Welcome to my world!
I hope you’ll stay.
Since Father’s love changed me
I have something to say.
The One who loves me,
See, He also loves you
The things He’s done for me
He will do for you, too.
So come with me
As I follow the Lamb
Wherever He goes.
My life’s in His hand.
I trust Him and follow Him
No matter the cost.
Without His great love for me
I would be lost.
The words that you find here
I hope will breathe life.
In each day and moment
You’ll find His delight.
For surely His love for you
Is greater than you know.
Come with me now
To His presence we’ll go.
York, Pennsylvania 2011
Katy, Texas 2012
Mary Jo Peckham Park
Katy, TX 2013 Mary Jo Peckham Park
Katy, TX Honey Farm, 2014
Hi, I’m Penney Douglas. I have been married to my precious husband for 26 years. We have been exceedingly and abundantly blessed with 10 children. They all belong to me and my husband. And to think that I was afraid I would never get married! I got a late start, but I guess late bloomers can blossom profusely once they get started.
I blog for several reasons. I like to keep a record of what we’re doing in our homeschooling and share ideas for other homeschoolers or moms who like to work and play with their kids. I try to encourage families to keep Christ first in their homes so they can be all that they were made to be. I want to help others to draw closer to God. I hope to glorify God and give Him praise for all that He does for us.
I am constantly learning, changing and growing. Sometimes I feel like a beginner even though I’ve been a Christian since I was 4 years old and I’ve been homeschooling for about 19 years. And I’ve been living for __ years (long enough!).
But the Lord has been faithful to keep me and my family on an upward climb drawing nearer to Him in spite of our weaknesses and mistakes.
He has led us on a crooked path across the United States and back and then some. (From Ohio to Kansas City to Arizona to Colorado, back to Kansas City to Illinois to Pennsylvania and now to Texas!) We are still looking for that place to call home. We hope to find it before the oldest chicks are ready to fly from the nest! But our desire is that they land somewhere near us even when that time comes.
We are believing God for miracles of provision. We have already seen many. We suffered the loss of our home almost 10 years ago. Now we live in a different state, and my husband is making more money than ever before. But the money is beside the point. What God did in each of our hearts, convincing us of His reality and His love for us, is worth more than all of the houses or money in the world. But now He has enabled us to help others in need, and we are grateful for the opportunity to bless others.
Our children are truly gifts from God. They learn from us and teach us so much. I would never have known even a fraction of how much God loves me if I had never had the opportunity to be a mother to my precious children. They are teaching me even more as they grow in wisdom and understanding and we share together what the Lord is teaching us.
Family was God’s idea. Marriage was His idea. God has good ideas. His ideas work.
He wants our families to be training grounds for children (and adults) to learn His ways and right ways of relating to God and to people. We learn how to die to ourselves when others are dependent on us, and when we have to learn to get along with the people around us in order to experience peace and harmony. The rough edges are rubbed off as we care enough to be honest with each other and humble ourselves to receive correction even from those younger than ourselves.
God created us because He wanted a family. That’s more than a trite saying. He created us in His image so that He could have sons and daughters that would look like Him, act like Him and love Him. He wanted to be a father.
He created you so He could love you. Receive His love for you. Let Him be your Daddy.
The second post on this page tells more about me and why I write this blog. If you’re a homeschooler, please read this post and do whatever you can to preserve our homeschool freedom in this nation.
I would like to challenge new homeschoolers to carry the torch of homeschooling without government interference. Please learn the history of homeschooling in the United States. Find out about what happens in other countries when people desire to teach their children at home so that they can impart their values to their children.
See this story, for example. In most countries, they are persecuted and their children are taken away from them or forcibly taken to public school.
We have the freedom to homeschool in every state in the United States – now. But it didn’t used to be that way. Chris Klicka and the wonderful people at HSLDA helped the early homeschool pioneers to fight to make it legal. Before that, people in the U.S. who felt that God was calling them to teach their children at home were treated just like those people in other countries are treated now. They were persecuted by truant officers. They were even thrown in jail. They had their children taken away from them. They had Children’s Services called on them. They had to hide in their homes and never go out during school hours, or they would get “caught” homeschooling. This was in the 1980’s and ’90’s. It wasn’t that long ago.
