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Home and Family Homeschool Resources   Home and Family Department Resources

Home and Family articles | out and about articles
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  Articles, unit studies, reviews, and resources to help you homeschool.  
  Home and Family Departmental Articles  
  • ...But Is It Educational?
    by Jean Hall
    When toy shopping, many a homeschool parent is looking for a two-fer. Sure they want the toys they select to be fun to play with, but what if they could also be “educational.” With so many toys clamoring for you and your child’s attention, what exactly is an educational toy?
  • A Christ-Centered Home
    by Tamara Eaton
    There are so many books on Christian parenting and homeschooling available now and more are being published every month, often with conflicting opinions and advice. I like the older Christian parenting books--especially those written years ago by conservative Christians who reared a large family and whose children turned out well. These books not only stressed Biblical child training principles, but also encouraged parents to seek the Lord for wisdom and direction--a key ingredient in successful parenting and homeschooling! A good homeschooling book will do the same and not adamantly declare that there is only one way to achieve homeschooling success--by following their program or method.
  • A Creative Unemployed Christmas
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Christmas this year will be skosh for many Americans. Unemployment benefits are running out for many just as Christmas arrives, but even with unemployment benefits, families are paying bills not buying gifts. This is most difficult with young children, not because they arent happy with less, but because parents want their early Christmases to be special. Going out and buying that terrific toy is the standard American way of making Christmas special. Unemployment however can make this impossible, and thus provide an opportunity for something even more speciala creative Christmas.
  • A Father Daughter “Date”
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Maribeth Spangenberg shares about the blessings that come from father daughter relationships when time is taken to nurture them.
  • A Mother's Ministry
    by Tamara Eaton
    Do you long to be used by the Lord yet feel your ministry is "on hold" because you are so busy caring for your family?
  • Are You a Tragic Martyr Mother?
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    I’ve been thinking about starting a new association devoted to the tragic martyr mothers who devoted their lives to their children and faced the worst of childish atrocities involving art supplies, kitty litter, and stuff that seemed safe.
  • Aspire to Patience
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Interfering in God’s Plan is dangerous business. Lack of patience and absence of trust in the Lord can have devastating results.
  • Avenues of Ministry
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    My ministry is to be a full-time mother, and to homeschool my children, leaving me little time for outside pursuits. At this season of my life, the Lord wants me home. But that doesn’t mean I remain stagnant spiritually.
  • Be Vigilant
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    We don’t plan to fail, but all too often failure comes, and, unfortunately, it can happen to any one of us. We say, “yes” one too many times, and we experience an emotional collapse. We get stretched too thin, and we allow other things to distance us from our immediate responsibilities.
  • Bear One Another's Burdens
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Have you ever felt at times that every member of your family has a tight grip on some part of you and each one is pulling in a totally different direction?
  • Birthday Traditions
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    As homeschooling parents, it is sometimes easy to get caught up in the academics, only seeing it as a juggling act between family and housekeeping; but emotional needs and individuality apart from school, need to be nourished also. What better time to do this than on the special day that commemorates their entering into our lives.
  • Celebrations on a Shoestring: Spring Celebrations
    by Eva Stockett
    Spring is a time of new beginnings and is the perfect time to get friends and relatives together for fellowship. If this overwhelms you due to the wave of seasonal sports and exams, remember that simple is the rule of thumb.
  • Choosing a Homeschool Planner
    by Laura Carter
    Information and help for choosing a homeschool planner.
  • Christmas Outsourcing
    by Robin McDonald
    If I were of the world, I would not be having a great Christmas season this year. We are unfortunate victims of the recent outsourcing craze by large companies, and are currently undergoing what I call a purging season in our lives. While companies are downsizing their offices and outsourcing to other countries, we are likewise trying to downsize our lifestyle and spending, and outsource our financial needs to the real Source, making our lives simpler.
