Are your kids bored with learning? Uninterested? Are you struggling to breathe life into your homeschool? Are you dragging your feet at the beginning of your homeschool day? Join veteran homeschool dad and speaker, Steve Lambert as he and I talk about one of the best ways to build relationships and encourage a love of learning in your home.
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Psalm 1115:6-9
- Info will be added once live. Go follow @HeidiStJohn on Instagram—the giveaway will be posted there.
Resources Mentioned in Podcast
- Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight Managing Your Days Through the Homeschool Years
- The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction
- Five in a Row Books
- Five in Row Website
- Evangelical Christian Credit Union
All Things Heidi
- See all events here
- MomStrong International
- Sample Bible Study Week and Cursive Copywork.
- To see the Manuscript of the Copywork and the Scripture Writing schedule, sign up at MomStrong International for a FREE account to gain access!
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- Shop my Amazon Store
- My Books: Becoming MomStrong | MomStrong Bible Study | Prayers for the Battlefield | Bible Promises for Moms | Becoming MomStrong Journal
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Steve Lambert has worn many hats in his 68 years: Pastor, author, speaker, stockbroker and more. Together, he and his wife Jane Claire Lambert created and publish “Five in a Row” homeschool curriculum which has been a homeschool mainstay for nearly 25 years. They began homeschooling their children in 1981 and today their seven grandchildren are being homeschooled as well and range in age from 18 months to 18 years.
This podcast is brought to you by our friends at Evangelical Christian Credit Union
Hey everybody. This is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the podcast. Today is Monday, November 25th. This is episode number 849. It’s mailbox Monday and I have a treat for you guys today. In the studio with me is my friend Steve Lambert. We’re going to talk about how to make homeschooling great again.
Stick around. I think you’re going to be encouraged.
All right you guys, thanks for tuning in today. Really love the reviews that are coming in. Also, can I just pause for a moment and say thank you to everybody who’s sending me Christmas cards. All right? So, I’m already getting a whole bunch of them. You guys are on top of it. Thank you for participating in Christmas card Palooza here at Firmly Planted Family. If you’d like to participate, we would love to hear from you. This is a great time of year to do it, to sort of let us see the faces of the people that are listening to this podcast and we’re going to put your pictures up on the wall here at the Firmly Planted Family Homeschool Resource Center in Vancouver.
So at the end of the podcast I will give you guys the address for that again. So thank you so much for doing that. Also, a couple of things that are coming up. I am going to be speaking in California next Saturday and you guys already know that the place to find that is HeidiStJohn.com/events. But I wanted to let you guys know from what I understand, this is going to be … well it’s a Christmas tea and hello, can we all just say Christmas together? I will be at Godspeak Calvary Chapel and I know it’s going to be a great time. So come on out. That event starts at six o’clock in the evening and I cannot wait to see you. For more information on that go to HeidiStJohn.com/events.
Also, we have a brand new study. We’re going to be studying sanctuary for the month of December and what does it mean to have … to see our relationship with the Lord in the light of being a sanctuary? What does it look like to worship God that way? And so you guys are going to love it. It’s going to be a great study. Join me for that. That starts on the first Monday, which will be December, 2nd.
All right you guys, this is mailbox Monday and I love that you guys are sending us so many questions. Remember what I said last time, when you submit questions to the podcast, it really helps me if you will say really briefly what it’s about. So, it’s about homeschooling. Maybe it’s about marriage. Maybe it’s about parenting. It can be something that’s detailed, like maybe you want a specific type of parenting. Maybe you’ve got an issue with pornography. If it’s a one word thing, that’s great and then a couple of sentences that tells me what’s going on and what your question is that helps the staff kind of go through those questions and categorize them.
Today we’re going to be spending a little bit of time talking about homeschooling, particularly as it relates to reading and the importance of reading aloud. This is a fantastic time of year to start reading aloud to your kids because hello, it’s winter time weather coming up. So it’s hanging around the fireplace. It’s sitting around the couch season. And no person … There’s no person I can think of on the earth that’s better to talk to you about this than my friend Steve Lambert. I’ve been hanging out with the Lamberts for a long time and in fact they podcasted with me when I was still a podcasting from my closet many years ago and now we’re in the studio. So Steve Lambert, my friend, welcome. You’re here in Vancouver.
[Steve] Yeah, we’re excited to be here this weekend. It’s fun to be here with you.
