HS #242 with  Wendy Speake

HS #242 with Wendy Speake

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Show Notes:

Today we are announcing something thrilling. Here on the Homeschool Solutions Show we are growing in exciting ways — and we hope that you will grow with us. Not only will you be encouraged, during this episode, to reach out and live out Acts 2:42 in your own community of friends, but Wendy will be sharing how our podcast will be inviting new friends to join us each week as well!


Wendy Speake is the current host of The Homeschool Solutions Show. A homeschooling mom of three sons, co-author of the parenting book, Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses, and host of the popular 40 Day Sugar Fast.


  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11
  • Hebrews 10:19-25
  • Acts 2:42

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Show Transcript:

Wendy -

Hello and welcome back to another installment of the Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Wendy Speake, and I am one of the many hosts we have here on the podcast. Each week, you'll hear from one of us, inviting one of our friends to join for a conversation about this busy, blessed season as we educate our children at home.

Now, the title of the show is Homeschool Solutions. While we don't have the answer to every question, we know that all the solutions to every stress and every struggle can be found in the Person and Presence of Jesus Christ and His Living and active and applicable Word.

We are so glad that you're here to join us for today's conversation. But before we start the show, I'd like to thank our sponsors. Medi-Share. An affordable and Biblical healthcare alternative. Find out more at MyChristianCare.org for their ongoing support of homeschooling families just like yours.

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And now, on to today's show.

Well, today is an exciting day. We are on the cusp of something new here on the podcast. My name is Wendy Speake, and I have been your host for the last nine months, and we are about to do something new. We are about to blow the walls off of this little friend's circle of ours, and I am inviting half a dozen new hosts to join me and we'll take turns each week. And the hope is that we will begin growing this circle, this community, this friendship, fellowship group. And invite you to do the same.

We need people speaking into our lives. We need friendships. We need more fellowship. I think that we're all pretty good at prioritizing getting our kids where they need to be in terms of play dates and co-ops. And I want to take a look at some Scriptures today, just about the importance of fellowship. We won't spend a lot of time there, because I wanna dive straight into some of the changes that are coming, so that you know what to expect next week. And I pray that it's gonna be a great blessing for each one of us.

First Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 11 says, encourage one another and build each other up. Now, usually that's where we stop reading. But that's only half the verse. So I'm gonna read the whole thing now. First Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 11 says, encourage one another, and build each other up. Just as, in fact, you are already doing. So, I know that the majority of those listening today have been making an effort to not just give your children opportunities to grow friendship, but here in this homeschooling community that we are part of, for moms to make friendship with one another. And to encourage one another and build each other up. That's why it says, in fact, you're already doing it. And of course, this was written to the early church, in the letter to the Thessalonians.

But I wanna apply it as a letter to you and a letter to me. Yes, I see what you're doing. Yes, I see you're making the effort. And so often, the fellowship we get is a byproduct of what we're already putting together for our children, and some great friendships have been formed that way. But I wanna encourage you, here in these summer months, before the next strong, busy season starts out, to say, to check in with yourself and say, "but where, maybe, could I benefit? Or could someone else in my sphere of friends benefit from a little more intentionality?" Not necessarily around my own kitchen table with my own kids, but maybe with some other moms.

And usually, there are a couple reasons that we don't have as much as maybe we would like, or maybe would be good for us. The first, is we're already so busy meeting the needs of others in our home. And this isn't a "if Mama's not happy, ain't nobody happy" message. This isn't about manicures and pedicures. Not that there's anything wrong with those things. This isn't another girl's night out, though there's nothing wrong with that. And maybe we need a little bit of that too. This is really that you are, you are so beautifully made by the Lord, and He's made you for fellowship with Himself. And one of the ways that He delights to fellowship with us is when we are fellowshipping with others.

I'm reminded of the verse that says where two or three are gathered together in my name, I'm there, in the midst of them. And yet, we gather together with our kids and with our kid's friends, and with our local family and community. But maybe we need to be a little bit more intentional in that gathering with two or three in Christ's Name.

So, there's that. We can already have so much on our plate, so I wanna encourage you during these summer months, to think, but is there a small group that I could reach out to?

There's a verse that I just love. It's Acts chapter 2, verse 42, and this is... well, just listen. They devoted themselves, this is the early church, they devoted themselves to the Apostle's teaching and to fellowship, to breaking of bread, and to prayer. That's four things that they devoted themselves to. And we're so devoted to our kids, as it should take our priority, but does it limit us? To doing these other things as well? Are we studying God's Word? Are we devoting ourselves to the teaching of God's Word? Perhaps you go to church on Sundays and you open up the Word as a family. But maybe there's a small group of gals in your community, either at church or in your local homeschooling friend group, where you could say, hey, who wants to read through the summer, the book of Matthew? We'll just do one chapter a day and it can be as easy as texting each other at the end of the day. Just saying here's what I pulled out from it.