  • Christmas Traditions Old and New
    by Beverly S. Krueger and EHO Readers
    Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future are all wrapped up in how we celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. Keeping old family traditions connects us with the past while creating our own Christmas traditions builds a bridge to the future. As one of our questionnaire respondents said, “I would love to hear other people's traditions, too!” It’s a great way to get new ideas to start new traditions in your family.
  • Compare Ye Not
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    I am not an early riser. It took me a number of years in my early days of homeschooling to accept this fact. As much as I attempted to live up to what I THOUGHT was expected of the “typical” homeschooler, I would always fall short. The harder I tried to fit the expected mold, the more irritable, frustrated and discouraged I would become.
  • Creative Gift Giving
    by Tammy M. Cardwell
    Great ideas for year round gift giving on a budget.
  • Cultivating Calmness
    by Tamara Eaton
    I once heard a preacher say that God created families to do a perfecting work in us that couldn't possibly be done unless we were thrown together with the same group of people day in and day out. As a homeschool mom, I can sure identify with this! I've spent a lot of time with my family--and while I love it, we've had our share of "grumpy" days when nothing seemed to be going right and we were irritated by one another. Can a homeschool home be a calm home?
  • Dips!!!
    by Schellie Moore
    Fall is fast approaching and with that comes football season. Tailgate parties are just one great place to serve these fantastic dips. These dips will be a hit at Thanksgiving at Grandma’s, a New Year’s Eve bash, or the next church potluck. Sally’s Salsa comes straight from watching Sally make what is easily the best salsa every made.
  • Discovering Louisiana on a McFamily Road Trip
    by Robin McDonald
    We recently decided to go on a McFamily road trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, to participate in the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase, and to visit several historical sites along the way. Read more about the McFamily road trip and get information about touring each of the fifty states.
  • Eagle Scout an Example for Us All
    by Robin McDonald
    Houston area homeschool student and Boy Scout Clay Vaughan is currently spreading a little bit of Christmas spirit to hundreds of soldiers with his new Eagle Scout project, Operation Christmas Soldier. While he hoped to have a small movement in the Houston area, he has seen the idea spread throughout the region and hopes that it takes hold throughout the nation in the years to come.
  • Faithfulness in Accomplishment
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Having homeschooled for 24 years and with many more years to go, Maribeth wonders if God’s call to homeschool changes when you get older and start feeling your years. We all get tired as Maribeth acknowledges and God can tell you to do one thing with one child and something else with another. But if God’s call hasn’t changed, then our response shouldn’t change. Need your resolve strengthened?…let Maribeth’s cloud of witnesses point you in the right direction.
  • Family Fun
    by EHO Staff
    Great ideas for summertime family fun.
  • From Rags to Old-Fashioned Riches
    by Jean Hall
    Jeanette Fields shares how the products she has developed for the Ragtime Doll Company can help you and your children regain the skills of yesteryear and learn to create dolls and doll clothes with a level of craftsmanship not found in todays mass marker.
  • Front Porch Lecture
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Field trips can be great blessings with the proper preparation. Our children will catch our enthusiasm, as they see our own love for learning. Read how an unexpected rainstorm created a serendipitous moment for field trip learning at its best.
  • Giving Thanks Daily
    by Tammy M. Cardwell
    Tammy Cardwell shares why giving thanks should be an important daily event in our lives and a terrific idea for making it just that.
  • Guarding the Back Door
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    We're all concerned about the influences in our children's lives, but have we taken care of those things that slip in through the back door?
  • Heirloom Recipes - Apple Treats
    by Schellie Moore
    It's fall and the apple harvest brings us fresh apples and fresh apple cider. It's time for homemade applesauce, apple crisp, and the ubiquitous harvest festival treat, caramel apples.
  • Heirloom Recipes - Special Breakfasts
    by Schellie Moore
    Family time, often we think of family time spent around the dining room table playing board games or feasting at holidays. Breakfast is another great way to spend family time together before the start of a busy day or a lazy summer day. Special breakfast time means special breakfast recipes. We've got several that should turn your breakfasts into special times.
