Learning with Littles // Tips for Tot Home School

Learning with two little ones, ages two and four, can have it’s challenges. Add in a one year old miss Hellen, and schedules can sometimes get a little complicated. We are by no means doing things perfectly. We by no means have it all down, but we are learning-together. Each time I put together and teach a lesson for the girls, I learn something new myself. Whether it be a fun fact that I didn’t remember, or the opportunity to practice some hard core patience, I’m learning. Here are a few tips when trying to figure out how to home school your own tots!

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  1. Be flexible.

    If you’re a parent, you’ve probably already learned this one to some degree. Having kids causes you to have to be flexible in certain situation. Have to leave the house in an hour? Start getting ready now because there’s 100% chance that one of your kids is going to have a poopy diaper, not be able to find her shoes, or have sudden hunger pains! Just like you can plan for some flexibility when you’re getting ready to head out the door, plan for flexibility in your school day! Give yourself permission to skip an activity if focus is just not there. Let them choose between worksheet A or worksheet B. Be flexible.

  2. Start with movement.

    I’ve been starting our school days with songs. There are a few songs we do every time that help create a routine and get them in the rhythm of school time. Then I have been adding a few movement songs to get those wiggles out before we have our listening and sitting time. You can find some fun moving songs here. 

  3. Keep quiet sitting time short.

    Now obviously as they get older they should be able to sit quietly for longer periods of time, but a two year old is not going to sit still and quiet for an hour-most likely. After getting the wiggles out, maximize some time to sit still, listen, and work on activities that may require more concentration. Often 10-20 minutes is enough. You can break up these quiet times and interject more active ones in between.

  4. If at a loss-READ!

    If you’re not sure what to do next, pull out a book! My girls love reading and could bring me book after book to read. There are so many benefits to reading with your kids. You’ll get some quality time with them, and help develop those little brains! Check out this previous post for some thoughts I have on using living books in the Charlotte Mason Way.

  5. Let them play. 

    While playing, kids are learning A LOT! They are learning how to problem solve, be creative, develop fine and gross motor skills, interact with their world and others just to name a few! Play is an important part of childhood, and even in home schooling, it’s important and shouldn’t be forgotten or overlooked!

I hope these tips leave you feeling encouraged as you plan your next home schooling steps! If any other tot home schoolers have any wisdom, I’d love for you to share here with us all! Check out some of my other tot home schooling post here and here for a few more ideas. Or follow my Pinterest board here!

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Fruit of the Spirit // Kindness

Most of us would like to see ourselves as possessing qualities that exhibit kindness. Kindness speaks to me along the same vein of love. It’s easy to be kind when we like the person we are called to be kind to. It’s not so easy to be kind when we don’t like the person we are called to be kind to.

Google biblical kindness and this is what you’ll find:

“An attribute of God and quality desirable but not consistently found in humans.”

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Kindness, just like the other fruits of the Spirit is an attribute of God. We would like to see ourselves as kind, but kindness is not something that we can consistently produce on our own.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

God calls us to be kind, but He knows that because of our human nature, we are going to need a lot of help from Him. We are going to need to consistently and authentically seek Him and listen for His direction.

Kindness can be hard.

I want to be kind, really, but sometimes, my pesky human nature and desires just seem to get in the way. Things like selfishness, fear, and plain laziness can get in the way of reaching out to someone and putting their needs ahead of my own.

It truly is a battle against the devil that we go through daily in one way or another. We have to die to our own flesh and selfish nature in order to show God’s kindness to others.

that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:22-24

But we don’t go into battle alone. We go into battle armed with the Holy Spirit and His good Word.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

Christ has equipped us.

He has equipped us to share kindness when we dwell with Him and live in the fruit of His Spirit.

When I try to be kind on my own, only the worldly, superficial sort of kindness shows up. When I work to be kind by dwelling in the fruit of His Spirit, Godly kindness is invited to enter in and overflow into the lives of others.

Let’s invite His kindness to take seed in our hearts today.

Let us water and nurture it.

Let His kindness grow and bloom.

BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL; AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW. GALATIANS 5: 22-23

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Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
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The Best for Last // Weekend Links

Sometimes you just want to get all the good stuff right in one place. So to finish off this week, I’m saving the best for last. I’m leaving you with encouragement and inspiration found right on the internet. The internet can be a big scary place, drain your tie, or even lead you down a path of destruction. But the internet can also be a vibrant community, an encouraging story, or an inspiring find. So here’s the good stuff. The best for last stuff. Weekend links.

Encouragement for today

4 steps to take when you’re not ready for the change that is coming

Inspiration for Simple Living

For the health conscious and dessert lovers.

