Episode #228 — Julie Kieras — Family Hobbies Make the Best Unit Studies

Episode #228 — Julie Kieras — Family Hobbies Make the Best Unit Studies

Links and Resources:

Show Notes:

Episode #228 — Julie Kieras — Family Hobbies Make the Best Unit Studies

May 12

DESCRIPTION:

This conversation may be my favorite one to date! We are diving in and talking about unit studies — but not as something more to add to our already too-full plates. We’re talking about slowing down and taking our time to learn more about the things that we already enjoy as a family. I hope you’ll be as blessed by this conversation as I was!

TODAY’S GUEST:

Julie Kieras is a former English teacher, now stay-at-home-(homeschooling)-mom and blogger. She loves God, coffee, reading, baking, crafting, the outdoors, and anything to do with her kids and family! She hates spiders, the color pink (most of the time), and assembling things with many small parts. She and her husband have two boys who are energetic, loving, funny, and a daily delight.

RESOURCES:

4-Week Bird Study by Julie Kieras

The Poetry of Parenting Boys by Julie Kieras https://happystronghome.com/31-days-poetry-of-parenting-boys/

The Instagram account Julie follows for Hymn inspiration @happyhymnody

QUOTES:

  • Homeschool your hobby as a family. (Julie Kieras)
  • Unit studies are simply opportunities to “Savor a subject” (Julie Kieras)
  • Hymns are the harmony to scripture’s melody. (Wendy Speake)

CONNECT WITH:

Website: http://happystronghome.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/juliekieras

Facebook: http://facebook.com/happystronghome

Free Printable by Julie: https://happystronghome.com/homeschool-your-hobby/

Show Transcript:

HS EP Julie Kieras

Wendy -

Welcome to the Homeschool Solutions podcast, brought to you by Sonlight Curriculum, and homeschooling.mom. I'm your host, Wendy Speake. Here on the show every week, you'll get to listen in on some great conversations with wonderful guests, all designed to equip us as homeschooling moms. And then once a month, we'll be opening up the Bible together, applying God's Word to our long, blessed, but often challenging days.

It is my hope that as we gather together in this space, we will encourage one another with some practical, Biblical solutions. I'm so glad you're here. Before we start the show, I'd like to thank our sponsor, Sonlight Curriculum. Complete homeschool curriculum you're guaranteed to love.

And now, enjoy the show.

I love this topic that we're diving into today because I love doing, with my family, what I love doing with my family. And how cool that we get to love doing it as a family and then calling it school.

I'm talking about unit studies. But not just any unit study. Today I'm talking with my friend, Julie Kieras, about choosing to study things that we already love as a family. Taking our family fun and making it just a little bit more educational. Going just a little bit deeper. And how cool is it that Julie and I met as a result of our shared interest, our shared hobbies, our shared passion for poetry. We were both just starting out as bloggers. We were blogging about motherhood, our journey's, oh, I don't know, maybe five years ago. And we both signed up for a blogging challenge at the time, that required us to choose a theme and stick to writing about that every day for 31 days.

Now, let me confess that I failed miserably. I failed miserably. I think I posted five times. And we were supposed to post all 31 times. All 31 days. But Julie, she was a rock star. And she chose to write and share a poem every single day for 31 days. Poetry is one of her passions. It's one of her pleasures. And she knew that she could be successful at this because she was choosing something that she loved.

Well, it turns out that I also love poetry. And so I saw what she was doing and I reached out and we became friends, and I started following along her daily posts. But it turned into an actual friendship that has now spanned about five years.

So, it turns out we have other things in common as well. We both have boys. I have three sons, and she has two sons. My youngest son is named Asher and he's just about to turn 12. And her oldest son is Asher and he's just about to turn 11. And they were born on the same day, on February 22. So, we have lots of things that we think are cool about our shared interest, our shared boys, our shared faith. So, I think that's a fun way to introduce her.



I share all of this to paint a picture that shared hobbies, shared passions, and shared pleasures help us to form friendships. And isn't forming a deep bond of friendship one of the main things that we're most passionate about in our homes during these homeschool days?

