Become a Facilitator!

Taken from a 2018 Facebook post…almost exactly 4 years ago…still so much here to encourage parents!

I have found that with Fun-Schooling, or Delight Directed Learning, and intentional unschooling, many children rise to a much higher level of focused learning and accomplishment… sooner than kids in school, and seem to be ready to start their careers at much younger ages. I notice that by about age 14, once they get through the “brain dead stage” the young adult is ready to start trying out their careers in the real world from the safety and support of home. It’s no longer about LEARNING, but DOING!

Let me explain:

When my oldest son was 16 he scared me. He said, “Mom I want to study music, film and create documentaries, be a sound engineer, do voice acting and a little bit of publishing. I don’t want to do any math that is not related to my goals…”

He was sort of asking permission, and sort of letting me know he was ready to take charge of his life, mind, learning and goals.

So, I did all I could to equip him to reach HIS goals and I let go of mine. He spent two years (at home) focused on the things he needed to become great in HIS field, not some random set of educational goals drawn out in 1955 (or whatever) by people who wanted more obedient citizens and good employees in the workforce.

Once a young man or woman has their heart and mind set on what he or she wants to become, get everything out of the way that could be a distraction. Empower him or her with every tool they need to become the best at what they want to do. If what they want to do requires college, they will be motivated to study for that track and build a portfolio. If they want to start a business or trade, they can just do it.

What if he had the option of dropping everything else and focusing entirely on being an expert in Social Media Marketing and Travel Vlogging? Just think of all the debt he can avoid if he builds a business now, rather than paying for a degree.

I set my son free and told him that if he decided later that he needed college he would be entirely responsible for all the entrance requirements, and I washed my hands of it. He is no longer one bit my responsibility. I put his education into his hands at 16. He was able to start doing everything he wanted to do with his life. And he did it well. He did it without distraction. He did it without me forcing him to take calculus and biology. He had two full years of living at home and starting his career before needing to have an income to support himself… and future family.

He’s enjoyed his life on his own, and now with his wife, and is just fine at generating income, he has no debt. He is a traveler and volunteer, does music, film making, and makes stupid Jazz Memes. He and his wife are happy, and when they needed more income they did what they needed to do, and fell back on the skills that make money.

Parented, directed education ends when the child knows that they want to become and is willing to start doing it. At that point we become facilitators.

I have older children now that are no longer “schooling” and have already embraced their own futures and are living them out. They are not just preparing to “someday” become something. They have all started their careers and are actively working at becoming great, while still at home. I know that my teens need time to perfect their skills, and now they may be only earning a few hundred dollars a week at their trades, but it is something, and they can learn to reinvest it. At this time they don’t need to put that money into rent and food, so a little becomes a lot. Imagine having $300 a week, no expenses and no debt! How would you use or invest that money? Mine put it back into their trades and invested in their own businesses. At times some of my kids have made hundreds of dollars per day. They are not bogged down by education, they are DOING their dreams now, and doing it from home.

I respond to their needs so that nothing will hold them back. My daughter seemed to have one or two big clients coming to the island every week to do photography with her because she was so good. She made her work affordable and was attracting many new clients, and she’s nice and showed up on time, even without a car.

My other two spent time in many different parts of the world doing music professionally, and were overseeing a recording project that about 30 – 40 music artists were working on. It was so good that some very well known musicians got involved and contributed to the work. My daughter Rachel taught harmony parts to people who have graduated from theater and music school. My kids are confident and don’t feel limited.

I really believe that when a child is ready to become who they want to be, they are willing to pour their hearts, minds, energy and effort into that passion. I am becoming more and more fearless as I trust the way my children were designed, as all children, to thrive. Every one of them works hard to learn everything they need to do their meaningful work very very well, and I am not going to fight it, I’m going to encourage it, and get all the nonsense out of the way.

