Apologia Live Retreat ~ Take 2

I hope you enjoyed reading some of the great things we heard at the Apologia Live Retreat Austin in my post about it last week!  If you missed it, be sure to check it out here.  As I said last week – the retreat was awesome!  And I want to share some of my notes & tweets from the event.  May it encourage your heart this week, dear homeschool mom!  And let me tell you – there are also awesome pieces of wisdom in here for parents in general – not just homeschool parents!!


This week I will share some of the awesome tidbits of wisdom we got to hear from Debra Bell, Elizabeth Smith, and Rachael Carman.


First up – wisdom from Debra Bell

  • God wants to reveal Himself to you in ways you would have never known Him-had you not homeschooled
  • One of the advantages to homeschooling: our children are being brought up in the truth, and truth is in short order these days!
  • We have the opportunity in homeschooling to preserve the truth
  • Creation is Gods masterpiece, evidence of the Master Artist at work in the world.
  • It’s important that as Christians we bear witness to our Creator- ultimately pointing others to our redeemer.
  • God allowed development of children, so there would be an opportunity to teach the next generation. {Kids are not born fully grown and knowledgeable – we get to teach them, help them develop, grow, and learn about their great Creator & Redeemer}
  • The knowledge of God is to be our primary pursuit as Christians-equally important-pursuing the love of God
  • Pursue knowledge of God, and He will give us undertanding
  • As Christians, we are the guardians of the truth! This should motivate and humble us.
  • If truth is relegated to government, anything the law allows becomes the new truth.
  • God has cloaked Himself in mystery-and in His kindness has drawn us into this mystery.
  • God, as a common grace to all of us, gives us curiosity.
  • People think homeschool kids are going to turn out timid & introverted- the truth is our kids are bold- going out into all parts of the the world boldy with the truth and pursuing their callings.
  • Homeschooling isn’t a burden – because it is what GOD is doing through you!! {AMEN!} 




Next up, Elizabeth Smith:

  • How do you rate in seeking/granting forgiveness among family members?
  • How do you rate in the area of humility?(admitting when you’re wrong?)
  • Where do you rate in using words of encouragement?
  • Do we make a regular practice of encouraging our children?
  • Do you find ways to let your child know you love them?
  • Much of our children’s behavior is a reaction to our parenting. We need to search our hearts.
  • If our children act negatively toward us, there are positive things we can do.
  • The best parent/child relationships are the ones where the parents are humble.
  • Legalism and self-righteousness builds a wall.
  • God has created and wired our children to love us and want to forgive us.
  • If we don’t deal with justice with our children-it can lead to bitterness as they get older-they hang on to the anger.
  • Seeking forgiveness:do it in person, work out your wording ahead of time, take full responsibility.
  • Encouragement results in emotionally healthy children – A lack of encouragement can cause a child to lose heart and become unmotivated or depressed.
  •  An emotionally healthy child is open to experiencing Gods grace. Let your words be honey to their hearts.
  • We need God’s wisdom to resolve conflicts (PRAY for wisdom!)
  • The relationship between a husband and wife models respect to our children…what are we modeling?
  • We attack the problem – not the person.
  • We should break our childrens pride without breaking their spirit. This takes wisdom.
  • Reward and bribe are not the same thing. No where in scripture does God model bribing children.
  • Unexpected rewards given after good behavior is Biblical.
  • Broken promises will build a wall between you and your child.
  • A thoughtless phrase may long be forgotten by us while they create a deep wound in the heart of our child.


I’m telling you, is this GOOD stuff, or what?!!!  Alright, last, but certainly not least….here’s Rachael Carman:  

  • Love sees beyond today, love serves joyfully, love sacrifices willfully.
  • Your kids need to know you are a mom who worships God – they need to see you in awe and adoration of the Savior .
  • Worship sets the tone in your home
  • Do your kids ever see you on your knees?
  • You wanna bless your kids? Love your husband!
  • I double-dog-dare-you- Ask your husband, “what can I do to serve you today?” – watch how that might change your marriage.
  • We need to love our kids enough to teach them to obey – God disciplines those He loves.
  • Siblings- your childrens’ testimony to the world is that they actually love each other.
  • Just because your kids are siblings doesnt mean they have to hate each other.
  • The people that you need to be hospitable to dont need to see your house clean. Invite them. Be hospitable.
  • The enemy’s keeping the doors of our houses closed to each other by telling us the house has to be perfect before opening them.
  • do your kids know your sneer or your smile more?
  • Are you that ANGRY homeschool mom? Or is someone wishing you were their mom? How bout your kids?
  • Your smile can convict more than your mean mom look. Its the power of the love of Christ & the Holy Spirit.
  • Why should you laugh? God has a sense of humor. Exhibit A: the platypus.
  • When I know where the scissors are, I wont have the pitter-patter of little feet, and will long for the day when I couldn’t find scissors!
  • We need to be showing our kids the awe and wonder of God’s world
  • Dont just let your kids be WOWED by Gods creation… Let yourself be WOWED!
  • Embrace your role as a homeschool mom! Pass that passion onto your kids to embrace theirs.
  • Set the bar high in academics – Moms, we have some job fields we need to take back!
Bonus: A few extra nuggets of wisdom from the panel discussion: 
  • Dont be afraid to have your kids tested. It can be a useful tool when used properly.
  • If you have the opportunity when your kids are young to go and observe a veteran homeschool family-do it
  • Include your children in everything. make them feel like its their ministry, not just yours.
  • Set appointments for yourself to write. It will help your kids know when they have all of you.
  • Make sure your children know why youve chosen to homeschool.
  • Dont let your kids compare themselves. Each is unique. Labels are for medicine.

Hope you enjoyed these wonderful pieces of sweet wisdom from the Apologia Live Retreat in Austin!!  Friends – if you did not make it this year, we must plan to go next year!  You will love it!  And if you are in the Baltimore or Atlanta area – you have retreats coming up this spring!!  Don’t miss out on this awesome time of encouragement homeschool mom – we all need it – no matter how busy we are!!  Stop and take a moment to refresh yourself and get re-filled, so you will be able to pour Christ into your kids!


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