So today, I invited Julie to join us on the Homeschool Solutions Show, to talk with us about some of the other things that she loves to do with her kids. That she has turned into opportunities, not just to have fun, but to learn as a family. And so, I wanna welcome Julie to the podcast today. Welcome, Julie, I'm so glad you're here.

Julie -

Oh, thank you Wendy, for having me on. It has been a pleasure to develop our friendship and certainly you, as a writer, have pushed me as well to keep my writing going.

Wendy -

Aw, that's really cool. We have had some great conversations about that, haven't we? Just, how do I keep consistent? What are some ways where I can really be a blessing to others? And we've really enjoyed our growing friendship over the years. So, it's cool that we get to now, link arms, and hopefully encourage others to find some of the things they enjoy doing. And invite their families into it.

So, would you start things off by just telling us a bit about your family? About your life? Who are you, where do ya live, all that jazz?

Julie -

Sure. Well, we are a family that lives in Connecticut, my husband, and two sons, and I. My husband and I are both teachers. My husband teaches chemistry and I used to teach middle school English. And we love to do things outside together. We love camping, gardening, and we all pretty much share a love of reading and stories. So, there's a lot of things we can connect on together.

Wendy -

That's wonderful. When I think about gardening, and I think about Connecticut, I think about hydrangeas. Do you have any hydrangea bushes?

Julie -

We do have one, in fact. My husband got me one for my first Mother's Day, and it's out in our front yard.

Wendy -

Is it big?

Julie -

It is gigantic by now.

Wendy -

Yeah, yeah. That's what you guys get over there on the East Coast. ??? hard to find the right location here, because we have so much sun, so long in the year, and they get so hot. So, I'm in California, but I do have a shady place where I have a couple of hydrangeas growing. But whenever I think hydrangeas, I think East Coast. Yeah, it's fun. My Asher, he really enjoys being in the garden with me. And we have more homeschool days than I have with his older brothers who have more class days now. And so I was just thinking of, maybe making that into a unit study that I do with Asher, is doing our next round of planting together in our gardening boxes.

So, anyway. That's not necessarily an off-topic rabbit hole, but it wasn't what I meant to share so. Would you tell us just a bit about how you made this choice to homeschool?

Julie -

Well, you know, for me, a big part of it was coming from a teaching background. We really wanted to... for our kids to be raised with a God-centered world view in their education. So that's the primary reason behind us choosing to homeschool. Because, in many traditional schools, you're just not gonna get that.

Wendy -

Yes.

Julie -

But the other thing, for me, that's really important, is the concept of, almost like a...you might have heard of the Slow Learning Movement or simple living. And I feel like a lot of times in... is kids aren't given the time to really develop their learning. It's a little bit rushed when you have to fit your learning into a school year or a school week or you have to meet certain milestone markers to reach a testing goal.

And I just didn't want that kind of hurried learning environment for my kids. So I like to call it Slow Learning... which might sound great sometimes, but it's the idea that you can take your time. And really go deep with your learning. And if you need to speed up, you can speed up as well, so it's really tailored to my children. And that's the secondary reason why I chose homeschooling is so that we can tailor the learning to their needs, to their interests, and to their pacing as well.

Wendy -

Yeah. Oh, goodness, I wish I could press pause and maybe some of you listening will and jot down these notes. I've never heard that term, slow learning. I wonder, have you ever written a blog post or something about it?

Julie -

I haven't yet, but that would be a great one to do.

Wendy -

I think you should. And then share it with me so I can read it. I think its... I would just love to hear you talk more about it and maybe we'll just need to have you back here and we'll have a conversation about... I mean, we talked about slowing down. Right. This is one of the reasons why it's so important.

One of the main reasons why I love homeschooling is, if someone's excelling then you excel. If they're learning things fast, then let 'em just blaze on through to get to the things where they stop and go, wow, that I don't know. I'm gonna have to camp out there, right? So, that's a really cool thing.

