Monthly Archives: June 2011

A Favorite Bible Verse Song CD (and another great resource too!)

A Favorite Bible Verse Song CD (and another great resource too!)

I have been wanting to tell you about a favorite CD of ours for quite a while now!  Sing the Word from A to Z is fun CD which has 26 Scripture memory verses tied to songs!  It is a great mnemonic aid. There is a verse tied to each letter of the alphabet, hence 26 songs!   It has diverse musical styles and also has adults and children singing the songs. We listen to this in the car quite a bit and even our 2 year old is now singing some of the songs on the CD (which is really amazing since she just started putting 2-3 words together in her speaking).

What a great way to have your children (and yourself)  memorize Scripture without even working at it!  The songs are short and fun, you might even recognize a few melodies from other children’s songs!  I know that putting things to music is a great way to memorize and learn things.  (Which is why it is important to be aware of what our children (and ourselves )listen to on a day to day basis—but this topic could be another post in itself!)

You can check out the CD here from Sing the Word.  They even have clips from the songs that you are able to listen to.

If you haven’t started having your kids memorize Scripture this is a great place to start.  It’s also a great springboard for conversations.  The other day our 4 year old was listening to “Honor Your Father and Mother” on the CD in the car and it was a great starter for a conversation about what it means to honor someone and how do we honor our father and mother.

You might have started memorization a long time ago, I still HIGHLY recommend this CD.  My oldest kids enjoy listening to the CD and it is a great reminder of the verses they might have learned a few years back.  There were also quite a few on there that they hadn’t learned until they heard the CD.

Listening to Scripture memory songs, Bible stories like these from Your Story Hour, or books on CD is a quality way to pass the time and keep kids occupied while in the car (whether you are driving 10 minutes or 10 hours). Our kids love the Bible stories from Your Story Hour!

Check out these two great resources today!  By the way, I am not receiving anything from anyone for telling you about these CD’s.  I just really think you should know about them.  We love them!



TOS Crew

TOS Crew

Wow, this week has been a busy week.  Everything has started up with TOS Homeschool Crew Review and we are getting our manuals and meeting all the other reviewers for the year.  It has been an exiting time!  If you don’t know much about the TOS Homeschool Crew here is a brief intro.  We are a group of homeschoolers who have been chosen to do reviews on anything related to us (but not just necessarily homeschool curriculum).  The reviews could be for books, games, web based programs etc. Even if you aren’t a homeschooler, you will enjoy and benefit from the reviews for other learning products, Christian books, etc.

I actually have 2 other posts written but they aren’t quite coming out the way I want them to sound so you will have to wait to read them.  Back to the drawing board computer I go to get them the way I want them.

In the mean time, head on over to TOS Homeschool Crew’s reviews page and check out all the reviews that were done this last year (and see what has started coming on deck for this year).  They did an amazing job.  I know when I have had a question about curriculum in the past, it’s one of the first places I check.

Also, I know plenty have had a chance to enter but please take a minute to enter for the Free Ester’s Secrets products, contest ends Friday!

I need YOUR help!

I need YOUR help!

You probably know that we are doing a giveaway to Ester’s Secrets right now.  What you might not know is that this is a new business that a teen daughter of a friend of mine has started.  I would love it if you could help to support her in this new endeavor.  It has been a long time dream come true for her to start this and I think it would be awesome if we could all head over on facebook and like her page.  Tell her Home in the Trenches sent you and mention what you would like to try out if you won.  She is giving away a free lip balm, lotion and soap of your choice.  FREE, what is better than that?

Please take a minute right now and encourage her….LIKE her page.  Pretty please with a cherry on top.  Thanks!!!!!  You will be entered twice into the drawing.

Tell all your friends.  If they come and like Home in the Trenches FB page and Ester’s Secrets you will each get 2 additional entries.  (Oh, make sure they post on my wall that you sent them and what Ester’s Secret product they would like to try.


Thanks Friends!

A letter I received that you NEED to read….

A letter I received that you NEED to read….

I received a letter this week.  My husband read it and said, “That is the type of letter you have to save!”  I immediately thought of my blog and I thought many of you could benefit from it.  It comes from  a now post-homeschooling mom of 4, who started one of the homeschooling co-ops that I am blessed to be a part of.  Below are the excerpts of the letter that I thought you would like NEED to read.

