grow or shrink the list as you spend praying over it and also evaluating your available time.

Then pray about the actual planning and working out of the schedule since you want God’s help through that process. He is the One Who gives you direction and creativity for how to put the pieces of your schedule together.

Add a Few Notes

Now look at your list of desires for the summer. What needs to be scheduled to accomplish those goals? Start by making notes on your list since a particular goal might mean multiple spots on the schedule.

For example, your list says: summer school. But your note would be more specific – keep math and reading going during the summer by doing it daily. Your list could have: relationship building. Your note with it might say: weekly outing with one child rotating every week through the summer, assign a kitchen helper for each meal, have a daily game time. 

Assign Times

The next step is to put times with what you have on your list. It simplifies the schedule and schedule production if you use the same schedule for summer that you do for the school year when it comes to your normal daily needs. Then you don’t have to relearn that routine for the summer. School time is freed up to assign for your summer accomplishments, but the rest of the schedule remains the same.

If, however, you want to change the whole thing up, your schedule can accommodate. Just be sure to write it down. Trying to keep it in your mind is a setup for failure!

Then you use your notes to help you put what is on your list into time slots on the schedule. What is on it that you will do every day? Plug those into your schedule first. That allows you to evaluate the time blocks you have available for activities that don’t happen every day. If you want to have larger chunks of time for outings, try to group your daily activities together, so that you have several hours that can be scheduled for outings and the activities that don’t happen every day.

Finally what is on the list that you can do a couple of times a week or once a week? Put those into the blocks that are still open after the daily pieces have been entered into the schedule.

Make the Summer Schedule a Reality

Sometimes putting together a schedule seems daunting. That’s usually the case when it is all floating around in your head. Committing the details to paper or the computer, generally flows nicely once you take that first step to begin.

The productive summer schedule for homeschoolers will help you end your summer with a smile as you look back over all that you achieved through those months. 

If you need more scheduling help, I recommend our book called Managers of Their Homes. That book is full of scheduling information plus it walks you step by step through putting a schedule together utilizing the included scheduling kit. 

Here are some other articles on summer scheduling.
The Well Planned, Well-Executed Homeschooler’s Summer
The No-Regrets Summer
Five Tips to Make a Homeschool Mom’s Summer More Productive
A Summer Schedule
Time for Summer Schedule Planning
Summer Schedules


Teri Maxwell 

May 2022 Mom’s Corner Summer – Get Prepare

Soon summer is once again upon us. Are you prepared to make it a fruitful, productive time for you and your family? To do so, I suggest you pray for the Lord’s direction for summer goals and priorities. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Then implement a schedule that sets aside time for what you want to accomplish through the summer. “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6).

We recently received a sweet story regarding some of our products that might motivate and give you ideas to pray about concerning summer goals and routines.

We were reading the 5th book in the Moody’s serie, and we got to the ChorePacks. I told Olivia (7) that we have the same book about chores and even the packs and everything. This was bedtime. 

The next day Olivia copied all the chores she found in the book. I showed her the real chores book, and we added some more. We printed the cards on regular paper and cut them out. Both kids were involved, but Olivia was super excited. We put them in order, and I told them I would print them again, with the numbers on top and on better paper. With only two children and one of them reading, I didn’t think adding the name was needed. But then I thought that they would be happy to see their names on the cards. So I added their names too.  Bedtime came again, and I told my daughter I would work on it that night. She really wanted to start the following morning.

The next morning Olivia told me she could barely sleep because of the excitement of having the ChorePacks and starting the routines. The first day went great. I am very encouraged, too, as I have been having a super hard time keeping myself consistent and having routines. The Lord truly is working through our children (among others) to sanctify us. 

What about working on consistency and routines? This mom says that’s a struggle for her. Over the summer she can work on those for herself and also can teach Olivia how to do her chores. They can find places for chores in the schedule and be accountable for doing them.

Maybe you don’t have time for reading during the school year. That is a great part of a summer schedule. It can be mom read alouds or children reading on their own. Make sure to evaluate the reading material, though. The Moody books drew this mom’s little girl to – wanting to work – a positive appetite. You can inadvertently introduce bad appetites as well if you aren’t watchful. I remember the time I read a book to our children where one child called a sibling, “Stupid.” That was not a word we had used in our home to describe a child. Sure enough, though, after I read that, our children began using “Stupid” in that derogatory nature of each other.

Perhaps the Lord would lead you to Scripture memory with your children through the summer. We have a couple of great series on that on our website:

Scripture Memory Bible and Copying Part 1
Scripture Memory Bible and Copying Part 2
Scripture Memory Bible and Copying Part 3
Scripture Memory Bible and Copying Part 4
And:
Scripture Memory with Little Children Part 1
Scripture Memory with Little Children Part 2
Scripture Memory with Little Children Part 3
Scripture Memory with Little Children Part 4

Is He calling you to grow in your walk with Him? That probably means time spent with Him, focused on Him. I wonder if Sweet Journey could facilitate that? It helps with ideas on what profitably to do when you spend time with the Lord.Maybe this summer you want to develop your children’s conversational skills – and your own in the pro
cess.

