Christian Service

We try to make sure serving in Jesus' Name gets plugged into the schedule first. For little children, learning to take care of their own things (put their own toys away, make their own beds, etc.) comes first. Then beginning to serve others around the home (feed the dog, set the table, put dishes away, etc.). As they get older, we begin looking outside the home (a senior or widow at church to give a hello and a hug each Sunday, or visit a senior in our neighborhood, or take food to a shut-in, or visit a nursing home). We didn't do much serving outside the home when all the children were little as they needed to be trained and slowly exposed to people outside our home whose needs were greater than their own. Click here for a list of other serving ideas.


Our family began homeschooling in 1986, and found a few basics that worked for us, and just stuck with them over the years. There are now many wonderful new materials on the homeschooling market today with which we just aren't familiar. We used either Bob Jones or A Beka Math for K-3. We purchased these new from their websites, with the answer key, but not the teacher's manuals. If we had two children about the same age, we used one from each company to discourage comparison and competition (, We then switched to Saxon Math for grades 5/4 and up. We purchase these used from various websites, and always bought a solution set or the Dive CD rather than just an answer key.


Reading is a huge part of our lives, and our lighter schedule leaves room for more exciting reading like Christian biographies and autobiographies (such as Heroes of Faith and Heroes of the Faith), historical fiction (such as the American Adventure Series), and classics (such as Treasure Island, Swiss Family Robinson, Robinson Crusoe, Johnny Tremain, etc).

We try to keep each child's bookshelf stocked with good reading materials each month. The "rules of reading”are that you must find the most comfortable place in the house to curl up with your book, whether it's snuggled up in Mom and Dad's bed, flopped into a hammock, or with a fat doggie as your pillow. It's that child's time to go far away, perhaps to England or India or the South Seas or back in time and experience a new adventure.

Once they are reading well, we ask them to read about one hour each school day from any book on their shelf (which we have stocked for that month). Younger children can break down their reading into 15 minute sessions each day if they like. Once they complete their hour from their bookshelf, they are free to read other approved books they find around the house or from the library. We didn't let our daughter read Christian romance novels.

Phonics Solution: (easy, computer-based phonics and spelling)

We purchased new or used every single A Beka reader for every grade level, including each summer reading program, all the way through high school literature texts.

Typing Practice

Typing Tutor

History and Science

Bob Jones or A Beka Texts Gr 2-12. We purchased new or used every single Science and History text from these companies, alternating some years, but not using two from the same company for the same year. The children only had to read through the books, not complete any of the tests. This has given them a solid Christian worldview background in history and science, and they get through one text a year pretty quickly.


Typically, we have tried to have some type of exercise program going two or three days a week, which consists of exercises on the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge. The younger ones liked to track their progress online. Our boys liked to run, and joined the Florida Track Club. Running two to three times a week, and working out with weights once or twice a week has now replaced the older one's exercise routine.

They have also been members of the Civil Air Patrol, where they were tested in physical fitness once a month with their squadron.

Extra Curricular

We're firm believers that extra curricular is extra and the privilege to participate in extra activities is earned by maturing behavior. Our children have taken piano lessons, been members of a local Christian band where they learned to play the trumpet, oboe and saxophone, and also participated in Civil Air Patrol, Florida Track Club, tennis lessons, Speech and Debate Club, as well as 4-H. However, we have always pulled back from extra activities whenever we see character development begin to take a back seat.