Straight from the Author - A Blog by Linda Lacour Hobar

Thoughts From an Author and Veteran Homeschool Mom
Remember Pearl Harbor

Remember Pearl Harbor

Many a young student has wondered why the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor about halfway through World War II. I confess that the incident seems “out of place” with the rest of the war going on in Europe. So let me first explain the strange relationship between Germany and Japan. Then we can look at the deadly attack with some vivid details to help us “remember Pearl Harbor.”

In the mid-1800s, Japan was forced to open its doors to trade with the Western world. As Japan opened up, it grew. As it grew, it needed more land and resources. Thus, Japan became a lot like Nazi Germany in desiring more “living space” for its people. You could say that Adolf Hitler of Germany and Emperor Hirohito of Japan were of kindred mind and spirit. Both were powerful dictators. Both wanted to expand their empires. And both would employ Machiavellian methods to accomplish their goals. (Some historians debate Hirohito’s role in World War II, suggesting he was pressured by militant Japanese leaders to be aggressive.)

Regardless of Hirohito’s motivations, Japan invaded Manchuria for more resources, and then provoked a brutal war with China in 1937 called the Second Sino-Japanese War. (Interesting side note: Eric Liddle, the famous “Chariots of Fire” Olympian runner, was imprisoned by the Japanese in this very war for serving as a missionary to the Chinese! Liddle died while in prison.) Following the Japanese invasion of China, Japan signed a partnership with Germany and Italy to be allies. The long-distance relationship was named by the capital cities of each and called the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. Think about that for a minute. Mussolini, Hitler, and Hirohito were bound together by their ideologies. Just two years later, Joseph Stalin completed the circle of world-dominating leaders with the Nazi-Soviet Pact. The pact was a farce! Hitler didn’t plan on keeping Stalin in the loop. As you may know, Hitler turned against Stalin and invaded Russia in the summer of 1941.

submarine_base_pearl_harbor_g182880

Now, getting back to Pearl Harbor: So why did the Japanese attack the United States in the winter of 1941? Well, it had a lot to do with resources. The Japanese wanted access to rich oil reserves and other commodities scattered across Southeast Asia. Standing in their way was the United States, which had its own interests in Southeast Asia and China. In fact, the United States sided with China in its war against the Japanese and provided China with supplies.

The Japanese weren’t sure how far the United States would go in defending China and guarding the resources of Southeast Asia. Rather than wait to find out, they planned an attack—4,000 miles from home! It was the idea of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. He believed that a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor would permanently cripple the United States Navy, knock it out as a threat, and pave a smooth path for Japan to conquer all of Southeast Asia. In particular, the Japanese wanted Sumatra, Java, Borneo, New Guinea, and the Philippines. Already in their possession was French Indochina (which now is Vietnam).

pearl_harbor_bombings_map

The Japanese took their mission seriously and trained for it extensively. With the help of spies in Hawaii, the Japanese learned the exact location of U.S. warships and planes, which regularly parked in and around Pearl Harbor. The United States had a few clues that the Japanese were up to something, but no one knew with certainty the disaster that was to come. (Not even Hitler knew what was to hit Pearl Harbor. He would later admit he was surprised!)

On Sunday morning of December 7, 1941, a wave of 184 Japanese torpedo planes (nicknamed “Kates” by the Allies) and Mitsubishi fighter planes (nicknamed “Zeros” or “Zekes”) took off from their aircraft carriers in the Pacific. When Commander Mitsuo Fuchida could see the island of Oahu breaking through partly cloudy skies, he shouted, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” The word means, “tiger” and was code for “Let the attack begin.” At 7:55 a.m., bombs began to shower Pearl Harbor, catching the U.S. military completely off guard.

jap_bomber_in_action-pear_harbor

Pearl Harbor was a large station for the U.S. Army Air Corps, Navy, and Marines. (The Air Force was not a separate branch until after the war.) Most servicemen were “sleeping in” that Sunday morning. Those up and about were doing ordinary duties on the ships or enjoying time off on solid ground. The Japanese raid was so well orchestrated and came as such a surprise that soldiers could barely make sense of the sudden barrage of bombs and torpedoes. Within minutes, Pearl Harbor was engulfed in flames.

