Homeschooling

Join Me At CHEA This Weekend

Join Me At CHEA This Weekend

July 7-9, 2016

 

Davis and I and 4 of our 7 kids traveled to California today. We had an uneventful trip and had some time to explore Pasadena where the CHEA conference for homeschooling families will beheld this weekend.

Davis will be speaking at the leadership track on Thursday and I have two presentation on Friday and the keynote address on Saturday morning.

May God be gloried and families encouraged this weekend.

Teaching Your Child to BLESS at the CHEA Convention 2016          What About That Child at the CHEA Convention 2016

Friday, July 8, 2016

11:30-12:30 Teaching Your Children to BLESS

2:00-3:00 What about ‘That’ Child?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

9-10 KEYNOTE: Soaring Beyond Survival

 

 

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Join Me At The INCH in Lansing, MI!

Join Me At The INCH in Lansing, MI!

Join Me At The INCH in Lansing, MI!

Davis and I are in Lansing, MI this weekend to minister to homeschooling  families alongside INCH-MI. We are honored to be apart of this conference and are anticipating God’s movement. It is our prayer that those who attend will be challenged, encouraged and inspired!

My schedule is listed below. I have included Davis’ presentations as well since we are both speaking. The outlines for my presentations are on my Resource Page. After each session Davis and I will be available to visit with you. We’d love to meet you and hear about your journey.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

2:30PM-3:15PM Leadership Lessons from the Trenches-Davis

7PM-8PM Me? Homeschool?-Rachael

Used curriculum sale: 2-7PM

Friday, May 20, 2016

8:45AM-9:45AM KEYNOTE: Teaching Foundational Truth-Rachael

11:15AM-12:15PM Stand by Your Man-Rachael; APPLES for Teacher-Davis

1:45PM-2:45PM What about ‘That’ Child? –Rachael

Book fair open: 10AM-6:30PM

Saturday, May 21, 2016

10AM-11AM When Doubt Creeps In-Rachael

11:15AM-12:15PM HEART Exam for Dads-Davis

1:45PM-2:45PM CHILL OUT-Rachael

Book fair open: 10AM-5PM

 

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Waiting And Resting

Waiting & Resting - Pages From My Journal

Waiting And Resting

Pages From My Journal

As you continue to work out the kinks in the plan you had for this homeschool year, would you like to hear a story of God’s faithfulness? Would you like to know how this homeschool mother is finally resting after years of waiting while you figure out what you need to do to amuse your toddler? I’d love to tell you about it as you are in the middle of potty-training your three-year old, getting your laundry done, preparing your grocery shopping list, or cleaning up after a rough start to the day.

Would you like a word of encouragement from someone who vividly remembers homeschool life back when I had kids in diapers and young ones who didn’t sleep through the night? Would you like to know that what you are doing is not in vain, not insignificant, not unnoticed? Would you like a little reassurance that God knows your concerns, that He hears your prayers, that He cares, and — get this one — He is working on your behalf. Even now, even today, even though your voice seems to be bouncing back in an echo chamber, even though progress seems minuscule — God is working!

Do you feel like the only evidence you have to show for your daily progress on this path is weary footprints in the dust? If this is you, or someone you know, read on. Let me tell you a true story of how God has encouraged me.

This last March, Davis and I traveled to New York City to visit The King’s College with our oldest son Charles. Boy, I never could have predicted this one. New York City? Really?

The college was hosting a special weekend for interested students and their parents. Davis and I arrived separately from Charles as he was flying in from Atlanta where he had classes at Impact 360 (his gap-year program). Davis and I landed at the airport, took a taxi and settled into an extraordinarily small hotel room.

When Charles joined us, we were all excited about our weekend together. We headed on foot from our hotel to the Empire State Building where King’s has its offices, student center, and classrooms. The students and faculty greeted us warmly and offered coffee and muffins. The air held an anxious anticipation for the would-be students. After all, this is New York City.

We proceeded to enjoy a “campus” tour (The King’s College considers New York City its campus since the students dorms, some classes, and the internships are spread across the city) which included different locations in the Empire State Building and across the street where the professors have their offices. After a New York style pizza for lunch, we had the opportunity to listen to faculty members and professors. Charles was completely focused, intrigued, and introspective. The goals and objectives of the college (as stated by an executive staff member) took my breath away as I had always hoped and dreamed that these options would one day be available for Charles.