[Heidi] So you guys came for the play. So we did Anne of Green Gables and you liked it, right?
[Steve] What a remarkable opportunity for those children, for the audience, for … It was just an amazing thing and I love Lucy Maud Montgomery. We love Anne Green Gables. We’ve watched the Megan Follows movies so many times.
[Heidi] That’s the best one.
[Steve] It really is.
[Heidi] The Megan Follows version, hands down. If you’re going to go to Amazon or Netflix or wherever, Megan Follows is the one to see.
[Steve] For sure. Yeah.
[Heidi] And not the new ones.
[Steve] No, no, no. That’s the one. So we … knowing your kids for all these years and knowing that several of them were in the play, we had to come out to see it. And I’m so glad we did. It was a wonderful, wonderful thing. And to see what’s going on here at the resource center is just remarkable.
[Heidi] Yeah. It’s changed a lot, because you guys haven’t been at it for almost a year, I think, right? It’s been awhile.
[Steve] Yeah, it’s been about a year probably.
[Heidi] Yeah. And the resource center grown. Here you are in the studio. This is fun.
[Steve] I know. This is way better than your closet. Little roomier.
[Heidi] Little roomier. Not having to fight your way through the dresses and kick the shoes out of the way.
[Heidi] Yeah. So this is better. I know. I’m appreciating it. You guys have been hanging out with us for a long time since well, way before Sailor was ever even born.
[Steve] Yeah. About 12 years, I think, we’ve been hanging around together now.
[Heidi] Yeah. And we met you guys when you came out to speak for … Because I was thinking it’s been a long time since you’ve been on my podcast and there’ll be a lot of new listeners who don’t know who you guys are. And I think it’s fun to sort of introduce. Like I had Mark Brotherton on here a couple of weeks ago. We went to college together and we were like, yeah, back when mullets were cool. So I met you after the mullet years.
[Steve] Yeah, yeah.
[Heidi] But before the resource centers. So kind of in that space. But you came out to Spokane to keynote an event and Jay and I were in charge of a homeschool conference at that time as I … Am I right, as I recall?
[Steve] Yeah, no, that’s exactly right. Somebody, a mutual friend had recommended me and you hired me. And Jane and I came out and that’s where we got acquainted. And we’ve been hanging around together ever since.
[Heidi] That’s true. We met over breakfast as I recall, and I’m not sure that you thought that I was in charge of the conference or not. Jay and I, it seemed like we didn’t quite meet your expectations.
[Steve] Well the presidents and the organizers of most State Homeschool Conventions are empty nesters whose kids are grown and gone and now they’ve got time to, you know, donate and coordinate for the state and help younger families. And somebody said that, you know, your name was Heidi and I thought well that’s a name from the 1950s, that makes sense.
[Heidi] Old German lady.
[Steve] And that you were coming in your motor home. I didn’t know that it was, you know, just a kind of a beater motor home. So I envisioned you as like full time, you know, snowbird retirees. And then to meet at breakfast and there you were 30 something years old. And I said, I think as I recall, I said, you know….
[Heidi] Where is your parents?
[Steve] Yeah. “Are your parents coming down soon because I need to talk with your mom before we start the event this weekend.”
[Heidi] And things just got better. They just got better from there. I think it’s fair to say.
[Steve] Yeah, for sure.
[Heidi] Well, and you guys are better known for, and Janem writing a curriculum, Five in a Row, which you guys began publishing, what, over 25 years ago.
[Heidi] And that curriculum has been used by bazillions of kids for all these years and it’s rooted in unit study. Right? And what a joy that is for kids to be able to learn in a way that’s not stifling, not stuffy, not boring. One of the things we love to talk about here is just how to make education anything but boring, which it shouldn’t be boring, right? Because there’s so many things to learn about and Jane has really done a good job of capturing an entire generation of homeschooled kids in particular. So you guys have a brand new edition. The second edition of Five in a Row is out. And I kind of want to talk to you about reading out loud because that’s really the basis for Five in a Row, right? Is reading to kids and getting them involved in the stories and making those stories come to life.
And there are so many moms who write to me every single week here at the podcast and there’s no life in their homeschooling and they’re bored and they call their kids down for school and the kids are like, do we have to do that again? And before 9:00 in the morning, mom’s already tired. She’s already burned out, she’s gone through, you know, three workbooks and there’s no life in it.