pearlharborcolork13513

The Japanese intentionally hit air bases, navy yards, and battleships. Out of seven battleships that were struck that day, the USS Arizona was hit the hardest. After multiple bombings that probably hit its ammunition storehouse, the massive battleship exploded and sank into the harbor––killing 1,177 sailors and marines. They died from the scorching blasts or drowned as the ship capsized. To this day, 1,102 are still entombed in the sunken remains of the Arizona. (A permanent memorial, accessible only by boat, was built over the sunken ship in 1962 to honor all military personnel who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor.)

To inflict more damage on Pearl Harbor, when the first wave of Japanese planes ran out of ammunition, they sent a second wave. Under Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki, 181 more aircraft took to the skies over Pearl Harbor to continue the plan of destruction and to strafe the tropical island.  By this time, more American soldiers had scrambled for their weapons. A few took to their P-40 Warhawk fighters, though half of the planes on the ground had been destroyed. Through black, billowing pillars of smoke, American soldiers defended the burning island as best as they could.

Within one hour and 45 minutes, the attack on Pearl Harbor ended. Though a third wave of attack was considered, the Japanese chose against it. There were not sure that they hadn’t stirred a sleeping giant, so they wanted to get out while they could. Deeming their mission a success, they lost only 29 aircraft and 5 midget submarines. The only part of the Japanese mission left incomplete was an attack on two extremely valuable U.S. aircraft carriers, which happened to be at sea. Otherwise, the Japanese managed to sink or destroy 18 vessels. Eight of those were highly prized battleships. The Japanese also destroyed 164 planes and damaged another hundred.

469px-remember_december_7th

Of course, war machines can be replaced or salvaged. Most of the sunken battleships were retrieved and refurbished, as were hundreds of planes. What could never be replaced were the men and women who perished. Approximately 2,403 Americans died at Pearl Harbor. Sixty-eight were civilians. The Japanese lost 129—a few of those volunteering to die as suicide dive-bombers. (One Japanese solider was captured and taken prisoner.)

In summary, did the attack on Pearl Harbor cripple the United States as the Japanese hoped and knock it out of the way as planned? No, not at all. On the contrary, it riled the country up and pushed the war to a global level! On December 8, 1941, at the urging of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. Congress declared war on Japan for its “unprovoked and dastardly attack.”  A few hours later, Canada and Great Britain came alongside the United States against Japan. Within days, several other nations from around the world stood also with the United States and joined the Allied Powers. Since Japan was in cahoots with Germany and Italy, Hitler and Mussolini declared war against the United States on December 11. The Soviet Union naturally “changed sides” after Hitler betrayed Stalin, and so the Nazis drew in instead the Baltic nations of Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia. With both sides of World War II stacked and ready, the world saw four more years of conflict after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The Mystery of History Volume IV Wars of Independence to Modern TimesThat, my friends, is why we remember Pearl Harbor. For the Sake of the Mystery, I’m Linda Lacour Hobar, author of The Mystery of History. (This excerpt is derived from The Mystery of History Volume IV. To respect copyright laws, please do not reprint without permission.)

 

Good News – Bad News

Linda Lacour Hobar

Hi friends. Here’s what is going on in my world. I consider it a combination of good news and bad news. (The bad first.)

Bad news – After 15 years, my skin cancer is back.
Good news – It is only basal cell carcinoma, which is very common, treatable, and not fatal.

Bad news – By location, the surgery (called a Mohs procedure) could disfigure my nose (depending on how wide and deep the cancer is lurking.)
Good news – There are plastic surgeons for that.

Bad news – I’m afraid of pain.
Good news – There are drugs for that.

Bad news – I’m vain.
Good news – Who isn’t?

Bad news – It’s my face!
Good news – It’s nearly Halloween. I can wear a mask if I want to. (Think pretty version of the Phantom of the Opera mask!)