After going through their agenda, the panel took some audience questions. One person asked about the history of the college. The answer included an explanation that it had started in 1938, but had run into problems in the mid 1990’s and closed the doors for four years. In 1999, the college re-birthed itself when a group of dedicated men (including Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ) gave leadership, focus, and renewed purpose to the school.

My mind started racing. Did he say all this happened just over ten years ago? Really? Is that what he said? Oh dear heavenly Father, You did hear my cries.

My eyes filled with tears. I wasn’t listening to the speaker. His voice now muffled, and distant. I sat really still trying to control my emotions. The tears ran down my cheeks; Davis took my hand, not understanding, yet showing support. Why wasn’t there a tissue in my purse?

Ten years ago.

The memories came easily and vividly, but not gently. That time was not just a blip on the screen or a bump in the road. No, that was a really tough time when my homeschool journey was filed with loads of self-doubt. Many of the old insecurities resurfaced. That was the year defeat and discouragement lurked about stalking me every day.

Charles was in pre-adolescence, a time when his body was being charged with hormones. This displayed itself with feelings ranging from anger and frustration swinging all the way over to elation and joy — often within moments of each other. His reading skills had only recently taken off and so did his questions, his intensity, and his abstract thinking. All this change caught me off guard. I expected this down the road and with my daughters, but I thought I had a few more years until these battles set in. Unfortunately, there was no denying – we were well into it.

In the middle of all this, Charles was struggling with some focus issues, which were affecting his schoolwork. I fought against the “testing” option. I thought I could teach and pray and love him through it. But that year, nothing seemed to be working. He seemed to need major intervention. Maybe private school was the answer; maybe this was the end of the homeschool road.

And so I prayed

I prayed that Charles would hear from God and grow in confidence, that the Lord would become real to him, and finally that God would prepare a place especially for Charles. As his mother, I had come to realize that it was going to need to be a very special place, where our goals, values, and vision for our son, our precious Charles, would be supported, where he could soar, where he could grow, where he could lead, where he would be prepared for God’s will and plan for his life.

We are now in our 15th year of homeschooling. I still stand by my characterization of this homeschooling lifestyle as the adventure of a lifetime. God knew that I enjoy the breath-taking rides offered by roller coasters, and my life’s journey has been nothing short of exhilarating.

Sitting there in a meeting room of the Empire State Building, I felt God’s peace. He had answered my prayers. Jesus told his disciples that He goes to prepare a place for us. He does the same thing for His children here.

As a homeschool mom I have missed many opportunities. Many things have gone untaught. We haven’t even gone to the library as regularly as most families do. We have missed some good field trips, and for what it’s worth, our annual test scores are pretty average. But this I know, God has given everyone of us opportunity after opportunity to see His hand, to experience answered prayer, to enjoy His provision, to rest in His plan, to trust Him beyond our understanding, and to rest in His providence.

When I speak, I regularly advocate for God’s providence and His sovereignty. I believe, but I must confess, I didn’t know what it meant to rest in His plans until that moment. During Charles’ senior year I wasted many a night worrying about where he would go and what he would do.

In that moment as I felt God’s peace wash over me it was as if He was saying, “I’ve got Charles. I heard your prayers all those years ago. I already know it is New York City, but do you trust me? I do have amazing plans for Charles. You persevered and obeyed.  Though imperfectly, you trusted Me though tears and even doubt. And you recognized that Charles is really mine. I’d like you to do something now that you haven’t done in a while: take a deep breath and let him go. Let him come here to New York City, to The King’s College. I have some people that can continue what you and Davis started. I know it is a risky proposition, but that is why it is called faith. You can breath now. I have proven Myself faithful. I have answered your prayers. Now rest in my peace.”

So, as crazy as it might seem, Charles is at The King’s College in New York City. He lives 1.5 miles from campus and rides the subway regularly, which he has already mastered. And he is thriving. God has met my son in New York City for a kind of divine appointment. God even threw in some scholarships to boot. His grace truly amazes me.

Charles turned 20 years old in 2010. Through this journey our hearts have been knitted together by the Master. I miss him, his energy, his enthusiasm, and even his intensity. I miss the debates over breakfast and the 11:00 pm knocks on our bedroom door, “Mom? Dad? You got a minute?” Yes, I miss that. Every morning I go into his room, turn on his bedside lamp and say a prayer. At night I reverse the ritual. I haven’t stopped praying or missing — I’ve just started resting!