And then when I think of slow learning, for our family, it's the kids that are slower processors. It's the kids that need a little bit more help. We have a couple learning challenges in our family. But also this idea of slowing down to camp out on something that we enjoy. Like that book? Well, let's get another one. We're not on anybody's time schedule. So what if we only study this, this year? And you know, I don't know, call it social studies or whatever. What if we read a great book? Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. And we wanna read more books like that. Let's just slow down and, so we won't do the next unit. We'll just make this one a double long. We'll slow it down. I love it, Julie!

J -

Yeah, and it just gives... that's kind of the whole point of unit studies is savoring a subject. You know?

W -

Yeah. And if you think I'm slowing down, and being quiet for a moment, I'm savoring what you just said and writing it down. Savoring a subject. That really is the whole of unit studies. And I think that when I started out, I probably thought that all of the marketed packages of, you know, unit studies on volcanoes, or whatever it is, I saw it as, okay, I wanna bring it to life. I want them to understand this.

But the things that have happened naturally in our home... I remember reading about the Spartans and the different ways that the men were trained as Spartans. I think we were reading it, probably in... oh what is that? Story of the world.

J -

Oh yes.

W -

Book one of that. And, we were... we had a lake house at the time and, because we were homeschooling, we would go up to the lake house and we would just live there. It wasn't just like a little getaway place that we shared with other families. It was, we would go there for long times because we were homeschooling.

J -

That sounds amazing.

W -

And we're up there and we just stopped. I was just like, oh let's not go on to the next chapter. Let's set up in the backyard, which was just a sloping property down to the water, a... like a, I don't know what you'd call it. A training ground for Spartans. And we had an area for archery, and we had an area that was like a... they had to race each other down the hill. And then pick up a log and carry it up. I mean, they were little tigers at the time.



And I didn't know that I was doing a unit study, but it's exactly what I was doing. I was slowing down the role of our curriculum to camp out and savor a subject. And the kids remember it. They're like, remember when we were Spartans up at the lake? We went through Spartan training, you know. And so there are so many things like that.

So tell us about, oh I guess, what does your family enjoy doing? What are those things that you have enjoyed that you have not just naturally done, but you've said, we enjoy it so much I'm going to create that as a thing we do together? Maybe once, maybe annually.

J -

So, right. So one of the things that we get most excited about is our bird study that we just started putting... we were given a bird feeder for Christmas one year. And so we put it in the window and before you know it, we had all kinds of birds coming to this feeder. And we didn't know what any of them were except maybe the occasional Robin or woodpecker.

And so we started researching, okay, we've gotta get a bird book. And let's find out, who are these birds coming to our feeders? And why are they eating some of the seeds and not the others? And why do some of the birds stay on the ground and some of them actually perch on the feeder? And it became this unit. And before I knew it, we were so curious about our bird friends that I started pulling together resources to get to know our backyard birds.

And we started learning about, first of all, their names. And their markings, so we could identify them. And then the following year, I thought to myself, well, we could really go deeper with this. And we do a lot of this in the winter because that's when birds need the seeds the most. Because there aren't a lot of growing plants in Connecticut in the winter. And so, the following year, I actually pulled it together into a little unit study on backyard birds. And we started learning about birds, different kinds of bird feeders. And ways to watch, and we started sketching the birds. And we even participated in the great backyard bird count, which happens in February with the National Audubon Society. And having... reading poetry about birds. And even singing the, His Eye Is on the Sparrow hymn. Doing bird crafts. And it just has become this big unit study that we do each February that has become a beautiful annual event for our family.

W -

How cool is that? And, so, I'm sort of hoping that we don't have to start at the beginning if we're inspired by what you're doing. Please tell me, I've already asked you, did you write something about slow learning? Did you put something together about these bird studies for us? It would be really awesome if you did.

J -

I actually did, on my blog, I have a four-week bird study unit plan that takes you through bird identification, bird migration, bird nests, and bird anatomy. And it just gives simple activities to do each week to attend to the various birds coming to your feeder, and do some kind of reading, writing, and crafting around bird study. There's even a little math activity that talks about graphing as you count your birds and think about... learn about how many eggs they lay and how far they travel. We did some graphing activities, so we worked in a lot of math.