  • History of Christmas
    by EHO Staff
    What is the history of Christmas? When did we start sending Christmas cards and why? Why candy canes? How did Santa Claus become part of Christmas?
  • Homeschool and Housework!
    by Tamara Eaton
    Does the combination of homeschool and housework seem like oil and water—they just don't mix? It used to seem like we were either successful in homeschooling or housework but never both in the same day. It's easier now— our kids are older, we have a good system and most importantly— lower standards! We would never make the cover of "Better Homes and Gardens" but at times, we could qualify for "Cluttered Homes and Jungles"!
  • Homeschool Camping
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Would you like to take an economical vacation? Is it time for your family to experience the great outdoors and discover the wonders of nature? Does sleeping in a sleeping bag inside a tent and cooking over a campfire stir your inner camper? Then it's time to go homeschool camping.
  • Homeschool Travel
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    We all dream about that perfect homeschool trip during which we not only travel to some place that combines equally large doses of learning and fun, but in which everything goes smoothly, all family members are cooperative and cheerful, and the bed or sleeping bag we sleep in gives us a perfect night's rest each and every night. I won't shatter your dreams and say this won't happen, but it certainly is an impossibility if you always stay home.
  • Homeschooling Little Ones
    by Tamara Eaton
    Our first four children were born very closely spaced together, (4 in 4 1/2 years) and we have always homeschooled them all. So I began homeschooling with little ones, and managed to include them from the very start in our activities.
  • I Resolve to... Rest
    by Tammy Marshall Cardwell
    New Year’s is a time when man makes all sorts of resolutions – to lose weight, to organize the garage, to write the great American novel, to follow school plans religiously, to do a science project every week, to... Most of our resolutions require action, effort, and the expenditure of energy. No surprise, right? I challenge you to make a different type of resolution this year, one that will also require action of a sort, and will definitely require effort since it will likely involve breaking old habits.
  • Imagination
    by Tammy Marshall Cardwell
    How many times have we, as homeschoolers, taken for granted our own children's bright and lively imaginations...until we encountered a child who had none?
  • Informing Your Family
    by Julie Carlson
    Have you been asked numerous questions regarding your choice to homeschool? Well, if you’re like us, we’ve been bombarded. We decided to put together an information packet to give to people when asked questions.
  • Lessons on Manners
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    There has been much talk of civility, or the lack thereof, in society lately. The trend to a general coarsening of how we behave to one another seems to go on despite many loathing it. In looking at essays and books on manners from over a century ago, you can see why the pendulum began to swing in the opposite direction. Rules of etiquette were often convoluted and detailed enough to keep the sharpest Pharisee on his or her toes. I was delighted to discover a set of lessons on manners published in 1884, that I could recommend to homeschoolers.
  • Little Strength
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    When I first held my daughter in my arms, I was flooded with many emotions. Where once it was only me and my husband, now it became three. This little product of our love, a combination of two families that had come together, was opening a new door in our lives. She was the beginning of a ministry that would last a lifetime.
  • Live in the Moment
    by Tammy M. Cardwell
    The future offers temptations every day that keep us from truly living fully in the present moment. Don’t believe you’re susceptible to letting the future invade your present? Maybe you haven’t recognized the symptoms.
  • Living in Harmony: Encouraging Sibling Friendships
    by Tamara Eaton
    As parents, we want our children not only to get along with one another, but also to develop friendships and actually enjoy one another. There is a saying: "If Christianity doesn't work in the home, don't export it!" We want to encourage our children to demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in the home, as well as toward those outside our family.
  • Lots of Little Ones!
    by Tamara Eaton
    Often I am asked how I felt about having so many little ones close together, did I ever get tired? Did I pray a lot to get through the days? How did I manage?
  • Lower Your Voice
    by Tammy Cardwell
    Is yelling at one another the norm in your home? Let Tammy Cardwell share how she overcame her need to yell and how it dramatically changed her home.