 

Early On: Nap Day

Children need rest. Moms need rest. These are facts, which are often ignored. When the need for rest is consistently denied, crankiness and grumpiness can easily creep in for both mother and child. One of the most important disciplines that our family instituted was Wednesday afternoon nap day.

Early On: Nap Day {A Vlog Series} www.HisSunflower.com by Rachael Carman

Rules for Nap Day
  1. This is a day and time that is dictated, not voted on. The day and time are clearly determined and established. The time may shift around some, but the day(s) is set in stone.
  2. Everyone chooses a place to be for the designed time period. They must gather books, drawing pads, or some other quiet activity to do. Nothing electronic is allowed; no movies or audio recordings are permitted.
  3. Everyone goes to the restroom before they lay down. Once they have laid down, they are to stay there until Mom (or some other designated person) comes and gets them up.
  4. Getting up and down throughout the ‘naptime’ is considered disobedience. They are not required to go to sleep, but they are required to rest and be quiet so that others can sleep or rest.
{http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVA0lJ_4iro}
Often I would play classical music softly in the background or allow the hum of the dishwasher to lull us while we rested. Weather permitting, taking the rest time outside is not only allowed, it is encouraged. Resting outside in God’s creation while the birds are singing or the rain is fall are especially relaxing times.
When rest time is over, get up slowly. There is no need to abruptly end it. I will usually walk around to where each of the children are resting and see how they are doing. I usually send them outside to walk around and get their blood flowing again. In general, sleeping much past 4:00 p.m. can disrupt a reasonable bedtime routine.
As the mom, I have chosen various activities for myself during rest time. I have used it to catch up on laundry or other responsibilities. I have used it as time to write a few notes or call a friend. But my favorite way to experience nap time is with a good book. For what it’s worth, I have been known to take a nap myself and wake up quite refreshed.
Through the years, I’ve found that the dishes in the sink and the laundry in the dryer are always waiting for me, and I can do them more joyfully after a mid-week nap.
Enjoy this time of rest. We need to take time to relax and be refreshed.
Rachael Carman

Join Me at Teach Them Diligently in Washington, D.C.

Join Me at Teach Them Diligently in Washington, D.C.

Join Me at Teach Them Diligently in Washington, D.C.

 May 15-17, 2014

Thursday May 15 @ 6:30  –  Stop Wrestling and Start Resting
Friday May 16 @ 1:00  –  Overcoming Doubt, Hope Revives
Saturday May 17 @ 1:00  –  Attention: Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist, Control-Freaks: CHILL OUT!
Saturday, May 17 @ 5:00  –  How to have a HEART for Your Kids
Three of these presentations I have given at the other two Teach Them Diligently conferences this year. The new one on the docket for DC is “Overcoming Doubt, Hope Revives”. This presentation is interactive as we discuss several various characters from the Bible and their moments of doubt, how they handled them and how God showed Himself mighty through them. I will suggest 5 warning signs for doubt and 5 strategies for reviving hope! Come and join us as we seek to defy doubt and embrace hope.
We are already here in DC as we just came from the graduation of our oldest son from the King’s College in NYC. We have the other six with us and are enjoying the sites in DC. I will be in and out of the booth at Apologia during the conference since all the kids are with me, but I will make it a point to be at the booth 2-3 Thursday, Friday and Saturday handing out M&Ms in exchange for a Bible verse. We may run into each other in the vendor hall as I look for some treasures for our year. Either way, I hope we will get a chance to talk with you-I’d love to meet you!
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Rachael Carman

Early On: Nature Journals

Want to raise a great scientist?
In history some of the best scientific minds were Christian men and women. We have an opportunity to bring up a new generation of excellent scientific thinkers who will use their ingenuity based on the foundation of biblical truth.
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Join me on YouTube for Early On: Nature Journals