But I have all that on my blog in a handy downloadable guide for anyone who wants it.

W -

Wonderful. You guys... we will absolutely link from the show notes to anything that I ask her if she has a resource for us. But the name of Julie Kieras's site is HappyStrongHome.com. So you can also, even as you're listening, go ahead and earmark that page.

But I will make sure that that is in there as well. And I will tell you, I will also link to...remember, I told you when I met Julie, it's because she did her 31 days of poetry? Well, it was called the Poetry of Parenting boys. So, I'm also gonna link you to that directly as well. Because if you raise boys, or you love poetry, or if you are a boy mom who loves poetry, you're really gonna enjoy that series as well.



I'd like to take just a moment to thank another one of today's sponsors, Medi-Share. An affordable and Biblical healthcare alternative. Find out more at mychristiancare.org for their ongoing support of homeschooling families just like ours.

And now, back to the show.



Okay, give us another one, Julie. What's another thing that you love as a family that has just naturally come together as something that you do as part of your routine? Whether it's annually or daily or weekly or monthly?

J -

Sure. Well, as you mentioned, I love poetry. It's always been one of my passions since I was a kid. I was writing poems and scribbling verse, and so one of the ways that kind of dovetailed so nicely with our Bible studies, is that we started a hymn study that we do in our morning time. And we study a hymn every month. And I've been using, if you go to Instagram, there's a lady that has an account, Happy Hymnody, and she puts out a beautiful printable hymn every month. So I borrow from her materials, but at home, we sing the hymn, we do copy work with the hymn, we draw the hymn. We study Bible verses that have inspired the hymn. We read about the background of the writing of the hymn. And we do that a little bit through the month. So by the end of the month, we really know this hymn. And that's also a form of poetry because I was thinking, how can I use poetry in just a really natural way without forcing poems on my kids?

W -

Yes.

J -

And hymns are just beautiful poems set to music, and it's been so easy to dovetail poetry with our Bible study and make it something really meaningful for my children. And we do that every month. And just sporadically through the week.



W -

I love that. I love hymns, I was raised with a mom playing the piano down the hall as I would go to sleep, or sometimes as I would wake up, I would hear her playing. And then raised in a church that was a hymn-singing church. And I don't mean old and stagnant, I mean alive and vibrant with the organ and a big organ too, and an incredible organ player. And when I hear the opening strains to a hymn, and my heart explodes within me. I love... not only as a poetry-loving woman that not only as a poet, not only as a lover of God's Word but just deep, good theology. And I love modern... a lot of the contemporary worship. I mean I really love a lot of it. This weekend, Toby Mac is bringing in a whole crew of artists into our community and to our local city here, and we've got tickets to go as a family. But man, we also love the hymns.

J -

Yeah.

W-

I have come to the realization this is the way that I say it and I've shared it with my boys, and I've shared it in some of my writing, that I think hymns are the harmony to Scripture's melody. The Gospel, add such depth. They add such harmonies to what it is we believe.

J -

They do, and I found, you know, even with my boys. We've been doing the hymn study for going on two years now. So, my boys were six and eight when we started doing this. And we have been able to have conversations about God that I never could have introduced in a natural way just, you know, sitting on the couch. Hey, let's talk about God's mercy. You know? But when we sing a hymn like His Mercy is More, we sat there and we brainstormed all the things that were big. But God's mercy is more than those. And so we were able to like compare God's mercy to like, big things in the world. And it really made it tangible for my boys to understand the never-ending mercy of God. And so we've been able to have these great theological conversations at a very young age, thanks to the doorway of a hymn giving us that way into big ideas.

W -

Oh, I love it. I love it, I'm so inspired. Well, let's end this conversation right now so I can go listen to God's Mercy is More. I mean, I think of myself as knowing and singing a whole lot of hymns, but I'm like, I don't know that one.

J -

Oh, I will send it to you.

