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Homeschool Minute

A new feature on my radio station now is what I call a “Homeschool Minute.” I hope to share some encouraging tips for homeschooling families here.

Do you have a helpful tip to share? Let me know in the comments below. Maybe I’ll use them in a future video!

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Homeschool minute–a quick tip for busy moms.

 

Meet me in Iowa!

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Public Shaming

Who gossips to youwill gossip about youEveryone’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.

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HOMESCHOOL-COMICS

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.

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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?

Judging others doesn't define who they

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 believe that wrongs can be forgiven and that no one is perfect. Mercy is, thankfully, one of my gifts. That doesn’t make me better than anyone else. It just means I’d not make a very good supreme court justice. I’m more of a defense lawyer-type than a prosecutor. And that’s okay because society needs both.

Homeschool families who believe in the Word of God as their guide aren’t perfect. I know for myself, I cling more desperately to His Word because I know how weak I am, how fallible, and how at risk I am of falling. It’s what holds me up. It’s what keeps me from making mistakes I’m sure to make without its guidance.

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People see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe. You can’t reason with unreasonable people. Those who hate that TV family will continue to hate them. And I hope the ones that love them will continue to pray for them but also learn some valuable lessons:

  • No one’s perfect.
  • Every family has secrets.
  • People delight in your shortcomings–suck it up and hold your head high.
  • You aren’t what people say you are, you are what God says you are.
  • This world is temporary but your relationship with God and others is not.
  • Pray for your enemies.
  • Pray for each other in the Homeschool/Christian community.
  • Be careful who you idolize and look up to because there are no perfect families or Christians.
  • You aren’t supposed to be idolizing anyone on this earth in the first place.
  • The only one who will never disappoint you is Jesus.
  • Follow Jesus not other Christians or Christian leaders.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences.
  • Some sins have harsher consequences than other sins but there is no sin too great God can’t forgive.
  • Some things aren’t any of your business.

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There are a lot more lessons to be learned and it’s a shame we’re learning them at the expense of a very nice family. I hope and pray you’ll join me in praying for them and for those who love to hate them. They need Jesus, too.

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?  (Romans 2:1)

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What do you want to read about?

I truly want to create a blog that is fun, entertaining and useful. We are all short on time, aren’t we? The last thing we need to do is waste our time reading blogs that we don’t connect with. I deeply desire to connect with you, Dear Reader.

Would you be so kind as to fill out this survey? I’d appreciate it so much! Thanks for your help in making this little ministry on the web the best it can be.

Love,

Karla

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Hey, Strong Girl, how much are you worth?

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“But I was lonely, and he was there, so one thing led to another and…”

Just because you’re lonely doesn’t mean you aren’t still a Strong Girl. Everyone gets lonely. I imagine Jesus did, too.

But no one, absolutely NO ONE has a right to your body just because they ask.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says:

Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body. (Amplified Bible.)

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God loves your body so much that He bought it with the blood of His Son, Jesus. Really. Jesus died on the cross for YOU. If you were the only person in the world, He’d do that for YOU. You are that precious to Him.

Now, maybe nobody’s ever told you before that you’re that precious. But every single hair of your head is numbered by God. That’s in the Bible, too in Luke 12:7. Jesus was telling His disciples not to worry about money and clothes because if God loves the little sparrows and watches them, then He watches, people even closer.

And He knows how many hairs are on our head!

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Do you know how many hairs you have? Does your Mother? Father? Anyone?

Nope. But God does. Now, if God knows how many hairs are on your head, imagine how He watches you ever so closely.

The God Who created everything — mountains, trees, seeds that grow into plants, little tadpoles and butterflies. That same amazing God loves you enough to count the hairs on your head.

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Next time you are tempted to give yourself away just because you’re lonely, think first about how lonely God is for you to say “hello” to Him. Start having conversations with Him everyday as you go to school, ride the bus, or whatever you’re doing. Develop a close relationship with Him and He will become more and more real to you with each passing day. He promises that if you look for Him, you will find Him.

If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:13, NLT.

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So now that you know that God knows how many hairs your have on your head, how much are you worth, Strong Girl? Do you think you should give yourself away for free? Or do you think you’re worth the wait?

If you develop a relationship with God, does that mean you’ll never be lonely? Nope. You’ll still get lonely, dear daughter. But you will have the strength to overcome that loneliness by focusing on Him. And if you ask Him, He’ll show you how to get past that loneliness.

No one will ever love you like He does. No one. Not even your parents. And certainly not a sexual partner or boyfriend. That emptiness you’re trying to fill is a God space that can only be filled with Him.

Seek Him–the One that loves you most. You are priceless to Him. That’s how much you’re worth.

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Homeschooling my children made me smart(er)

I have two lovely friends I like to hang out with. We don’t see each other every single day but they are my go-to gals when it comes to needing prayer or just a girls night or afternoon doing girl stuff.

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They’ve said to me several times that I’m like a walking encyclopedia. One of them calls me a Rolodex.  If there’s a subject they bring up, I know something about it. And I got to thinking about the last time they said this to me and I said, “you know, I think it’s probably because I homeschooled my kids. If there was something I didn’t know about, we looked it up together and learned about it.”

Remember, I was homeschooling before Google. That means we went to the library or used our encyclopedias. (My oldest is 34 years old.)

We learned a TON of stuff together. I remember teaching my children and saying to them, “I never learned this! Do you know how blessed you are to know this?”

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When my children were grown out of homeschool (my youngest, twins, with special needs, attend special classes at the high school now) and I decided to go back to college, I found myself debating with my professors using logic that was never taught to most of the young people in my classes. In one of my history classes the text made a sweeping generalization regarding the Great Awakening. It stated that the Great Awakening occurred only because people were living in fear.

“How do they know that?” I asked the professor. “They weren’t there.”

Little foxes like this enter into lots of text books, and little by little, whittle away at the vine of common sense and a Christian Worldview.

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One of my professors in English was a practicing Wiccan. Naturally, her beliefs spilled over into the class. She picked on me because I was vocal about being a Christian. She’d try to bait me but she couldn’t because I was able to answer with logic and reasoning.

“I wish you were a normal Christian. You’re no fun to debate,” she said.

One time she admitted that she thought Jesus was a great teacher.

“Yes,” I said. “I like Him.” It was a spontaneous response that brought a chuckle out of the class.

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A professed atheist sat in the front row and constantly bashed Christians with generalizations. I was able to respond with love and knowledge to all of his comments, explaining that one shouldn’t base their disbelief of Christ on people’s actions, but on Christ Himself. In the halls of the college and out in the community, this man showed me great respect.

I was only able to do what I did, I believe, because of all I’d learned homeschooling my children about history, science, philosophy and logic. I knew what I knew what I knew. I was solid in my belief and was able to express it with reason.

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If you homeschool, how do you think homeschooling has made you smart(er)? I’m thankful for the education I received educating my kids. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It makes me marvel at how many super-smart Mamas are out there parenting these kids and teaching them. If only we could all get into one room — the amazing conversations and world-changing ideas we could create!