There are books that tell some of these stories of the hard-fought battle to make homeschooling legal in America. One of these is Homeschool Heroes by Chris Klicka. There are interviews with early pioneers that tell of the harrowing experiences of being taken to court and threatened with jail time if they continued to educate their children at home. One that I know of is at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/watchtalk/2009/09/01/cultivating-your-childs-potential. This is an interview that Diana Waring did with Zan Tyler, who began homeschooling long before it was cool or accepted. The Lord led her into homeschooling and led her through the fire of legal battles and real threats to her freedom. Her stories are amazing and hard for us to believe in the atmosphere we live in now with the acceptance of homeschooling that we enjoy.
But there are threats to our freedom to homeschool in the way that we feel led of the Lord. Many times there has been legislation brought up to try to regulate homeschooling. This has happened in state governments and even in the federal government. The homeschoolers of my generation knew that we were the beneficiaries of great sacrifice and work by the generation before us. Our local support groups and state organizations made sure that we knew that homeschooling is a privilege to be cherished. They told us to guard that freedom and not to be fooled by any attempts of the establishment to infringe upon our rights or to curtail them in any way.
There have been several attempts to force homeschool parents to get a teaching certificate. Education falls under the auspices of state government, so the rules vary from state to state. Each of us needs to watch our state governments and see what legislation they are considering regarding our right to homeschool freely without any government interference. Each homeschool family should join HSLDA and keep track of legislation and threats to our freedom and cases where freedom is already being challenged by public schools and legislators. We all need to stand together.
Please be vigilant about this precious right that we have and don’t hand anything to your local school district that is not required by the law of your state. Be careful and cherish homeschooling as the gift of God that it is.
I linked this post at the BIG Family Friday Link Up at Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling
I think I want a Mini Farm.
And on this farm we’ll have some —
These cute sheep
And mini donkeys
And to help us get started even before we own a farm we got these mini pigs:
Also known as GUINEA PIGS!
We are practicing our feeding skills, watering skills and giving them exercise. Katie is our resident expert. She has done lots of research so that we know how to care for them. She has learned what their different squeals mean. She can understand them. She is the Guinea Pig Whisperer.
So that is our dream of a mini farm! At least, I think it would be funny to have a mini-farm that is really made up of mini animals. Some of the kids have pointed out to me how difficult it would be to milk a cow that is barely off of the ground.
I told Abby that maybe we would have one full-size milk cow so that we could get milk from it. I’m sure there would be other problems associated with only having mini animals. And many problems associated with having MANY animals.
But for now, it’s a cute dream.
We would definitely have a CUTE mini farm.
Don’t you think?
It’s that time of year again when many people start a new school year.
After 20 years of homeschooling, I have some tips and pointers that may help you start this year off right and feel confident that you can do it!
Here are 10 steps to setting the right tone in your home to homeschool successfully.
- First of all, it helps to start with the right mindset. We are homeschooling, not doing school at home. I call it “Family Schooling”. We are learning how to do life well. The most important thing we as Christians should do is pray about our agenda and plans. Ask the Lord what He would have us do. He knows our children better than anybody. He knows what they need. Take some time to ask Him and some more time to listen to what He might say about what your children need to learn today.
- If you are brand new and your child is doing preschool, let them play! If your child is only 3 or 4, you probably don’t need a curriculum. Read some good picture books to him/her. Let the child lead you in what he wants to do. If he doesn’t have something in mind, offer some choices, such as coloring, playing with play dough, playing with magnetic letters, singing the ABC song, counting teddy bears or something colorful, watching something educational. If your child is a boy, he may not want to write anything. Girls are more likely to want to try to draw something or write letters or numbers. If she wants to write, start teaching her to write her name and names of family members. Keep it informal and light with no pressure or expectations of perfection. At this age, just let him have fun trying new things and exploring the media, such as colored pencils, crayons, markers, paint, clay, etc. Don’t expect professional looking pictures or products. Show appreciation for anything they make. Realize that all of these skills are difficult and unfamiliar for your little one. If you have a hard time remembering what it’s like to learn something new, try this little exercise. Write a sentence with the opposite hand from what you’re used to using. If you’re right-handed, use your left hand or vice versa. Then you will be able to relate to the effort your child is putting into learning new skills that you are trying to teach them. Lots of things that they play are using their fine motor skills, like pushing a small car around, building with blocks, coloring or drawing, putting a puzzle together, etc. And cleaning up can also use fine motor skills, such as putting crayons or colored pencils back in a box or putting any toys in a container, etc. Cutting and gluing is fun for them and helps with developing fine motor skills, too.
