simple faith {Poem}

simple faith by: Heather Mac

LORD, Jesus, ever be my first love,
Let my heart draw nigh to none other.
Grace is sufficient in Yourself, and I wait upon You.
Defying all logic, You only, and not another.

simple faith.

Trusting You with all of my life;
wants, needs, dreams and all.
The harvest of good fruit is Yours to cultivate and give.
Righteousness is Your will, keeping me ever, lest I fall.

simple faith.

Let mine ever be a devotion fully abandoned to Your perfect will.
Let my adoration be pure and true.
Let me trust and confidentially rest in You, my Jesus.
Not in an "experience", but in faith alone, my Savior, in You.

simple. true. faith.

Hebrews 11:1-3
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible."

Joyfully Learning with You,


Ready for the Rest {Weekend Reflecting}

Love this little turkey that Bug created at co-op last week.

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Reflecting on the week with joy; come good, bad, or indifferent . . .
This mommy is ready for Thanksgiving and a week of rest . . . or, well, something that passes for rest in my book.  Our entire family is taking the week off, homeschooling included, with the exception of homeschool co-op projects that need steady progress.  Especially that big history project from that mean-ole American History teacher . . . oh wait, that's me . . . never mind.  

Big Daddy Mac will be home too, so we are readying our home for some crafting, cleaning, and relaxing . . . most likely not in that particular order.  Take a peek at some of my upcoming projects on my Pinboard.
Enjoying covering the Reformation with my 7th Grade students at co-op.

 I have begun documenting my giving of "peculiar" thanks on Facebook, so be sure to see some of the strange things that pass for thanks in my little world.

What I'm reading this week . . .  

What we are Reading-A-Loud . . . 

The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro
What the kids are reading this week . . . 
The Squeaker: Johnny Tremain, another silly "Warriors" book, & The Swiss Family Robinson
The Scout: Johnny TremainThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer, some Owls of Galhoole book (forget which one . . . he typically doesn't like "new" reads, he will read the same ones over and over.  Wonder where he got that from???
The Bug: The Family Under the Bridge, Farmer Boy (again? yep.)
Really enjoyed some quiet writing time last weekend while the girls were attending a competition.
Mom Projects I Tackled . . . 
  • Worked long and hard all week on my True Heroes post.  If you missed it, go take a look.
  • Finished a stack of my favorite crocheted dishcloths, which I would enjoy doing everyday, over and over again. 

Here are the posts I enjoyed this week . . .

Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

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True Heroes: The Pilgrims and Trusting Providence Mini-Unit

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During this time of year, it is all too easy to rush past the giving of thanks and run straight into the holly-dazed hysterics that some would like to call Christmas.  Don't tune out yet, I'm not going on one of my rants . . . well, not today, at least.  What I would love to share with my friends is an opportunity to pause and truly give thanks to God for our heritage.  There is no better way to begin, than by giving consideration and reverence to the plight of the people we know as, the Pilgrims.
ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT via Compfight.com cc
*Editor's note: I found this "True Heroes" post especially challenging, considering all of the "anti-Puritan" views that pollute the main stream media culture.  I want to reassure my readers that I scoured and searched to eliminate any historical malpractice that I could detect in the resources that I researched, in order to bring you historical sound history, with a biblical worldview, personal opinions omitted.  I happen to believe that you, and your children, are intelligent enough to form your own opinion.

