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This book I was forced to read.

Let me back up. Did you read the post in which I said I was an editor? Yeah. That means I read things.

My boss decided to write a book to parents who are just starting homeschooling… about things she wishes she’d known when she started (she homeschooled six kids all the way through: 22 years of homeschooling!), from underlying principles to practical approaches.

The thing I love about this book (well, okay, one of many things I love about this book) is that it’s not JUST a book on “how to homeschool your kids.” It talks about how to disciple your kids, how to teach them self-management, the necessity of trudging on the tough days, and cultivating a spirit of gratitude in your home (among other things). And it says all of this within a flexible framework of “do what works for your family.”

Here are some of my favorite things out of Love the Journey:

At the beginning, when Marcia encourages the reader to identify her specific reasons and goals for homeschooling, one of the questions she asks is, “What would wild success look like?” I just love this question. It’s going to be my go-to question from now on when I’m setting goals and planning and trying new things.

The chapter called “Tell Me the Story Again!” about the importance of stories. To qualify this, the chapter didn’t go at all where I thought it would. I thought it was going to get into literature and the importance of those kinds of stories; when it didn’t, I found myself, surprisingly, not disappointed. It was about the importance of telling our stories to our kids and grandkids, fitting our stories into God’s story, saying, “See? In Scripture He says this, and here’s how that happened in my life.” Bringing His words to life for our kids.
(But also, yeah! Stories are SO important! Have you ever thought about how much stories permeate our lives?! When you walk up to your friend and say, “You’ll never guess what happened to me last night! I went to the store, and…” you’re telling a story. When you dream, you dream stories. We can’t get away from them! We were wired for stories.)

The final chapter, about cultivating gratitude. It’s so easy to be envious of others or depressed or simply ungrateful for all we have. This chapter just brings to mind ways to remind ourselves of how much there is to be thankful for. My favorite? Marcia’s story about her husband asking her kids, “Do we celebrate enough?!” and the correct answer being, “No!!!” and then the family celebrating in some way – whether for an accomplishment of some kind, or just “Hey, we finished a unit in the school year. Let’s stop and celebrate.”
And I especially appreciate, with this, her point that God loves to celebrate. By the way, He’s the one who instituted holidays, including the Sabbath – a weekly holy day (holiday) on which to rest. He knows we need breaks, and He knows we need to celebrate!

 

These are just a few small things that jumped out to me as I read – but I told Marcia that I want a copy to keep, which I plan to read repeatedly once I have kids and (hopefully) get to homeschool them. (She said I could have one.) It’s full of good advice not just for homeschooling, but for life with family.

I highly recommend it.

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