Slow Cooker Homeschooling

This was originally posted on the Sped Homeschool website. My wife, Cammie, wrote this and has been homeschooling for over 20 years and is still homeschooling several children.  If you homeschool and have special children in your home, please go to their website. The group has been started to help homeschool parents with children who have special needs at a national level. The organization was originally started in Texas and has now been able to go national.

Slow Cooker Homeschooling

By Cammie Arn

Have you ever wondered just why spaghetti sauce tastes best when simmered for hours over low heat verses just mixing all the ingredients up as fast as you can? Or why a roast is more tender and juicy when it’s slow cooked on a lower temperature than cooked on high for a shorter time? It has to do with being patient for everything to break down and come together in its own time.

Complex Parts Come Together with Time

It’s the same with homeschooling. We all have different ingredients in the form of employment, family size, level of special needs, appointments, therapies and curriculum. So why do we compare our family with that of another and try to recreate their recipe for success in our own homeschool?

Slow Cooker, Not Instapot

We are in a slow-cooker mama. Homeschooling and parenting go hand in hand and neither are recipes to be put into an Instapot to rush to the end. It’s a long slow journey with amazing rewards, but we need to recognize we are on our own journey and it isn’t going to “taste” like anyone else’s recipe or have the same ingredients.

Differences in Ingredients, Measurements, and Cooking Time

So as you daily add your “ingredients”, carefully measuring and selecting each one, be sure to add a measure of grace and a double portion of love.  These two additional ingredients always make the recipe work out better.

Don’t rush, instead savor the smell of the beautiful unique recipe coming together in your homeschool today.  You will be glad you did.

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Waiting For The Best

Back in 2014, I was laid off from a very well paying job that I had been at for several years. It was devastating to lose the job and was unsure of what to do next. I had lots of experience in many different areas, but was not great at any of them.

Several other challenges were also present in the process of searching for a new job. One was my age, I am not exactly a young person any more. Another was that I have a large family. At the time I had seven children, since then I have been blessed to have eight total…so far.

With the large family and not great skills, it made it very challenging to find a job that would provide for my family. My wife is unable to work, since we homeschool our children. I knocked on many doors, had several interviews, but will still coming up with no job at all. No one was willing to hire me for various reasons, some of which I knew, many of which I had no clue as to why they would not hire me.

Prior to all of this happening, I have worked with children at various levels and was told that I was good with them. I have also been told that I should be a teacher multiple times. I do love to work with children and I also love to teach people.

Around 2003 I did look into becoming a teacher, but did not have the required degree at the time. That option was not open to me at that time. Since then I did finish out my schooling and received a bachelor’s degree.

A couple of months after being laid off, a friend of mine called me up saying he heard I was searching for a job. He worked at the district level of a local school district. He told me he wanted me to be a teacher in his school district. He told me to get hired as a substitute and then how to proceed to get my alternate certification as a teacher.

After praying about it, I felt that was what God wanted me to do. I was immediately hired as a substitute teacher for the district. Each day I would sub in different schools for different teachers of all grades. The more I did it, the more I enjoyed working with the children. The challenge was that the pay was still very low, making it difficult to support my family’s needs. God was faithful during this time to meet all of those needs in His way.

About 5 months later, one of the schools (which by God’s favor was my favorite), asked me to become their permanent substitute teacher. It did raise the pay some and provided very secure paychecks. The biggest challenge was that when there was no school, there was no pay either.

Last year, I was able to take the certification tests for core subjects and pass them. This was after a lot of studying and tears, remember I am no longer a young man.

Once I passed those tests, I started to apply for a teaching job. I had several interviews, but nothing would open up. I was not really positive that I wanted to teach any of these subjects, especially with the pressure on teachers to get the children to succeed. Yet, that was all I could see open before me and God had not pointed me in any other direction.

My wife and I often prayed if maybe I was supposed to go down another road, but God kept all other doors closed. I did not have a peace about anything else. And nothing else really presented itself. During this time, I often questioned myself as to whether I had heard from God clearly or not, but I know that I did and was unable to turn to a different path.

This school year presented a new path for me in the school I was at. About three weeks into the school year, I was placed in a Theatre classroom and told I would do all the teaching. I was given the lesson plans on what to teach and how to teach it.

I was game to do it, because I am willing to try anything. But I had no real clue as to how to teach theater. I had been in many plays (years ago), but had never taken or given a drama class at all. I questioned on what and how to do it.

Two weeks into it, the principle asked me if I was certified to teach theater. I told her I was not. She said I needed to be, because several parent’s liked what I was doing and wanted me as the permanent teacher. The other teacher was being removed. She then told me I was to do all the grading, lesson planning, parent-teacher conferences and anything else needed.