- Remember that boys are different from girls. All children are different from each other, but we can make some generalizations that can help us to not expect things that make learning time a chore and drudgery instead of enjoying the process of discovery and experimentation. Don’t expect boys to want to color or draw or do craft projects. You can try some and see how he reacts. If he likes them go ahead and do more. But if he wants to get down on the floor and play with cars and build with blocks, encourage creativity and storytelling as he plays with them. Let him have lots of time for free play. But you might want to ask him what he is building or what he is playing with his cars or action figures.
- For many boys, handwriting is extremely difficult and even painful. They sometimes squeeze the pencil too hard. Boys may have a difficult time making the figures go where they want them to go on the page. They may struggle to make a letter look the way they want it to. So don’t push. If you micromanage the early days of handwriting, you may set your son up to hate handwriting. Then the skill and practice is even more distasteful and unpleasant for both of you. Wait until he is ready and his fine motor skills are more developed. This may be months or even years. Start out doing small bits of writing such as teaching him how to write his name and names of family members and familiar small words.
- Don’t hover, push or micromanage the work your child is doing. Make sure he understands what he is supposed to do, and then step away and let him do it on his own. Stay nearby in case he needs help, but let him make the learning and practicing the new skill his own.
- Do take advantage of teachable moments. If your child asks a question, explore it with her and see if there is an extension of that subject that would be of interest to her and add to her pool of knowledge. If you don’t know the answer to the question, sit down with your child and do research on the internet to find the answer.
- Don’t think that you are behind. Don’t compare what your child is doing with what another child is doing. It’s okay to get ideas of things to try, but don’t be dismayed if your child is not ready for that skill or subject yet. The only people you have to please or be accountable to are yourself and God.
- Remember what is important in this process. The big picture is that we are teaching our children to be loving, kind people of good character. When issues like disobedience, anger, rebellion, impatience or even perfectionism arise, we need to deal with these issues before we move onto actually accomplishing the book work or project that he is working on. We need to be careful of our own attitude while dealing with these attitudes in our child. Remember to be patient and kind and in control of your own emotions. Don’t take it personally if he doesn’t want to do the work or he doesn’t like the subject or he finds it difficult. Sometimes you may need to put the school work on hold while you talk to your child or just hold and hug and snuggle him. Always pray for wisdom, understanding and discernment to know what is going on in the heart and mind of your child.
- Keep the main thing the main thing. Your relationship with your child is more important than finishing school work or learning a new skill. If she has a difficult time with the assigned work or cannot seem to grasp a new concept, she may not be ready for it yet. Put it aside until later. Then come back to it later on and try it again. Keep the heart of your child. Or if you have lost connection with your child, use this time with her to show your love and affection toward your child to get her heart back.
- As your children interact with siblings and other children, watch the way they relate to others. Children tend to be immature and selfish. Help them learn to be less selfish and gradually more mature. This can be a very long process and take many times of intervention and correction and teaching and discussion. You may even need to role play how they should deal with situations that come up during play times. This requires lots of patience on your part and the willingness to step away from things you would rather do. It is not the most pleasant part of parenting, but it needs to be done and is one of the most important parts of homeschooling. I hope these tips help you get off on the right foot or help you have the best year yet. The most important thing is that we let the Spirit lead us. Then we know that we are doing the best we can for each child the Lord has blessed us with. I pray that God blesses each of your homeschools and families this year.
Happy Family Schooling
From our family to yours!
Americans Value Freedom
A few weeks ago, we celebrated the 130th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty coming to America. The statue was originally meant to be a gift from the people of France to the people of America. A group of French private citizens were discussing how much they admired American democracy. One of them, Edouard Laboulaye, presented the idea of a gift to honor the enduring friendship between America and France. He proposed that they present to America a monument to liberty in 1876, in honor of America’s 100th anniversary of its independence.
They wanted to commemorate the brotherhood and unity the two nations had always enjoyed. They hoped that by drawing attention to the ideas of liberty and democracy at this specific time in France’s history that it might influence the kind of government that France would have in the future. They knew that it would take cooperation between the two nations to accomplish such a massive project. The people of France paid for and built the statue. The people of America paid for and built the pedestal. Raising enough money was difficult for each country. It took many years for them to raise all the money they needed.
The sculptor who fashioned the Statue of Liberty named her Liberty Enlightening the World.
The torch represents the light of liberty she would bring to the world.
On the tablet that the statue holds in her left hand is inscribed, July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals.
At her feet lay a broken shackle and chain symbolizing Lincoln’s abolition of slavery.
There is a broken shackle around her ankle, a broken chain that extends around the bottom or her robe and an ax head.
This reminds me of the Eddie James song – Freedom.
Listen to it here:
He sings this line in the song:
“No more shackles, no more chains, no more bondage. I am free!”
Liberty is a universal yearning, not just a national symbol.
What did the French people of 130 years ago admire about America? They admired our Constitution and the liberty and representative government that it established. They admired our freedom from a monarch, a dictator, an oppressor.
They admired Abraham Lincoln and the way he held the country together in the midst of war and the fact that we abolished slavery so that everybody in America would have freedom and liberty. No more slavery in America. Everybody was free.
Is America still like that?
Are we still a free country?
Do we still love freedom?
Are we still a nation to be admired?
What does liberty mean?
What does freedom mean?
Definitions of “liberty”:
Freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
Religious liberty, is the free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshiping the Supreme Being according to the dictates of conscience, without external control.
Definition of “freedom”:
Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
The power to determine action without restraint.
From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
A state of exemption from the power or control of another; liberty; exemption from slavery, servitude or confinement. Freedom is personal, civil, political, and religious.
Christians Value Freedom
America was founded on the principles of freedom of religion and speech and conscience. Christians are great fans of freedom. Christians are set free from sin and the bondage that comes with it. Freedom does not mean the absence of authority or the right to do whatever one pleases—far from it. Freedom is a moral or spiritual condition; freedom means abandoning a life of sin to embrace the teachings of Christ. What is often called “Christian liberty” means leading a moral life.
But now –
Deep darkness is covering America.
Men love the darkness more than the light.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
People are confused
They are confused about freedom.
They don’t know right from wrong anymore. They are giving up freedoms out of fear. At the same time, they have taken liberties with liberty. They think that they are happier when they have nobody telling them what they can do. They have thrown off moral restraints that are helpful and protective.
They are using the law to promote lawlessness, like abortion and gay marriage.
At the same time, they want the government to take care of them, so they let the government regulate personal freedoms, like whether to own guns, whether to give vaccines to their children, and how to educate their children.
They are making laws that take away religious freedom.
They are embracing a religion that strips freedom away from women especially. And rejecting the beliefs that have strengthened and supported families and parents and children. And taking away our freedom to practice our Christian beliefs.
The world is watching. They are shaking their heads, wondering why America is throwing away its liberty, its freedom. They are seeing a nation that is under a strong delusion, given over to a reprobate mind. Perhaps they are learning something by watching what’s happening to us.
Jesus is the light of the world.
We are the light of the world.
We Christians are called to be a light in the darkness. We are supposed to light the way for those in the darkness. We know that light overcomes darkness. When you turn on a light in a dark room, it’s not dark in the room anymore.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matt. 5:14-16
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
3 The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
We are called to lead people out of darkness.
We are called to lead them to the cross.
Only God Can Give True Freedom
The cross leads people to freedom from sin, darkness, superstition, selfishness, addiction, and despair.
Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. John 8:36
The world hates us because it first hated Jesus. They hate us and are trying to silence us.
But “We are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matt. 5:14
Attention is coming to the Statue of Liberty for such a time as this.
Because freedom is important and worth dying for. Freedom is something to celebrate.
And true freedom comes only through the cross of Christ.
This skit is so powerful! I watched this for the first time a couple of years ago, and it wrecked me. I dissolved in tears. Just watching the girl trying so hard to get back to Jesus after being led away, lured away from Him by temptations of the world gave me so much compassion for people trying to escape addictions, temptations of the world, and sinful mindsets and behaviors that separate us from Jesus. I got a clear picture of just how difficult it is for them. And how hard they are trying. If you need a refresher of how much Jesus loves you and wants you back even when you have slipped away from him, watch this. Or if you need a new dose of compassion for those who are lost in sin and the things of the world, just watch this.