Category Archives: Parenting

How does the Mandatory School Vaccination Law (SB277) Affect Me?

nursePlease note that this article intentionally does not address the pros or cons of vaccinations. My objective, as a homeschool consultant, is to help families prepare for the requirements of the new law; it is not to offer advice regarding medical decisions for their children.

Beginning July 1, 2016, all children attending a campus-based school in California will need to be vaccinated against 10 specific diseases. SB 277, recently signed into law by Governor Brown, eliminates the Personal Belief and Religious Exemptions which had been utilized by parents who selectively vaccinate or who do not vaccinate their children.

Listed below are three common school scenarios with details of how each will be impacted by this new law:

#1 – My Children Attend a Campus-Based School.

These children must be vaccinated by the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year unless granted a medical exemption by their doctor. Their schools will be checking for the mandated shots at time of initial school entry, transfer to a new school, and at 7th grade.

If vaccinations are an issue for your family, then parents can request a Personal Beliefs Exemption (PBE) from their medical professional prior to December 31, 2015. The form, CDPH 8262, should be turned into the school office as soon as possible. Continue reading

Often Overlooked in the Prep for College

If you have a college-bound student, I suspect the end of their homeschooling journey is quickly filling up with tests, applications, essays, transcripts, and more. And as for you parents, add in the FAFSA and other financial paperwork to your to-do list.

However, as we get ready to send our precious children off to college, we are often more concerned about whether they are academically prepared for higher education than whether they have the necessary life skills to survive without us.

Here is a checklist of some prep skills you can work on throughout their high school years: Continue reading

Trying to be Super Mama!

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I’m the classic overachiever – always aiming toward bigger, better and higher goals –never satisfied with enough, but always pushing further and harder toward excellence. This temperament helped me succeed throughout college and begin a career in mortgage banking, a field dominated by men at that time.

And it heavily influenced my early days of motherhood. No stone was left unturned as I researched every aspect of modern babyhood. With the same determination I had once used to get good grades and climb the corporate ladder, I now set out to become the best mother possible.

Becoming a mother for the first time is certainly a time of reflection for many women. I paused even longer for introspection when my own mother passed away just seven months after the birth of her first grandchild. As I reflected upon her influence in my life, I realized that mothers have been given an incredible opportunity to impact, inspire, and influence the next generation. This realization, along with my own innate overachiever personality, drove me to strive to become Super Mama.

Super Mama, however, is not a role easily attained! Much was beyond my control. Continue reading

Are you enjoying your family?

Steren_bike_riderThis is the time of year when homeschooling gets TOUGH!  The weather is getting nicer and the last thing any of us ( kids AND moms) want to do is stay inside and hit the books.

In our rush to finish the curriculum along with the school year, sometimes we homeschool moms forget to enjoy the process — to delight in our family time together!

Here’s a great reminder from David Watkins at the AHEAD blog (American Home Education and Discipleship)  “to enjoy your family all day, every day, as you homeschool” with his story of his son’s adventures while learning to ride his bicycle.

Don’t forget to look for the fun in the process!


Call Me Grammie!

1412280_10201950629622732_1837480_oMulti-generational faithfulness is a term I’ve heard in homeschooling circles but which has taken on new meaning with the birth of my first grandbaby.  Linnea Datner Ryan was born November 8th in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where her parents are serving on the mission field.

When my firstborn (her Uncle Joe) was placed in my arms 32 years ago, I was not only immediately overwhelmed with such tenderness and love as I had never before experienced, but I was also acutely aware of an almost crushing sense of responsibility for this little creature.  I was full of dreams and hope for this new life which I had helped to create.  And yet, I was aJoe 12-25-81lso terrified that I’d drop this tiny, fragile baby.

Holding a baby comes much easier to me now.  I’ve parented three of my own plus several foster babies and babysat numerous little ones for family and friends.

Holding Linnea for the first time, I began to pray.  The words were much the same as those I prayed over her mother and her uncles years ago, “Lord, may she serve you all the days of her life and then, may she spend eternity with You.”  But the pictures playing out in my head as I pray are quite different this time around.  Continue reading

Overlooked in the Prep for College

CollegeThe college admissions season is in full-swing.  Seniors are taking their last round of admissions tests, juniors are attending preview weekends, and parents are trying to figure out how to pay for it all!

However, as we get ready to send them off to college, we are often more worried about whether they are academically prepared for higher education than whether they have enough life skills to survive without us!  Here’s a checklist of some prep skills you don’t want to forget:

  1. Does the Bible impact your student’s daily life?
  2.  Does your student know how to research key issues like abortion and homosexuality and support their position without quoting the Bible?  (Especially if going to a secular school)
  3.  Can your student “read between the lines of a text” or just parrot back the facts?
  4. Continue reading

Average Or Normal?

  I can still remember my panic!  At my son’s one year check-up, I tearfully asked the doctor what might be wrong with him.  Most babies I knew were walking well before their first birthday while mine was barely crawling in time for his party.

And this wise old general practitioner gently explained to me the difference between normal and average.  Continue reading

School Choice

School_country_clip_art_mediumSpring is here and with it, kindergarten round ups and school registration time. Where is your child going to school next year?

In modern-day America, most kids go to the public schools by default. But there are other educational options.  As summer approaches, we may spend more time thinking about where to vacation than where to educate our children. But we don’t need to think too hard about school because in modern-day America, every school-age child is automatically eligible for a free public education. The government has already determined which school our kid should attend. All the parents have to do is sign up. And once their kid is in, they don’t even need to re-up. Their child is automatically passed along each year on the path from kindergarten to high school graduation. Continue reading

Book Review: Six Ways to Keep the “Good” in your Boy by Dannah Gresh

So many books have been published recently about raising boys and helping them develop into young men living out a Christian view of masculinity.  But they’re all directed to men, to fathers!  While the major responsibility of passing on the mantle of manhood does belong to the dads, we moms still share child-rearing duties with them.  And homeschool moms, especially, spend an inordinate amount of time with our boys.  This book is a refreshing look from a mother’s point of view about ways we can work alongside our husbands in raising our boys.  Dannah’s husband Bob is a contributing author and shares his ideas throughout most chapters.

Continue reading