And you have a really interesting and I think life-giving approach to homeschooling that really stems from reading out loud with your kids. Kind of something that we have a hard time doing right now because our faces are in our laptops and our iPads and our phones. And so I wanted to sort of go that direction with you today and see if you can help me encourage some of these moms that are listening, because it seems to me, and you and I have had this conversation a lot, this generation of homeschool moms are not like the generation 25 and 30 years ago.
[Steve] Very different.
[Heidi] Very, very different. What do you see that’s different right off the top of your head? When you look at a mom who say her oldest kid now is five years old as opposed to 25 years ago, what do you see happening in the homeschool movement?
[Steve] Well, I think that the, you know, there’s no saying about comparison is the death of contentment.
[Steve] So there are so many…
[Heidi] Thank you Pinterest.
[Steve] Exactly. So yeah, you need to take the pledge to stay off of Pinterest if you’re homeschooling because…
[Heidi] There should be a pledge for that.
[Steve] That’s right.
[Heidi] That’s really … We should make a website Steve.
[Steve] That’s it, take the pledge. We’re off of Pinterest because you know, back in those early days, we were all kind of pioneering. I mean, we began homeschooling in 1981 and probably most of your listeners weren’t even born in 1981 and that’s kind of awkward. But it was a very different time. And so today the pressure is so much on these parents or they sense that it is in terms of academic achievement and well my neighbor’s child is already doing Chinese and Latin and English and they’re only four.
[Heidi] Right, they play five different instruments.
[Steve] Yeah. Exactly.
[Heidi] They can juggle while they play them.
[Steve] Exactly. And that’s just … It takes all the life and all the joy and just sucks the enjoyment out of the process that God intended to be a joy for you and your children. And instead it turns into this Mortal Kombat kind of a thing that’s not so fun. So yeah, Jane wrote Five in a Row and it was first published in 1994. So 26 years, almost 26 years ago. We’ve had about 600,000 children use it in about 60 different countries and most of them here in the United States. But it’s based on the concept of reading aloud with your child. And out of that comes all the different topics. So, rather than having a history book and a geography book and a science book, you discover history and geography and science as you go.
And you know, the naturalist John Muir said, “In nature you can begin anywhere and you’ll eventually end up everywhere,” because the whole world is interconnected. So when we systematically slice and dice academic information into categories, it’s really like trying to enjoy a teaspoon full of Sanka frozen.
[Heidi] I haven’t had Sanka in a while.
[Steve] Yeah. So, well I’m old, you know, so what do you have now? Folgers frozen crystals. No wait, isn’t there a … Doesn’t Starbucks have some kind of an instant?
[Heidi] They do. Like a freeze dried.
[Steve] Yeah, so like just taking the freeze dried powder and putting it on your tongue and enjoying a nice cup of coffee because there’s no life in that.
[Heidi] Right, yeah.
[Steve] And so reading opens those doors and disarms kids because the first thing that almost every child wants to do is to sit on your lap and have you read a wonderful story.
[Heidi] Well, so here’s a really great question because I know that there are moms listening to this and they’re like, yeah, but that’s not school. Like this is so much of the issues that we get, right, is a mom who feels like she’s not doing it if she hasn’t opened her, you know, her workbook to the 13th lesson of the language arts curriculum workbook. And then we need all these workbooks. We need …and really what I have discovered, because I’ve been homeschooling now for coming up on 25 years, what I’ve been discovering, because I started out that way, we typically do with our children what was done to us, right?
[Heidi] So if we went to school and we got, you know, three or four different workbooks shoved in our face every day, and we, you know, we had recess at a particular time. A lot of these moms are bringing their kids home from school and they’re trying to recreate school at home. And then they’re shocked to discover that their kids are bored, that they’re burned out, that they’re stressed out. And what you have discovered long before I did and what I discovered, you know, probably I wish, I mean to really laid into it, I wish I would have … someone would have held my hand when I was much younger as a homeschool mom. That there’s so much life in reading and what you just said is right. I mean what you’ve just described is a unit study, right? So you’re taking a book and through reading that book, you’re able to talk about the history of the character and where they were and all of a sudden it’s science and it’s the language arts and all these things are coming to life and the kids get an emotional investment because you’re reading a story to them.
