To make your dreams come true, it’s up to you…

“If it’s to be it’s up to me.” I know that as a Christian this quote isn’t exactly right. But there’s a lot of truth in it. Other than the fact that indeed, we must line up our dreams and plans and goals with God’s purpose for our lives, no one is going to make sure we hit the mark but ourselves. Six years ago I decided to pursue two life-long dreams. To continue my college education and write books. Since then, neither of those dreams dissipated. And now I find myself in the middle of one of the hardest parts of the journey physically for me: student teaching and editing a book I’ve sold to ready it for publication. During my journey to today, no one ever asked me if I had my homework done or if I had written anything each day. No one pushed me out of bed in the mornings after staying up until two or three in the morning. No one made my tea or asked me if I was making my deadlines. I had to learn to say no in order to say yes to my dreams. Saying no is hard for me. As a pastor’s wife, I’ve been conditioned to worry about what other people think. I’ve still not mastered the concept of forging ahead without a thought to others’ opinions, but I’m getting better. I mean, sometimes it’s good to hear other opinions about things. I’m still figuring out when to listen and when to tune out. The point is this. More than likely no one has a passion for your dream like you. No one wants it as bad as you do. And you’ve got to muster up all the courage you can to climb that mountain and reach the top. It’s called ambition. And its cohort is grit. You can do this dream thing. But be prepared to encourage yourself a lot. Be prepared to forge ahead when others wish you’d just slow down and take a breather. When your friends look at you funny because you need to stay in and write or study instead of going to the game or out for a night on the town, you can have the backbone to know that you’re in a different season than they are. You’re in the season of mountain climbing, and you need to suck up all the oxygen you can. You can do this. Dreaming is a solitary thing. And sometimes, making dreams come true is solitary, too. But as Christians, we’re never alone. Isn’t that wonderful? Imagine having to do it alone. We don’t have to. We have the Great Teacher with us and in us....

Read More

Karla Teaches

As you may or may not know, I’m nearing the end of my journey toward my degree in Special Education! If I make it through student teaching I’ll graduate in December. Yay! If you’d like to follow my adventures, you can do so here at KarlaTeaches.com  If you have ever been a student teacher and have tips for me, I welcome them! I could also use your prayers for stamina. I sold my book on autism right before student teaching started and edits are due very soon. All I need is a clone, right? Anyone know where there’s a good deal on one? Tweet this: Superpower: teaching; passion: writing, sleeping:...

Read More

Teaching kids to touch type

If there’s one thing I am grateful for from my public school education in the 70s, it’s that I was able to take classes to learn how to touch type. I can still type about 93-102 words per minute (WPM), and believe me, it’s come in handy when writing books, blogging, and writing research papers! (Thanks, Mr. Geesik!) (I can still hear and see him wiggling his fingers and sing-song saying, “Type, type, type!”) Since I have special needs children, and taught many special needs kids in my cottage school, I was always on the lookout for unique ways to teach life skills. One of the coolest tools I discovered  were these ingenious typing gloves from a company called Touchtypers. From the website: “Touchtypers is a system that uses specially developed lettered gloves and simple exercises to make it easy for students to learn to touch-type on computer keyboards, using any typing system or word processing software.” The gloves come with an instruction booklet, but I also used old-fashioned typing books to help my students practice. These gloves worked great! I like anything that helps children self-direct and teach themselves. The only thing you have to do is supervise a bit to make sure they’re actually using the correct fingers and not “cheating.” I hope you like these gloves as much as I do/did. I don’t get any kind of kickback or anything from this company. But when I experience a great product, I want to tell everyone about it. Oh, and when you order the gloves, err on the smaller side because they stretch. Let me know how you like them! Please tweet: Teach your special needs kids to...

Read More

Meet me in Iowa!