Pilgrims & Trusting Providence Mini-Unit:
  • READ-A-LOUD About the Pilgrims:
---> The Pilgrim Story - I enjoyed reading the history myself from this classic work.  It is an excellent resource and helps build a better understanding of the outstanding trials and circumstances that God brought the Pilgrims through.  
--->Stories of the Pilgrims by: Margaret B. Pumphrey, is an excellent read-a-loud for the entire family.  The image below will take you to an online reader at Heritage History.
[Frontispiece] from Stories of the Pilgrims by M. B. Pumphrey
  • STUDY THE PILGRIM LEADERS ---> William Bradford: The best resource for learning about the Pilgrims comes directly from the hand of William Bradford, long-standing leader and governor of Plymouth.  His work Of Plymouth Plantation is detailed, accurate and clearly gives way for other generations to observe and rejoice in the Providence of God over our lives.  Of Plymouth PlantationPublic Domain Copy, or Buy it Here. ---> John Robinson: Bradford described Robinson as one of those "godly and zealous preachers" in his writings.  Robinson did not make the journey with the Pilgrims to the New World, but was a great leader of the Pilgrims and deserves a pause to look at.  ---> William Brewster: Brewster was an early member of what became the Pilgrim church in Scrooby, England.  The church originally met in the home he was renting from a high-ranking official in King James' court.  He had much to risk and much to loose, as one of the more wealthy members of the church.  Brewster was the elder that traveled to Plymouth with the Pilgrims. Begin reading At Scrooby Inn from Stories of the Pilgrims to learn more about these Pilgrim leaders.  ---> Miles Standish: Miles Standish was not a Pilgrim, but the captain of the small band of soldiers that traveled to the New World with the Pilgrims. Here is an excellent resource The Adventures of Miles Standish from America First by: Lawton B. Evans, here is a chapter called The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers, from This Country of Ours by: H.E. Marshall that mentions Standish.  You may also enjoy studying this classic from Longfellow, The Courtship of Miles Standish, and here is the LibriVox FREE Audio.
  • Notebooking Ideas for Thanksgiving: 
*Postcards from Plymouth: Pretend you are a child on the Mayflower, create a postcard & paste it in your Notebook.  Now write a letter to a friend back in Holland or Scrooby, England in your Notebook*

*Write a historical fiction short story from the first-person view of a Native American living near the Pilgrims.*

*Create a Thanksgiving Menu, like a restaurant menu and place in your notebook.  Go shopping and price all of your items.*

*Find your favorite Thanksgiving recipes and document the recipes in your Notebook.*

File:Embarkation of the Pilgrims.jpg
thanks giving the first Thanksgiving

thanks giving First Thanksgiving in America
thanks giving landing of the pilgrims
  • THE PATH OF PRAISE: Wonderful resource from Homeschool Freebie - The Path of Praise RADIO SHOW is a radio drama special beginning with William Bradford and the Pilgrims, and follows the heritage and history behind the holiday.
thanks giving The First Thanksgiving Gerome

  • More Thanksgiving Fun: 
Free Thanksgiving Lacing Cards, Free Printable Gratitude Journal, Thanksgiving Skip Counting Mazes, Road Trip Activity Book for the Thanksgiving trip, Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt

I hope you will find the time to remember the contributions of the Pilgrims to our country's proud and most humble heritage.  Many prayers for blessings and giving thanks for all of you, my friends, this Thanksgiving.

Joyfully Learning Alongside You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

This post is part of our monthly historical mini-unit educational series:
ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT via Compfight.com cc
Do you have an idea for the True Heroes series? True Heroes features a person, or persons, that meet specific criteria:
  • Historically significant individuals
  • Held openly Christian values & actions that matched those values (does this mean there were perfect, no, of course not)
  • Humbly served to better their society and world
Send you suggestions by commenting below!

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter & Facebook!


How-To Avoid Homeschool Mommy Guilt & Gain Focus {Winter Summit 2014}

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Homeschool moms are passionate about their children, practically perfect in every way, and are so full of joy that they daily resemble Julie Andrews singing-on-the-mountain-top.

Original Photo Credit via Compfight.com cc



Reality. Most days I am chiding myself, and living with guilt for having had my own personal temper-tantrum for the fifth time over missed adjectives, copywork, narration, or some other basic academic element that I have had to review with my children for the millionth time.

What is the reason for this major gap between what I want to be as a home educator, wife and mommy; and what I am actually experiencing and living on a daily basis?

Corinthians 13:12
"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known."

Deciding to live with the way I "feel" and living with expectations that are not based on reality, but on lies, vanity and pride.  OUCH!  

