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Homeschool Q&A #050305 - Hope you are having a great week!  Weather here in Alaska has been stupendous - we've even been setting record breakers.  We are all very happy to be warm outside and see the trees starting to bud and the flowers starting to bloom!  Let's get right into today's Q&A:  "...I felt I was letting my child fall by the wayside in public school. I want only the best for all my childred [sic]. I just don't know what is enough and how long he should be working?"  Shelby Bartram  More     Download


Teaching Your Children Mind Power:  How to Lift a Car - Yesterday my husband Wade took the day off (that’s one of the really cool things about having your own business!).  The only bad thing about yesterday is that two of the kids are still sick—they have that cold with the horrible cough and congestion.  More     Download


Using Uno Cards to Teach Preschool Colors and Shapes - My kids just can't get enough of playing games with Mom and Dad--can yours? Sometimes we all take a break in the middle of the day and play a game together.  Most of the time, I just make sure we play games so that we all have fun together.  I can get so caught up in things that I'll go from one task to the next and forget to have a little fun.  More     Download


Make Your Child Feel Important - It never ceases to amaze me...children. They are such little miracles, and at times I'm just overwhelmed with the responsibility of them.  Tonight as I watched my daughter, Maegan, I was amazed at how excited she was, how important that she felt - all because of a can of green beans...More    Download

Free Math Worksheet:  Scripture Decoding Fun - Hi - I hope that all went well today with your homeschooling!  As I sit here on the sofa, I look out my window and see the sunshine reflecting off the snow and watch smoke curling out of a fireplace chimney. It is just happy and cheerful out today.  Well, maybe it's just me feeling happy and cheerful today!  Anyway, Nathan and Ryan have been into "codes" lately... More     Download


Roe vs. Wade 32nd Anniversary - This weekend we had a rather somber church service. A service remembering the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade.  And, of course, an occasion like that gets me thinking. Thinking about all the statistics of what has happened in America since that decision. And the importance of teaching our children the value of life.  For those of you with older children, here are the links to information I've used this week:

ABEKA Science Text Promotes False Information - I think Nathan's favorite subject right now is Science.  He always has been fascinated with how things work and what makes things happen.  And I like Science because it provides such a perfect opportunity to incorporate Biblical truth.  And, in  my endeavor to have every subject surrounded and encompassed with God and Scripture, I use many of ABEKA's textbooks.  And, as you may have already guessed, one of them is Science.   So, this year we are going through Exploring God's World 3 and having a great time doing it.  However, this week, in our study of plant life...More   Download


That Elusive Tyco RC Terrain Twister -As of Monday evening, I had all my Christmas shopping done except for one child - my eldest Nathan.  Now, he is NOT a hard kid to buy for....he always has a stack of toy magazine pages - just waiting for you to ask, "What do you want for..." so he can hand them over to you. More


How to Get Kids to Pick Up Their Toys - Every night it seemed like I was doing the same thing, "You guys, look at your room.  Get your toys picked up right now!"  I didn't understand it.  They would have their room picked up, but a few hours later, it would be messy again.  Toys all over the floor, blankets on the floor.  Toys in the hallway; toys downstairs.  I definitely was getting tired of looking at the mess, tired of stepping on Lego's, but it was more than that.  I was aggravated that they didn't appreciate what they had! More


Why are Snowflakes so Popular?  You got me -actually, I was hoping that you know the answer! But, right now, the #1 search on websites and for people finding our sites in the search engines is looking for snowflake coloring pages.  More


Gravy Lesson With Grandma - It was thirteen years ago this month, but it does seem like yesterday.  It was pre-kids, pre-homeowners, and even pre-Alaska.  We were driving on our way to our new military assignment – Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, AK.  We weren’t even supposed to be in the military anymore!  More


Trading Spouses Teaches Relationship Building-Last night I watched a television show.  It was rather hilarious and disturbing at the same time.  I was actually talking to my mother when I first heard about it.  I called her to chat and she told me she was watching this show called “Trading Spouses”.  Isn’t that name terrible?  I couldn’t believe my Mom was watching such a thing.


I Want to Sit on My Rooster - Before Q&A today, I want to share something with you. 

It was only 12 hours ago, but it's so funny...It's like it just happened and I can hardly keep from laughing.  Last night we ended up taking the kids to a movie.  I wanted to see Princess Diaries 2, so we all ended up going.  The boys weren't overly interested :-), but it was simply out of the question for Maegan and More


Why Everyone Should Celebrate August 12th With Us Today - Fifteen Years Ago today, August 12th, 1989, Wade and I got married.  I've been excited about this coming day for a long time!  I mean, really, how many people get to say they've been married this long - let alone LOVE it! I'm the ... More


Back to School Stress - Two years ago today, I was in the same place - getting ready for the new home school year.  Except, 2 years ago, I didn't feel the way I do today.  I can still remember how I felt.  Not excited.  Stressed.  Worried.  You see, the year I started to homeschool, I was excited.  I couldn't wait to start.  I bought my curriculum with enthusiasm.  I  could hardly wait to get it.  In fact, I was still excited when it arrived.  I can still remember ripping open each box as it arrived, flipping through the pages, and wanting to start right then.