The best scientists observe the world around them with keen eyes. They notice patterns and trends that most of us miss. They ask curious questions. They experiment to find answers and are tenacious in their pursuit of understanding.
There are many young students that possess these same qualifications. They notice details, they ask unique questions, and they like to try new ways of doing things so as to understand how things work.
I believe that if we want students to be great science students who apply and engage intellectually, who change the world as a result of their insight and understanding, who acknowledge God as Master of the universe, then we cannot wait until high school to light that fire.
Science must start at the youngest of ages when they are already naturally curious, when they are already doing their own experiments with gravity using their sippy cup, and when they are exploring the world around them with wide eyes, long before they outgrow their awe and wonder of the world around them.
From birth through elementary school we need to expose them to as much of God’s creation as possible. We need to wake them up to the beauty of the sunrise, marvel at the glory of the rose’s loveliness, and consider the miracle of a butterfly’s metamorphosis.
We need to be willing to set aside our reason and understanding and just embrace the miracle of creation. The most important part of this time is to point them to God, to say, “Look what God did.” Show and tell them how God painted the sunset, how He designed the frog, and how He made their body. All of this leads to worshiping Him who alone is Worthy!
One of the primary ways we did this when we were just starting was by creating Nature Journals. We purchased the journals from Miller Pad and Paper. They sell journals that are divided in half with the top blank and the bottom ruled. These journals were the perfect place for my kids to begin their scientific observations of the God’s wonderful creation.
As I describe in the vlog, I started with my kids dictating to me and progressed to them writing themselves. The drawings also progress as sometimes I would help them draw or they would trace something and then eventually drawing themselves.
Often these times of observation were coupled with further reading on that day’s subject, from clouds to rain, trees to squirrels, the ocean to starfish. These were the first books my kids wrote! Now they are some of my most valuable treasures.
Happy journaling!

Rachael Carman

Join Me at OCHEC-OKC Homeschool Convention

My conference schedule continues this weekend with the homeschool conference in Oklahoma City where Davis and I are keynoting. We are looking forward to ministering to families together. We will have four of our kids with us at this conference which we also enjoy. “The Principal-Teacher Principle” will be our kick-off workshop Friday morning. This presentation highlights some fundamental opportunities we can capitalize on in our marriages, as parents and as home educators. We look at these roles as concentric circles which complement each other best when we overlay them. Come learn how!
Join Me at the OCHEC-OK Homeschool Convention Rachael Carman www.HisSunflower.com
Here’s the rest of our schedule following our initial session:
Friday 10-11:      Attention: Obessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist, Control Freaks-CHILL OUT! (Rachael)
Friday 12-1:        APPLES for Teacher (Davis)
Friday 2-3:          Stand by Your Man (Rachael)
Saturday 10-11: How to Die to Yourself and Live to Tell About It (Rachael)
Saturday 12-1:   Family: Our Best Apologia Ever! (Davis)
Saturday 2-3:      How to Have a HEART for Your Kids (Rachael)
Saturday 4-5:      HEART Exam for Dads (Davis)
Again at this conference I will be handing our M&Ms in exchange for a verse of Scripture. The whole family is invited to stop by for a mini bag of one of my favorite chocolate treats. I will be at the Apologia booth on Friday and Saturday 4-5.
All of the outlines for these presentations are available here.
Looking forward to meeting you in Oklahoma City-
Rachael Carman

Early On: 5 in a Row

Are you starting this journey a little unwillingly? Do you feel like you don’t know where to start? Would you like to find a simple, yet engaging curriculum that doesn’t cost very much? Are you wanting something that you can use over and over with your kids (probably even with your grandkids) that they will love?

Early On: 5 in a Row {A Vlog Series} showing you how we homeschooled in the early years. www.HisSunflower.com

Join me on YouTube for Early On: 5 in a Row

Early in our homeschooling journey, Five in a Row (FIAR) was that curriculum for our family. We used Before Five in a Row and Five in a Row volumes 1-3. It is simple, straightforward, engaging, unintimidating, and fun. It encompasses geography, social studies, language arts, science, math, art, and character all using classic children’s books.
When I started, I didn’t even know about classic children’s books. The list of books that the Lambert family assembled to write this curriculum is awesome. Each one has come to be a family favorite. My children have many memories wrapped up in the FIAR library we have accumulated.
FIAR taught me:
1.      about the value of reading time.
2.      how to draw out various subjects from the text of a book
3.      how to set up reading time in our home
4.      about the power of book characters as models to my children
5.      that I could homeschool my children
Helpful Hint: For the geography lessons I made a map board. At a home improvement store I purchased a sheet of pink insulation foam board. At my local school supply store I purchased two laminated maps, one of the United States of America and one of the world.
Using clear packing tape, I framed the insulation board with green wrapping paper and then put one map on each side. We used this “map board” and the story discs which come with the curriculum to map where each story took place. It was great fun to learn geography together this way. As we located the countries or states we would discuss the surrounding oceans, rivers, countries, mountains, and so on.
You can find out more information about Five in a Row here [link]. I know that you and your children will love Lentil, Ping, Mike Mulligan, and many other characters. You will travel to China, Japan, Canada, Russia, Jamaica, Paris, and all across the United States. You will laugh and imagine and hope and dream.
So relax, cuddle up, start reading and learning together. God has some great blessings in store for you and your children.