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Spreading Love and Giving Back

Donate to the Woods family as they welcome home their daughters! If you’d like this free print, let me know that you donated!

 

Wake Up Loved // A Simple Way to Start Your Day

If you are reading this, I just want you to know that you are loved.

There is nothing more that you need to strive for, because your debt has been paid. As a child of God, you know whose you are and who you are living for.

If you are reading this, know that you are loved.

Do you wake up loved?

Do you wake up with this truth nestled deep inside your heart and spreading warmth throughout your soul?

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Do you live like you are loved by the King?

Maybe some days you do.

Maybe some days you jump out of bed, feet hitting the floor and joy and peace flooding your heart. Maybe you feel well rested and well equipped to begin your day.

But Maybe some days you don’t.

Maybe some days you’ve been up half the night with a fussy baby. Maybe you’ve tossed and turned as worries and unknown possibilities and fears have torn at your heart.

Do you live like you are loved by the King?

I’d venture to say that there are many days we wake up feeling groggy, and at best, half heatedly excited about starting a new day.

But what if we woke up each day with the knowledge that we are so loved, and that God is working out our lives for His good!? (Romans 8:28) What if we were filled with excitement,  joy and awe at each new day we’ve been given?

Some morning are just plain hard. The night has been dark, perhaps both literally and figuratively, and the day seems to come too soon or not soon enough. Jesus knows your struggles, your burdens, your hardships. He is ready for you to lay them at His feet. He is ready for His daughters and sons to realize that they are heirs to the Kingdom as princesses and princes of the King.

So here’s the challenge.

When you wake up, find the joy!

Don’t reach for your phone and check your e-mails, Instagram, Facebook- I promise you won’t find true joy there. It’s tempting to feel like these things demand our attention, but do they really? The answer is no, they don’t. Instead, say a prayer, open your Bible, gather your children, your husband, heck, even the cat, and give thanks for this day! Let us rejoice and be glad in it. For this truly is the day that the Lord has made, and you are so loved.

Remember how simple it is.

You are loved.

Let’s meet back here next week for encouragement and thoughts on waking up loved. I hope you’ll be back and join in! #wakeuploved

Check out these posts for more encouragement! You Are Loved // Spread Some Love

Hellen’s 1st Birthday // In Picture

To celebrate Hellen’s first birthday we had a small gathering with our neighbors in our back yard. Hellen got to dive into her first piece of cake, and from what we could tell, I think she enjoyed it! Enjoy the pics, because seriously, how cute is she!? And also, how has this girl already been one for a week!? She has been standing on her own for awhile, but she is now trying to move her feet a bit to walk…so I think we may be in trouble soon!

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Fruit of the Spirit // Patience

As a mama, this fruit of the Spirit hits me hard. I pray for patience. I tell my kids to be patient. I daily practice patience and daily lose my patience. It can be agonizing to have to repeat something ten times and then your child still completes the given task as slow as molasses. It can be frustrating to have the bathroom door banged on for the fifth time after you told them you’d be out in a minute. It can be terribly hard to hold it all together and let this fruit dwell in your daily comings and goings…especially as a mom.

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Once again, this is not a fruit that we can obtain by our own will. We can’t produce patience on our own as hard as we may try. I’ve tried again and again and again, and without inviting in the fruit of His Spirit, I fail again, and again, and again. As I invite the Lord’s Spirit of patience to dwell with me, it’s still hard, but I’m not alone. I’M not the one working to produce patience all by myself and running on a small amount of steam left from raising tiny human beings. When I invite His Spirit of patience to dwell in me I’m not alone. I’m not running on steam, but running with the strength, endurance, encouragement and steadfastness of the Lord.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. Romans 15:5

To invite in His Spirit of patience,  we have to know Him. We have to purposefully draw near to Christ through dwelling in His word, praying, and being intentional with what we do, and even the thoughts we let into our mind.
I’m currently reading the book, Loving our Kids on Purpose, by Danny Silk. I’m only a few chapters in, but so far I am finding it really encouraging. The key that I’ve gleaned so far is that we have to be intentional. We have to choose loving on our kids even when it’s hard.
To let the Spirit of patience dwell in us is choosing to love well. It is choosing to be intentional with how we react. It is choosing the way that feels hard in the moment, but is often more rewarding. It is choosing to allow God to lead, instead of following your own desires of the flesh in the moment.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

Today let’s remember to invite the Spirit of patience into our day. Especially for those mamas out there, find encouragement in this. When you are running on steam, don’t think you have to dig up this patience on your own. Look to the Lord to give you endurance and encouragement and guide you in being intentional and loving well through the fruit of patience.

