The Importance of Family Time

Do homeschoolers really need to plan family time?  Don’t we already spend all day, every day together?

I believe it is important for families to make a special effort to have family time.  Whether you homeschool or not.

A few months ago, we needed a break.  We didn’t have extra cash to go bowling or to the cinemas, so we decided to go camping.  We left around 5pm and was back by 11am, but it was amazing and exactly what we needed.

We found a place not too far from where we live, but just far enough that we didn’t have mobile reception.  We set up camp (our 4 man tent), and then went fishing for a bit.  Actually, my husband and kids went fishing.  I stood far enough back, but close enough that I could keep an eye out for crocs.  Later the kids collected firewood and we enjoyed a meal of hot dogs cooked over the fire.  We later roasted marshmallows.

We were in the tent by about 8pm.  The kids and I played a few games of Skipbo and we enjoyed chatting about our week.  We were all up early, as you do when you’re all asleep by 9pm.  My husband and son fished a bit more while my daughter and I collected more wood for the fire and attempted to make pancakes.  (It didn’t go too well as we forgot the butter and a spatula.)

This camping trip was a few months ago, but my kids still talk about it.  Why?  Because we stepped away from our home and our normal routine, and just spent quality time with each other.  We have had a few more family trips since then and have a few more already planned.  How about you?  When was the last time you scheduled family time?  If it hasn’t been in the last month, why not plan something for the weekend?


Hello? Is this thing on?

Hello.  Long time no see, or uh, read?

Sorry about that.  I had/have big plans for this blog and then…well, life got busy.

I can’t make promises, but I’m hoping to be back here posting once a week.  I can manage that, right?  For now I’ll leave you with a funny homeschool meme.

Be back soon!

fullsizeoutput_3069.jpeg [Review]


For all you homeschoolers out there, you may be interested in this review!  One of my purposes for this blog is to bring you great homeschool curriculum and supplements.  I think this will be a great help to some of you. I’ve never heard of, but was pleasantly surprised to check out their website.

Here is a sample of a word search:


Stop and smell the roses with this Flowery Word Search. For more engaging spelling activities, go to! is for ages 2-11, it has worksheets, games, and activities for math, reading, spelling, and so much more!

I love that they categorise everything by subjects and grades.  It was so easy to find worksheets and games for my son who is in year 5 (5th grade).

If your child is struggling in a certain area, for example, let’s say they are in third grade and struggling with multiplication.  All you need to do is click on third grade, then click on math.  And viola!  You have worksheets and games to help them out.

Go check out  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!  Let me know in the comments if you have ever used before.

*This review is my own opinion. contacted me and asked if I would be interested in sharing some of their worksheets and links to their website.

“I want to start homeschooling, but where do I start?”


I have heard this question several times recently. I started compiling a list of curriculum websites and blogs that would be helpful to those I’ve talked to and so I decided to share it here so I can refer others to it. I will continue updating this post as I come across new information.

The first thing I like to recommend to those interested in homeschooling is to sit down and write out the reasons that you want to homeschool. Be as specific as possible. Then write out reasons that you do not want to homeschool. And for Pete’s sake, do not write socialisation! Seriously, we’ve beat this topic to death. You can homeschool and your kids will be just fine socially. I promise. The reason I tell you to do this bit is because it’s important and you will want to come back to it later.

The second thing you need to do is find our your state/territory’s home education laws. I live in the Northern Territory of Australia, so here is mine. This is really as easy as googling “{insert you state here} home education laws”. Here in the NT we fill out an application each year and have a home visit during the third term. It’s not required here, but I keep a portfolio for each of my children so that I have evidence of their school work throughout the year.

Thirdly, begin looking at curriculum. This can be a very overwhelming process. When I started homeschooling over 11 years ago I didn’t have much access to the internet. So, if there was hundreds of different curriculum companies, I had no idea. If you have a friend who homeschools, go visit her and have a look through what she uses. Keep in mind though that every child is different and what they use may not work for you. This is just to get a feel for what is out there.

I would like to tell you that you will find one curriculum and stick with it all 12 years, but I have found that my kids like change and every few years so we often change what we’re doing.  I plan to share in future posts our current curriculum choices and also curriculum we’ve used in the past.  But always remember, you have to do what works best for you.

And lastly, pray.  This shouldn’t be the last thing you do, but it is the most important.  Praying for wisdom is so important as a homeschool parent.  We all have the fear of messing up our kids and not teaching them everything they’re supposed to need.  Our goal here is to teach our children to love God and to love learning then the rest falls into place.


(Sorry for the long lapse between posts, I had a computer crash and was only able to get a new one in January.  We are finally back into the grove of school and life in general.  I hope to be able to write regularly now.)

A Homeschool Journey

Homeschooling is a journey.   Some do it for a short time and some, like me, are in it for the long haul.  We have felt this journey is what the Lord wants for our family, so until He tells us otherwise, we will continue to teach and train our children at home.   I treasure these days, I know they will not last forever.  Before I know it, they will be grown and have lives of their own.  Homeschooling has become my identity over the last 11 years.  It’s who I am.  I am a homeschool mum.