  • Mom's Job Satisfaction
    by Tamara Eaton
    When do you know your day has been successful? When I look back on the day and remember...
  • Moms Need Mothers, Too
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Motherhood lasts a lifetime. Maribeth shares how her mother was there for her in a time of need and how all mothers can lay a foundation of trust to assure that their children will reach out to mom even after they’ve grown up.
  • Mood Setter and Attitude Adjuster
    by Maribeth Spangenburg
    As the mother in my home, God has given me the tremendous responsibility of “mood setter”. How I view my ministry to my husband and children has the capability of affecting their outlook on life. Children raised with a happy, contented mother will more likely become happy, contented adults. However, children raised with a complaining, discontented mother will learn to do the same as adults.
  • Nothing but Leaves
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    I am not a botanist. The only way I know maple trees is because God had planted one in our backyard, and I fell in love with its beautiful, red, fall leaves. That is why I became confused when the Lord warned me in my spirit to beware of my homeschooling becoming as a “cursed fig tree."
  • Our 'Perfect' Homeschool
    by Tamara Eaton
    Recently someone asked me what I would like to change about our homeschool. I thought about it for several minutes, but I couldn't think of anything I wanted to change. For the past few years, we've reached a homeschooling plan and style that suits our family just perfectly!
  • Our Work of Faith
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    For a number of days I had been feeling so inadequate as a mother. Whatever was I thinking when I wanted a lot of children? I’m a failure! I have so many faults and shortcomings. And since I am homeschooling, my children see them everyday.
  • Passing on Your Faith
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    How do we, as Christian parents, raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord so that they have a committed and lasting relationship with the Lord?
  • Practical Homeschooling
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    Much of life is taken up with lifes practicalities. There are things you know that someone showed you how to do. These come up in everyday life, but unless youre thinking about sharing the learning experience with your child at that particular time, the opportunity may be missed. Later youll get a call, Dad how do I ? Rather than waiting for an opportunity to arise, why not incorporate mini practical homeschooling lessons in your regular homeschooling?
  • Pretending Summer
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    If you're like our family, you slow down the more traditional schooling part of your homeschooling when summer arrives. By the time July 4 rolls past though, you're likely to hear the words "I'm bored" a little more frequently than you prefer. You can only threaten so many times to make your kids clean house if they don't find something to do on their own. Summer can be slow for you, but it still doesn't need to be dull for the kids. Really all they need are supplies and fresh ideas.
  • Resurrection Eggs
    by EHO Staff
    21 different possibilities for creating your own set of resurrection eggs to celebrate Easter with your children.
  • Silent Servitude
    by Maribeth Spangenburg
    Who can be a perfect mother? Is it possible to be a perfect mother? Does the perfect mother exist? Even in turning to Scripture, I could not find the perfect mother. But I DID find God's choice of the RIGHT mother. Her name was Mary!
  • Sleeping for Sorrow – The Cure
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    I have found that when I battle discouragement in my homeschooling, I also face the temptation to get lax. I often have lofty goals when I enter each new school year, maybe a promising new curriculum or a novel way to teach a difficult subject. My intentions are good and my initial enthusiasm is high, but my expectations are sometimes unreal. My homeschooling goals may clash with the reality of family life.
  • Speaking Love to Your Family
    by Beverly S. Krueger
    In The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman defines the five ways that most people show love to others, not necessarily verbal.
  • Spiritual Glasses
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Every day we need to view our husbands through spiritual glasses, seeing them as the special blessing that they are. God’s favor will then be upon us when we seek to nurture this blessing, through prayer, support, and encouragement.
  • Summertime Activities
    by EHO Staff
    Whether you plan a trip to your local library or museum for their summer activities or plan your own, summertime is a great time to try new things.
  • Summertime Celebrations
    by Eva Stockett
    Summer is here and so are many occasions to have friends and family over. Party planning during the summer is especially easy because the entertaining can be done outdoors.