June 5, 2011

Dear Friends,

My years of home schooling may have come to an end, but my involvement in education has not.  I am currently working on my master’s degree in education and have a private practice as an educational therapist.  This is a fancy way of saying that I work with kiddos (and adults) that learn differently.  I absolutely love this new chapter of my life to which God has so graciously directed me.  Educational therapy is a no nonsense, extremely effective intervention that has the potential to change a student’s life and I find this to be very rewarding besides a lot of fun.  In addition, I will be writing, consulting, and intend to stay connected to home schoolers.

After being a public school teacher for a short time after college, I began 24 of the most fabulous years of my life:  being a mom.  My husband allowed me to pursue my dream of being a stay-at-home, home schooling mom.  Yes, it was a financial sacrifice, but one that we made gladly.  The years have gone all too quickly which makes me even more thankful that I had a husband willing to allow me to raise our kids, in our own home, with our own values.  I implore all of you moms, if there is any way to make it possible for you to stay home with your kiddos and home school rather than heading off to work, do it!  Make the sacrifices.  Give up the vacation or the newer car.  Make home cooked meals in your own kitchens and forgo the restaurants.  Whatever you have to do to make ends meet so that your kids can have you at home, do it.  They need you and you won’t regret it.  And believe me, if my husband and I made it through 24 years on one modest income, so can you.  Raising your kids yourself is the greatest privilege ever.  Ever.  And it goes so quickly.

Allow me a moment to “introduce” my kids to you.  Luke at 24, is a retired U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran, and will be heading back to college this fall.  Linnea is 22, has a bachelor’s degree in music with high honors, and will begin work on her master’s degree this fall.  Libby is almost 20, a senior in college, and is studying art.  She will complete her bachelor’s degree in 3 years with high honors.  Lexi, who is about to turn 18, completed almost a year’s worth of college while still in high school and will head to Olivet Nazarene University on scholarship this fall with her sister, Libby.  These four incredible young adults were home schooled from beginning to end and are my four “case studies” in home schooling.  In summary:  Home schooling works.  While my home and home school were far from perfect, it was fertile ground to grow kids into responsible adults.  I did my part as best I could so that my kids had the best springboard for launching into adulthood, but believe me, I made a lot of mistakes.  A favorite quote of mine by Dr. James Dobson is, “As a parent you don’t have to do everything right, you just have to do a lot of things right.”  What a relief!  I am no different than you, so if I can do it, you can do it.  If you doubt yourself and find yourself wanting to throw in the towel, contact me, and I will talk you off the ledge.

I have often suggested to many of you that it is a worthy exercise to write down your home schooling/parenting goals and periodically take that list out, evaluate your progress, and tweak your lifestyle accordingly.  Written goals give you a target at which to aim.  If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.   Some of you have requested the list of goals that I established years ago for my home school.  So for whatever it’s worth, here goes:

  • Encourage my children’s walk with God.
  • Develop healthy family relationships.
  • Build Godly character.
  • Enhance academic development.
  • Instill a love of learning in my children and the tools they need to continue to educate themselves for the rest of their lives.

Your kiddos only have so many years left with you in your home- then they are gone.  You can hope that they will still come to you for friendship and counsel- but your years of influence while they are still “wet clay” will end soon.  Be wise with the time you have left.

For my recent birthday my sweet Linnea gave me a beautiful silver box.  For an inscription on the lid she chose the following quote by Helen Keller:  “I will not just live my life.  I will not just spend my time.  I will invest my life.”  That’s what I look at the past 24 years of parenting as- an investment for the future.  That’s what I look at my years with Potter’s Hand as- an investment for the future.  That’s what I hope you all look at your home schooling as- an invaluable investment for the future.

It is difficult to stop doing something that I love to do, but necessity dictates.   As I open the next chapter of my life and place the home schooling baton firmly into the hands of those of you who are privileged to continue in this extraordinary task, keep in mind the words of Og Mandino:   “Take the baton, now.  Run with it!  Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be [gone] at midnight.  Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster.  And do it with no thought of any reward.  Your life will never be the same.”

I think Jesus would agree.



It’s me again….I wanted to post this because I think it is important to see someone on the “other side” of homeschooling.  She did it, her kids did it!  It is always great to see that it works and what advice someone from the “other side” has to offer us in the middle of it, or even just starting.  This is posted with her permission and blessing.  For more info on what Lorri does see below: (She would love to hear from you if you have any questions about her next step)

Lorri Wilke
Licensed Educational Therapist
Private Practice

Educational Therapy for Learning Disabilities
Educational Therapy for Learning Differences
Search & Teach for Early Intervention
Educational Consulting

Joliet, IL