Now don’t get me wrong, homeschooling is not all rainbows and sprinkles.  There are hard days.  For example, have you tried teaching Algebra to a 14 year old who despises math?  It’s not an easy task.  It’s not always a peaceful ending.  But this is my task at hand, and I persevere to the end of the school day (I may then run and hide in my room for a break, but that’s okay!).   I heard a quote once and I remind myself of it often…

The days are long, but the years are short.”


For some of you, this is a new journey.  Congratulations!  Your kids will never look back one day and say, “My parents spent way too much time with me.”  Enjoy the days, even the long ones with algebraic expressions that go on and on.  Savour the successes like your child reading their first words or finally understanding the difference between adjectives and adverbs.  Homeschooling can be a hard road, but I’m firmly convinced it is what you make of it.  Make the days fun and exciting.  Take breaks.  Go for walks.  Stop and smell the roses.  Enjoy your children.

Enjoy your homeschool journey!

What Am I Leaving Behind?

stones_FotorMy husband is a pastor.  We have a small church in an indigenous community about 80 kilometres south of where we live.  This past Sunday he preached a message he called, “What am I leaving behind?”   He read from Joshua 4.  The children of Israel had just crossed the Jordan River on dry ground after the Lord parted the waters for them (once again).  Once on the other side, the Lord told Joshua to collect 12 stone from the Jordan River to make a memorial.  Why?  “That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?  Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan,  the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.”  Joshua 4:6-7

My husband went on to talk about how the church was their memorial for the community to share with their children what the Lord has done for them and the community.  He asked them where they saw the church in 5, 10, 20 years.  Will it still be here as a church?  Will they share the Gospel with their children and grandchildren, so the church will continue to be a memorial to their children?

All this got me thinking personally.  What am I leaving behind for my children?


I came up with a list of a few things I want to work on to leave behind for my children…

  • My faith and trust in God.  I want to pursue Christ so passionately that my children will see that in my life, and desire it for their own.
  • Compassion for others.  I want my children to have a servant’s heart, and have a desire to help others and bring them to Christ.
  • Love of learning.  I want my children to love to learn, to explore, to not settle with mediocre, to always want to be better.
  • And lastly, but very important, to love the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind.  Because I believe that if they do this, everything else will fall into place.


I pray that as I work on mastering these areas in my life that I can pass them onto my children, my children’s children, and so on.


How about you?  What do you want to leave behind?  What do you want to be your memorial?


Why Homeschool?


“Why do you homeschool?”

“You must be very patient.”

“I could never do that.”

“My kids drive me crazy.”

“I need time to myself.”

“Aren’t our public schools good enough.”

These are just a few things I’ve heard over the years when I’m out and about with my kids on a school day.  I’ve been asked the question, “Why do you homeschool?” many times, and it took me quite awhile to come up with an answer that I was satisfied with.  Sometimes I would get nervous and say, “It’s just what we do” or “we like the freedom to travel”.  Both of which are true, but what is the real reason we homeschool?  Bottom line, God told me to.

When my daughter was in preschool, we were traveling around the United States.  We were at a church and someone gave me everything I would need to homeschool her for Kindergarten.  I honestly never gave it much thought before that.  My husband was homeschooled and I attended a Christian school.  I had always wanted to be a teacher, now was my opportunity…with my own child.

We continued homeschooling and when we moved to Australia my daughter had just finished year 3.  I was still very new at homeschooling, but in my heart I knew we would homeschool through to graduation.  We are now in our 11th year of homeschooling, and that’s still the plan.

I’ve heard you should have a motto, inspirational statement, philosophy, or something along those lines to keep you going when you’re ready to quit.  And let me tell you, I’ve been there a time or two…or three or four.  Instead of some great motto, I chose the Scripture passage where God sealed it in my heart to homeschool.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:4-9

I believe as a parent, it is my God-given role (and privilege) to raise my children, to train my children, and to education my children.  In this season of my life, this is my ministry.

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”  1 Timothy 1:12

So, why do we homeschool?  Because the Lord told us to, and we said yes.  For those of you who are not believers, you have your reasons too.  I want to encourage you to discover the real reason you chose to homeschool, and write it down.  Post it in your house.  Remind yourself of it when you’re ready to quit.  Your children are worth it!


Here is my reminder.  Love the Lord your God…


Coming Soon!

This is a brand new adventure for me, so please be patient as I get it up and going!

Profile Photo

Hi, I’m Jen!  I am a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mum living the life in the Northern Territory of Australia!  We are American born, but now Australian citizens.  I love organising, photography, and of course, homeschooling.  I plan to bring a little (or a lot) of that to this blog.  Please follow me, I’m on twitter and  instagram.



This is me and my hubby, along with our kiddos, Autumn and Cody.






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