Bad news – This will interfere with teaching The Mystery of History online class.
Good news – I can pre-record a couple of classes before surgery and do a voice over for a couple more.

Bad news – I’m scared and nervous!
Good news – I’ve got the Prince of Peace with me always, and amazing friends and family.

I think that sums it up. My procedure is October 17, one week from today. Good or bad, I’ll post the results. Good would mean the procedure went well and was minimally invasive. 🙂 Bad means I’ll be having some reconstructive surgery. 🙁 I appreciate your support and prayers for step one. Thank you!

 

For the Sake of the Mystery,
Linda Lacour Hobar

Unleashing World History!

Unleashing World History!

If you grew up in a traditional classroom of the 60s, 70s, or 80s, like I did, you probably developed a “meh” attitude toward world history that started around junior high. And if you are honest, you’re terrified of passing on this grim view of history to your children! Well, I’ve got good news. There is hope and help for unleashing world history for you and your children! To get there, we first need to examine what may have “leashed” you down and held you back from this subject to begin with. I have four possibilities.

First, I think the most common complaint against world history is a memory of it being boring. Why? Because it was! Truly, most of our history lessons came packaged in dull, dry textbooks that emphasized dates, events, and treaties to cover the entire history of the world. Written by committees­––shackled by political correctness––these textbooks weren’t “living books.” They were ­dead­­­­––and they put us to sleep.

Second, I have heard rumblings from history-haters that the subject was irrelevant to them in adolescence. Their protests would sound something like this: “Who cares what happened thousands of years ago!” Or worse, “History is just about dead people!” I hate those rants now, but like most kids, I’ve thought them before.

Third, I have heard some parents say, in all sincerity, that they think world history is just too morbid for their sweet children. These folks want to protect their children from the gruesome stories and images they remember from their history books. Well, being that I first learned about the Holocaust through black and white pictures of emaciated corpses, I can be sympathetic to this objection! But stay with me. I’ll get to a positive spin on this point.

Fourth, and last, there are those of us who were only taught world history as a secular subject to fulfill a high school credit. As a matter of fact, if you attended a public school, then you were taught history only through the eyes of man alone, and it was required to graduate. Those are two ingredients sure to spoil any good subject!

To summarize, four leashes that may restrain parents from teaching or enjoying world history are memories of boring, irrelevant, morbid, or secular material. Worsening the situation, some of us experienced all these factors together––and are chained by the fear of repeating history! (All pun intended.) Well, I propose to you my friends that with proper emphasis, the study of world history doesn’t have to suffer under any of these restraints! Here are my four counterpoints and suggestions for unleashing world history in your home.

