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Successful Homeschooling, Issue #01 -- Renewing Relationships
February 08, 2008
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be marked by overspending and overeating. In our home it is a time to reflect on our relationships and make lasting memories.

In This Issue:

  1. The Myth of the Super Dad
  2. From Rivals to Best Friends
  3. Making Memories
  4. Successful Homeschooling

The Myth of the Super Dad

During my first year of marriage, I anxiously awaited February 14th, wondering what my husband would do to make the day special. Now, 7 years later, I realize every day I spend with my husband is special. His dedication to our family and his commitment to home education mean far more to me than chocolate candy and flowers.

I sometimes feel sorry for homeschooling dads. Our favorite authors and speakers seem to have picture perfect husbands who not only bring home the bacon, but teach lessons about the life cycle and anatomy of hogs, lead studies on why eating pork is biblically acceptable, and build wooden stoves to cook it in.

In the world of homeschoolers, it’s almost not enough to be an honest, hardworking man. But in an age when such men are in short supply, we should feel blessed if we have one.

Make a list of the many gifts your husband gives you daily. Instead of wondering what you will get for Valentine’s Day, think about what you will give. What does your husband enjoy? How can you turn your home into a haven for him?

Don't weigh yourself down with outside activities and commitments. Put your husbands desires at the top of your list.

More importantly, give your husband the gift of you. Tuck the children in bed, turn off the computer, leave the dishes in the sink, and make time to honor the man who gives to you daily.

Here are some additional ways to honor homeschooling dads.

From Rivals to Best Friends

When I wake to the sound of my children arguing, I know it’s going to be a rough day.

Sibling rivalry may be normal, but I don’t want my children to be normal. I want them to be best friends.

The first steps to overcoming sibling rivalry are to understand and address the underlying causes. Conflict between brothers and sisters can be caused by the following:

  • Differences in temperament – No two children are alike. Help your children learn to be considerate of each other’s personalities and preferences.

  • Differences in age – Have older children help and encourage younger siblings, and have younger siblings respect and serve those who are older.

  • Selfishness – Teach your children to put others before themselves by waiting patiently for their turn and being gracious when others are waiting.

  • Competition – It isn’t easy for our children to watch siblings excel in areas where they struggle. Help your children acknowledge each other’s differences and appreciate each other’s strengths.

  • Jealousy – Encourage your children to rejoice with and want good things for each other.

  • Poor modeling – If mom and dad can’t get along, chances are the children won’t either. Model positive conflict resolution.

Here are some other ways to overcome sibling rivalry.

Here are some tips for homeschooling an only child.

Making Memories

Valentine's Day activities need not be elaborate or expensive. At our house, we keep them simple and fun.

Here’s an activity the entire family will enjoy:

Mix 2 cups of flour and ½ cup of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add ¾ cup of warm water. Mix the dough until it forms a ball.

Knead the dough on a floured surface, and pat or roll it until it is about ¼ inch thick. Use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut the dough into hearts.

Place the hearts on a foil lined cookie sheet, and bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until hard. Remove them from the oven and let cool.

Paint the hearts with acrylic paint, allow them to dry, and use a hot glue gun to affix a magnet to the back.

These Valentine’s Day magnets make great gifts for relatives and friends!

Here are some step by step photos of this and other Valentine’s Day activities.

About Successful Homeschooling

I built this website in order to provide new homeschoolers with information about homeschooling, and provide experienced homeschoolers with fresh ideas and inspiration.

If you have been helped by my website or newsletter, please spread the word via e-mail, blog, website, online forums or homeschool groups.

If you have comments or ideas you want to share, please do not hesitate to contact us.

In next month's issue, I will share information about learning styles and ways to create a lifestyle of learning. Thank you for subscribing to Successful Homeschooling!


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