There’s a reason that Jesus told parables, right? He knew we would remember them because you have this emotional connection to whatever it is you’re reading about. And really that’s kind of the magic behind Five in a Row. It’s having the kids they become invested with the character in the story. And you can kind of put yourself in the story. A lot more life giving than here’s your workbook, open to page 14 and here’s your timer for 20 minutes and mom will come back and check it and then we wonder why our kids are burning out.
[Steve] Yeah, no, that’s exactly right. And kids understand that that becomes largely an exercise primarily for type A moms to be able to check off their to-do list. That there’s no life in it. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that as well. I mean if I were to give you your fifth grade social studies test today and ask you, you know, who signed the Magna Carta.
[Heidi] No, please don’t do that.
[Steve] And who is the Norman Conquer, when did the Norman Conquest take place? You’d say, you know, I remember talking about all those things in fourth grade or fifth grade, but the truth is I just learned them long enough to take the test and then I forgot it. When your kids are just like you. So they learn to play the game as well. And the game grows stale quickly.
[Steve] And so rather than doing school at home, homeschool is an entirely different proposition and you know, there’s more and more information. I told some people the other day, if you only read one book this year, I’d encourage you to read a book called The Enchanted Hour by Meghan Gurdon. She is a children’s book editor for the Wall Street Journal. The book just came out this year. I’ve poured over it twice. Can’t recommend it highly enough. But it unearths the science behind the value of reading aloud, the connections that it makes, the neural connections. There’s mounting evidence, a significant research that suggests that reading to your child in utero actually helps their academic achievement.
Why would that be? Well, because we speak differently than the written word. We have a different cadence, a different rhythm. And so when you read aloud, even before your child is born, it associates that sound that it loves more than any other, the sound of his mother’s voice, comforting and safe with the rhythm of the written language. And it predisposes them then to become interested readers later on, and to be more energetic when it comes to reading. So even for infants, they’re now discovering the value of children going to the nursing homes and reading to elderly parents.
[Heidi] Well there’s so much value in that.
[Heidi] And not even just for the elderly, right? But for teaching our children these people are important. We don’t, you know, we don’t cast them away because they’re in nursing homes. You know, we’re investing and we’re spending time and wow. So it’s like a double blessing. It’s a blessing for the elderly person that you’re reading too, but also a blessing for the kids.
[Steve] There’s new programs now to have … to arrange to take books into prisons, to have prisoners read stories aloud to their children who are outside. To have military families stationed overseas have an opportunity to read books aloud that are sent back home for their children to listen to because it builds a common literary legacy and a history together that you then share the same lines, same story, same characters, same, all the same settings and places that you’ve read together. And that stays with you for a lifetime. And children. You know, if you’ve noticed little ones, you know, two, three years old quickly began to kind of quote, read the book themselves. They’ve memorized word on every page and they want you to read…
[Heidi] Yes, and then the mom thinks that you’ve taught the kid to read, but really they’re just reciting to you.
[Steve] Exactly. They’re just reciting, but they will often want you to read the same book 10 times in the same day or 10 nights in a row at bedtime. And so capitalizing, leveraging that reading intimacy that reading produces. Somebody said once, if you want to … The two single best investments you can make to improve the quality of your homeschool experience is to get a library card and a more comfortable sofa. And if that’s all you do is sit on the sofa together and read books, you’ve got a huge jumpstart on most of your friends who are using workbooks and textbooks and trying to have tests every Friday to memorize.
[Heidi] Well, I’m going to stop you right there because I think you just hit on probably the most important thing we’re going to say all day, which is that when you invest in your kids, when you’re reading aloud to them, you’re not wasting time. This is not a waste of time. And I feel like this …What’s happened is, you know the homeschool mom who feels all this pressure, this academic pressure, and I’m not knocking academics, but I feel like boy we push it too soon on our kids. We put too much emphasis on it and we decide that reading out loud is something that we can do if everything else gets done.
So, if you guys get your math done, and your language done, and your history done, and your writing done, then if you’re really lucky, mama will read to you. And this is the reward. And I think what I hear you saying, and certainly what my husband and I discovered over 25 years of homeschooling our kids is it is the thing. We spent many years in the mornings just reading to our kids. So my kids would, you know, get out of bed and there’d be cereal on the counter for them or whatever it was, and we’d come and we’d sit on the floor, they’d be in their nightgowns oftentimes. This is where the joke, you know, homeschoolers homeschool in their pajamas.