Or, let's get together once a month. Doesn't have to be all the time. And talk about what we're learning from our time in the Word. And of course, it can be other things too, as we go on, it says, devote yourself to the Apostle's teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. So what if we chose a couple of friends and said, hey, who wants to devote yourself with me to these things? Let's form an Acts 2:42 church experience. You know that a lot of churches have used these Scriptures here in Acts, to say, this is what the church looked like.

So, I hope that you are meeting together as our churches begin to open. Here in California, where I am, we're still doing drive-up services and that's new. Honestly, our family's been loving doing church at home as a community.

But as you do meet together, how could you, during even this time, whether it's via text or just a small gathering, if you're gathering with a few close friends at this time. Doing a driveway gathering, and not necessarily with all the homeschool kids. But just the moms. Hey, during this summer, yes, let's make wise choices and if we feel comfortable, get the kids together. But, what if we get together and talk about what we're learning in God's Word. And how it applies to what we're learning as moms, as women, as Christ-followers, as homeschooling families. Let's apply the Word to these things. Let's break our bread together and if, because of COVID-19, that's not a safe thing to do, if that's how you feel, maybe sit six feet apart and everyone can bring their food and break bread separately on the driveway. I mean, we can do this and get clever.

And then prayer. What if we do this once a month, but we say, hey this was really a powerful time together this summer. Let's continue to do it. So, it's in the vein of applying this to our own lives that I'm announcing that we are going to be growing our friendship circle for these very purposes, right here on the Homeschool Solutions Show podcast. And so, what I would love to do now is spend a few minutes introducing you to a wonderful group of gals that are gonna be speaking into our lives in the weeks and months to come.

So, if you haven't yet, subscribe to the Homeschool Solutions Show, I hope that at the end of this show, you will do that wherever it is that you tune in to podcasts. You can always find our show notes on the landing page at Homeschooling.mom. But, whether you're doing it on your Apple podcast or wherever it is you tune in, you can subscribe to the show. and then you'll get to hear from all these wonderful women who I believe are gonna become some good friends.

So, let me introduce you to them, just by listing a little bit about what they're all about. We have Janice Campbell. Perhaps you already know her. Janice Campbell is a lifelong reader. She has graduated four sons from her own homeschool. She's inspired by Charlotte Mason and Classical Education methods. She continues to explore the art of learning with literature, Living Books, and learning journals. Man, she's my kinda girl. I'm excited to make her a friend.

Janice is the author of the Excellence n Literature curriculum for grades eight through twelve, Transcripts Made Easy, and other resources. She speaks at homeschooling conferences and writes for various homeschooling magazines as well as online at EverydayEducation.com, ExcellenceInLiterature.com, and DoingWhatMatters.com.

Okay, this next gal, I've actually had her on the show in the last few months. Jessica Smartt. Jessica was one of my guests in April. You can find our conversation in episode number 224. We spoke about how to develop and enjoy a memory-making homeschool. Not so much by doing more, but by intentionally continuing to do what we're already doing. The books that we're reading, the parties we're having around our kitchen table, the movies that we watch on Friday nights, the pizza that we enjoy, the pancakes we make together on Saturday morning, the music that we're listening to.

I love what a sweet sister Jessica is. So much so that every time I speak to her, I feel like I'm learning nuggets of wisdom, just from a neighbor. Like we're leaning over the post and talking to each other about what we're doing in our own homes. So I know that you're gonna love her.

And then we have Diane Craft. Diane Craft is the president of Child Diagnostics Incorporated, and she is considered the leader in alternative teaching strategies by several teaching universities. She has a master's degree in special education. And has over 25 years experience teaching bright children who have worked too hard to learn. Maybe you have one or two or more of those in your home, and already you're excited to hear from her.

In her quest to learn more about learning disabilities and their causes, Diane became a certified natural health professional. To better understand how an upset biochemistry can impact a student's learning. As a nutritionist, Diane also specializes in natural treatments for kids with sensory processing dysfunction, and focus attention issues. I am so excited to have Diane as part of our community. I hope we become good friends, and I know that I'll be tuning in to every one of her conversations and applying her shared wisdom in my home and homeschool with my kids as well.

Next is Cynthia Tobias. She is the author of the bestselling books, The Way They Learn, and You Can't Make Me, But I Can Be Persuaded, which, I confess, I have sitting on my bedside table right now, that latter book. You Can't Me, But I Can Be Persuaded. And of course, that's through the lens of the child that is so strong-willed. And she's got great, great wisdom to share with us.