"I feel like an island unto myself."  
"I feel like I am failing my kids." 
"I feel like my husband is far from caring." 
"I feel." 

Hmmm. . . do we see a running theme here?

Okay, so I vote to snap out of it.  The whole homeschool mommy guilt thing.  The whole "me" thing.  The whole enchilada!  Are you with me?
So, knowing that we preach most what we most need to learn ourselves, here is my "how-to" on avoiding the guilt and gaining focus:

1.  Recast vision.  Seek and search with your husband, and come back to those first passions of home education.  Remember your "why".  Help your children to see that you are unified and ready to work "with" what God is doing in their lives.  Not working "for" God, but "with" God can make a huge differnce in our daily life.

2.  Be a blessing.  When you feel like an island, get a ministry.  Write a card to a soldier.  Babysit for another homeschool mommy who may need a break.  Cook for an elderly or ill church member.  

3.  Pray moment to moment.  Finding your prayer closet is the only certain means of thriving alongside your children, rather than just surviving.  This is a daily act of surrender to God's Providence and dependence on Christ.


Look, we all know that the homeschool guilt monster is there, waiting around the corner . . .  Choose 3 to 5 homeschool girlfriends and head to Winter Summit!
Winter Summit caravan 2013

Winter Summit 2014 is Moving To Texas -  Ya'll come and join us for a "guilt-free", action-packed, laugh-out-loud, bless-your-socks-off weekend of refreshing joy!  Don't just take my word on it either . . . Here are some great posts from some of my IRL (In Real Life) friends and bloggers giving their own "Amen" to the Winter Summit: Connie, Lisa, Brandi, Kelly

5.  Remember that homeschooling is not about you, but God giving you the pleasure of being a part of His disciplining His children.  It is His work!  Let Him do it.

We are all in this together.  Praying for you.  Loving you.  Ready to walk alongside you.

I Corinthians 13:13
"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Joyful Socks and her literal BFF from Elementary School!
Met up for Winter Summit Oklahoma last year.
What month of the year is your biggest struggle in home educating?

Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

Read more joyful posting here:
  Visual Latin : Will your kids laugh in Latin class? 


10 Read-a-Loud & Picture Books for Thanksgiving from a Picky Mom

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Original Photo Credit via Comp Fight CC

Was anyone aware that I am a picky mom? Especially in the arena of what books I put into the hands of my children.  It is true, I have been know to be an up-start, down-right snob when it comes to children's literature.  I have been know to reject the most pristine copies of illustrated children's classics, for the sheer fact that they are abridged.  I despise most commercially-driven books that are published in "series", just so the publisher can continue to milk every last cent from a copyright.  Confession is good for the soul!

So, I decided to use this snob-like tendency for the benefit of my friends...by the way, that's you.

Many Most books about the historical events surrounding the first Thanksgiving have a bend toward the liberal side of history.  Historians are typically generous in their depictions of the Native Americans, and judgmental towards the "Puritanical" Pilgrims. (Don't get me started!)  The historical "malpractice" abounds in many of these so-called historical accounts.