What better time than in the early morning to sit around with your kids? We read missionary stories. They loved stories as simple as Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, which we read over and over again. The lessons you can learn. You know, someone says, that’s a child’s book. You know, there’s some fantastic lessons that we can learn in these children’s books. And really, and you talk to my kids now, which four of them have graduated from our homeschool. The things that they remember the most about our homeschooling is the reading aloud that we did, that we did for so many years.
And the investment that you’re making, the return on that investment is so much greater than if you were to just throw a workbook in front of them every day and say here’s what you’re going to do, 20 minutes for this and 30 minutes for that, which you’re right, it’s the type A homeschool mom that feels like this is the checklist. And I think what I hear you saying is let’s envision the checklist differently.
[Steve] Yeah, that’s exactly right Heidi. And it’s, you know, as you said, rather than using the reading aloud as the reward at the end of the day, it’s a great way to set an entirely different tone. You know, come sit by momma, sit on my lap, let’s read a story together, shall we? Is a whole different flavor then I hope that you did your homework last night, now turn to page 48 in your workbook and we’re going to have a pop quiz this morning.
And there are, you know, the skill areas of learning. Things like reading mechanics and mass skills and penmanship, those are things that require a systematic approach, a sequential approach to learning, but all of the rest of the subjects, I mean science and history and art and the humanities, all of those, there’s no particular sequence in which to learn those things. You don’t have to know anything about the weather before you study insects in science. You don’t have to know anything about the Peloponnesian Wars before you learn about World War II. So you tackle those subjects as they come up in the course of life and reading and you create a legacy that goes far beyond this semester or this year or even high school graduation. But a legacy that lasts a lifetime with your children.
[Heidi] Yeah, because they’re going to pass it on to their kids.
[Steve] Yeah, exactly. There’s a lot of … There’s a new study out right now called the 3 Million Word Deficit or something that suggests that if you don’t read aloud to your child, by fifth grade that child is already 3 million words in deficit to other kids who’ve been read to and it reflects in vocabulary. It reflects in fluency, literacy. Just in a dozen different areas. And so reading aloud to us became the foundation of education. And so what happens is, you know … You know, Jane and I were just talking the other day and I said there’s that old saying about you can buy a man a fish and feed him for today or you can teach a man to fish and he can become self-sufficient. And that’s the problem with what education has historically been in this country, whether it’s in classrooms or in homeschool, is that we’re buying a man a fish. Every day where we’re buying stacks of workbooks and textbooks each year, and then we use the pages and have to throw them away and buy another stack for next year.
And we are hand feeding these children when if we could just teach them how to fish for themselves, to teach them how to fall in love with learning, teach them how to become fluent readers, teach them how to discover and access resources and to nurture the natural curiosity that God placed inside our children that makes them want to learn, until we strangle that out, usually about first grade. But I think the average two year old, I read, asked something like 460 questions a day or something like that.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s a starting point.
[Steve] God creates them to want to learn and they’re excited about it and so by…
[Heidi] Until we squeeze it out of them.
[Steve] Exactly. So by opening books, opening the world wide to them and letting their curiosity engage and letting them ask questions.
[Steve] You know the best days that Jane ever had homeschooling our kids were the days when the kids would say, “Mama, how come so-and-so?” And she’d say, “I have no idea. What a wonderful question. Where would we go to find out?” So education…
[Heidi] That’s so important for homeschool moms listening to this. You don’t have to know all the answers.
[Steve] No absolutely.
[Heidi] If your kids come to you and they say, mama, I don’t understand this, you can go, you know what that’s a great … I love that. That’s a great question. Let’s look it up. Let’s figure it out. And you’re demonstrating for your child you don’t have to know all the answers. We can learn together.
[Steve] Now you’re becoming a resource person. You’re becoming a coach.
[Heidi] Yes, which is life giving.
[Steve] Completely different relationship than the traditional classroom model of I’m the teacher, you listen, you be quiet. I do the talking and we’re going to have a test and see if you paid attention on Friday.
[Heidi] There was a woman who wrote to me a couple of weeks ago and she said that she had given up on homeschooling and she put her child back in school because she was just so glad to not be her child’s teacher anymore. She could focus just on being a mother. And my initial thought, this isn’t what I said to her, but my initial thought was to say, you weren’t doing it right because this role of mother and teacher, they are intertwined from the moment your child is born. You are both the mother and the teacher.