She's also featured frequently on Focus on the Family's "Best of" blogcast. Cynthia has a successful multifaceted background that includes over 32 years as an author and speaker, eight years of teaching high school, and six years in law enforcement. Cynthia has written 14 books and she is featured on radio and television shows, a popular presenter for business, government agencies, churches, homeschool, schools throughout the US and the world, and she will be joining us with her real-life friend and co-author of one of her books, Sue Acuna.

Sue is one of those, how do I say, "goofy teachers" and goofy gals who loves what many people don't love and that's spending great gobs of time with middle schoolers. Lots of time with lots of middle school-aged kids. She and Cynthia co-authored Middle School, the Inside Story, What Kids Tell Us, but Don't Tell You, which has led to new adventures for Sue as a speaker. She is crisscrossed the country, now sharing anecdotes and advice on how the classroom experience can be more successful and enjoyable for everyone. Your student. Yourself. Teachers have found this to be themselves, so, and when I say teachers, I mean, in schools. So let's apply it to our homeschool. And that's why she's gonna be joining us as one of our friends and mentors as well. She currently teaches middle school at Concordia Christian Academy in Tacoma and also directs the choir at her local church.

See, so many wonderful women that we get to invite into our friend circle.

Jennifer Cabrera. Now, she is known as the Hi-falutin Homeschooler if you follow her online. Jennifer is endearingly referred to as the Hi-falutin Homeschooler and I just love it. I had to say it a second time. Isn't that a cute name? She loves to poke fun at our homeschooling realities, and laugh a little bit about those who know nothing of what we're going through each day. She brings laughter and inspiration to get us through the hard days and empower parents to be strong and take pride in looking out for their families' education, their future, and their freedom.

One of her fun phrases is, "Anything school can do, I can do better." The real experiences and emotions and stories that she shares gives camaraderie to parents striving to educate their kids at home. And a sense of pride for putting family first. Jennifer often reminds us, you don't have to be perfect to be awesome. I love that. Love it. She just makes...I'm already smiling. So, I can tell you that she's going to come on the show to make us laugh, to make us smile. But maybe you can hear in my voice, I'm already smiling. This sweet and fun mom is also the author of Socialize Like a Homeschooler, A Humorous Homeschool Handbook, and Revolting Writing, A Hilarious Writing Vocabulary and Illustrated Journal for Reluctant Readers.

She is a featured speaker with Great Homeschool Conventions, and her memes and witty insights are widely shared on social media, so you can find her there too.

Some of these gals, I know well. But some of them are new to me too, and I'm so excited to expand our homeschool mom friend circle with them, with you, with your friends, as you invite them to join us too. I'm glad that you tuned in today and that we spent a little time together brainstorming ways to gather together as friends, as communities of homeschooling moms.

Again, you do a great job planning play dates and co-ops for your kids, and I'm here to encourage you to apply a little bit of Acts chapter 2, verse 42 to your own life. Sisters, devote yourself to the Apostle's teaching. And to fellowship. To the breaking of break, and to prayer. Reach out to some of your girlfriends, even this summer, and extend an invitation. And then look to the year ahead, and say how can we make that fit in our busy lives?

One of the things that I love to do, perhaps if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, somewhere on social media, I'm often posting pictures of the parties that I throw and my garden. I love to host parties a couple times a summer, especially, sometimes into the fall, depending on what's growing in my garden. And one of the most popular parties I've thrown for my close circle of girlfriends, I call my peach party, because we have, oh, let's see, half a dozen peach trees. And I love to make peach preserves, so I've had a peach preserving party. But I love to have sit-down around the table, with only four or five guests, where I cut flowers from the garden and I make just a very simple meal. It doesn't have to be something you work on for days and days.

But I like to make the peach the star of my peach party, of course. And I make peach lemonade and I make a chicken salad, and maybe I'll roast some peaches and put it on the salad. What else have I made in the past? Oh, I did a tea party where I made scones and served the peach preserves and served some peach tea. Like I said, it doesn't have to be extravagant to be intimate. And I wanna encourage you to look at what your interests are, or maybe some shared interests that you have with friends. You don't have to have a Pinterest worthy home, or garden, to do something.

If your passion has been walking. As families, you love to go on hikes. And maybe you even have a group of gals that you do that with the kids during the fall and the spring, where you live. Maybe you want to reach out to the moms and say, hey, before we start this next season, and the couple of fun hikes we're gonna do with the kids, let's do a mom's only hike. And we're gonna do it as a prayer hike. And let's go, let's walk together, let's talk together, let's share a couple of the victories. Let's share a couple of the prayer requests going into the year, and as we, after we've all had a chance to share a bit, let's continue to walk and pray for one another. And maybe you each want to exchange the names of one of your kids, or more, and say, I'm gonna adopt praying for your kids this year, now that I know what's on your heart, what God's put on your heart to pray for them.