We have something for that – Making Great Conversationalists.I didn’t start this Mom’s Corner to be a promotional for our books, but as I thought about your summers and what you might want to accomplish, I got excited about what we have that could enable you. This is the time to get tools for whatever your priorities and goals might be so that you are ready to utilize your summer productively!

Blessings,
Teri Maxwell

Woe

Don’t you love God’s Word? Isn’t it wonderful? I can’t imagine what life would be without it. He gave us His Word so that we might know Him and follow His commands. However, for most of the time since creation, mankind did not have what we have. My brothers, we are blessed beyond measure. 

Then how can it be that our country is in such a dire spiritual state? God has been thrown out of the government and schools. His Word is not the basis for right and wrong. I praise God that the government schools did not educate our children. I shudder when I consider those being processed by schools today and their horrendous impact on the US as they become voters. If I think it is bad now, I remind myself it is nothing compared to what is ahead. Woe are we. 

Brothers, I plead with you to do everything you can possibly do to enable your wife to educate your children at home using a curriculum based on God’s Word. Lead your family in the Word every night. Discuss it as you view everything around us through the lens of Scripture. (Deut 6:7) Fill your family with the Word and not with ungodly media and movies. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23).

Be lights to a lost and dying world around us. Confess Jesus. “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9).

ARE YOU PREPARING YOUR SONS?

In 2001, we published a book called Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family. A top question many homeschooling families were asking at that time was: How can my sons get good jobs with a homeschool education? Because two of our sons had been taught at home throughout their school years, and because they were earning incomes that could support a family, we wanted to share what we had learned. It was our desire to encourage other families to stay the homeschooling course and to prepare their sons for their futures. That question is as pertinent today as it was then, and Preparing Sons is every bit as important and applicable as it was 23 years ago, maybe more so.

The information in Preparing Sons begins with ages 3 to 6, moves to 7 to 12, then 13 to graduation, and finally post-high school. There is so much in that book that is practical and easily implemented. Families whose sons were in their teens when they bought Preparing Sons, when it was first published, now have sons who are in their late thirties. Many of those families read that book and set it aside, continuing to live just as they had been living. Now in some of those families, there are sons who are struggling needlessly in adulthood. Had their parents caught the vision presented in Preparing Sons, might their sons be in a better position to support a wife and children? 

Then there were other families who read Preparing Sons and said, “We want to do this! We desire this outcome for our sons.” With the Lord, they developed a vision for their sons. They made changes, and they prepared their sons not to be children forever but to be responsible, capable adults. Today they see the positive fruit in their adult sons’ lives.

We think each of you has a desire for your sons to grow to manhood as virtuous, industrious men of God. What are you doing to facilitate that outcome? We often hear from wives who share with us about a husband who is a slave to video games, movies, or other forms of entertainment. How are you raising your children so that they will transition, at the appropriate time, from being a child to being a man?

When our boys became teens, we wanted to direct their time usage into profitable pursuits. Their childhood playtime was replaced by activities that were productive. Of course, they had school that took up much of their day. They might spend other time practicing an instrument, doing lawn maintenance or other chores, and especially important was developing marketable skills. The results were good. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11).

Time invested in productive pursuits during youth reaps positive benefits not only during those years but throughout their lives. We give our children purpose when they are teens by helping them be productive with their time. We can encourage them toward ministering and studying, while developing and utilizing skills that can be used to generate income in the present and in the future.

So many of the youth of today are hopeless. They don’t know Jesus Christ, and they have no purpose. Their lives are sadly out of control. Many are on anti-depressants. They have nothing worth living for, and they become overwhelmed with the emptiness of their lives.

Your children don’t have to be like that. You can turn the teen years into an exciting time, filled with responsibility and productivity with the accompanying outcome of satisfaction in their lives.

We released another book several years after Preparing Sons called Buying a House Debt-Free: Equipping Your Son. In that book, we trace a path that parents can take to facilitate their son’s ability to purchase a debt-free house before he is 30 or at least have a soldi head start toward that. We want to see all of your sons do what our five sons did: own debt-free houses when they are married.

You love your children. What is your vision for them? Is it a big vision? Ours was. Thirty years ago most would have told us it was impossible to achieve the vision we had for our sons. It wasn’t—not for our sons, not for the other young men whose stories we share, and it doesn’t have to be for your sons.

If you have a son who is currently 13 years or older, will he own a house with no mortgage before he is 30? Can you instill that desire in your little boys who are only 5 or 6? The choice is yours. We want to set this generation of young men on fire for having real purpose in life with the side benefit of debt-free living. What do you want for your sons? Will you accept the challenge?