Here is a strict, historically accurate, and family-oriented, list of Thanksgiving books for your enjoyment:
Squanto: Friend of Pilgrims
Clyse Robert Bulla; Clyde Robert Bulla
This selection is one of my personal favorites, as I distinctly remember reading this book as a child.  We have read it multiple times as a family.  One reason I enjoy this book is that it explains the relationship of Squanto and the Pilgrims in a less biased light.  I am extremely frustrated tired of historical accounts that paint the Native Americans as the "saviors" of the Pilgrims.  The Pilgrims where sufficient unto God alone.  Many of the Pilgrims were farmers from Scrooby, England; they only needed "some" guidance on farming the new terrain and in the new climate . . . the Indians did not teach generational farmers how to farm! Whew . . . there, I feel better now!
  • Of Plymouth Plantation by: William Bradford
  • Of Plymouth Plantation (Dover Value Editions)
    William Bradford
    Ask any of my history students at the academy how I feel about "primary source documents", and I guarantee you will walk away with an ear full!  The reading of William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation is a family tradition that I hope will be carried along to far reaching generations.  It is of great value to hear directly from the voices that helped shape history.  The Pilgrim story accurately communicated, as told by a Pilgrim ... if not "the" Pilgrim, helps to create an empathy for the people's plight and bridge the gap of time in the minds and hearts of our children.
  • Cranberry Thanksgiving
Love this picture book ... dislike that it is out-of-print and difficult to find.  I hope you can find one in your local library!
This book spends time sharing the story of a lone brave, Squanto, and the brave Pilgrims as they are moved and orchestrated by the hand of God.
  This is more of a historical account of Plymouth Rock and what happened after they were gone.  I still enjoy reading this one although it is less to do with the holiday of Thanksgiving.  I love the history of our heritage, and Jean Fritz is one of my favorite authors for children.  So there ... just read it!
The story is of Mary and her struggling immigrant family from Ireland, as they spend their first meager Thanksgiving in America.  Her father begins telling of the trials of the Pilgrims and "five kernels of faith" that grew from the hardship.
  This is a much beloved story that my girls and I enjoy each year . . . my son even enjoys watching the movie, but don't tell anyone.  The movie is nice too, but not at all following along with the traditions story by Alcott.  The story is lovely and heart-warming and well worth bringing down year after year.  The end of the book has a recipe for "apple slump" which if fun and yummy to make.
  Wonderful collection of stories about the heritage of the Pilgrims beginning in England and all-throughout the history of Plymouth Plantation.  The Thanksgiving Day chapter is especially nice to read-a-loud the week of the holiday.

* Thankful that you stayed around to read about my picky-ness! *

Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

Read more joyful posting here:
  Visual Latin : Will your kids laugh in Latin class? 


10 Reasons Notebooking Helps Home Educated Students: Notebooking Construction

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Notebooking is an essential element that I added to my teaching style years ago, both at home and at the academy where I instruct.  I have found that through the years it is a method that is consistent in its ability to promote a love of learning in my students.  

You can utilize the notebooking method in any and every subject that you teach, making it a versatile tool for any educator.  It is a method of teaching that in my experience, has gradually promoted self-education and excellence in all of my different students throughout the years.
As a life-long learner myself, I have enjoyed using this method to broaden my own horizons in the subject that I most enjoy.

Can you tell how enthused I am about notebooking?  Well, don't just bask in my enthusiasm, here are some more reasons to explore the world of notebooking in your own home education environment:

1.  Washington was an excellent notebooking student.  Leonardo Di Vinci's notebooking efforts are world renown.  If it worked for them, it might as well work for you.

2.  Students will tend to take more time, effort and pride in producing something that innately belongs to them.  When students create, they own.  When they own, they learn.

3.  The daily use of notebooks helps make grading a smoother, stream-lined and user-friendly process for the home educator.  Whew!  Can I get an, "Amen" on that one ladies?  All of the student's work is at your fingertips, ready to go.

4.  Students who learn the importance of good note taking skills, have a more convenient and easy-to-understand method of reviewing or studying at a later time.

5.  Notebooking is an excellent means for students to learn and develop good organizational skills.

6.  When a student uses their notebooking skills, they are exercising their ability to express their own thoughts and opinions about the subjects they are learning, promoting self-government and independent thought.

7.  As a student is able to express better what they believe, they can better develop a biblical worldview that allows them to defend their faith, with confidence.

8.  Notebooking can be an wonderful creative-based method, essential for a student's need for an artistic outlet.

9.  Keeping a notebook is a great way to keep record of what your student has learned and accomplished throughout the year.

10.  Note taking skills are of high value to any student that is college bound.

I hope that you will see the amazing benefits of learning, along with your children  and begin to utilize notebooking in your home educating.  You can find lots of notebooking inspiration on my Pinterest Board.

Check-out some joyfully recommended NOTEBOOKING products:

Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

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This post is part of my Notebooking Construction monthly highlighted series: