Question & Answer

In this episode of At Home, Jennifer Dees leads a fun Q and A session with all the ladies.
We talk about everything from how to handle home schooling slumps, how we get errands
done during the day, and even what math curriculum we use.
You’ll get a better idea about who are the more structured ladies in the group, and who do a
little more “flying by the seat of their pants”. Any guesses as to who is who?
This was our 5 th recording of the night, and it was midnight when we recorded this particular
episode, so we might sound a little tired. Or silly. Or both.
But we really hope this episode helps you get to know us a little better. And that we can
offer you some encouragement and inspiration in your role as moms and home educators.

**We’d also like to say thank you for all the support you’ve shown us with this podcast. We’re
having so much fun! Its hard to believe this is our 10th episode. We’re so grateful for the way
you’ve all rallied around us and let us know you’ve enjoyed each one. You guys are the best!**

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Considering Comparison

In this episode of At Home, Kristin Rogers leads a very honest conversation on comparison. Its a topic all of us can relate to, and have struggled with at one time or another.
We agree that in these days of constant exposure to other people’s Instagram or Pinterest worthy lives, it is easy to compare ourselves to them and then to suffer the consequences of those comparisons: discontentment, jealousy, or even anger. But we also recognized that the struggle with comparison existed long before the internet, because it is a pride issue–which has existed since the beginning of time.
So how do we combat comparing ourselves with others and the ensuing negative emotions?
We all share practical advice that has worked for us over the years, some of it admittedly hard to act on.
And Kristin opens up with a personal story of her own growth in the area of comparison that will most likely leave you in tears. Like it did all of us. But there is also plenty of laughter and fun, as we playfully point fingers at one another’s perfections.
We hope this episode will leave you with the knowledge that you are not alone in this battle. And that we can do so much more good when we are on the same team. When we are for one another.

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“Rules” for Creating a Beautiful Book Club

In the Creating Book Clubs episode, we mentioned the email Jennifer Naraki sent out inviting us to take part in her dreamy book club.
Some of us (Brianne Busky) found the long list of “rules” to be just right, and loved the idea of being part of such an organized book club.
Others of us (Greta Eskridge) wondered why a book club had to be so “rulesy” and wasn’t sure if  this book club was right for her. But she joined anyway because she just had a feeling that this book club was too good a thing to pass up.
Turns out both Brianne and Greta, and especially Jennifer Naraki, were right.
This book club was a very good thing, and a few rules make a book club run much more smoothly.

So in case you missed these details amidst all the laughter of the Book Club episode, here are some of our rules for creating a beautiful book club.

1. Read a limited amount of books a year.  Both our kids book club and our moms book club read only 4 books a year. That means we meet once every season, and it is a good way to keep the reading, or the meetings, from becoming overwhelming for any of us.
2. Plan the book club meetings as a team.  The principle of “many hands make light work” really applies here.  For our kid book clubs, one family chooses the book and leads the party. However, they do not have to do all the work for the party alone. The mom leading the party emails the group with her ideas for food and activities. She asks the other families to sign up for food and any other things she needs help with. This allows for a grand party to be had, but without one family shouldering all the responsibility themselves.
For the mom book club, we work in teams of 3. That means each member of the book club plans and hosts only one book club a year. Each team picks a book and plans a party for the rest of the group. By working on a team, and only hosting once a year, none of us get burned out by a book club that is too much work.
3.  Share the costs.  Book club parties do cost money and there are two different approaches to sharing those costs among our groups. For the kids book clubs, the parties are all potluck style, including food, plates, cups, silverware, drinks etc. That way the cost is split among all of us.
For the moms book clubs, we each contribute $15-$20 per meeting. That means for the cost of going out with friends, we are all sitting down to a beautiful meal, and usually some other kind of entertainment, (horse back riding, boat rides, calligraphy lessons and more) Again, since we meet only 4 times a year, the cost isn’t prohibitive for us.
4.  Make sure to discuss the book!  Part of the greatest joy of a book club is the discussion. In the kid book clubs, the family leading the book club creates a list of discussion questions and the mom usually leads that discussion with all the kids during the party. Its wonderful to see the way the kids are so engaged in the book and are excited to talk about it with their friends. Often the discussion lasts a long time because the kids have so much to share.
For our moms book club, the team leading the party also leads the discussion. Sometimes it is very informal and loose. Other times there are specific questions and ideas brought up. Either way is fine. What matters is that we get to discuss the book, because we really enjoy that!