And what the culture has done, the culture has divided those two roles up so that parents feel like, oh, the teacher at the school does that and I’m just the parent. But really that’s not how God intended. God made us to be both parent and teacher. They really are intertwined. And when you realize how intertwined they are and how beautiful that intertwinement is, it becomes life giving as opposed to here now I’m going to put my teacher hat on and here’s your assignment, one, two, three, four and your timer and the chore chart and all those.
I mean, I’m saying this stuff with such passion because I did it this way for so long and I burned my kids out and I burned myself out. And it wasn’t until we started going— okay, there’s got to be a better way. And for me it started with missionary stories. You and I have had this conversation a lot.
[Steve] Yeah, right.
[Heidi] I was introduced to missionary stories and I started reading biographies to my kids and all of a sudden the kids would wake up in the morning, come running into the living room and, “Mom, I’ve got the book. Can we … You know, I got the book and you know, Bullet Trios and can we sit down and read?” And I went from my kids just, you know, me dragging them into, you know, here’s your workbook, here’s your assignment, to running into the living room in the morning, couldn’t wait to sit down, wanted to hear what happened next in the story. And that became life-giving.
And that was the moment when I realized, oh, I don’t take off my momma hat and put my teacher hat on. I wear them all the time. And that is life giving. And you’re right, it goes on to the next generation.
[Steve] No, that’s exactly right. If you stop and think about a traditional classroom model, it is by definition an adversarial relationship. You sit on opposite, facing opposite directions. The teacher’s desk faces South. Every student’s desk faces North.
[Steve] And the teacher is in charge of doling out information and the children’s responsibility is to be quiet and to sit and keep their hands to themselves and not interrupt the teacher. And then the teacher has the power to hold them back next year, give them a test on Friday, whatever.
[Steve] That’s, I mean, that’s just a recipe for disaster when you try to apply that traditional model of classroom and do school at home because you know what you need to do is get on the same side of the desk.
[Heidi] Yeah, the couch.
[Steve] We’re in this together on the couch. We’re in this together. We’re going on a learning adventure together. You know, God’s the ultimate multi-tasker and any mother who’s homeschooled more than six months will tell you that on any given day, the person who learns the most in a homeschool classroom is not the child, it’s the mother.
[Heidi] It’s the mother. That’s right, that’s right.
[Steve] And not only are you learning about things that you never learned or you learned and forgot, but God has a unique way of dealing with some of your character issues and you find your children there as constant little living witnesses to remind you, “you know, mom, why do you always wait till the last minute to do things? Momma, why do you get so angry and lose your temper?”
And so God’s molding your children’s character while he’s molding your character and together you’re going on a learning adventure that will last for a lifetime if you can get away and break away from that model that has been ingrained in a classroom.
[Heidi] Man, I just needed that so. So, tomorrow when I start school, I’ll have a better attitude.
[Heidi] I’ll have a better attitude. If people want to find out about Five in a Row because really this is the core of what you and Jane have been doing for all these years now, is to really have these books come alive and you’re teaching mothers is what you’re doing. You’re teaching mothers how to make these books come alive for their children and they turn into the most amazing mothers/teachers for their children as they take their kids along on this learning adventure. Where can people find you? It’s Five in a Row.
[Steve] That’s right. www.Fiveinarow.com. And you can go to our website there. We have materials for children from about age two up to about age 12. Beyond that in secondary school, children are beginning to go off in different directions and some are going towards pre-med and some are going towards journalism. But the foundation that every child needs from birth up to about age 12 or so is that foundation to learn to fish for themselves, to learn to develop their God-given curiosity, to become self-motivated learners, to love reading, to love books, to love God’s creation and to know how and where to go and find the information they need.
You know, we live in an information saturated society. It’s not that we lack information anymore, it’s that we lack the discernment, what’s important, what’s not, what’s a distraction. And so those are the skills that we teach kids through Five in a Row. We’ve been around now 26 years. And it’s just a fun way to teach kids and most of our…
[Heidi] It’s relationship building.
[Heidi] I think that’s what I love about it the most. The focus is not so much on the academics, they’re going to get that part.