  1. To counteract boredom, dig into the personal lives of the people that lived it. In other words, keep it about the people! My favorite example is that of Cleopatra. If you look her up in a typical textbook, you’ll find one paragraph stating she was the last of the Ptolemy rulers in Egypt. I don’t know about you, but that fact is not enough to keep my eyes open! What will interest me is learning that Cleopatra rolled herself up in a carpet to be smuggled into a meeting with Julius Caesar, the most powerful man in Rome, so that she might secure the throne of Egypt. After the sudden assassination of Caesar on the windy Ides of March, Cleopatra married Marc Antony, another powerful Roman, in hope of taking over the known world! And, after her lavish warships lost the Battle of Actium to Octavian (yet another powerful Roman), she took her life dressed up like Isis, an ancient Egyptian goddess. (That’s pretty juicy stuff! But there’s more.) Upon the death of Cleopatra, and that of Marc Antony, Octavian founded the Roman Empire, changed his name to Caesar Augustus, and ran a census “that all the world should be registered” (Luke 2:2) including Joseph and Mary who traveled to Bethlehem––and fulfilled prophecy in doing so! Most would agree that that kind of history, which is personal and significant, isn’t boring at all and may even lead you to fall in love with world history. (That’s what happened to me!)
  1. To ward off irrelevance, I suggest whenever possible to connect it to today’s headlines. It’s not that hard to do. For example, in The Mystery of History      Volume III, I wrote a story dating back to 1501 that describes how Persia became Iran and how a young king named Ismail decided that Iran would be a Shiite nation rather than Sunni. (FYI, Islam is sorely divided between Shiites and Sunnis, who differ in their theology.) Well, if you’ve watched the news lately then you know this theological decision from as far back as 1501 is very relevant to today since the Shiites of Iran are not interested in joining the growing caliphate of ISIS––which is predominantly Sunni! World history is always embedded in the news and brings intrinsic value to today’s headlines.
  1. As for being morbid, I must first agree that world history can be uniquely dismal. I would know because I’ve been researching and writing it for 15 years. But, properly handled, we should use it to inspire the heart. With some discretion, we should allow painful stories to provoke a natural response. For example, we ought to be shocked by the destruction of Pompeii at the eruption of Mount Vesuvius––because natural disasters can take us out of this world in an instant! We ought to weep over the Trail of Tears––because it was unjust and still affects the lives of Native Americans! And, we ought to be horrified by the gulag system of the former U.S.S.R.––because it was utterly inhumane and should never, ever be repeated! Yes, as uncomfortable as it might be, the reality of evil, found in the pages of world history, can teach us valuable heart lessons about the brevity of life, the sinful nature of mankind, and our need for salvation.
  1. Speaking of salvation, my last counterpoint is this: if you only looked at the stories of history as a secular record of the past, you’ve missed half the story. You see, history is not just the record of man’s doings––it’s the story of God’s doings! World history is the culmination of God’s sovereignty in the affairs of mankind, as well as the story of the Lord drawing us in our sinful mess toward salvation, which is the gospel. So, at every opportunity, use the study of history to search for God’s sovereignty and the hope of the gospel. The truth is there, written and woven between every line and paragraph of world history. But please don’t take my word for it. Turn instead to God’s Word, which says:

He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. (Acts 17:26-27, NKJV)

In closing, as you seek to unleash world history in your home, remember to keep it about the people; connect it to today’s headlines; use it to inspire the heart; and search for God’s sovereignty and the hope of the gospel. If after all that you still find yourself a little “meh” about world history, then pray for enthusiasm; add some timeline pieces, hands-on activities, geography, and much more with The Mystery of History; and repeat these suggestions until conditions improve. For the sake of your students, and for the glory of God, work wholeheartedly toward “unleashing world history!” You won’t regret it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Twelve Days of Homeschool (Day 12)

THE TWELVE DAYS OF HOMESCHOOL (DAY 12)

On the first day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the second day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three. 

On the third day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three. 

On the fourth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three. 

On the fifth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.  

On the sixth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.  

On the seventh day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the eighth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the ninth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
9 Gals a Prancing
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the tenth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
10 Lads a Shooting
9 Gals a Prancing
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the eleventh day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
11 Teasers Teasing
10 Lads a Shooting
9 Gals a Prancing
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the twelfth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
12 Squabblers Squabbling
11 Teasers Teasing
10 Lads a Shooting
9 Gals a Prancing
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

Copyright 2016 Linda Lacour Hobar

This is it! The last day of The Twelve Days of Homeschool. I hope you have been encouraged by the trivial tips I’ve shared, and if nothing else, that you feel better about your own ups and downs with home education. It is a hard job, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences a parent can have.

As for those “12 Squabblers Squabbling” . . . it is inevitable that siblings will spat.  They share the same home, the same toys, the same pets, the same parents, and much more. Unfortunately, the sinful nature of mankind can rear it’s ugly head when siblings are in such close proximity. What are we to do with our kids when the selfish monster comes out? Well, like I suggested in Day 11, one of the best things we can do is to steer them toward God’s Word.  His laws are higher than our laws and they speak volumes about “loving one another.”

Otherwise, I have two thoughts for you about squabblers. One, it has been my observation that some minor squabbling is “necessary.” For example, when my son would choose to be rude, crude, or poking his sisters where he shouldn’t, they needed to put the breaks on him. I would allow for this “natural” learning! The girls were teaching him a lesson about respecting others while they were practicing the skill of setting proper boundaries with boys. Within reason, I let the chips fall where they may as they sorted through the issues of personal body space. Of course, some squabbles are of a much more serious nature and require adult intervention, especially if the situation is getting physical.  When that is the case, children need to be separated (for safety’s sake) and disciplined. Physical harm was not tolerated in our home.  Even in play, I was not comfortable with too much rough housing!

On a second note, when recurrent minor spats were spoiling our day, I tried above all to help my children restore their relationship with each other. You see, ultimately, I’m not just seeking peace and quiet in my home, I’m aiming for my children to be in deep, caring, loving relationships with each other. Sibling relationships will last a lifetime and will probably exist beyond my years here on earth. I want my kids to be as close as they can. So, one trick up my sleeve to help with squabbling squabblers was to insist my kids play the Touch Game. The rules were simple. First, after separating them, I had them stand face to face like soldiers. Second, they were to touch toes. Then, touch knees, then elbows, then shoulders, and on and on until eventually they were touching cheek to cheek or nose to nose until they were giggling over the entire silly mess.  (By the end of it, the kids were entwined like they were playing the vintage game of Twister.)

This was, of course, a light hearted approach to breaking tension between the kids. I realize that some families are struggling with much worse angst, which far exceeds the Touch Game.  For you, I pray the Lord will help you find the special guidance you need to strengthen the love between family members.  It’s a blessing when siblings love each other and a burden when they don’t. And the truth is, sometimes we’re in need of something like the Touch Game, where we are forced to face our anger and impatience and replace it with hugs and kisses. I pray this for you as well!

For now, it’s time to sign off from The Twelve Days of Homeschool.  I hope this genuine peek at my family encourages you to stay the course. We were far from being the perfect homeschool family. But we persevered and by God’s grace, turned out a pretty close knit bunch. In fact, our family theme song is “Love Shack” by the B-52s. Ron used this song once in a family movie and it’s stuck. If you ever hear it on the radio, just think of the Hobar’s.

For the Sake of the Mystery,

Linda Lacour Hobar

P.S. If you’re interested in a copy of The Twelve Days of Homeschool, please write me at lindahobar@comcast.net. Please do not reprint without permission or acknowledgement (Ie. Copyright 2016, Linda Lacour Hobar.) Thanks!

The Twelve Days of Homeschool (Day 11)

THE TWELVE DAYS OF HOMESCHOOL (DAY 11)

On the first day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the second day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three. 

On the third day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three. 

On the fourth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three. 

On the fifth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.  

On the sixth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.  

On the seventh day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the eighth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the ninth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
9 Gals a Prancing
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the tenth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
10 Lads a Shooting
9 Gals a Prancing
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the eleventh day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
11 Teasers Teasing
10 Lads a Shooting
9 Gals a Prancing
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

We are almost there with our Twelve Days of Homeschool. At the expense of my pride, I hope you have enjoyed my real life stories of homeschooling three perfectly imperfect children! The Lord knows how very much I love them and am proud of how they turned out – despite the ups and downs of home education!

And about those “11 Teasers Teasing”. . . it’s not unusual for kids and grownups to “tease” each other. We do it all the time over the littlest of things. (Mispronounce a word in our household, and the dictionary police will be all over you!) But clearly playful teasing can easily cross the line to cruel teasing. In that case, we would be better to call it bullying. That word has a much stronger connotation in our society, as it should.  There is NO place in a family for bullying, cruel words, and unnecessary taunting. Since it may come naturally, by the close proximity of family members, how do we shut down severe teasing? The best way I know is to take this problem to Scripture and then practice what you preach.

In other words, from the earliest of days, as soon as siblings lean toward cruelty, take them to what the Bible says about their brother or sister to offset the negativity. For example, 1) Every family member is made in the image of God, giving them inherent value! (Gen 1:27).  2) Jesus taught the Golden Rule. (Luke 6:31). 3) We are commanded to love with “brotherly” affection. (Rom. 12:10). 4) Love is patient and kind . . .  (1 Cor 13:4-5). And 5) We are to speak evil of no one. (Titus 3:2).