The Blind Man Who Can See - 6 days ago, I arrived here in Tampa, Florida.  I came for a mastermind meeting with my coaching group and then to stay for a seminar.  At the end of the master mind meeting, my coach, Matt Furey, said to me, "Laura, you know sign language, right?"
"Yep," I said. "On an advanced level?" he asked.  More


Low Salt Diet Tips for Children & Adults - Our bodies only require a small amount of salt for proper nutrition.  But the fact is that we all, including our children, consume way more salt -or rather, the sodium - than we should. 


Salt in Kids Cooking: When I was a kid, I can remember eating dinner at my Grandpa's house.  He absolutely loved green onions and radishes, and I don't think I can remember a time that he was without one or the other at the table.  My grandmother has this neat tiny glass bowl.  Actually, More


Homeschooling Special Needs:  How to Build Confidence - This week, I've had quite a response to the Facing the Homeschool Super Mom article.  I know how it is to try to live up to the ideal that you see in others and you just can't do it. Anyway, I had many questions along similar lines that I'd like to address today:  More


Facing the Homeschool Super Mom - I know this Mom.  She homeschools her 5 children, plus she tutors several other children that are dropped off at her house.  AND she's a Pastor's wife.  AND she's working on fixing up the fixer-upper they just moved into.  Whenever I've been in her house, it's been immaculate.  Her children all have perfect manners.  They all seem to be way ahead of their grade level.   She's definitely gotta be a Homeschool Super Mom. More


"Laura, You ARE a "Super MOM".  I just love reading the homeschooling newsletters you send. Even though Ziona goes to public school, you have some wonderful, inspirational things for me to think about. Or self improvments. You may not know it but I look up to you sooo much. I wanna be like you when I grow-up. ;) I just love and adore you and your wonderful family. And thank you for promoting house-keepers!!! :)   Jo."


5 Simple Steps to Transform Stress Into Life Improvements - I just faced a small moment of stress a few minutes ago.  Just before I boarded this flight from Phoenix to Seattle, I was talking to Wade on my cell phone.  Toward the end of our conversation, he told me how someone had commented on how the kids are dressed better when I'm around.  Now, I already know some of the things he's taken the kids to church in.....YIKES!  But, then he proceeds to tell me how More


Homeschool Q&A #071404:  Can a trucker homeschool?  How do you get everything done?  Learn the answers along with 7 time management principles.  More


How to Grill the Perfect Steak - There's nothing better than a nicely grilled juicy steak.  But how come I can't duplicate that restaurant, expensive, juicy, melt-in-your mouth, perfectly grilled steak?  Well, I found out how to grill steak perfectly - and here's how you can too. More


"Hi Laura.....May I ask for your mailing address and your favorite scent?  You have submitted so many awesome articles for my site that I'd like to send you a "Bearable" as a token of my appreciation.  Kelly"


Kid's Can't Be Courageous If They Aren't Disciplined- I've been doing a lot of thinking this weekend - actually, a lot of thinking about courage since the boys went rappelling.  (Oh - Dad, I spelled it right this time!)  So, with that on my mind, I finally made the connection.  Kids can't be courageous if they aren't disciplined.  Let me share with you proof.


"Dear Laura,  I have really been enjoying your articles but this last one was very meaningful for us.  My now 4 year old was hospitalized when she had just turned 3 and it was quite an experience, as you can well imagine, but you are absolutely right on, on the discipline.  Yours in Peaceful Parenting, Elizabeth


What's so Special About Cinnamon?  I don't know about you, but just the smell of cinnamon makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.  My favorite cookies to make is Snickerdoodles because I just LOVE the smell of them baking.  There's just something warm and delicious about it.  And that's why there are several recipes More


54 Reasons to Homeschool -Common reasons why families choose to homeschool to help in this vital decision or to remind you why you choose to home school in the first place!  More


"This was very encouraging. I have passed it on to several families. I appreciate the list of curriculums you posted. We will begin using Sonlight this year and we areVERY excited. My daughter is a huge reader and she is thrilled to be able to read, read, read her way through history, reading and language. I have been impressed with the instructor's guide and all the extra info. they include. I'll let you know how the year goes. Also, my husband and I laughed hysterically as I read the story about the"syrup in the hair". Aren't we all thankful for a Savior who lets us laugh together and love each other through the roller coaster of parenthood. Thanks for sharing such a funny and heart warming family moment!!! Have a great day. Because He Lives, Marianne"