Invite His fruit of patience to take seed.

Water it daily.

Let it grow and bloom.

BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL; AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW. GALATIANS 5: 22-23

mamaharesmondayjpg

Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
Blog // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter

Follow along with Keri
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Dear Hellen // A First Birthday Letter to Our Foster Baby

Dear Hellen,

Happy first birthday big girl!

I remember the day we first met you. We had just moved to Uganda and it was one of our first times visiting the babies home. You were only a few weeks old. You looked so small and fragile. All I wanted to do was hold you and let you know how much you were loved.

 

You came into our home when we started fostering you at almost four months old. You had already grown so much! All you wanted to do at first was sleep and eat. As you got more used to us, we started to see your personality and you let us know what you did and didn’t like.

When our family went back to Ohio over Christmas you got to stay with Mama Jia, and she loved on you so well. You two have a special bond and it’s quite clear that you now have two mamas!

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You have always been strong and stubborn.

These things can be used for so much good, baby girl. I pray that you grow your walk with the Lord and that even in these first few years we can help point you to Jesus. Grow strong in Him.Don’t rely on your own strength as you walk life’s journey, rely on the never giving up, always and forever love of Jesus. Use your stubbornness to stand firm for what you know is right. Stand up for the weak and don’t let others look down on you for any reason. You have been wonderfully created in the image of our Savior, for a reason and a purpose. You were made with a perfect plan. You were made to glorify Jesus and be a shining light.

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Hellen

Your name means, Shining Light. You are a shining light! I won’t deny that even in the short time we have known you, you have tried our patience. You have tested us and we see how Jesus is refining us through raising you. But even in this short time, you have been a light in our lives. Your smiles, head flinging dance moves, and belly laugh fill our hearts with joy. You are loved.

It is so hard and so special that you have a few different groups of people to call your family. You have a loving father and nine siblings! Whenever we visit them we can see how much they care about you and how much they miss you. They are doing what they believe is the best thing for you. You are loved.

You have also found a family in us. Though we won’t be able to be with you forever, you will forever be in our hearts. You are loved.

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And you will forever have a family in the family of Jesus. If you are ever unsure of where you belong, look to Jesus. You are His. You are loved.

Your birthday may always come with some memories that are hard, but we celebrate you sweet girl!

We celebrate your first year of life!

You were made with a purpose and you are loved.

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Fruit of the Spirit // Peace

Peace.

Maybe when you think of peace you think of a tiny, sleeping baby. Maybe when you think of peace, you think of a quiet and clean home. Maybe when you think of peace, you imagine slowly sipping coffee to a vibrant sunrise.

Now let’s visit the opposite spectrum of each of these moments. Imagine a crying, inconsolable baby, a chaotic, loud, and very messy home, and trying to drink your cold coffee that you forgot about in the rush of things on a dreary, raining day.

I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the word peace is more likely associated with moments of calm and quiet. The hard part is, life isn’t always going to be full of calm and quiet. Life gets loud, messy, and chaotic. So how to we hold on to the peace of the Spirit through life’s ups and downs?

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Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

To hold on to peace in both the quiet and the storm, we have to cling to Jesus. We cannot rely on the circumstances of this life that ebb and flow to ensure our peace.  When we look around at our own lives and the lives of others, we often see one another trying to find peace through building up security. We save our money to buy homes, cars, pad our savings account and plan for retirement. And while none of these things are inherently bad, our trust should not be placed in these things. True peace cannot be found in the seemingly safe and secure boundaries of our possessions and bank account.

Jesus provides the true peace we seek when we invite the Holy Spirit to work and move throughout our every day lives. When we cling to the true peace of Jesus instead of the false sense of peace the world can provide,  our souls find rest. No longer are we scrambling to secure a superficial list of worldly items to secure our peace. We are instead digging in and growing our roots deep into the peace of the Spirit through inviting the Spirit into our lives, seeking to learn more through the Word, and living out this peace in the midst of chaos.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Romans 14:17-19

When we seek peace through a steadfast relationship with our Lord, only then do we find true peace. Only then are we able to feel the peace of the Spirit in our crazy, messy lives. While writing this peace I found this post from a friend on facebook, and it was all too appropriate!

I HAVE SAID THESE THINGS TO YOU, THAT IN ME YOU MAY HAVE PEACE. IN THE WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TRIBULATION. BUT TAKE HEART; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” JOHN 16:33

Jesus is our peace.

Let the peace of our Lord fill your life today. Let the the peace of the Holy Spirit take root and grow. Let His peace reign on the mornings when you drink a hot cup of coffee to a beautiful sunrise, and the mornings when your coffee is cold and the sky overcast.

BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL; AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW. GALATIANS 5: 22-23

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Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
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Follow along with Keri
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Also linking up here! 


Passion and Purpose // Penduka Book Review

We ache to live lives that matter, to do work that actually makes an impact on the world around us, and to weave a legacy of love and grace in the way we flesh out our days on this planet. We have an unmistakable sense of being a part of something greater, maybe even an inkling of what the part is that we play in the grand scheme, but so often we feel stuck. Ineffective. Unqualified. Unnoticed. (excerpt from Penduka by Joy McMillan)

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You can find this passage on the first page of the preface of Joy‘s book, Penduka, 21 Ways to Awaken Passions and Purpose in Everyday LifeON THE FIRST PAGE. I read this and immediately all the heart eyes, praise hands, and hashtag AMENS rushed through my mind and a deep and powerful resonation with these words tugged at my heart. These are the very real struggles I deal with on a day to day basis. Of wondering if the work I do is glorifying my Father and trying to find a way to use my passions to help others and show Jesus’ love and light.

Have you felt this way? Have you felt the call and tug for something more? Are there passions inside of you just waiting to be uncovered? Are you unsure of how to use your passions? Are you scared to start?

We often look at our lives and are so burdened by the day to day responsibilities that we forget to look a little further down the road. To put the trust in God that He has instilled these passions in us for a reason and when we feel His tug to follow, we should go. Sometimes each step seems too daunting. We want to stop before we begin. Our dreams seem too far out of reach. Too hard. Too impossible. But is anything too impossible for God?

Maybe you are able to see the big picture. Maybe you know where God is calling you, but you’re not sure how to get there. Maybe the steps to get there are hard to take. Maybe you’re not sure how to even begin?

Penduka was such a wonderful read and one that fully engages the reader. If I went through all the emotions via emojis and hastags on that first page, you should have seen me nodding along with a smile through the rest of the book! Joy has carefully crafted Penduka to thoughtfully awaken our souls. To carefully begin examining what our passions are, why we have them, and how we can use them to fulfill God’s good purpose for us.

Joy breaks this book down into three parts. Passions, Purpose, and Process. Over 21 days she examines these three parts in a way that allows the reader to reflect on their own life, while entertaining the reader with her own life story. The questions that Joy has come up with for the accompanying journal are straight up amazing!

Are you ready to awaken your soul and start living out your passions and fulfilling your purpose? Do yourself a favor. Read this book! Answer the questions. Get it for a friend, a neighbor or a whole study group. It’s one that I am so glad I had the privilege to read and will most definitely be reading again…it is that good and that thought provoking, friends!

 

Fruit of the Spirit // Joy

This week’s fruit of the Spirit that I’ll be focusing on is JOY.

What do you think of when you hear the word joy? Long vacations on the beach, finding the biggest sale of your life on the most perfect dress, finally having your two-year-old potty trained? While all of those bring a certain amount of happiness and joy-like qualities, I believe the joy that comes from the fruit of the Spirit is one not dependent on our surrounding circumstances. It is a joy rooted deep in God’s goodness and the assurance of Heaven.

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Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3

James asks us to count it all joy! Not only are we to be joyful when things are going well and trials of life are past, but to be joyful in the midst of facing trials.

Ann Voskamp writes,The joy of the Lord is your strength and the person of Christ is your unassailable joy – and the battle for joy is nothing less than fighting the good fight of faith.”

When we choose to see the joy of Christ and cling fast to it in whatever stage of life we are in or whatever we are going through, Christ is building perseverance in us. He is drawing us close to Him as we seek out the joy that only comes from the fruit of His Spirit.

This joy is a deep-rooted joy that needs constant watering from dwelling closely with Jesus. It’s a joy that then springs forth and grows in terrains both rocky and fertile, because it has been deeply rooted in Christ. Through dwelling with Christ we see the fruit of joy grow in us.

Sometimes it’s hard to choose joy. To see, and taste, and feel that deeply rooted joy that we are called to remember. But the good news is that when we think of the end result that we are working for, it becomes a little easier. When we remember that this world is not our own and the fleeting joy of this life will pass, we remember to look for the deeply rooted joy that comes from knowing our eternal home will someday be with Jesus.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9

Today let’s invite the Spirit of joy to dwell with us.

Let’s invite it in as we raise babies, wash dishes, wait in line, and cook dinner.

Let’s beckon it in to every aspect of our lives and let it dig deep, take root firmly and grow.

BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL; AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW. GALATIANS 5: 22-23

mamaharesmondayjpg

Every Monday, Keri, and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.  Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood.  

Follow along with Moriah
Blog // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter

Follow along with Keri
Blog // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter