A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers

A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers
The Burts in 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Do You Homeschool? Then You Need to Read This Article!

Whether you have been homeschooling for a month, a year, or a decade, you've inevitably faced the "questions". Questions about socialization, college, athletics, driver's ed, high-school biology, etc. etc. etc. and so on.....

It seems as if homeschoolers are ripe for questions from day one; but the flip side seems to be that there really is no flip side. We are expected to patiently answer any and all questions, smiling politely and pretending we've never heard this line of questioning before. But when we try to ask a few questions about, say, public schools as a whole or the issue of private schools being used as a last-ditch landing spot for students expelled from public school, well...ahem...we're pretty much told to keep quiet. No one wants to hear our questions, and often times no one really wants to hear our answers to their questions. They just kind of want us to....go....away.

I'm not planning on going away any time soon. And neither are my five remarkable, fantastic, amazing children. We're here to stay. And I'm here to say that homeschooling isn't going to go away; I believe it's going to continue to grow in the United States and around the world. Nope, we're not going away and it's probably time we started asking a few questions of our own. Here's one to start with ~ "What's so wrong with choosing to homeschool, anyway?" (And don't start asking me questions and then hand me that line of hooey that you're talking about some other homeschool family and you don't really have a problem with it...Pul-Leazz!! Give me some credit - after all, if I can teach high school math I think I know that if you are asking ME a question then you are, in all actuality, talking to ME!)

I'll tell you what's wrong with homeschooling - absolutely nothing! That's a hill I am ready to die on. And if you happen to have met any or all of my five kids, then you should be in total agreement with me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with homeschooling. My kids should convince you that homeschooling yields some pretty awesome results, and has formed five pretty socially functional, responsible young people.

This recent article from Forbes hits the nail on the head - then hits it again - and nails it a few more times just for good measure.

Do you homeschool? Then read this article! Know someone who is considering homeschooling? Have them read it! Have in-laws or friends or "others" who aren't sold on homeschooling? Force-feed it to them!! (Just kidding...sort of.)

Read it. Pin it on Pinterest. Post it on Facebook. Tweet about it. Put the link on your blog. Bookmark it, print it out, read it often, hand out copies. And then do all those things again. It's important that we be represented fairly and accurately, for a change, and this article does it better than most I've seen.

In fact, keep a couple of copies on your person to hand to the next person who questions you about homeschooling. Who knows, it might change their mind....or at least shut them up for a few minutes :)

Click HERE to read the article for yourself.

And forgive me for coming across much more forcefully than usual. I'm growing more and more passionate about homeschooling as the years go by, and maybe I'm really finding my voice for the first time. It's a cause near and dear to my heart, and I hope this post, and the excellent Forbes article, open the eyes of some who have misunderstood homeschoolers.

Day 257 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Desiring God (Revised Edition) by John Piper

Right off the bat, let me just say, this is, after all, a book by John Piper. It isn't exactly light reading, and Piper most certainly is not interested in babying you along in your walk with Christ. Desiring God will touch every raw nerve you have, provided you allow it to penetrate your heart as well as your mind, and will remind you that God is, indeed, sovereign and is very much indeed the only place in which we can find our happiness.

In Desiring God, John Piper covers the topics of worship, love, marriage, money, missions, suffering, prayer and more. And he does so in a manner that is uniquely his. If you have ever read anything by Piper, then you know exactly what I mean by that. And if you have not read any of Piper's works, then Desiring God is a good place to start. He will make you think, even while he makes you sweat a little. But he will encourage you to find out for yourself if it is really true that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." I have found this to be true, and I would love for more and more believers to come to the same conclusion.

Let me also say that I am biased toward Piper's work because he is a Wheatie, as is my son (and possibly my daughter who recently applied to Wheaton College). However, well before my children were even thinking about which college to attend, I found myself challenged by his book "Don't Waste Your Life". So yes, in part I opted to review this book because I am a Wheaton mom...but more so because I want to mature in the Lord and see others mature as well.

I hope you will consider reading this book ~ I am confident you will be blessed if you do.

(Disclaimer ~ I received this book in eBook format free of charge for review purposes. All opinions shared here are solely my own.)

Day 256 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Les Mise'rables Audio Drama from Focus on the Family Radio Theatre

Everyone seems to be talking about Les Mise'rables right now, with the recent release of the latest movie adaptation. So it was natural for me to review the audio drama from Focus on the Family. This set consists of 3 Cd's, and each is about one hour in length. And as it is an audio drama, there aren't any songs in this version of Victor Hugo's work. That may or may not appeal to you, depending on your preferred way of enjoying Les Mise'rables!