How Being a Protective Mom Can Harm Your Kids -We weren't planning on doing much over the 4th of July weekend.  In fact, someone had asked a group I was in who would be taking time off and none of us planned too...  But, being the naturally uptight, rigidly scheduled type of person I tend to be, I've been trying to be more spontaneous.  Actually, it's something I've been working on for the last 15 years, and although it's getting a little easier, it's still a struggle at times.  More


"Thank You!!! for this letter. I feel like I have to protect my kids, but I know that I can't always be there. That they have to have in God and in themselves to face challeges no matter what they might be. THANK YOU, Laura, once again for your encouraging letters.  Sandy from Indiana"


Cooking Provides Finger and Fine Motor Development Exercises for 4 Year Olds - Four year olds are developing their fine motor skills.  They are building upon the skills that they've learned earlier, to do more refined tasks.  As preschoolers, they used stirring and patting as part of their normal development that fits well in with cooking.  Now they will be developing basic hand and finger skills that will be built upon later for more complicated coordination skills - such as cutting with knifes.  So, you want to be sure you're children will be ready for that.  More


Work Till You're Done - Lessons from Ronald Reagan Part VI - I mentioned in one of the previous lessons (of which all the lessons are listed at the bottom), that Nancy Reagan was reported as being upset that her husband was being worked too hard.  He was working until 2:30 a.m. in the morning - I would be upset too!  I don't like to go to bed without my husband. 

But President Regan knew that it was important to work until he got everything done.  One day reporters were allowed to follow the Reagan administration and film a lot of what went on during the day.  On this day, the President was rushing from meeting to meeting, and he was asked if all days were like this. More


"Thank you for the very good lessons in this note.  It comes at a much needed time, when i have absolutely too many pressing decisions to make.  Thank you again."


The Power of Journal Writing  Lessons from Ronald Reagan Part V- Have you ever kept a diary or journal?  I have through different phases of my life.  When I was a teenager, I kept a diary of dreams.  Every time I woke up and remembered what I was dreaming - even in the middle of the night - I wrote a detailed account of it.  To this day, 20 years later, I can still read those dreams and they develop just as clearly in my head as if it were a fresh new dream.  More


From the Horses Mouth  Some of you may know - and some of you may not - that my husband and I own a professional carpet cleaning business.  Well, we do :-).  And today, being Saturday, our eldest son Nathan got to go work with Dad.  He is such a hard worker, pulling hoses, and running to the truck to get things for Dad.  It's a good opportunity to learn good work ethics from his hard working Dad.  Well, when they got back, my husband Wade told me a very interesting story.  One of the clients that he cleaned for today is a public school teacher.  More


The Importance of Communication Lesson from Ronald Reagan Part IV -  We all consider communication to be of great importance in all areas of life.  Especially marriage.  But, how many of us are really great communicators?  Not that many.  So, why can people have good marriages, etc. if there aren't very many people good at communicating?  Well, I'll tell you in just a minute.  Reagan was called "The Great Communicator".  But why was he called that?  Was it because of his speaking skills?  Was it because of his grammar?  No.  More


You're Too Old to Be President Lessons from Ronald Reagan Part III - I was watching one of the documentaries on Ronald Reagan that covered his first presidential term and his run for re-election.  It came time for his debate against Walter Mondale.  Reagan was attacked for his age - he was too old to be President, and here's the question asked by Henry Trewhitt: More


Homeschool Weekly Q&A 062304 Today's Q&A covers questions & comments regarding the Southern Baptist resolution for homeschool, marble cutting boards and care, and the why starting a business by "asking to pay me a fair price" is wrong.  More


Cooking Helps Develop Motor Skills for Preschoolers  Did you know that cooking with your kids is a natural way for them to develop motor skills?  If you've never looked at cooking that way before, think again.  There's a reason why kids have a universal love for cooking - just like for stacking blocks and banging!  More


Choose Your Chopping Block  I can remember when I was a teenager that we had this wood cutting board.  It last forever, it cleaned easily.  Then, when I grew up there was all this talk about why you shouldn't have a wooden cutting board, but a plastic one because wooden ones held bacteria inside that you couldn't clean out.  More


Pass it On Down The Line Lessons from Ronald Reagan Part II - This last weekend I watched many interesting specials and biographies and interviews on the life of Ronald Reagan.  As I listened, I took notes of several principles of successful people.  Yesterday we talked about Ronald Regan's purpose of mind in Knowing Where he wanted to go.  If you missed it, you can click the link in the articles from this week.  I was surprised by another quality.  More