W -

So, I'm really excited about it. I'm really excited about it. I have oftentimes, one of the things that I'll do with the boys is, I'll choose a passage, like a meaty passage, like a Romans 8 passage. Like a, well it's February when we're having this conversation right now. I know that we won't be sharing it with everybody until later, but during the month of February, I love to read through first Corinthians 13 with my kids. And put it to memory and read it in a bunch of different translations. And your absolutely right when you focus in on something, it opens up the door to more conversations than if we were just gonna sit down and say, okay guys, let's talk about how we've not been loving to each other. Let's talk about how we're supposed to be loving.

Love is patient. Whew! Which one of these on this list is the hardest for you? How is it that God has demonstrated patience toward us? Or, not keeping a record of wrong. Or, you know, and we just have conversations that... conversations that we would say, gee, I really need to find a way to have that conversation with my kids. They just naturally flow when you're reading good books, listening to hymns with good doctrine, rooted in Scriptures, out in nature together. I find that...I have taught my children what it means to give someone praise by being in nature on a hike more than any Bible study we've ever done. Right?

J -

I agree. I, it's the... and I love even hymns have that connection with nature so often, like, For The Beauty of the Earth. Or Let All Things Now Living. And it just, you can connect. And I think kids need that, that concreteness when they're young. You know too, you know, they're not ready yet sometimes, for the abstraction of things like mercy, grace, worship. But when you can speak to them through the tangible aspects of the natural world, and show them God's mercy and grace, they connect to it so strongly. And they take those, that imagery with them their whole life.

W -

Yes. Alright, I'd love to ask you, how you have invited your husband into this, or maybe you haven't invited him with your words, but you found things that he's naturally interested in, and joined him, maybe said, well he's really into this. Let's do what Dad's doing. Let's learn what Dad enjoys doing. Has there been anything like that? Or maybe the bird study really has been something he's been involved with or the hymns. But I'm always looking for ways to invite our husbands to be a... enjoy our homeschool with us.

J -

Right, so the bird study definitely, you know, our bird feeders are right outside where our window is, where our kitchen table is. So, we all, when we sit down we love to have breakfast together on the weekends. We all sit down, we watch the birds, we talk about the birds, the boys can share what they've learned with their dad. And he's learned, and he's become very interested in the birds, the feeders, and especially keeping the squirrels away from the feeders has been his major goal. And so he's gotten into that part of the kind of the hardware of birding and birdfeeders and things like that. So, we've invited him into that in that way, like quite obviously, I am not a handy person. So I need him to set up those feeders for me. So he's been like on that end of things. But then on his part, he is such a good gardener. He has the green thumb. I do not have the green thumb. And he's been able to invite us all into his gardening. Seed sorting and planting the garden. Different ways to plant. He's been able to teach us and the boys just love getting into the garden with him. And we all kind of love to be outside, growing things, even though I'm not very good at it. I love to see the results of it. And so that's a way he's been able to be part of that learning aspect in the summer and spring months. Even into the fall. And so, with the outdoorsy work that he does. And I think it's great when you can, I guess I would call it, homeschool your hobby as a family. It really gives parents a great chance to connect to children on a topic we're knowledgeable about and taking away that insecurity of, well I don't know about math, or I don't know a lot about grammar. But, if you know a lot about gardening or bird study or hiking or cooking, you can use that expertise to connect with your children and teach them.



W -

Yes, it doesn't need to be a traditional piece of curriculum. I was thinking about, and you know, I mentioned that we were camping out on first Corinthians 13, but I happen to be reading through the Bible with my Asher these days because we're having like I mentioned, more time together than the older boys right now, and we're just reading through. And so, that's actually where we are in our Bible reading. And in first Corinthians 12, it's talking about all the different gifts that we're given. Spiritual gifts. And how the body works with all these different spiritual gifts. They become roles that we play in the body. The role of the hand, the role of the mouth, the role of the foot, the ear. And so Asher and I wrote down all these different gifts and all these different roles that we play, parts of the body, and I asked him, do you see maybe what role you're to play? What gift you have been given by God? And then we were talking about, well, what about Dad? What's Dad good at? What am I good at? And we both recognized that my husband is a helper. God gave some the ministry of helping. He is a servant. If you look at his love language, service, acts of service. He loves receiving and he loves giving it more than anything else.

