Weekly Wrap-Up: The one with the first week of workbooks

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Weekly Wrap-Up

Happy Friday, y’all! I feel like I might be crawling to the finish line this week, but at least I’m crossing it.

The week started out rough. I’m not going into detail because it’s personal family stuff, but suffice it to say that being the parent of teens can be hard. If my blog ever makes you think that I have it all together and we’re just sailing through life all happy and peaceful-like, do not be misled. We’re real people with real struggles.

There have been tears and prayers this week. There has been an instance of Dad coming home from work due to family issues that needed to be dealt with sooner rather than later. However, God is faithful and the prayers that Brian and I would deal with the situation in a calm, positive manner were answered.

I am thankful for my faith and God’s grace as we walk through the teen and early adult years with our kids. I don’t think we’ve reached a resolution, but we have reached an understanding. The blessing has been that I have been forced to rely on God and I have felt a renewal of my relationship with Him.

And, all that probably made it sound way more intense than it actually was.


The sight that greeted me in my pitiful-looking, but oh-so-comfy chair when I came downstairs yesterday morning

On the school front, this was our first week of workbooks and it’s been a doozy. One of the benefits I expected for me was a couple of extra hours a day to work online or at household tasks as the kids worked independently. I’m not sure where those extra hours are going, but I’ve been just as busy as when I was actively teaching the kids.

Our initial impressions are mostly positive. Josh likes the structure of the workbooks and the fact that he can work independently of Megan. He’s one to just jump in and get schoolwork done and move on, whereas Megan likes discussion and lots of breaks.


What school has looked like at our house this week

Megan really likes the English workbook. Easy Grammar and Daily Grams have given her a strong foundation, so she feels confident with the grammar that’s being covered so far.

Both find the question and answer stuff a bit confusing. I think that’s just because it’s so different from our former hands-on approach. I think the workload is more involved than any of us expected. In my opinion, that’s not a bad thing. It seems a reasonable amount for a 7th and 9th grader, but it is putting their time management and study skills to the test. We’re already making some tweaks for next week.

Something that I’ve found interesting is that Megan has taken her books and gone straight to her room to work every day. Josh, on the other hand, has spent most of his time at the dining room table. It’s been kind of cool working in companionable silence beside him.

One thing that really bugged Josh and me is that the curriculum is overtly religious. I never thought I’d say something like this, but I’ve been a Christian since I was 13 and my kids have always been raised in a Christian home – just teach history and science, already. We don’t need to be evangelized.

homescool workbooks

I think the issue that we’re having is not that these subjects are taught from a Christian worldview. We’re okay with that. It’s that what we’ve read so far seems very evangelical. I’m not sure we’re going to like that aspect of the curriculum, which, since you’re probably dying to know by now, is Landmark’s Freedom Baptist Curriculum.

It came recommended from a couple of friends whose kids are similar in age to mine, including several graduates. I know the curriculum is academically sound and I am assuming that it’s doctrinally sound because I know these families well. I’ll be keeping an eye on things, though.

Last Sunday, Josh and Megan went to a local jump park (indoor trampolines) with the youth group from our church. They had a blast. I really want to ask our youth pastor to take the kids every week – both of mine were in bed, sound asleep, by 9:00. Did you read that? My night owl teens were sound asleep by 9:00. Amazing.

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  1. Parenting is never easy but I think as the children grow towards adulthood they experience more complex issues. I always comfort myself that usually a period of growth follows when an issue has been worked through. The period of growth occurs in both Gary and I and child involved. Ultimately we have to guide our children to one day be mature and competent enough to tread the waters of adulthood independently. And we have to change in order to let them go and allow the parent-child relationship to become a friendship between two adults. It’s hard but oh so rewarding.
    My heart goes out to the adolescents who have to navigate their teen years without the help of a supportive family and their faith. My brother was one of those and he still struggles today with things that happened back when he was a teen.
    Your family is incredibly supportive and loving towards each other. All will be well. xx

    1. Oh, I really like what you said about a period of growth following when an issue has been worked through. I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right. I’ve seen it happen. That is very comforting. Thank you!

  2. Yes! I read a ton of ‘how to homeschool’ books and as a Christian, I wanted to poke my eyes out. The people writing them are alienating a TON of people. Stop evangelizing and just impart the information. Linking up now!

