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Both Sides of Being Real - Issue 353
August 29, 2014
Hi there! ....

This week we made really good progress on the kids studying for the full focus time every day of the week. There are still some weak links in our plans and we are working on those. I think the biggest thing I noticed this week is the kids starting to take ownership not only of their study but of those weak links. It has been a good lesson for me to learn that as a mum I may have my expected timeline for the kids to develop and grow, but I can't push it, all I can be is consistent in the instruction and support as they learn these life lessons.

As you would have noticed, there was no newsletter last week, this is because I went on a church camp. I intended to write my newsletter before we left, but camping always takes more prep time than I imagine or wish it did. It was a good time away, though we did have car dramas.

This week we had some friends visiting - they camped in their tent and used our new bathroom! wahoo!! But it meant a few extra late nights for everyone as we made every opportunity to catch up.

Live life with your Kids!

If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

This week I shared this newsletter as a blog post over at Vibrant Homeschooling. Vibrant Homeschooling is a community of everyday mums —women just like you!— from all over the world sharing the quiet triumphs (and everyday challenges) of this glorious homeschooling adventure. Through online classes, blog posts and other resources, Alicia wants to help you discover (and love) your imperfectly perfect homeschooling journey. Pop over and have a visit I'm sure you'll be encouraged.

On my own blog I wrote about 5 Basic Skills to Graduate from Homeschool Highschool looking at the key things my children need before they are done homeschool.

And over at Our Homeschool Forum highlighted an older post of mine which you may also find helpful: Tools to help the Distracted Child get through their day.

Both Sides of Being Real

Honesty. Openness. Truth.

These are essential elements of having “real” relationships with each other. But I’ve noticed a recent online trend (and in sharing face-to-face) for many of us. In our quest to be “real,” we sometimes are quick to only share our weaknesses—as if these are the only things that define us.

However, any “real” person has weaknesses and strengths.

It’s one thing to give our personal litany of faults (here are a few of mine):

  • I don’t make my bed
  • I often have food go to waste in my fridge
  • I buy too many recipe books
  • I have piles of stuff on my bedroom floor
  • I get emotional when angry
  • I forget things and get disorganized when I have too much going on
  • I’ve rarely completed a homeschooling curriculum

…And on and on. But that is only half the picture of the “real” me. I also have many strengths (as you do too!):

  • I make time to talk with people
  • I invite people into my home even if it isn’t tidy
  • I have a good relationship with my kids
  • I am creative
  • I learn by reading
  • I think about things deeply

What if, instead of simply highlighting or showcasing our weaknesses, we chose to give the full picture of how we (and of how others) see us? This is being true to ourselves (and to others).

How does this happen?

Well, perhaps we can take a lesson from how we interact with our kids. It certainly would be easy to tell our children all of the things that they’re doing wrong in school—all the areas of improvement, ways they could be better, etc. But we temper this, don’t we? We may feel free to share these things (obviously in a kind and loving way) but we also do our best to remind them of the other half—the wonderful ways they’re improving; all the beauty and good in their hearts.

What if we were that open and kind to ourselves—recognizing both the good and the bad as the complete picture of who we are? And then, what if we took that perception and presented it as our “real,” complete selves?

This kind of honesty takes loads of self confidence because somehow society seems more comfortable when we simply degrade ourselves in the name of “being real.”

And, if we are Christians, presenting this full picture of ourselves (both the strengths and weaknesses) is essential in allowing for God’s glory to shine through us! How can we claim Bible verses such as “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” without then sharing all the good He accomplishes through us?

By presenting this balanced picture of ourselves, we can:

  • acknowledge our strengths, and then use them to find solutions to our struggles (and that of those around us)
  • confess our weaknesses, and then rely on Christ to help us grow and change for the better
  • ask for help from others (including asking for prayer), and help others (and pray for them)

This is how we create an atmosphere where relationships are built. When we hide things (good or bad things) we manipulate the impression people get of us (and this can happen in a family as well as within the homeschool community), and we control the depth of life that we share with people.

Of course, when we determine to be real we don’t need to bare our souls to everyone. Healthy boundaries still need to be in place, and our friendships have various degrees of intimacy.

But the caution is there – don’t hide what you are. Be real; show the good and the bad, the strong and the weak. Our homeschooling… our friendships…our families… all of these can only be enriched when we live authentically.

Have you visited my blog, Live life with your Kids? You can subscribe to receive updates in your email inbox (see the subscription button on the right hand side of my blog)

Or you could read more at my website (homeschooling and parenting issues) Lifestyle Homeschool

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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