  • Supporting Authority
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Little pitchers have big ears, or so the saying goes. That’s usually meant to remind adults not to gossip in front of children, but it’s also true of many other things we can say in their presence. Maribeth considers this when dealing with a misbehaving child and another adult’s method of correction.
  • Surviving or Celebrating?
    by Tammy M. Cardwell
    As the Christmas season approaches are you celebrating or just surviving? Tammy tells us ways to move out of surviving mode.
  • Taking Thoughts Captive
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    My body was exhausted from the many responsibilities and tasks that go along with homeschooling a large family and, at the same time, keeping house. I needed my rest! Yet, even in sleep, I found my mind racing, waking my body with its many wanderings.
  • Teaching Kindergartners
    by Tamara Eaton
    Certainly you may provide the very best "reading readiness" training in the way of reading aloud wonderful books to your son! Answer his questions. Let him learn all he wants to learn, at his own pace, but never push him! I adamantly believe that children this age should not be pushed or pressured into formal academics. Yet, at the same time, neither should we hold back information from them if they are interested!
  • The ABCs of Order in Your Home
    by Marilyn Rockett
    Okay, Ladies—let’s talk. It’s time to drag this idea of organization out of the shadows, dust it off, and take a good look. We know we need “it” but we aren’t sure where to get “it” or how to keep “it.” We see a friend or acquaintance with “it,” and we wonder how she does “it.”
  • The Clink of Coins
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Do you find yourself experiencing déjà vu when you find yourself yet again moving clothes from washing machine to dryer. There were times when I was the young mother of five that I wondered if my life would be made up of the events sandwiched between my time spent folding clothes in the basement. Maribeth gives new and old moms a beautiful perspective on the daily grind.
  • The Giving at Thanksgiving
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Blessings lead to blessings. It’s an immutable rule of God’s plan for us. Holidays are meant to be shared and to remind us of God’s blessings. When do our actions become something more? The Spangenbergs discover this at Thanksgiving.
  • The Price of Disobedience
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    When our children suffer the consequences of disobedience, we often suffer, too. How do we, as parents, know when to save them and when to step back? How do we deal with the times we can’t be with them?
  • The Real Reason
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Why can’t my children just learn to get along? Why do they have to argue? Why can’t they always respect each other’s privacy? Why do these issues have to interfere with my homeschooling?
  • Thoughts on Mothering
    by Tamara Eaton
    Every mother of more than one child has times when she feels stretched in several directions at once trying to meet the needs of each individual child. In fact, often a mother of one or two who is thinking of having more children asks herself, "Will I be able to handle more than one or two? Will I love each child as much as the first? How will I manage if they all need me at once?"
  • To Organize or Not to Organize...Do I Really Have To? Colored Storage Bins and Other Tales for the Organizationally Challenged
    by Shari Crooks
    Part of being better organized is the way you organize.
  • Training Children (and Parents!)
    by Tamara Eaton
    The first key to successful Biblical child training is parent training! It all starts with us—are we seeking the Lord for wisdom? Do we have a positive attitude toward our child or do we view him as a burden or a problem? Are we disciplining calmly, in love, or are we giving into anger and raising our voices? The Lord delights in working in our own hearts as we strive to be responsible, loving, godly parents.
  • Turning Out Well—God’s Plan Fulfilled
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    As our oldest are now entering marriage, we find ourselves being objects of interest from younger homeschoolers, who are now looking up to us and asking, “How did you do it?” and “I hope my kids turn out as well.”
  • Under Pressure? (God's Response to Stressed-Out Moms)
    by Tamara Eaton
    Life is filled with stresses and pressures and we can't eliminate them all, but some pressure we bring upon ourselves by making wrong choices or neglecting to seek the Lord and trust in His strength and wisdom. Pressures also tend to multiply when we don't deal with them properly. Molehills quickly turn into mountains if we lose our focus and perspective but God wants to give us His perspective and operate in His power!