    1. I’m glad someone else got what I was saying. I was afraid that might come off sounding really offensive. 🙂

  3. I feel for you on the teenager front. We’ve survived one set of teen years but #2 is quite a test some days and oh.my.goodness the eye rolling and dramatic sighing gets to me! My mum thinks it’s hilarious, of course, having survived my teen years….barely.

    I’m glad the workbooks seem to be working reasonably well (although the evangelizing would bug me too). And thank you for including the cat pic- your posts just seem incomplete without at least one of them. 🙂

    1. Yeah, see, my oldest is 19 and I feel like we made it through her teen years relatively unscathed. Now, I’m wondering how I’m going to survive two more teens – and they’re pretty good kids. I don’t know how people with kids who are truly rebellious handle it. Not to mention the fact that my mom and I talked last night and she said it doesn’t get any easier watching your adult children make poor choices. {sigh} I did not understand the full scope of being a parent when I gave birth to my children. I love them, but it’s hard sometimes.

  4. Praying for you, Kris. I have four, but only one in the teen range so far (13). I’m bracing myself spiritually and emotionally for the upcoming challenges. We can raise them so diligently, so intentionally, and they still have free will. The free will we enjoy is sometimes painful for our Heavenly Father, and similarly, painful for us as parents too. I read the same post you did yesterday from Kristen Welch and was heartbroken over the disappointment she shared. It’s a reminder that God is responsible for the outcome of our obedience, but he doesn’t intervene right away in our free-will decisions. Often he intervenes later, to redeem our choices for His glory. I always remind myself that what it looks like right now in this moment, is not where it will stay. Our faithful Father does not give up on us, but continues the work he began in us. Our hope is in Him, not in our efforts or our diligence.

    Like many of your readers, I love you dearly and my heart aches for the week you’ve endured–even though it wasn’t as serious as it sounds. I believe it wasn’t, but even little-big things are felt deeply by mothers.

    1. Thank you so much, Christine. In today’s busy world, I know you have many more things to do today other than taking the time to leave such an encouraging, thoughtful comment. It means so much to me that you took the time out of your day to encourage me – and you did encourage me. Thank you for the reminder that God doesn’t give up on us and that the way things look right now is not where they will stay. I’m trusting God that all things will work out to His glory and the things we’re experiencing right now will be part of our testimony one day. It is my hope that this will be an experience that will give us perspective with which to encourage other parents after us.

  5. We ordered a few workbooks this week too! I’m glad I’m not the only one who decided to do so. I hear so much about activities and living books (which I do love and use!) but every once in a while I’m dying for a workbook and some personal time.
    Sorry about the rough week. It sounds cheesy but I always tell myself “This too shall pass”. That and the fact that there’s nothing God can’t get us through.
    Have a great weekend!

  6. I get the frustration with the evangelizing curriculum. It’s one of the reasons I began putting together our lessons from a wide variety of resources. I’ve been a Christian all my life as has my daughter. She went to parochial school before being homeschooled. Even in the parochial school they didn’t use the evangelizing curriculum. It just gets to be too much and when we started skipping whole lessons because they were teaching about the history of revivals, I decided it was time to drop that curriculum. It doesn’t help that we are Lutheran and quite picky about our theology either. 🙂

    1. I’m so glad other Christians get that comment. Hopefully, it won’t be a continuing theme through the curriculum because, overall, we’re liking it. You would kind of thing that a Christian curriculum would operate under the assumption that its users would be Christian and wouldn’t need such preachy wording. I mean, teach from a Christian worldview, yes, but chill out on the evangelizing.

  7. Oh, my friend, you know I have been there on the parenting front.
    And I totally get what you’re saying about the overtly evangelical curriculum; it would annoy me, too.

  8. I’ve often wondered why Christian books are so evangelical when it’s Christians who are buying them? Parenting teens is so hard. Hang in there!

  9. Imagine going through life/parenting without God!!! You’re ahead of the curve! My kids are 9 and 6, so I don’t have much to add to this conversation.

  10. I agree with you about teens, Kris. I have two, and it’s definitely not easy parenting teens. I am enjoying the teen years, though. I had heard all the dire warnings and wasn’t sure how it was going to be. But with a 15 year old and 14 year old now, I’m having fun. It isn’t always easy, but I think some of the groundwork we laid earlier is paying off, so that we can enjoy our time with them now.

  11. sigh…so not looking forward to the teen years especially with two girls only 2 years apart. I am not sure anything I do can prepare me for it..lol..

    Thanks for hosting and enjoy your week Kris!

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