Hi, Friends! Just a wee update to let you know that I’ll be speaking at the Homeschool Iowa Conference next week! Here are the topics I’ll be covering: Technology and Your Homeschool Is technology really all that important? How should you use it in your homeschool? When should you not use it? Learn some creative ways to integrate technology in your homeschool and have your eyes opened about dangerous technological advances you and your family needs to know about. Homeschooling Children with Autism Has God called you to teach your child with autism at home? Do you wonder what the most important skills are to teach? Get practical tips on coping with tantrums, learning social skills, and leading your child to God. As children with autism grow up, what life skills are important to teach them? What can a parent do about aggressive, oppositional behavior? Learn how Karla taught her own sons with autism. What were the most valuable lessons of all? Handouts include practical tips for parents, therapists and teachers. Homeschooling Typical Children and Children with Special Needs Using the Same Curriculum Do you ever feel as if you’re in over your head? Worried that you aren’t qualified to teach your special needs child? Learn why you’re the expert on your child and their condition. Get practical tips on helping them succeed through finding the right resources, building a supportive network, and accessing the right therapies. Learn what therapies worked and didn’t when Karla taught her own children with autism, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, speech disabilities and dyslexia. Handouts include practical tips for parents, therapists and teachers. Creative Writing in the Homeschool Have a gifted writer in the family? Learn from published author, Karla Akins, how to foster that gift with practical tips and creative writing ideas. She will also share the climate of publishing today, and a brief introduction to self-publishing in today’s market. I can’t wait to meet you! By the way I’m giving away goodies in a drawing while there, too! O Canada Her Story (print) — Autographed Sacagawea (ebook) – Autographed coupon Jacques Cartier (ebook) – Autographed coupon What Really Happened in the Middle Ages (print) — Autographed What Really Happened in Colonial Times (print)– Autographed Scented wax warmer The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots (print) — Autographed And those are the just the goodies I’m giving away in the overall conference. My table will also have a beautiful gift package drawing you can enter, too. See you in Iowa! If I were coming to your state, what would you like me to speak on?  Check here for a list of topics! And let me know in the comments below! Tweet this: Meet me at the Iowa...

Read More

Public Shaming

Everyone’s talking about it. The recent scandal of a popular homeschooling family has tongues wagging all over the world. And even if I don’t mention their names here on this blog, chances are, you know exactly who I’m talking about. And it’s not all our fault. The family put themselves out there for public consumption. Except that, I like to think they started out as a family who saw an opportunity to share Jesus with the world in a unique way. Maybe I’m naive, but that’s how I like to think it started. As a former homeschool Mom myself, I know the idealism I embraced in those days. Looking back, maybe I was a little too idealistic. There’s no real way to know. But I don’t regret homeschooling. I wonder sometimes about some of my choices because I know I’m far from perfect. But I also know that my choice to homeschool my children was made prayerfully each year. I never took the decision lightly. It makes me sad to see a family taken to task for something so humiliating in such a brutal way. I feel for the parents. I feel for the children. It breaks my heart because I know how it feels. No, I don’t have my own reality  TV show. But I’m a pastor’s wife in a small rural town. We live in a glass house. Always have. And it’s not been easy on my children. Yes, we chose to be in the ministry. But that doesn’t mean the pain of public humiliation doesn’t hurt just as much. As a mother of sons who made mistakes as adults, I can identify with the TV mother’s grief. I know what it’s like to be publicly humiliated as a family. The emotions are overwhelming and confusing. But I still don’t understand the delight people have in pointing their fingers and wagging their tongues. Even before my family went through such things I never liked the way TV programs and newspapers convicted people who were charged with crimes before they went to trial. I’m not siding with any crime. I don’t condone crime or abuse of any kind. But it does trouble me to watch people rush to harsh judgement as if they’ve never faltered or made a mistake themselves. But for the grace of God none of my mistakes have been hung out for the world to see. How many of those who point fingers have sin in their own lives? I suppose there have to be harsh critics in the world or we wouldn’t have judges or law enforcement officials. I know I wouldn’t make a very good one. I believe every soul is redeemable. I...

Read More

Substitute teaching

Welcome to A to Z! We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors. If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here. Today’s Post is brought to you by the letter S I’m a Substitute Teacher for the Manchester school system here in North Manchester, Indiana. Because I’m also a full-time student and minister, I only get to sub once in awhile but I enjoy it immensely. In fact, I think I might like substitute teaching better than full-time teaching. Here’s why: 1. Subs don’t have to take work home with them. 2. Subs don’t have to attend meetings after school. 3. Subs aren’t required to attend after-school events. 4. There is great variety in subbing. Sometimes I’m in an elementary classroom and other times I’m in a high school English class. But my favorite sub experiences are with the students in the Special Education classrooms. (Which is what I’m getting my degree in.) 5. Subs don’t have to record grades, hold conferences, or meet with parents. What don’t I like about subbing? 1 .Recess duty. 2. Recess duty. 3. Recess duty. I’ve never liked recess duty. Especially when it’s 9F out and there’s ice everywhere. It’s just not my cup of tea. How about you? Have you ever filled in for someone on a job? What was it? What did you like about it? Dislike about it? Tweet this: I hate recess duty but I love subbing!...

Read More