  • Vacation Planning Guides for All 50 States & US Territories
    by EHO Staff
    Find tourism information for each of the fifty states and the US territories. Plan a short trip or a complete family vacation that can be both fun and educational.
  • Vision Revival
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    I love curriculum fair season! To me it is a revival of the joy and anticipation that I felt when I first ventured into homeschooling twenty years ago. Seeing all the extended vans in the parking lot gives me a sense of love of family and children. Being under the same roof as others of like-mindedness, automatically renews my vision.
  • Watch Your Words
    by Tammy M. Cardwell
    From the beginning of time, God has demonstrated the power of the spoken word. He has also given us the ability to tap into that power – and the responsibility to use it correctly. When God said, “Let there be light,” light was. When Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth,” the formerly dead man left his grave behind. When Peter said, “Rise up and walk,” the lame man leapt to his feet. These events may seem to have nothing to do with the day-to-day life of the modern Christian, but they do. They illustrate that spoken words loose a power that can change reality.
  • What If He Rebels?
    by Tamara Eaton
    Every month we (chfweb.com) hear from distraught parents who are worried about their teens rebelling. Often these parents fear to confront their children on important issues because they're afraid of "losing" them.
  • When “No” Is Good
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    Saying no is not always the easy thing to do. If you’re a helper at heart, you want to help when someone asks. Are they reasons why you should say no to even simple sounding requests? Maribeth shares from her life and how God’s direction helps her answer the question of when she should say no.
  • When Parents Disagree
    by Tamara Eaton
    Karen was concerned, she appreciated her husband's leading in their home but was worried that his decision to change to a new structured curriculum was going to spell disaster for their homeschool!
  • Witnessing the True Meaning of Christmas
    by Robin McDonald
    As I was putting together the Christmas edition of the homeschool newsletter I write every month, I was lamenting to a friend of mine that we had very little news because everyone is so busy with Christmas preparations.

    She said, to me, "But remember, Robin, this is Christmas! No news is the Good News!" With that reminder, I want to remind everyone to heed well the birth of Jesus and the spirit of Christmas.
  • Worth in Weight
    by Maribeth Spangenberg
    With spring comes the desire to shed some of the pounds that seemed to appear unasked during the winter months. Are you letting your own self worth fluctuate with the changes on your scale?

Out and About - Home and Family Articles on the Web

  • How Can Parents Model Good Listening Skills?
    by Carl Smith Added: 8/15/2004
    In one of the Family Circus cartoon strips, the little girl looks up at her father, who is reading the newspaper, and says: "Daddy, you have to listen to me with your eyes as well as your ears." That statement says almost all there is to say about listening, whether in our personal conversations or in learning in school.
  • Teach Your Children Well: Low-Cost Ways to Educate Children on Money Management
    by Added: 8/15/2004
    Financial planners, parenting professionals and family advisors everywhere are touting the need to educate children on financial facts of life. Among other advice, these groups recommend: opening mutual funds in your children's names, buying them shares of stock in their favorite companies, and above all -- giving 'em an allowance.
  • Cooking for Home Educators
    by Added: 8/15/2004
    How do you organise meals as well as home educating? Some suggestions for involving the whole family in menu-planning and cooking.

Our Latest Educational Links - Home and Family

  • Skinny Taste
    Delicious, low fat recipes from my family to yours.
  • Our Best Bites
    Tips, tricks, and taste from two real-life kitchens.
  • Barbie Smith
    A blog about parenting, being in the ministry, and music. You can also purchase her gospel CD.

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Unit Study Articles

Unit Study Articles - Home and Family

  • Lasting Memories
    by Tammy M. Cardwell
    Can you see yourself in this picture? Your family just completed the unit study of your dreams. You’re at the end, and you’re thinking there must be more. What can you do with all of the fabulous projects, the stack of photos, and your memories of the fun?
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