Simple Actually

I have not understood how a dad who loves his children would not be very concerned about protecting and guarding their hearts from as much of the world as he could. Frankly, I have been totally at a loss to figure this out. I now believe I have an explanation. 

Proverbs 4:23 is foundational to this discussion. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” As you study and meditate on this verse, I believe you will see that everything coming from a man in a natural sense–his actions, his words, and thoughts–are from his heart. That is why it is critically important that good things are taken in, and things that will lead to bad fruit are avoided. 

Likely, the dad mentioned earlier has an inflated self-confidence in his ability not to be affected by negative worldly things to which he exposes himself (contrary to Proverbs 4:23). He believes he is spiritually mature and will not be pulled down by things that weak believers will be. Furthermore, he might have little concern for the command for holiness and a host of other verses I share regularly. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”  (1 Peter 1:15-16).

I imagine that if a man isn’t keeping his own heart, likely he won’t be concerned about his children’s hearts either. After reading this, if you have another explanation please write me back. “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35).

Just an Hour

Imagine that tomorrow you wake up with a strange pain. It is not a muscle ache or something you have ever had before, but something totally different. As the morning passes, it is growing massively in intensity. Regardless of what was planned for your day, you head to Urgent Care. The day is spent running tests. Finally, you are told you have a terminal disease and will die very, very soon. 

You return home with the pain lessened due to medication, but you are thinking of end-of-life details that must be attended to quickly. You have an awareness of every minute passing and things to be done. High on the list are people you want to say goodbye to before your disease renders you unconscious. Then there are those you know who have rejected Jesus, both family and friends. The list is long, and time is short. 

Then the regrets begin of all the time that you wasted. It wasn’t sinful, or you wouldn’t have done it. You justified it because of being tired, bored, or wanting something pleasurable. But there was no profit in how the time was spent. That time is now gone for eternity and can’t be reclaimed. Oh, how foolish you were. “Oh God forgive me.” You fall asleep in a drug-induced coma with a heavy, heavy heart. 

 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalms 90:12).

Prayer

As Christian women, I believe we know the value of prayer, and most, if not all of us,  pray. Through the years walking with Christ, learning to pray, and putting prayer into practice, I discovered some holes in my prayer life. Thankfully the Lord has given me tweaks and tools to fill those holes and make my prayer life more effective.

Hit and miss praying, sometimes called flare prayers, makes it too easy to miss rather than hit or to only hit a couple of targets. Critical to my prayer life was, and still is, a scheduled time completely dedicated to praying – no more missing, just hit, hit, hit. For me, scheduled prayer time is attached to my morning Bible reading time. It happens at a specific time each morning and for a specific length of time. Then through out the day, I can pray, but I know those aspects that are my prayer priorities have been addressed. I don’t go to bed at night remembering all I didn’t pray about and wishing I had been more faithful in prayer.

Perhaps one of my biggest prayer holes was consistency in praying for things that were important to me. Sporadically as they surfaced in importance, I prayed about them. Often I got in ruts of who and what I prayed for, totally forgetting ones that I still desired to invest in praying for. With the utilization of a prayer list, however, all of that changed. Now prayer priorities were on the list and prayer attention given to them. I started out with a prayer notebook, but then moved to a prayer app.

With my prayer list that I could organize, I also left behind the overwhelmed feelings I had of not having time to pray for everything I wanted to pray about. With my prayer list, I assigned some items for everyday, others for several times a week, and still others for once a week. With a prayer app, I could record answers to prayer, and if it was a short term prayer, mark it as completed. If it was a specific request for someone I continually prayed for, I could write each answer in the notes associated with that person. It keeps my list concise, and I am not flipping all over in a prayer notebook like I was before.

With a prioritized and scheduled prayer time and a list of prayer targets, I did not miss praying for those important things. That also spared me the embarrassing moments when someone thanked me for praying about their need while I realized I hadn’t thought of their request again after it was made. I certainly hadn’t prayed for it. Now I get those requests on my prayer list and also, if they are for a specific day and time, I put them on my calendar with a reminder set. I want to be a faithful friend by praying when asked. When it is put on the prayer list, it is prayed for. 

The final tool to share with you is praying Scripture. Look at this passage, for example: 

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Col 1:9-12

What powerful, specific things to pray for someone. If and when we are stuck in the routine of what we always pray for, Scripture gives us new words and ideas. Paul’s prayers are wonderful examples, but there are many more throughout our Bible. Note them as you are reading and make lists of them. Memorize them to have them even easily available when you pray.

May I encourage you to evaluate your prayer life to see if it could use revitalization? Might you be helped by scheduling a prayer time, by using a prayer list, or even prayer Scripture?