Welcome to my homeschool blog, which offers insights into loving learning, loving your family, loving history, loving homeschooling, and enjoying your life! With your cup of coffee in hand, take a break to laugh with me, to have your heart refreshed, to be reminded of how cool your kids really are, and to consider the amazing adventure of being a homeschool mom. AND, if you are interested in the History Revealed curriculum, be sure to check out my Teaching Tips!
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When it's impossible, look up

Homeschool Blog by Diana Waring

Sometimes, our circumstances are so difficult that it seems impossible to keep going. But, I’ve learned that when you look to God—seeking His help, provision, and strength to make it from one day to the next—the impossible yields to something greater than you could’ve imagined.

A little over three ago, my husband and I moved from the Seattle area to Anderson, Indiana. Having just completed a three-year revision of World Empires, World Missions, World Wars, we felt like it was time to be geographically closer to our “work place”—the homeschool conventions where I spoke from year to year. If we were close enough to drive to conventions, we knew we would also be close enough to drive to support groups in a six-to-seven state region. That meant more year-round opportunities for speaking and displaying our products.

This has always been a major component of our business—and the main marketing effort for our products. So, this move to a central location was a great plan. . .until I got debilitatingly sick. Now, instead of greater exposure and increasing freedom to travel and speak, all I could do was sit quietly and try to recover my strength. And when convention season rolled around again, it became increasingly obvious that this was no longer going to work.

In April, 2015, after 27 seasons of convention speaking, knowing this was an absolute necessity for my health, I finally retired from speaking.

So, there we were, knowing only that we needed to transition our business from being physically present at conventions to being “visible” on the internet, but we didn’t have a clue how to do this. The future looked bleak, hard. . .impossible. All we could do—all I had the energy to do—was pray and seek God’s generous wisdom and help. (James 1:5 )

One month later, at a business meeting on social media, a professor from Anderson University (AU) introduced himself. Sam had overheard my questions about how to make a website “mobile-friendly,” and suggested that he had a team of university students who might be able to help. From that small beginning—and with the assistance of Sam’s team—things began to change for our company.

Anderson University Enactus TeamIn October, we learned of a nationwide competition for marketing students called Enactus, which paired student teams with local businesses to help them with their marketing for a limited time. Sam had mentioned our company to the business professor overseeing the AU Enactus teams, and, as it turns out, they thought it would be a good fit for their competition.The AU Enactus team that worked with us was absolutely amazing! They listened to us, they learned about our market, they researched strategies, and then they presented a marketing plan which would help us attain our goals.

The biggest shock to me in their marketing plan was the idea of doing “vlogs” (video blogs). I had never even heard of this, much less how to make it happen! But, amazingly, students majoring in film at AU had all kinds of ideas for me, and on December 2, we started.

Within eight months of ending my “speaking career,” a new door had unexpectedly opened—one that meets every need we have:

      • my travel time is now 10 minutes (rather than 10 hours),
      • my monthly speaking time is 20 minutes (rather than 20 hours),
      • my recovery time is measured in hours (rather than weeks),
      • with the internet, our influence is growing beyond what we've seen in years.

We are convinced that it is God who has taken our “impossible” and transformed it into “immeasurably more” than we could ask or even imagine. (Eph 3:20) And we are utterly grateful!

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Are we teaching our kids or helping them learn?

When it comes to teaching your kids, what model of a "teacher" do you have in your mind? For me, one of the wisest teachers I ever met was the man who taught my daughter violin. His approach to education transformed my understanding of what it means to be a teacher. . . If I were teaching parents Homeschool 101, this would be my first class!

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Kindness in our hearts and words

Kindness in our hearts and words

I’ve been pondering the concept of kindness this weekend. It’s not something we see modeled in our culture, it's not an attribute generally valued in movies, in magazines, and certainly not in current political speeches.Yet, it can change your world—and transform your children’s lives.

One of the most stunning characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman, in my opinion, is that she “opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” 

Frankly, I think this is the most difficult and demanding thing she does because it reflects what is in her heart—you know, from Matthew 12:34: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Ouch. This is where the rubber meets the road. Our words reflect our hearts.

So, here we are, working morning till night, feeding our kids, teaching them, making sure homework is done, dealing with sibling rivalry, balancing the checkbook, going to the grocery store, getting everyone to co-op or music lessons or soccer. . . Whew! We’re tired, we’re overwhelmed, we’re busy, and there’s no end in sight. And now I’m talking to you about the words that come out of your mouth??

Yes. 

Words have powerWhy? Because our words have power, particularly in the lives of our children. Words can affirm and words can accuse. Words can build up and words can tear down.

By the way, it is not just women who need to be careful and kind in their speech.  In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul makes an interesting and similar connection between teaching and a heart attitude when he writes to Timothy: “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient. . .” (2 Timothy 2:24)  He also describes (in Galatians 5:22) the fruit of God’s Spirit in a human heart: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Did you notice that? Kindness is just one of several attributes that can revolutionize our parenting and teaching! 

If you're interested, here’s a more in-depth article, The Surprising Ingredient in Teaching.

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How to Crush Learning

How to Crush Learning

How to crush learning? That’s not what we signed up for, right? As homeschoolers, we are committed to our children’s education and development. We want to help them soar!

So, why this blog on how to crush learning? Good question!

To answer, let’s play with our food for a minute:

Imagine that you are hungry.
You are told, “Sit down, be quiet.”
You are given a plate with a portion of something labeled “food.”
It has no taste and no recognizable texture.
You are not allowed to add spices or ketchup.
Though it is unappealing and unappetizing, you can’t get up until you eat it.

Imagine that that is your experience every single time you feel hungry.

It wouldn’t take long before you’d lost interest in eating.

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The Dad Who Had to See For Himself

The dad who had to see for himself

I love when a dad involves himself in some aspect of homeschooling—whether it is listening to his kids’ recital of what was learned that day, teaching a subject he enjoys, or finding practical ways to support his wife in her extraordinary (and challenging) career as a homeschool teacher. The following is one of my favorite examples.

One snowy February day, I was speaking to a group of parents at a homeschool conference  in Saskatchewan. As usual, my topics ranged from loving learning to loving history, with generous doses of “enjoy your kids” and God’s faithfulness interspersed throughout. One couple sat in the front row for each of my workshops, responding with smiles and affirmations for the things they heard. 

As a speaker, finding those folks in the audience who are “with you” is very encouraging, so I was glad to have them in the front row. It wasn’t until the end of the day that I learned what had motivated them to be present at all my workshops. 

The dad introduced himself and said, “My family listens to your history CDs as part of their curriculum, and, frankly, I’ve been listening as well.” He went on to say that he owned a recording studio, which gave him a behind-the-scenes look at those who might sound “bigger than life” on a recording, but were less than that in real life. As he had listened with his family to my history CDs, he had enjoyed the stories but had been somewhat skeptical about me.

So, when he saw that I was keynoting at the homeschool conference, he told his wife that he was coming too—for the express purpose of checking me out.

Gulp. I hadn’t known that. I anxiously held my breath to see what he was going to say next.

With a beaming smile, Kelvin said, “And, Diana, after sitting here all day, I can tell you that you’re the real deal! You absolutely believe this—you’re really speaking from your heart.”

Relief. I passed the test I hadn’t known I was taking. 

To hear Kelvin’s thoughts on my curriculum and history CDs for yourself, here’s an informal interview (imperfectly mic’ed!):

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