If any one my kids decided that they do want to go to college and need high school credits, I’ll work with them to get it done, I’ll buy the books and sign them up for online courses, send them to a tutor… but the motivation, responsibility, results, and work is THEIRS.

Fun-Schooling “Show & Tell”

Fun-Schooling is a very joyful way to homeschool. We engage in fun research and logic based learning quests that focuses on the individual child’s strengths, talents, career dreams, faith, family values and nature exploration. Kids learn through projects and journaling, with library books and educational videos! Much of the learning is focused on doing unit studies revolving around the child’s passion. There are Fun-Schooling Journals that focus of lots of different topics and subjects that kids love, like horses, travel, baking, gardening, survival, nature, art, writing and so much more.

Maybe I should show you instead of just telling. Some of us are more visual in our learning style. Want to see what Fun-Schooling looks like in our house? Here are some videos that can do just that!

We have over 50 videos on our YouTube channel, on all kinds of topics! Click here to go and browse them all! Here are some screen shots just to give you an idea of the information available:

All of this, and so much more! Come join us!

A Day Full of “Yes!”

You have heard of homeschooling, and maybe you have heard of Un-Schooling… Well this family enjoys FUN-Schooling (find out how to Flip to Fun-Schooling here)! Watch what happens when a mom practices saying “yes” to whatever the kids want to do…

“Can I build a fort?”

Yes.

“Can I make the dinner?”

Yes.

“Can I sew buttons?”

Yes.

“Can all my friends come over?”

Yes.

“Can I play with your coin collection?”

Yes.

“Can I sew a purse?”

Yes.

“Can I spend the whole day reading?”

Yes. Yes. Yes. (Note: This doesn’t happen everyday.)

This little video below is full of wistful memories and children who were much smaller…a decade ago! It shows what a day full of “Yes!” looks like!

And, while you’re at it…tell yourself “Yes!” about something you really want to do today!

Do You Have a Super-Creator?

Two of my kids are Super-Creators. They seem incapable of learning anything directed by another person, unless they need the information to help them in their creative pursuit.

SUPER-CREATORS have a powerful mental image of what they want to create and their life quest is to create it. Anything that gets in the way of the creative process turns into a struggle and is seen as a threat to the Super-Creator’s quest. Some have projects that will be completed in a day, while some take years and never lose focus.

They imagine the end result in great detail, and they seem to work backwards to bring the concept into reality to match the vision. Often the imagined creation is something far beyond their skills and abilities. If they are leaders, they will enlist others to fill in their gaps or show them how to overcome obstacles. They are not intimidated by the dream as long as they feel supported.

Super-Creators have no time or energy for anything they feel is irrelevant to their quest. They are very focused on the task and very distracted and even slothful when a parent or teacher tries to divert their attention. If the parent gets on board with the project and just responds to the needs of the child… and does not try to take over…results can be out of this world!

We have a habit in our culture of trying to make Super-Creators into respectful and obedient students, thinking we are teaching “discipline”, and we destroy who God created them to be. Super-Creators are rare and, if you have one, consider yourself to be entrusted with a rainbow unicorn!

Who else has a Super-Creator?

What questions do you have? What victories have you experienced?

Here are some journals to help inspire your Super-Creator!

Autumn, the Fun-Schooling Way!

Who doesn’t love Autumn? Crisp, cool temps, gorgeous foliage, bonfires and roasted marshmallows, cozy sweaters, and curling up with hot chocolate and a good book by the fire…delightful!

Help your kids to love this season as well!

What do moms like you think of this beautiful journal?