I'm a homeschooling mom, so of course I decided to make Les Mise'rables a part of our curriculum. I had my sophomore and my senior listen to these Cd's. They both enjoyed it immensely, and as each disc is about one hour long it was easy to divide it up over a few days. I think this particular performance would make a nice addition for anyone reading the book, and could make the movie easier to understand if it is the first time seeing it.

The acting is good, the sound effects aren't too cheesy or over-the-top (like some audio dramas I've listened to) and the performance sticks closely to Hugo's original work. I would not hesitate to purchase this audio drama set; our family will listen to it many times over. Of course, certain aspects of this era in France's history are touchy, so parental guidance is recommended for younger listeners.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this product. All opinions shared here are solely my own.

I hope you make room for the classics and the arts in your homeschool! 

Day 255 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Everything by Mary DeMuth

The book Everything by Mary DeMuth became a "keeper" for me almost as soon as I began reading. Mary sugarcoats nothing in her attempt to make Jesus' gospel what it rightly is ~ and as you probably guessed from the title of her book, it rightly is about everything.

Eighteen chapters, three sections, one-hundred and ninety-eight pages...if you take the time to delve into them you will grow exponentially in your walk with the Lord. In Everything Mary calls us out, calls us higher, and admonishes us with honesty and openness. Sharing from her heart and relying heavily on the truth that is God's Word, she sets things straight. There aren't just one or two things about this book that I have taken to heart; and there aren't just a couple of quotes I could share here. The book in it's entirety is a game-changer!

Please buy this book, read this book, apply the truths in this book to your life, and let the Lord become your everything!

HERE is a direct link to Everything on Amazon.

On my "Page Turner Scale" of 1 to 5, I gave this book a 5.

Disclaimer ~ I received this book free of charge for review purposes from BookSneeze. All opinions shared here are solely my own.
Lord bless you as you seek to allow the Lord to be your everything!

Day 254 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Coping With Illness in Your Homeschool This Winter?

I have to say, this winter has been rough on our family in terms of illness. Rather than try and figure out all the many ills that have plagued us, I'll just refer to the whole lot in general as "the crud". From late November until, well, now, we've been relying on Lysol spray, Kleenex, Clorox wipes and a whole lot of prayer as we battle "the crud".

How have things been for your family this winter? Hopefully you have been blessed and avoided all the illness going around. But if you haven't been able to dodge the sickness bullet, be encouraged that the time spent "trapped and sick" at home doesn't have to be wasted time. Given to the Lord, it can actually become a time of refreshing and blessing. After all, nothing is wasted in God's economy.

Spend time resting, talking, playing board games, reading as a family, and accomplishing your daily school work at a more relaxed pace. When everyone is well, we tend to do too much ~ rushing from one activity to the next, eating in the car via a drive-thru, and in general failing to enjoy the time we have together as a family. No, it isn't pleasant being sick; but it can be seen as a blessing if we choose the proper perspective.

Have a tremendously blessed day today, whether ill or well, and ask the Lord to give you times of refreshing in whatever season you find yourself!

Lord bless you today!

Day 253 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Friday, January 11, 2013

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic

The book Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic is a follow-up to his first book, Life Without Limits. Nick was born without limbs, and has lived a life that most of us could not possibly imagine. His daily struggles dwarf the type of things we typically face, and this book is meant to share his heart for living a rich and full life in spite of his situation. And really, all of us have to choose how we are going to face each day, don't we?

I really am impressed with Nick's character and attitude, especially his unwillingness to simply give up and depend on others to help him get through life. He seems very bent on encouraging others during their trials - and I'm all about encouraging people! - and he doesn't take for granted the platform available to him. The book Unstoppable is easy to read, and Nick openly shares his struggles and his heart. He doesn't hide anything, good or bad, and I'm glad he doesn't.

This book is probably a terrific read for most people, and it's well-written with good content. I, however, am a very high-truth person and due to my personal experiences and the dramatic impact Christ made on my life when He saved me, I just don't do well with "self-help" books. To be fair, this isn't solely a self-help book; God's Word is quoted and Nick states his relationship with the Lord is the most important thing in his life. But he does seem to combine "pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps" with Christianity, and I don't subscribe to that mentality. I've been there, done that, and know it just doesn't work. What does work is allowing Jesus to do it all, keeping myself and whatever measly "self help" I have to offer out of the picture.

Now, I don't want to misrepresent Unstoppable. It is encouraging and could really be a blessing to many people. It's very encouraging and I think it's worth reading. I just felt I should honestly share my opinion on self-help, as this is an honest review posted on my personal blog.

If you would like to learn more about Unstoppable, click HERE.

To read a sample chapter, click HERE.

Nick's website is

Disclaimer ~ I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Thanks for taking the time to read my review of Unstoppable, and be sure to see what else WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing has to offer!

Day 252 done :)

Jan L. Burt