Just a Touch of Love


I was preparing for my history lesson today and was reading about the Franciscan and Dominican orders of priests and nuns in the Roman Catholic Church. Both of these orders were begun with their mission being service to all men. I love that!

So, today as you begin your week, why not perform a kind deed for a friend, neighbor, or a stranger? Find a place where you can take the children if they are able to go with you. I am going to step out of my comfort zone and help once again in the inner city, something I did with my husband for many years. Yes, it’s a bit scary, and you certainly don’t need to do that, but we have been called to serve those who are in need and that is what I think I will do.

If you are wanting some ideas to help you think of places to show just a touch of love, consider the following:

Food pantry– take canned goods to them and/or see if they need volunteers

Sort out your clothes and take them to Goodwill, AmVets, or another organization.

Visit a nursing home Go a couple of times if you can. People in nursing homes love company, and especially children.

Do you have a jar of change? How about having the children count and wrap the money (math!) and decide where you as a family would like to give the money. Your children will enjoy helping, and being involved, and you are modeling kindness and generosity.

Drop off goodies to your neighbors. So few people have time to bake any more that a plate full of goodies is greatly appreciated. If you don’t want to give food, then how about a candle and a card or something else? It’s the kindness shown that counts!

Make cards for service men and women. Operation We Are Here has several links of organizations that you can send cards and letters. You can also deliver cards to neighbors, friends, church members, and family.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen This is such a rewarding thing to do. The act of serving someone always makes my day brighter for some reason. The homeless love to see young people and enjoy it when someone talks to them.

Do you knit, crochet, or quilt? There are hospital organizations that have need of blankets and baby hats. This would be great for school too since it can be counted as fine arts. ūüôā

Ask your children! Do they have something that is on their heart? Children are tenderhearted and many times see needs that we didn’t recognize.

I leave you with a link from a scene in the movie, Sister Act, called Just a Touch of Love. The church went and got involved in the community, where they helped the people and the people, in turn, helped them. Pretty cool!









Helping Children Tell the Truth

Torn Truth

He who permits himself to tell a lie once,

Finds it much easier to do it a second  and third time,

until at length it becomes habitual.

He tells without attending to it,

and truths ¬†without the world’s believing him.

~Thomas Jefferson~

Telling the truth has been a challenge since the beginning of time, starting in the Garden of Eden. It is important for our children to be taught to tell and uphold the truth. Every one of us is faced with the opportunity to lie when faced with a consequence we may not want. So, how do we help children tell the truth, especially when they know that there will be unfavorable consequences?

  1. Let him/her know the truth is always the best. I have a confession to make. When I was little, I was a liar. I remember as a first grader I had fabricated so many tales I couldn’t keep them all straight! I can remember my mom confronting me and when I confessed I felt so much better. I tried not to lie from that day forward because I never wanted to be known as a liar.
  2. Provide your child with an opportunity to tell the truth. Have you ever accused your child of not telling the truth only to discover you were wrong? I sure have! If you know (or think you know) they have lied, bring up the subject in a non-threatening way so that they have the opportunity to confess and correct what they have done.
  3. Show mercy¬†when s/he tells the truth.¬†Shouldn’t there be a consequence¬†for lying? Yes,¬†but I found that if I could extend grace to my sons, this provided an environment to admit they had lied and seek forgiveness.
  4. Make the punishment fit the crime. If your child lies about something and you know it could lead to bigger issues, punish them according to the offense to show them the consequences of lying. We had an incident in our home where a lie was told and the offender had to go to an adult they didn’t know and confess what they had done. I believe he never wanted to have to repeat that!
  5. Council and pray with your child. Get to the reason as to why they chose to lie if you are able. Pray with him/her afterwards.
  6. Let your child know you love them. That is so important because children feel bad in disappointing us. Let him/her know everyone makes mistakes, but being honest will build trust as lying erodes that trust.
  7. Give them a big hug! When a child confesses that they have lied, be quick to forgive and squeeze the stuffings out of them!

Have a great week!