We love all of the Thinking Tree books but my seven year old is using this one the most this season. He loves the detailed coloring pages and the flexibility of the work pages. If you have a child that is very self-driven and passionate about certain subjects, these journals are great! They are also fabulous for kids with learning disabilities or struggling learners, because the design of the pages are inviting and not overwhelming, and you can modify them to fit whatever needs your child has.” (Live2Learn, Amazon reviewer)

“My daughter has been using this one for a couple of months now and is doing well with it. We are finishing up the school year with most of the stuff that we had already purchased, but will be making the switch to complete fun-schooling next year. This book allows her to journal her way through her own interests and really keeps her mind engaged. This is a great way for creative children to learn. Love it!” (J. Pope, Amazon reviewer)

“This, I have been told, is a good step up from the young journals because it has less writing than some of the older kid journals. It certainly is one of my favorite journals and I am looking forward to using it with my son in the fall. You can see the inside of it in my video. I received this at a discount in exchange for my honest review. I honestly love it and we will be using it. I have seen the inside of many of these and this one is a favorite.” (Momtographer, Amazon reviewer)

Click here to see inside:

And click here for a Q & A to answer your questions!

Here is a great blog post about the journal as well!

Get your kids outdoors, and help them fall in love with this beautiful world, the Fun-Schooling way!

Living the Dream

I have been pondering the idea of living one’s dreams and realize that I have been so content everywhere, through everything because my dream is him. And every minute of every day, shared anywhere, through anything is fine with me, because he is with me, loving me, and being mine, and sharing it all, making life, thriving, surviving, struggling, hurting, traveling, serving, staying home or going to Rome–it really doesn’t matter. My dream is fulfilled every morning, waking up together anywhere, because we have this day, by God’s grace, together.

There is no better dream that the one I’m living. After almost 25 years of marriage, I’ve known him for 32 sweet years of my 46, and I can say our love is everything that God created love on this earth to be. The sweetest parable of the love of Jesus Christ with His Bride. Like Ephesians 5 says that marriage should be.

Morning mist and autumn skies

Summer passing in your eyes

I light a fire, and start the coffee brewing

I am up, and you sleep in,

I’ve kissed you twice

And will again

When the coffee’s hot and mine is sweet

With honey, sugar, caramel, chocolate or maple

It doesn’t matter to me, any kind of sweet will do, and I’d even take my coffee black

If I could quickly crawl

back in bed with you.

The children sleep, just eight are here,

The other seven are world travelers now,

Somehow that happened

as our life together graced this globe,

and we are here just staying warm and true

‘Cause every dream I ever had was found

In another morning coffee cup with you.

It means we have another day,

and it tells me of last night,

When you were snuggled by my heart

And I turned out the lights

And you were first to fall asleep

Asking me to bring another blanket

Where did it go,

when we kicked it off last spring?

I kept you warm, I always do,

it’s mutual, it’s loving you,

and living every day like it’s a dream

It isn’t what I thought or what it seems

But every morning coffee that we share

Reminds me that we made it through

the darkest nights, the blood, the hope, the tears,

the baby cries, the sleepless years,

the morning flights, the silly fights,

the love, the loss, the pain.

The seasons change.

We have seen the winter pass from island sand

and I’ve run barefoot through the snow holding your hand,

and it didn’t really matter, come what may,

’cause every morning coffee shared with you

is testimony to another dream come true.

‘Cause every morning coffee that we share

is the story of another night with you.

Read Josh and Sarah’s story here.

Reboot, Refresh, Succeed!

Are you afraid of failing? Don’t be. There are some amazing examples of “beauty for ashes” throughout history–Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein!

You are going to enjoy life and homeschooling so much more if “fear of failure” isn’t such a big deal. It’s totally fine if you fail. It’s really not a big deal if you try something and it doesn’t work. It’s fine if you take a risk and the results are messy. It’s okay to do something that is less than perfect. It’s fine to not be that girl who seems to have it all together. Fear of failure is just going to hold you back from living life to the fullest.

Why do we think it’s a big deal to make mistakes? Because we went to school, and we were shamed by our poor grades and our misspelled words and our test scores. We were taught that the worst thing you can do is…. try and fail. I fail at stuff all the time, but I’m over it. I don’t like messing up, but I try and sometimes things do turn out wonderful.