I was actually having fun working with the students. It was scary to start lesson planning because I still did not really know what I was doing. Over the time I have learned a lot about lesson planning and teaching theater. I am still learning, but I have having fun at it.

I am also able to be a witness for God to the students in the school. One of the things that I really enjoy being able to do is control what plays are being done. I can have them do plays that are in line with the ways of God.

I began to work on getting certified in theater. It was a very tough test. There were a lot of things I had to know that I had never even heard of before. I took the test in December, 2016 and failed by several points. I retook the test in Feb of this year and was able to pass it.

Almost immediately after passing the Theatre Teacher Certification Test I was hired as the full teacher for the class. I am still learning a lot in how to teach the students, but I am enjoying it.

One of the things that I realized in teaching theater is that I do not have to be concerned about the students having to pass the STAAR test. That is a Texas test to determine if the students are learning or not. It is a rigorous test that challenges every teacher with students who have to take it. This test is only for the core subjects classes.

Even though it took several years to get to where I now am, I am very glad that I trusted God. I had originally thought I would be teaching a core subject. God had other plans. He gave me something that was better.

Not only do I love acting, I have a son who is very active in acting, even as an adult. It made a great connection with my son in doing this.

God has blessed my family and myself in this field.

I want to encourage everyone to trust God’s plan for your life. Wait on Him for His blessing and walk the path He has for you. It will be worth it.

There were times I was scared and questioned God, but in the end it was worth it. God provided all along the way in miraculous ways. It will be worth it for you also.

Psalm 25:9 Getting Guidance

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. Psalm 25:9

Finding guidance in just about anything is easy to find. A person can go through a bookstore and see how many self-help books there are to guide him on how to do nearly anything. Searching on U-Tube will even find more guidance on how to do many things, from how to draw a simple picture, to how to rebuild an engine on a vehicle and more.

Getting guidance on the ways of God is not so easy to find. People will search out other people to find out how God does things or how to live for God better. Christian bookstores are filled with books on how to live a Christian life and how to live for God.

All of these ways of getting guidance on the ways of God is fair, but the best source is from God Himself.

There is a method though to getting God’s guidance in His ways–a person must be humble. People like to think of themselves and being in control of their lives and always knowing what is best. It is not just the teenagers who think they know what is the best way to do something, many adults do so also.

Being humble means that you realize you cannot do it and need help. You know that you are not capable of living life correctly for God in yourself. You cannot find the self-help on your own. You need God.

Letting go of your own life and allowing God to guide you will allow God to teach you His ways. If you think and act like you know everything, God will let you go your own way. If you humble yourself and let God have control, He will guide you and teach you His ways.

God can open up your spiritual eyes as you read the Bible to see and understand how you are to live for God, but you must be willing to be taught. Do not be a know-it-all. Only God knows everything.

Allow God to teach you His ways and see what He can do in and through you.

I pray today that God will give you a hunger for His word; that you will allow God to be in control of your life; that you will humble yourself before God; and that you will hear God’s instructions on how to live for Him.

Job 28:20 Wisdom And Understanding (Part 1)

Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? Job 28:20

The author of Job starts out this chapter talking about how man can dig down into the earth and discover many different things that animals will never find. Two things cannot be found by looking for them: wisdom and understanding. Neither of these can be bought, so the question is where do they dwell? How can a person find these things?

It has been said that understanding is knowing about something, and wisdom is knowing the best way to use that understanding or knowledge that one has.

In most places in the world, people look for understanding through schooling. They go to others for information to have a better understanding on some subject. Teachers can give a lot of information about a subject, but at times that information will just go over the head of the student. Understanding the subject comes from somewhere else, besides just words from a teacher or a textbook.

Thousands of people go to college, get their degree, but cannot properly utilize what they have learned in the real world. Their information is just book knowledge. They still do not have wisdom.

In other parts of the world, people look into self-meditation to find wisdom. It is believed to be void of all feelings and study the teachings of others will bring about great wisdom.

While these things can give some insight into various subjects, there is a level of understanding and wisdom that is missed. Everything being learned is what is coming from another person. Every person is limited in his knowledge and wisdom.

People are finite. They are confined to one place, at one time, in a extremely brief period in history. In light of the entire history of the world, even someone who lives to be one hundred years old, has only been around for a short amount of time.

With this in mind, man’s information is very limited. His wisdom and understanding is very faulty at best.

True understanding and wisdom must come from somewhere else. It has to come from God. He is the only one who has been around for all eternity and knows everything perfectly.

Seek understanding and wisdom from God. Go to God to get what you need and are searching for. It will not be faulty.

I pray today that you will know God personally; that you will seek wisdom and understanding from God; and that you will not allow yourself to be led astray with faulty wisdom of this world.