So, these are just some fun, creative ways to continue to grow or maybe not grow as in size, but grow as in intimacy. Invest in the friendships that God has already given you. Okay, what else? Let's see. What are the things we wanna be devoted to? We wanna be devoted to teaching and Bible study. Reach out. See if anyone wants to dive into the Word with you. I'm always so amazed how living an active, yes, but also, how applicable God's Word is. Oftentimes, I will take a Scripture and I'll share it on social media, and I'll put in brackets, before the verse, the words "Hey mom".

So, you could say, "Hey mom," devote yourselves to the Apostle's teaching. And to fellowship. And to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And is this applicable to everybody? Yes. But what would that look like for the homeschool mom? Hey mom, hey homeschool mom, do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Okay, does this have to do with everybody? Yes. Is it applicable for our kids? Oh goodness, maybe this is our first Scripture we memorized, and the one we apply most to our homeschooling days.

Is it applicable for every one of us? Absolutely. But what specifically does it have to do with our homeschool days? What if we got on a text thread, if we can't right now, be gathering, just with our close community of homeschool moms and say, okay, as you read the Bible, look for verses that apply specifically to what it is we're doing right now in our lives. Maybe it's in our marriages. Maybe it's in our homeschooling. Maybe it's in the sin struggles that I struggle with personally. But, what is a verse that you're reading today that is applicable for you? Hey mom! Hey Wendy! Hey Jennifer! Hey Ashley! Hey Kate! Apply it to your own life. And then share it with your friends.

I really think that there's a lot of truth for us, found right here in Acts chapter 2, about devoting ourselves to this, as a community. And as our community goes deeper together with more wise women speaking into our lives, I pray that you go a little deeper with your community of faith as well.

I want to share with you a passage of Scripture found in Hebrews chapter 10, starting in verse 19. and it might seem like it has nothing to do with what we're talking about, but as we get to verse 25, I think that you'll see why it has everything to do with this conversation.

The words begin with, therefore, sisters, brothers, and sisters...I just said sisters cause it's mostly homeschool moms here... therefore, sisters, since we have confidence to enter the most holy place by the Blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened up for us through the curtain, that is, His Body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart, and with a full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience, and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Now, we're in verse 23. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He Who promised is faithful, and let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more, as we see the day approaching.

That's what I want to encourage you. Let's grow our circle of friendships, again, not necessarily in size, if you already have a nice, wonderful circle of intimate friendships. But let's be intentional during this season, to go deeper. Let's study the Word together. Let's break bread together. Fellowship together. And pray together. And I hope that in this place, in the Homeschool Solutions Show, we'll find that that really is the solution to so many of our struggles in this life, is that we don't have enough of this learning God's Word together, meeting together, encouraging one another, building each other up together, breaking bread together, thanking God for that bread together. Praying for our children together, and seeing Him move in powerful ways.

And that's really the blessing that we wanna speak over your life, and speak over this podcast. We pray that He does move in powerful ways in our community of friendship. So, I'd love to wrap this short podcast up with a prayer, praying a blessing over you, over this community, over your friendships, over this podcast, as we move forward, growing our own circle of fellowship, and looking forward to the episodes where we have new homeschooling moms speaking into this season of our lives. Let's pray.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word. We thank You that it is so applicable. We thank You that You are, You're speaking into our lives at home, with our family, but You have specific wisdom to share. It says, meet me in My Word. It's living and active and applicable for what you're going through in your home and in your homeschool. Grow your fellowship circle. Don't stop meeting together, even if it's not safe to literally meet together right now, with churches still closed down. Gather together in some way. Encourage one another. Don't stop, you're already doing it. God, You've told us in Your Word. You're speaking into our lives through First Thessalonians chapter five. You're already doing it. Do it more, I hear You saying. And that's what we hope to do here in the Homeschool Solutions Show, Lord, and I pray that You bless the episodes to come and the families that are tuning in. That You would encourage us. That You would grow us. That You would equip us. That You would refreshen us. That You would honor the work of our hands in our homes and in our homeschools. We pray all this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Thank you for joining us this week on the Homeschool Solutions Show. As always you can find show notes and links to all the resources mentioned at Homeschooling.mom.

I hope you'll take a moment to subscribe to the podcast and, if it was especially meaningful to you, share it with your friends via email or social media. This is just another way we can all encourage and love and support one another.

Speaking of love and support, we are so grateful for the support of our sponsors. Have you joined us at one of the Great Homeschool Conventions? The Great Homeschool Conventions are the homeschooling events of the year, offering outstanding speakers, hundreds of workshops, covering today's top parenting, and homeschooling topics. And the largest homeschool curriculum exhibit halls in the US. Find out more at GreatHomeschoolConventions.com.

I hope to see you there. But in the meantime, let's gather together again here on the podcast next week.

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