 

Rachael Carman

 

Early On Everyday Bible

Early On Everyday Bible {Vlog Series} with Rachael Carman of www.HisSunflower.com

Early On Everyday Bible {Vlog Series}

Join Me on YouTube for Early On: Everyday Bible

The One Year Bible Storybook by Virginia Muir  –  Tyndale Publishers
This is going to be a new vlog series, which will run for the next several Wednesdays. Since conference season is now in full swing, I thought I might take a stroll down memory lane and showcase some of the curriculum and tools we used early on.
We are in the middle of a major transition at our house. This next year will be my last with anyone in elementary! I cannot believe it! It went by so fast. As I travel around to various conferences I am meeting so many families who are just starting this wonderful journey called homeschooling. I can still remember how scary that was 18 years ago. There were so many choices. It can be really overwhelming!
So stay tuned, and I will share some things that we have loved.
I believe so strongly in starting off each day in the Word. I want to share my favorite Bible storybook for kids – The One Year Bible Storybook by Virginia Muir  –  Tyndale Publishers. This big yellow book is great! It has survived all the kids. It is dated for your convenience. The Bible stories are written in short summaries and the Bible passages are listed for easy reference. While I do believe in the power of reading directly from the Bible itself, this is a great tool to use with younger children as you progress to them reading from their own Bible.
There are no questions included and no accompanying workbook, but I do not think that is necessary at this young age. I believe it is more important that you are in the Bible together. Reading the whole Bible this way lays a foundation for study down the road. By reading these stories your children will begin to become familiar with the whole context of Scripture.
Sometimes I would allow the children to act out the story we were reading for the day. It helps to make the time in God’s word enjoyable. It should not be dry or boring. They should look forward to reading the “yellow Bible” together.
Whether you use this resource or another one, do make sure you start each homeschooling day in God’s word. There is nothing more important. It is a good example for your children as they grow up to start each day by spending time with God in His word.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6.33
 Rachael Carman

Join Me in Spartanburg, SC

This next weekend, April 3-5, 2014, I’ll be at the Teach Them Diligently conference. It is an honor to minister alongside David and Leslie Nunnery as they serve homeschooling families.

Here is my speaking schedule for Spartanburg:

Join Me at Teach Them Diligently in Spartanburg, SC April 3-5, 2014!

·         Thursday, April 3 @ 5:00 – Stop Wrestling and Start Resting
·         Friday, April 4 @ 1:00 – Attention: Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionistic, Control-Freaks, C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T.
·         Saturday, April 5 @10:30 – Stand by Your Man
·         Saturday, April 5 @ 3:00 – Soaring Beyond Survival
·         Saturday, April 5 @ 5:00 – How to have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids
My first session is brand-new for this conference season. I presented it for the first time in Nashville a couple of weeks ago. Come at 5:00 and learn how to walk into the conference weekend more restfully and without as much wrestling.
Friday afternoon at 1:00, you can come and CHILL OUT. This session is for all of the type-A homeschool moms — the ones who need to just relax, enjoy their kids, and let God do what only He can do.
Saturday is going to be packed! We will start out at 10:30 discussing how to prioritize our marriages in the midst of the madness. I promise not to croon the ol’ country song by the same title, but come and remember the importance of keeping your marriage strong.
At 3:00 we are going to look at Numbers 14. Why did the Israelites settle for manna in the desert when God had the Promise Land waiting for them?
Finally at 5:00 we are going to get to the heart of the matter. How to have a HEART discusses the central issues in our motherhood journey.
In addition to these presentations, I will be hanging out at the Apologia booth. I would love to meet you! I am bringing one of my favorite treats to share with you. The Bible says in Psalms 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” In Psalms 119:103, we read “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” In exchange for a Bible verse I will give you a mini bag of M&M’s. You can read more about my M&M’s challenge here at M&M – Meditate & Memorize {Vlog}. Further, you can read about my M&M’s all-year-long challenge here.
May God bless you this conference season.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” — Proverbs 3:5-6
I hope you are planning on attending a conference this year. If you’ve never been to a homeschool convention, I encourage you to find one – Teach Them Diligently is a great place to start! There is nothing like seeing all of the other families who have stepped out in faith to disciple their children for God’s glory. That is what this is all about — glorifying the Father.

 

Rachael Carman