Knowing Where You Want to Go  Lessons from Ronald Reagan Part I last weekend I watched many interesting specials and biographies and interviews on the life of Ronald Reagan.  As I listened, I took notes of several principles of successful people.  If you watched any of the programming, I'm sure you saw that Ronald Reagan did not have the perfect life.  It wasn't even an easy life.  More


God Gives Wings as Eagles  This morning, on the way to church, I got to see one of my absolute favorite things: two bald eagles soaring up over the streets.  Alaska is full of bald eagles, and we even get to see them in the city every once in a while.  They're hard to spot.  They fly so high.  More


What if You Could Choose Your Dad?  It may seem like an odd question; but it's one that goes through my head about this time every year.  What if God had let me choose my dad?  No limitations.  Any man, from any time since the world first started. More


Going to Sleep With Your Shoes On  My kids love jokes - don't yours?  They are still in the phase where they try to make them up themselves....However, today they heard a new one and had to try it on me immediately! More


The Fastest Way to Count Sticks  Maybe your child is good at math- maybe he or she isn't.  Doesn't really matter.  What matters is being able to do math and have fun!  I remember when I first started on multiplication tables with Nathan.  It was like pulling teeth.  It was hard for me to explain, and it wasn't something I had ever enjoyed myself.  Fortunately, Nathan's Papa helped it all sink in. More


Would Someone Wait 7 Hours to See You?  Today at the Reagan Library in California, people are spending 7 hours in a car, three hours in line, just to file past the casket of President Ronald Reagan to pay respect to his political service, his character, and his life.  As of 6 a.m., over 40,000 have made this journey.  More


How Quickly Glory Fades - Saturday I spent most of the day working, the television off.  Which in and of itself was I suppose in synch with Friday's article, "The Ultimate Love Test Is Anything But" and the reader comments in Sunday's articles.  But I wish I would have had the television on.  The T.V.'s on today and I still haven't heard anything about it... More


The Ultimate Love Test Is Anything But - I said I wouldn't watch it. In fact, I spouted off words of anger and disgust every time the commercial aired for the disgrace of a show that is an 'Ultimate Love Test'. ABC should be ashamed of themselves. More


Homeschool Q&A #060304-Now, right on to some Q&A:Laura, I want to home school my 12 year old daughter. what to I need to do step by step do start this process? I can't get answers from anyone. Do I just buy books and pull her out of school do I go to the school board or what? I really need advice. More


Atkins Puts and End to Sugar Shoveling - I learned some very interesting statistics this week.  I was sitting here at the computer, reading some articles; and I came across one that said that kids get more cavities from drinking pop than from anything else.  That thought stuck in my head – I wish that I had kept that page in my favorites so that I could go back and reference it now. More


How to Get More Out of Tomorrow Than You Did Today - A few weeks ago, I shared with you my early morning time management strategy that lets me get more done. It seems that there's always more to be done than there are hours in the day. Am I right, or what? More


Encouraging Words-Aren't encouraging words wonderful? I got some this week with a few testimonials from some people who just received their product. That sure makes me feel good. To see them, click here. They sure do make my day better, and I appreciate it. Thanks so much!  So, this week, my goal is going to be to encourage someone everyday - guess who's today? he, he - YOU! More


Memorial Day Weekend Family Plans? Hi. Memorial Day is quickly approaching; and the kids are excited! Wade is going to take all three of them fishing and we have to recount how many days are left about every 3 hours! More

Today's Tip From 8 Year Old Nathan Bankston-My oldest son Nathan is still excited about making the cookbook. He keeps saying that on the next one, we need to do this and that. In fact, I already have 4 ideas from him that will go out in the next recipe club package of 4. More

Lessons from Scrambled Eggs-This morning I made scrambled eggs for breakfast. I'm not particularly fond of them; but I married a man who can eat a dozen at a time, 3 meals a day, 7 days a week because he loves them so much. And my kids love them too.  So, I made the eggs and took and bite and said, 'mmm. These actually taste good today.' More


When a door closes-Ever hear the phrase, 'when a door closes, a window opens'? Well, such has been the case here. We had some major printer hassles; but that gave us a new idea. So, you now have the opportunity to get your Homeschool Cookbook on CD. You'll be able More


What Children Really Need-Did you hear the appalling news? Some public school students were exposed to some visual and auditory graphic violence. Obviously, they don't know what children really need: More


Do you have time for one more thing? Recently, I just about lost my cool. I was chatting with a lady and she said that I should be participating in a certain weekly daytime event, since I just stayed at home and had the time to do it...Yes, can you believe it? More

I Need Your Help-I don't want to waste your time with useless information - and I don't want to waste mine either! :-) So, to get the help and support you deserve, please take a minute to answer 6 short questions at .  'What's in it for me?' you might be asking. Well, two things: More



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