And one of the things that he does with the boys is if someone needs help moving. If there's a neighbor who is older and the rains are coming, he'll just go on up and say hey, can I climb on your roof and clean out your gutters? He just naturally is that guy. And so, are we putting together a unit study on how to be a servant? No. He's modeling it. And, in a way, that's a year-round curriculum. Opportunity for our kids to learn. If we slow down in the homeschooling, to learn together, we're learning from each other. And I just thought it was so cool when I was reading through first Corinthians 12 that God made my husband a helper. And yet, he's also using my husband to teach my boys to be a helper.

So, is that a creative way that we put together our homeschool so my husband can teach the boys? No! It's just part of intentionally diving into the life that we value and sharing that with our kids.

J -

Right, and I think what you said about the gifts. I mean, that is, you know, for families who want the husbands and the Dads to be more a part of the homeschooling, that would be the way to invite them in. Because, you know, I don't think anyone wants to have to jump in and teach something they're not comfortable with. But when a husband has an area of gifting, or expertise, that they just naturally do, well, there you go. Every family is gonna have a different look. It's not something you can totally craft into a packaged unit study like you said.

W -

Yes. So, I gotta tell you this fun story. I gave my dad... my dad lives only an hour and a half away from us. Well, unless it's Friday, and then he lives like four hours away from us. Because we are in Southern California. So, it feels like we're out in the country, but if we wanna get on a highway, you know, it might be a little difficult on a Friday night.

Anyway. He's very close, just up into the mountains. So, we're in Southern California, down in San Diego. We're close to the ocean. But if you drive inland, you hit mountains, and you hit them fast. So, he has a cabin up in the mountains. And I gave him, when he moved into that cabin, a bird feeder. It's one of those, ah, it's probably made out of plexiglass, and it sticks to the window. So all the activity, you can see. And so, he had it on the outside of his window in his little, like, office. It's a very small cabin. It's more like an alcove. Anyway, so he's sitting there, and he had his blinds were drawn for the night. And his back was turned to the window, and he was reading. And he heard a noise right on the back side, you know, like four inches from the back of his head. Against the window. And it was kind of big noise. And he thought, well that's strange, maybe it's a squirrel, ya know? Squirrels love to crawl in the feeders.

So he parted the blinds and he came nose to nose with a bear. The bear was up on its hind legs with its front paws in that feeder and he pulled it down and lumbered off. And so there are actually a lot... isn't that crazy, to think there are lots of bears only an hour and a half from Southern California? But there are. And there are lots of them.

J -

Wow. That's an exciting story.

W -

But it's really cool... it is an exciting story. There's another time that he was in the jacuzzi on his porch and let's just say, he doesn't go out to his jacuzzi without his bear repellant anymore.

J -

Oh, man.

W -

I know.

J -

That's scary.

W - And my boys are gonna go up there in a couple of weeks for a long weekend. And they're just gonna hike and they're just gonna be intentional about slowing down and learning what it is that comes nose to nose with them. Well, hopefully not really nose to nose with a bear, but, they'll keep the bear repellant on them.

But it is neat to get out of our homeschools and know that that's still homeschool.

J -

Right. And I think what you.. yeah, I love the nose to nose expression. That's really having those, being intentional gives you the opportunity to come up against something you never maybe new you wanted to learn about. Like, I didn't plan to do a bird unit study with my family. And it just kind of fell out that way because we had the time to explore it.

W -

Yes. And I think that that's what I would love above all else, is to take away from listeners, and a takeaway from myself is, what are we naturally doing and then let's learn about that thing. What are we naturally enjoying? And let's develop that as something we enjoy more. Just the other night at the dinner table, I asked the boys, I said, if you could choose one thing that you love to do as a family, more than all else, what is that one thing? And don't blurt it out. Like, think about it. Make it a good one, right? Really, really make it a good one.