And in case you were wondering, here is a list of the books our mamas book club has read together:
1. The Yearling
2. Wuthering Heights
3. A Room With A View
4. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
5. The Woman In White
6. Hidden Flower
7. Sense and Sensibility
8. Brave New World
9. Ramona
10. The Count of Monte Christo
11. The Keeper of the Bees
12. Go Set a Watchman
13. The Bell Jar
14. Cannery Row
15. Rebecca

And here is a list of some of the book club reads for our kids book club:
1. A Little Princess
2. Anne of Green Gables
3. My Side of the Mountain
4. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
5. Caddie Woodlawn
6. Alice in Wonderland
7. Swiss Family Robinson
8. Black Beauty
9. Brighty of the Grand Canyon
10. Man of the Family
11. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
12. Peter Pan
It is our sincere hope that you will be inspired to create a book club for your kids, or one for you and some of your mama friends.
Or perhaps you’ll get extra ambitious and crete two book clubs! And I can tell you honestly that book clubs, the act of discussion a book together with friends is one of the great joys in my life.
Cheers!
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Creating Book Clubs

In this episode of At Home, resident book lover Greta Eskridge talks about the magic of book clubs and how to create them. After a failed attempt to create a book club in her own childhood, Greta rejoices in the fact that her children take part in a beautiful book club now.
This episode is loaded with laughter, and you can’t help but feel the joy that book clubs bring to all us ladies. Its also chock full of all the details about the way we run book clubs in our home school groups, where we get our book recommendations, and even why it matters so much to have our kids read books together and then celebrate those books.
Besides book clubs for kids, we also spend some time discussing the wonder of book clubs for mamas. We specifically talk about the book club created by Jennifer Naraki, and all the richness it has brought into our lives.
We know this episode will leave you all kinds of excited to create a book club of your own, with your friends, your kids and their friends, or both! Because talking about books brings so much joy!

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Discussion Without Offense

In this episode of At Home, Rachel Reeves leads the ladies into the deep waters of having discussions without taking offense. Rachel did her home work and came armed with scripture and articles to share with us to help us better understand how to handle this sometimes spicy subject.
We talked about some of the things we could be offended or hurt by, and discuss ways to handle that. We also discussed the benefits that come from confrontation, and how it can even build unity if it is done in the right spirit.
And even though we laughed about it, we honestly wonder how to prepare our children for life in a world where college campus have safe rooms, just in case a student needs a place to flee and find safety when there is a lecture or discussion that would be offensive to him. We want our kids to be ready to defend their faith and beliefs, but to do so in a way that is respectful and loving. It is a challenge indeed.
Ultimately, that is what we came away with, that this topic can be a big challenge.
But that doesn’t mean we give up and never speak our minds.
Tune in and hear all we have to say.
We hope you’ll come away with lots to think about.
And not too much to be offended by.

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The Cultivated Mother

In this episode of At Home, Jennifer Naraki leads a thoughtful discussion on “me time”. We all admit to a desire for time to ourselves, to pursue the things we love, like reading, drinking coffee, and exercise. (Well, exercise for a couple of us, anyway. The others much prefer having a glass of wine)
But we also share our struggles with keeping our me time from becoming self centered and taking us away from our families.
According to statistics from a survey Naraki conducted, many of you are facing the same struggle–striving to find some sort of balance with taking care of ourselves while taking care of our family.
We didn’t come up with any definitive answers of how to find that balance, proving what a tough subject this really is.
But you’ll want to listen in, and hear our thoughts as we wade through it together.
And stay tuned to the very end when Naraki drops a little bit of Ice Cube and some scripture in a way only she can.
The At Home hosts are always keeping it interesting!

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Hands on Nature

In this episode of At Home, Brianne Buskey leads a spirited discussion on the value of getting kids out, and into, nature. We share lots of stories, some funny and others frustrating, of times our kids have been chastised for things like climbing trees, picking wild flowers, or collecting sticks.
We confess our struggle with the mindset that tells kids that they can look at nature but not touch.
We talk about how we manage teaching our kids respect for authority, but also allowing them to experience nature in the way we believe teaches them best. Because ultimately we all agree that getting our kids closely connected to nature is one of the best things we can give them. This episode will give you plenty to think about as well as practical advice for different ways to experience nature with your kids in a hands on way.

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Teaching Children Theology

In this episode of At Home, Jennifer Dees leads the discussion on one of her favorite subjects, theology.
Jen’s passion for all things theological shows, when she drops real life theology lingo.  She loves this stuff!
Jen helps us see the value of sharing the gospel with our kids in day to day life–when they’re young, as part of their school time, and when we’re out in nature.
We talked about what we do when our kids ask us theological questions we can’t answer, and we offered up own our practical ways to make the Bible, and our relationship with God come alive. This episode is chock full of great resources and we hope it will be a help and encouragement to you.

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Screen Time

In this episode of At Home,  Jennifer Naraki shares some eye opening statistics about screen time and helps us engage in an honest discussion about the positives and negatives of screen time. We talk about the struggles we have balancing screen time in our own homes, how we use technology for home schooling, and even share some light hearted ways screen time plays a role in building family memories. We hope this episode will give you some food for thought, as well as practical take aways for making the most out of technology.

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Raising Readers

In this episode of At Home, Greta Eskridge leads a lively discussion about all things literary. There is mutiny afoot when Greta limits the number of favorite books each of the ladies gets to share during the podcast (so there are more listed in the show notes!). We also tell stories of when we all fell in love with reading, and how we make reading a priority for our children. This episode is full of fun and inspiration.

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