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Good morning, Mamas. Oops, I made another goof. Those of you who receive my encouragements by email may have noticed another post attached to the end of my encouragement about “Working Together So That Everyone Succeeds” which I sent out yesterday. That happened because I wrote today’s “Education That Fits” on the same day and accidentally dated them both for yesterday. Sorry about that. When my friend Linda kindly pointed out my mistake early yesterday morning, I told Ray what I had done. He said that it could be an April Fool’s. I said, “And who would that be?” —meaning me, of course. 🙂 Well, here’s what is on my heart to share with you today—no foolin’!

Working on my last painting taught me a lesson that I believe will be valuable to you in your homeschool. I have been taking painting classes since last July. Three of my first four paintings were copies of paintings my teacher had created. Another time I painted from someone else’s photograph of a bird. Though I enjoyed working on and completing each of those, I found new joy when I painted my barn . . .

. . . because this time I was painting our barn, a barn I know, a barn I’ve gone into for the last 18 years, a barn I’ve photographed in the snow, . . .

in the afternoon light, . . .

and under a rainbow.

Painting the details of something that is real to me in my life was a moment by moment and stroke by stroke joy.

When I began my next painting last week, I was sure that I wanted to paint something real and meaningful to me. I chose this flamingo from our recent trip to the zoo.

I remember watching it twist and turn as it took its afternoon bath. I remember the pattern of the feathers. I remember sharing the experience with our daughter and her family.

This is my work in progress.

Because this is a painting and I can create it any way I like, my teacher helped me to pick out colors that she saw in the real water. Then, I took those colors and played around with them. This combination of something real that I have experienced and playing around with strokes and colors has been fun.

When we homeschooled, I enjoyed finding real things that our children could do. Whenever possible I counted those real things as school. We went to plays and on field trips to real places. They practiced writing by writing real snail mail letters. Our daughters worked to set up a children’s library at our church. Our son took a leadership role in youth group devotionals. Our children studied for and participated in Bible bowls. Our children wrote plays that young actors actually performed. Once I had them write illustrated autobiographies. We put copies into three-ring binders and gave them to their grandparents for Christmas.

Homeschooling is not an education plan that has been designed for everyone, but one designed especially for your own young ones. These thoughts remind me of the real education God described for Israelite children. Through homeschooling, you can teach your children words of God. Our children can take His words to heart and to soul. You can teach your children wherever you are and wherever they are—and what a blessing it is that you and they are not separated, but together.

You shall therefore take these
words of mine to heart and to soul;
and you shall tie them
as a sign on your hand,
and they shall be as frontlets 
on your forehead. 
You shall also teach them to your sons,
speaking of them when you sit in your house,
when you walk along the road,
when you lie down, and
when you get up.
Deuteronomy 11:18-19


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