And one of those things, and we all agreed, and it's gonna sound so not educational. Our family loves going to see whatever the latest Marvel movie is, as long as it's... I mean, we'll do our research. There have been some we haven't gone to. But the ones that we love the series, and we've got almost all teenagers now. We really enjoy that. And as we were talking about it, I have my middle boy, who's my Lego builder. All he's.. like he gets angry if you suggest that he becomes anything other than a Lego designer for his life career. So we've just stopped asking him, you know, would you maybe enjoy being this or doing that.

But I said to him at the table, I said, Brody, I wonder if all this building you're doing with little plastic blocks is just getting you ready for building stories that will be made into movies. Or building sets for movies. Is it possible that there's something for you there? Should we look into that? What would it take? Is there a master class, you know, that we could watch online about set design or screenwriting. And his eyes lit up and he didn't get angry at me for suggesting something other than Lego design work. And that just naturally letting it flow what they're good at, what they enjoy, what we enjoy as a family. And then let's be intentional. Let's come nose to nose with something.

J -

Yeah. I love that. And there is so much to explore in any topic that you could possibly pick. I mean it's just, that's the natural learning process. You start out at the beginning and then you like you said, you ask the question. Could this lead to something else? And from there, there's a multitude of pathways.

W -

Oh! How cool is that? Julie, this has been so fun. I have two pages of notes and I probably shouldn't say this and have it recorded. I should wait until we hang up the interview. But this has been just my favorite. This has been the best interview because I feel so excited. I'm like, we gotta end this so I can start living and doing what we're already living and doing, you know? Let's do it with a little more intentionality. Let's really do this now as a family, so. Thank you so much for joining us today. I hope to have you back and if you ever write that slow learning, or wanna have a conversation about it, I think that'd be a fun one for us. And let's all take the cue and slow down a little bit in areas that we're enjoying as a family. And let's enjoy them more. And not just use that slow down pace to catch our kids up on their math facts or areas where we're struggling. But let's slow down and savor those areas where we're excelling that we enjoy. That's gonna be my takeaway.

Julie, would you just maybe sign us off, send us off, with a blessing, a prayer? That would really be wonderful.

J -

Sure, and thanks so much more having me on, Wendy, this has been really great to talk through our passions and our, how it affects our homeschooling. Let's pray. Lord, we just are so grateful for the creativity You've instilled in us that it really is the mark of You in our souls, that we are creative beings. And I just pray a blessing over the families listening that they would learn to express that creativity You've given us in a way that brings honor and glory to You, and in a way that blesses their children and helps them to grow as we learn together as homeschool families. We just ask a blessing on Wendy and the work she's doing to encourage us families in our homeschooling. And we thank You for all the gifts You've granted us. In Jesus Name, Amen.

W -

Amen. What a gift you are, Julie, thank you. Thank you so much for being here today. Everybody, please go find Julie. There are direct links to get to spend time with her online or just learning more about her different eBooks and unit studies that she makes available at HappyStrongHome.com. Thank you, Julie.

J -

Thank you.



W -

What a privilege it is to have these conversations with you each week. You are so busy, and I don't take it lightly that you tune in with me here for a weekly shot of encouragement. As a reminder, you can subscribe to the Homeschool Solutions podcast through Apple or Google Play. And your positive reviews always help other homeschool families find us online.

Before we say goodbye, I'd like to thank Sonlight Curriculum one more time. Not only do they support homeschool families, they are also big supporters of the Homeschool Solutions podcast. Another supporter is the Great Homeschool Conventions. I don't know if you've ever been to one, but I heartily endorse that you find one near you. Every year they host multiple conventions in various regions throughout the US. Find a location at greathomeschoolconventions.com. With dozens of incredible speakers, hundreds of curriculum exhibits, you will leave blessed, refreshed, helped, and encouraged.

I will be in Texas, South Carolina, Ohio, and, of course, my home state, California this year. I hope to see some of you there. Until next week, visit homeschooling.mom for blog posts to encourage and support you along the way. Remember Galatians six verse nine. Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap if we do not give up. That's a promise that I take to the bank every day and I hope you do too.

This is Wendy Speake and I look forward to chatting with you again next week.

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