Those are but a few passages. It’s easy to find more.  If you need, print them, post them, and memorize them. Let God’s Word speak into your children’s lives. And then, live it! This means that our talk, conversation, pet names, and phone calls (in ear’s range of our little ones) should be wholesome and uplifting at all times. None of us gets this entirely right, but our children ARE listening.  And they will remember the tone that was set in our homes.  Unfortunately, I was teased a lot as a child. It comes with being head and shoulders shorter than everyone else.  But I knew I was loved at home! It was something my mom dad said to me every day, with lots of hugs and kisses. How grateful I am that I was safe at home to offset the world’s taunting. Keep your home a safe place for your kiddos and nip the teasing monster. His bite is a bad one!

For the Sake of the Mystery,

Linda Lacour Hobar

The Twelve Days of Homeschool (Day 10)

THE TWELVE DAYS OF HOMESCHOOL (DAY 10)

On the first day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the second day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three. 

On the third day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three. 

On the fourth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three. 

On the fifth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.  

On the sixth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.  

On the seventh day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the eighth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the ninth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
9 Gals a Prancing
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

On the tenth day of homeschool,
my students gave to me:
10 Lads a Shooting
9 Gals a Prancing
8 Dawdlers Dawdling
7 Kids in P.J.s
6 Missing Textbooks
5 Pot-ty Breaks
4 Messy Rooms
3 Toddler Tantrums
2 Major Meltdowns
and A Head-ache that Lasted ’till Three.

This post is getting longer every day! But I hope you are enjoying my light-hearted version of The Twelve Days of Homeschool.  If nothing else, I hope my little stories and tips make you feel like you’re not alone in this difficult journey. Homeschooling IS hard work! And half the time it is the small annoyances that frustrate us the most.  We might as well laugh at them.

As for those “10 Lads a Shooting” . . . I’m not a fan of violence. It doesn’t come natural to me.  But I am the mother of a boy who lived as if “shooting” was a natural part of his DNA.  (In truth, and according to Scripture, I believe it is natural for boys to be defenders of life and liberty!) But I digress. My point of today’s post is to talk about what to do with rambunctious children – if they are girls or boys prone to weaponry and shenanigans.

While I was as playful as I could be with my children, and started up a few “eraser wars” all my myself out of boredom, I knew that there was a time and place for outbursts in the middle of a homeschool day. So, I did two things. One, I created a list of “School Rules” to outline what was and was not permissible. Out of 20 rules, rule #3 read exactly like this:

“No objects are to be tossed or thrown in the classroom, neither will there be any shootings in or out of the classroom (meaning students upstairs.)”

Obviously, this rule was created to deal with a real (annoying) problem! I guess we who were downstairs were irresistible sitting ducks for my son. I can see him now, poised and ready to fire with a Nerf gun in the middle of language arts – which leads me to my second point. To deal with breaking a school rule, I resorted to fining my children 25 cents per violation out of their allowance.  If you could see my list of fines! (I have saved them.) On a simple piece of notebook paper, that hung inside our homeschool cabinet, I wrote down their various offenses, which were tallied at the end of the month for payment due.  These offenses looked like this (in birth order):

Ron (their dad, who worked at home and frequently added to the mischief): putting ice in Heather’s ear

Linda (I too was fined for breaking the school rules!): vulgar talk, being a “mean” mother, sleeping in class, unauthorized phone calls (there was more than one of these!)

Heather: making faces, yelling, moaning

Kyle: shooting, hitting, arguing, throwing, and “baby powder” (whatever that means! He was probably flinging it around.)

Ashley: squealing, yelling, climbing, leaving books out, and “being annoying”

I guess this list of fines speaks for itself. We’re a real family with real bouts of pestering and nonsense. By the way, we gave the money we collected from these fines to missions! We wanted to make something good out of the “not-so-good.”

Join me again tomorrow for The Twelve Days of Homeschool. 🙂

For the Sake of the Mystery,

Linda Lacour Hobar


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