[Heidi] But the focus is relationships. And I’m telling you what, having several kids graduated from my own homeschool, now I’m watching my daughter shepherding her own kids, it’s the relationship that you want to foster more than anything else. So long after you close the last page of your math book, long after you’ve done the very last thing on the very last day that you’ve been doing for 18 years or whatever with your kids, you want them by God’s grace to call you up and ask you for a crock pot recipe and want to come over for dinner and want to hang out and tell you about what’s going on in their life. And you’re laying that foundation right now every day with the choices that you’re making with your kids.
[Steve] That’s exactly right. And you know, I’ll be 70 on my next birthday. I’m not a spring chicken anymore. But you know, the Bible says that it’s appointed to each of us to live once and to die once and somewhere God in his eternal appointment book has an appointment with me for death. And when we, you know, when we all get to that point, when you’re laying on that hospital bed and that little monitor is beeping and your family is gathered around and your children, your grandchildren are crying, your children are not going to look at you and say, oh mama, mama, I just wish we could go back and you could tell me these diagram sentences just one more time and you’re not going to be thinking…
[Heidi] Right. I sure wish I could do lesson number 20 in that Saxon math book.
[Heidi] We shouldn’t have skipped it that day.
[Steve] Exactly. And you’re not going to be saying, you know, I could die a happy woman and meet my maker if I just knew for sure that you understood quadratic equations.
[Steve] What you’re going to say is, “momma, I love those times that we read those stories. I’ll never forget when we read Little House in the Prairie. I’ll never forget when we read Grandma’s Attic or I’ll never forget that when we read” whatever. And those are the memories that lasts for a lifetime. Those are the memories that build relationship and relationship exists long, long after the last pop quiz is over.
[Heidi] That’s so good. It’s a great way to wrap it up. This is Thanksgiving week.
[Steve] I know. Exciting.
[Heidi] It’s Thanksgiving week.
[Steve] Family time.
[Heidi] Yeah, and there’s never been a better time. You can pull your kids around and you can read to them. You just did this with my daughter the other day, right?
[Steve] I did.
[Heidi] Sailor brought you a book.
[Steve] I did. I said, “Sailor, is there a book you want to read?” And she went and brought me a book.
[Steve] And you know, that’s your chance by the way, mom to be Meryl Streep or you know, whoever. To put on your best drama and if you can pretend to do a nice Texas drawl or an Irish accent, or whatever it is, just to make the book come to life. That’s the fun way to do it. And kids eat that stuff up.
[Heidi] Yeah. I watched Sailor sitting on your lap. She’s nine years old now and she’s still just was like, she’s just so drawn in because you took the time. You know, I think this is so much of it. I took the time and so often we don’t want to take the time. Right? We got more important things to do. We got to check Facebook after all. You know, you never know. Someone might need your opinion, right? And so you guys have demonstrated in such a beautiful way, this is a great time to be thinking about this and talking about this. People can find you guys at fiveinarow.com.
Steve Lambert, my friend, thank you so much for coming on this show. It’s always a joy.
[Steve] Always fun to be with you, Heidi. Thanks so much.
[Heidi] For more information on Steve and Jane Lambert and Five in a Row, please visit me online, HeidiStJohn.com/podcast. I will link back to all things Five in a Row in the show notes today.
Also coming up in January, I will be from the 4th through the 12th at the FPEA Marriage cruise. I am told that that particular cruise is sold out, but they have cabins available at a regular price. Just want to be sure and let us know that you’re coming and we will link you into the group activities.
On the 24th and 25th of this month, I will be speaking for the THSC Homeschool Moms Winter Summit in Frisco, Texas. And on the 31st I will be at the Homeschool Mom Winter Summit in Houston, Texas. So, I’m going to be getting on my Southern drawl a little bit this year. Starting out my year at the bang in the Southern part of the United States.
Want to let you guys know that the podcast was sponsored today by our friends at ECCU. As moms, it’s hard to think about our kids growing up. We’ve been talking about that today, right? What are our kids going to remember when they grow up? It’s hard to think about them growing up and going out into the world on their own. And one way to do this is by teaching them about money management early. Our sponsor today, ECCU, has designed special accounts and debit specifically with your kids and their parents in mind. You’ll breathe easier knowing that you’ve helped your children develop stewardship and godly values about money. Check them out at ECCU.com/Heidi.
Thanks for listening today everybody. Have a great Monday and I’ll see you back here with my friend Steve Arterburn on Wednesday.
Write to [Heidi]
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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