Job 27:11 Teaching About God

I will teach you about the power of God; the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal. Job 27:11

Job is maintaining that he has not done anything wrong that is causing all of the suffering he is going through. He refuses to agree with his friends that he guilty of some great sin in his life. Although he does not agree with them, he is still willing to teach them what he knows about the power and ways of God.

If a person looks online, he can find thousands of people willing to teach about whatever subject he is interested in. It does not matter what it is about, whether, cooking something, making something, dealing with someone, relationships, or politics, there is always someone who has an opinion about it and willing to teach what is known.

The reality is that most people only have very little to no experience in some fields that they are willing to talk about and teach. Look at how people talk about how a politician should do something. Many have not really looked into all of the aspects of an issue before giving their own teaching on the subject. The important thing is that they are willing to talk about what they do know. They are willing to share the knowledge they do have, whether good or bad.

As a believer, you may not know everything about God. There is no way you can know all about the power and ways of God. You do know what you have experienced in your own personal life with God’s power and ways of working.

It is these things that you are to be a witness about. You have to be willing to teach others about what you know about God.

Many believers feel that what they know about God is a private affair and not to be shared. It is their own personal belief that they do not want to “push” on others. They are trying to be politically correct.

When Jesus left the earth, He told the disciples to go and preach all that they have been taught by Him. You are to do the same thing. Do not stop teaching others about God. Some will listen, while some will reject it. It is not up to you to decide who will do what, share with everyone and give them a chance to accept it.

I pray today that you tell others about Jesus; that you will see God’s power in your life; that you will know God’s ways for your life; and that you will not fear what others think or do.

Ezra 7:10 Devoted To God’s Word

For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. Ezra 7:10

The new king of Persia, Artaxerxes, had provided Ezra with everything needed to build the temple and offer the required sacrifices. He also made a law that everyone had to worship God correctly. All these things were done because Ezra was dedicated to knowing, following and teaching God’s Word correctly.

Devotion is what makes the difference between someone being good at something or being great at it. There are many men that love to play football or golf, but only part-time. They like to play them once in a while on the weekends, but not every day, all day.

They can play the game, but not very well. Those who become professional at it or good enough to win small local tournaments, are devoted to the game. They practice daily, constantly learning how to improve their play.

The majority of believers in the church only open their Bible on Sunday morning as the pastor speaks. Then there are a few who read a few Bible verses each day. Even less, are those who are devoted to God’s Word. Those few study God’s Word daily, apply it to their lives, and tell others what it says.

Being devoted to God’s Word, means that you take time to study it fully to understand it. You then work to apply what you have learned from God’s Word to your own life. Once you have done these things, then you must tell others what you have learned.

Stopping short in any of these areas, keeps you from being devoted to God’s Word.

When you are not devoted to God’s Word, you will miss out on what God has for you. You will also cause others to miss what God has for them. Ultimately you will slow down or stop building God’s kingdom on this earth, which is the whole purpose of when Jesus came to this earth.

Take a look at your life. Are you devoted to God’s Word?

Or are you just a part-time partaker of God’s Word?

Do not make God’s Word just a temporary part of your life.

I pray today that God will give you a love for His Word; that God will open your eyes to His Word; that you will obey God’s Word; and that you will share God’s Word with others.

Hebrews 6:1-2 Moving Beyond The Beginning

“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” Hebrews 6:1-2

After pointing out that Jesus is the high priest, and a warning to not fall away, the author of Hebrews now says it is time to move on. This moving on is to move beyond the basics of what it means to be a Christian. These things are repentance, faith, praying, resurrection and eternal judgment.

The game of chess is somewhat complicated to learn to play. It is even more complicated to get good at. Beginning to play is learning how all of the pieces can move and what they can and cannot do. Often a player learns a few basic moves and stays with those. Someone more advanced learns to expect those moves and can defeat the player. To get very good at playing one must get beyond the basics and learned the advanced skills of playing.

In the same way many people become believers in Jesus. But they never get beyond the basics of having to be told to repent of their sins and about their future hope in Jesus.

The author is telling you to move beyond those basic beginning moves of being a Christian. Learn what it means to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus in this world. Learn what it means to be a light in this dark world. Learn how you can be His witness.

Along with those things, also learn to become more mature in Jesus. Your faith should be growing constantly. Just as a human child changes as he grows, so you must change as you grow in Jesus.

Are you the same person you was two years ago? Or even three months ago?

What do you strive to know? The basics of being a Christian? Or the advanced teachings of Jesus and the Bible?

Move on with your life. Do not stay young in Jesus. Grow in maturity in your walk with God.

I pray today that God will reveal ways you need to change in your life; that God will guide you by His Holy Spirit to become more mature in Jesus; that you will not need the basic teachings of Jesus; and that God will be able to use you to build His kingdom more.