Chore Cards: Completing Housework


Chores can be a negative word in a child’s mind, okay, in an adult’s mind too! So, how do you get housework done around the house without a lot of nagging and threatening? I wish I had the cure to share with you because I would be a wealthy woman selling my solution! ¬†It is a matter of discipline for all involved. You have to be disciplined in seeing that the work gets done and your family members have to be disciplined in doing the work.

One of the biggest frustrations I found with my sons was that work was “half done” or not done to my satisfaction. Do you call a bathroom clean when the mirror still has toothpaste on it? hmmm… I found myself having to go and round up the one whose chore it was and be right there while the job was completed correctly.

By creating a simple checklist, chores  were done correctly. Laminating an index card with a list of things to be done for each chore worked well. I first demonstrated each step on the chore card and watched a few times to be sure the steps were done properly. If you decide to do this, the time invested in the beginning will give you huge dividends in the long run.  I kept the chore card in the room which was being cleaned, but they can also all be kept in a central location.

Chore cards can be different colors for different rooms for easy reference. It is frustrating when you have a system in place and it gets derailed because of a small detail. You can type and duplicate the directions for each chore card in case it gets lost.   Here is an example for cleaning the living room:

Living Room

Supplies Needed: Dust rag, furniture polish, vacuum cleaner


  1. Pick up any toys/items that do not belong  and put them in their proper place.
  2. Using the dust rag, wipe off the lamp shade and the baseboards.
  3. Lightly spray the wooden table with the furniture polish and use the dust rag to rub in the polish.
  4. Vacuum the rug, making sure you move the furniture.
  5. Replace the furniture and the vacuum to their original spot.
  6. Put away furniture polish and throw dust rag in the laundry.
  7. Return the chore card to its proper place.

I realize everyone’s house and standard of clean is different, but hopefully this gives you ideas and saves you time. ūüôā





Safety and Manners Books

51TsXHfXeaL._AA160_I found these darling books for you to read to your early elementary students. The first one by author Margery Cuyler is called Please Play Safe! The book first gives a scenario of the wrong way to act and then takes the scenario and gives the right way to act. It not only includes safety, but also ways to treat others. This can lead to great discussions to have with your child about the playground and being a good neighbor while there.

51wH13KI7QL._UX160_Another book in the series is called Please say Please! Here Penguin has guests over for dinner ¬†and his friends need some help in using etiquette. Just as the other book has a poor behavior scenario and a proper behavior scenario to follow, so does this book. This is a great book to use before going to Grandma’s for dinner!

Homeschool Magazines

stack-of-magazinesTo me, there is just something about reading magazine articles that I find inspiring and invigorating. The articles have proven to be the extra boost that I have needed when I have been “stuck” on a particular issue, whether that was helping a late-blooming reader or helping me raise sons. I would return to articles that I had read in the past and gain new insights or affirmation that I was on the “right track”. Here are several well established magazines or magalogs that have helped me over the years. ¬†Some are free and some cost money, but I have found the money to be well spent!

Homeschooling Today has several free online articles that you can read to see if you would like to subscribe to their publication. This is a quarterly magazine and will be delivered to you in the mail and as a digital subscription. This magazine has articles about parenting, science, ¬†art studies, and special needs, to name a few. Wouldn’t it be nice to get something in the mail that you actually want and is beneficial?¬†($29.99 yearly)

Practical Homeschooling is published five times a year by Mary Pride, a homeschool veteran and bestselling homeschool author.  Some articles that are listed are ideas for help with teaching when you have a newborn and character studies for preschoolers. ($17.95 yearly)

The Classical Teacher is a Christian Classical Education magalog; a magazine and catalog in one.  It’s free and is published quarterly. While they do discuss and address issues from a Classical perspective, they have excellent articles that will help you homeschool. There is an articles tab up at the top of the page or scroll down to the bottom of the page to see them.

¬†Schoolhouse Publishing has a magalog that is produced quarterly. This year’s catalog features an article about homeschooling boys, and believe me, Susie Kemmerer¬†knows since she has nine sons! This is primarily a catalog, they do have short articles and helpful book reviews throughout.

Have a great week!