If you want peace in your mothering- live your life from a place of grace and courage, with love! You don’t need to be driven by fear of failure because failure is totally okay. That’s how we learn! So be okay, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s better to erase fear of failure from your motivations. Keep trying, pursuing, dreaming!

“If you hear a voice within you saying ‘you cannot paint’ then by all means paint,

and that voice will be silenced.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

When you are feeling stuck because you are afraid to fail, just tell yourself that it’s actually not that big of a deal. You are resilient. Your kids are resilient. Everyone will be fine, and you will be a better example to your children if you are motivated by things like love, curiosity, faith or creativity… even if you don’t like the result EVERY TIME.

Everyone fails…it’s important to show our kids an example of what it looks like to fail well. When something doesn’t work out, it becomes either a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Show them how to step up and forward with courage and grace!

Time for a refreshing reboot? Grab your favorite relaxing drink, one of our Art Logic Therapy journals, and find a cozy corner for a little while. It will do wonders for refocusing your perspective!

Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

Shot from Olive Branch Farm, courtesy of Toni Jackson-Lawrence

I try to infuse beauty and creativity into the simple things of life wherever I am, when we have little or much. It’s all about seeing the ordinary and everyday things as opportunities for wonder, spice, faith and shared delight.

In 2010, a realtor came to look at the house we are moving from, she said we need paint over all the murals because people want ordinary houses to imagine their own ordinary lives in.

Some people are talented with paints and pencils, others craft with words, still others are creative in providing memorable experiences. Truly, anyone can make the ordinary extraordinary–because what makes life beautiful are the people, the shared moments and smiles, baby giggles, the love and learning, the music, making and experimenting, time in worship, perhaps some furry cuddles, investing time in doing things together…and maybe a sweet treat or two!

Join us for about 5 minutes with the Brown family on a rainy day over a decade ago. The same things that made life feel magical back then still create the same wonder today!

Your “Not-To-Do” List!

God (of course) has the right idea…it’s not wise to compare ourselves with anyone else.

So often we try to look at what other people are DOING to figure out how to be more like them. We try to find the secrets of their success, blessing and peace by copying them. We wonder why we are doing so much, and don’t see the results of all the “successful” people we try to replicate. What is the problem?

I’m trying to do everything right, but the results are not the same.

It’s okay to learn from the lives of people we admire and want to be more like, but let me explain why doing what they do will never make your life better.

Take Instagram for example. You get lots of ideas of what clever moms are doing, so you squeeze that idea into your already squeezed up day. It only feels like one more thing. Just smashing a new idea on top of the busy life you are already struggling to live, and all you do is feel more stressed.

So how will you ever learn to embrace the same peace and victory these other amazing moms seem to live out so effortlessly. Is it even real?

Yes. It’s real. Those of us who are living the lives that others wish to emulate are really living peaceful and victorious lives. But don’t copy what I do! Why? What I actually do constantly changes and looks totally different from day to day. If you want to experience the victory and success I have, first you must forget about trying to DO things my way.

Who I am, and who I have become, is all wrapped up in WHAT I DON’T DO! It’s not what I do that makes me successful, it all starts with what I am not. It begins with what I say NO to. It is rooted in what I am NOT doing, thinking, watching, trying, eating, listening to, following, and practicing. What makes me who I am is what I’m not. I have had to let go of some many different ideas, beliefs, pressures, time wasters, bad role models, family expectations, requests, and anything that is irrelevant to my calling.

I had to clear away all the distractions, and all the weights to run with endurance the race set before me. Becoming successful, peaceful or victorious begins with a trip to the DUMP. Clear the clutter out of your heart, mind, body, soul, spirit, and get it out of your home, kitchen, fridge, bookshelf and desktop.

Start off empty, clean, and free. Before you think about doing one more thing, consider what you ought to let go of. So as you consider what you want to do in this new school year, change your mindset. Instead of choosing what you want to do this year, make a list of un-resolutions. First decide what you will say no to, and then… Begin again.

Share: What’s on your “Not-To-Do” list this year?

Your “Not-To-Do” list is the list that will bring you so much closer to living the life you envision, for yourself and your family. Choose from these great options to begin planning your “Not-To-Do” list–click the image below to read Linda’s amazing blog post!

40 Days of Prayer Focus

My daily prayer requests, you can join me in these prayers for the next 40 days.

Sunday: FAITH in the world. Prayer for Spiritual Leaders, Missionaries, Christian Influencers, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists, Churches, and for many young people to be called to serve faithfully and have opportunities to become faithful leaders. Blessing, wisdom, power, anointing, fresh filling of God’s Spirit, healing, gifting, purity, cleansing, repentance, truth, focus, and deep humility among those who serve.

Monday: Education/Culture of Childhood: Leaders in Education, Education Reform, Homeschooling movement, Schools, Universities, Student Outreach, Child Development, Ministries that reach children, adoption, orphans, child trafficking, poverty, modern child slavery, children struggling with health, cancer, hospitalized, and for more children to be raised in homes full of grace, peace and love. Blessings, strength, peace, wisdom, revelation, open doors and encouragement for those faithfully serving children in truth and love.

Tuesday: Arts & Entertainment: Jesus Followers to become leaders in the Media, Arts & Entertainment, Music, Film, Social Media, Local, National and International touching lives through the Arts. For Leaders of Arts & Entertainment to be come Jesus Followers and transform their work into a message that brings glory to God. For those faithfully seeking Jesus and His Heart in this field to be blessed with open doors and to be protected from pride, lies, temptation and evil.

Wednesday: Science & Medicine: God’s wisdom, mercy, understanding and faith to be upon leaders in the field of Science, Research, Medicine, Healing. For Spirit led, Biblically sound, faith-filled men and women to become local, national and international leaders in these fields. For blessing upon good, honest, generous and wise leaders who know truth and already serve in this field that they would have the loudest voices and the greatest respect.

Thursday: Family: Families and multigenerational blessing upon the homes in our community, state, nation and world. Beauty for ashes, reconciliation, healing of relationships, strong marriages, faithful holy fathers, joyful mothers, teens who follow Jesus with their hearts, minds, bodies, souls and spirits and love others as they love themselves. Anointing on grandparents to pour God’s wisdom, live, beauty, forgiveness experience, and care into the lives of their children and grandchildren and to have open doors to do so. Young men and women to be faithful to Jesus in their relationships and for phones to become useful tools, and not little gods in their lives, for new marriages built on the rock, new babies, new mentors, open wombs, and healing for infertility, for many successful adoptions, for children to be free from trafficking and foster care to be placed in living families. For kids and teens and family members with deep trauma, abuse and addictions yo be set free and filled with peace. For my children to become leaders in the nations influencing the world through missions, faith, entertainment, music, science, family, government, education, public service, prayer, relationships and revival.

Friday: Community and Public Service: Lands, Nations, Governments, Military, Public Service, Community Leadership, War, Elections, Civil Unrest, Government Leaders, Branches of Government, Laws, Politics and the News industry that tells the stories. Freedom for those in prison unjustly. Just Judges. Truth in leadership. A deep awakening to truth, justice, wisdom, humility, and Faith in the leadership of the nations, states, cities and towns. For leaders to become like Jesus, to know Him, to have revelations of truth, and seek Him first and seek His ways, for those who follow Jesus to rise up and lead nations, states, cities, and towns.

Saturday: Revival: Revival of faith, worship, prayer, repentance, spiritual gifts, humility, holiness, eternal vision and the glory of God upon our homes, churches, neighborhoods, towns, cities, states, nations and most of all our individual hearts. Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven! Come quickly Lord Jesus! Amen

Sukkah from last year’s Fall Feast of Tabernacles