SR 830: The 4 Hour School Day: Managing Multiple Kids – Durenda Wilson, Part 3 (Best of)

“It’s not about molding our children to the image we want them to become. It’s about working with who they already are, who God made them to be.” ~ Durenda Wilson

Watch this full interview on our YouTube Channel.

Yvette Hampton and Durenda Wilson, author of “The Four-Hour School Day,” dive into the challenges and rewards of homeschooling multiple children. With practical advice on fostering independent learning, creating a supportive homeschool atmosphere, and balancing family life, this episode is a must-listen for homeschool families. Subscribe and hit the bell icon for more educational content!

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Recommended Resources:

Podcast Note-Taking Guide

Four-Hour School Day: How You and Your Kids Can Thrive in the Homeschool Life, by Durenda Wilson

Raising Boys to Men: A Simple, Mercifully Short Book on Raising and Homeschooling Boys, by Durenda Wilson

The Unhurried Homeschooler: A Simple, Mercifully Short Book on Homeschooling, by Durenda Wilson

More from Durenda Wilson on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast

 

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Discussion Questions:

1. **Independence in Learning**: Durenda emphasized the importance of encouraging children to become independent learners. What strategies did you find most effective in fostering this independence during the discussion?

2. **Managing Multiple Ages**: Homeschooling multiple children of different ages can be challenging. What methods did Durenda use to manage these dynamics, and how can these methods be adapted for smaller or larger families?

3. **Educational Family Life**: Durenda discussed how family life itself can be a crucial part of education. How do routine family activities and responsibilities contribute to a child’s learning and development?

4. **Encouraging Struggling Learners**: When a child feels insecure about their abilities, Durenda spoke about the importance of discussing their concerns when they are calm. How can parents effectively create a supportive and understanding environment for these conversations?

5. **Impact of Sibling Relationships**: Durenda mentioned the importance of nurturing sibling relationships through collaborative learning and responsibility. What role do you see homeschooling playing in nurturing healthy sibling relationships in your family?

6. **Balancing Emotional and Educational Needs**: Durenda stresses the importance of raising emotionally healthy, caring, and contributing individuals over merely focusing on robust academic education. How can homeschool parents balance these objectives in everyday teaching?

7. **Long-term Vision**: Both Durenda and Yvette spoke about thinking multi-generationally and the lasting impact of homeschooling. How does having a long-term vision affect the daily decisions and practices of a homeschooling family?

8. **Faith and Homeschooling**: As Christians, Durenda and Yvette see faith in Christ and integrating a biblical worldview critical to homeschooling. How have you worked to integrate God’s Word into your daily homeschool journey?

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Hey, everyone, this is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to the Schoolhouse Rocked

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Podcast. Our family will be on the road some this summer, and so we thought

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we would bring you some of our best episodes, and we are excited to share

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these with you once again. But before we get into it, I want to say

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thank you again to our sponsor, BJU Press Homeschool. If you’re looking

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for great christian homeschool curriculum that will really help your child

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develop a strong biblical worldview, check them

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out at BJUPressHomeschool.com. dot. They’ll help equip you for a

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successful homeschool journey, and they’ll be with you every step of the way. Check them

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out again at BJUPressHomeschool.com now enjoy this

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best of episode from the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast.

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Hey, everyone, this is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to the Schoolhouse

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Rocked Podcast. I am so glad that you’ve joined us today on a

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Thursday, or, I don’t know, maybe you’re listening to this on a Monday.

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It airs on a Thursday. But we know that you guys listen and watch these

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videos and listen to the podcast on all kinds of different days of

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the week. So I shouldn’t always assume that you’re listening to it on Thursday

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morning when it first comes out. But whatever day

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of the week it is for you, I am so thankful and honored that you

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have chosen to spend some of your day with me. I know that there are

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many other things you could be listening to right now, and so we.

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We pray that this is worth your time and that you will be encouraged if

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you’ve listened to the first two episodes we did this week with Durenda.

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Doctor Durenda, I know that you were greatly encouraged, and so

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we’re gonna just bring some more that encouragement today

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as well. Durenda,

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you mentioned in part one that you have. You’ve been homeschooling

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for over 25 years. That’s a really long time. That’s

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amazing. That is probably longer than some of our homeschool moms

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have even been alive, if they’ve got little, teeny tiny ones.

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And could be now. I feel really old. Well, you don’t need to get

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old. I’ve been married 26 years. So here, let’s do it this way.

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If I’d had a baby the very first year that I was

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married, and since homeschooling starts at birth, I could actually be

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on year 25 of homeschooling. So I would be right there with you.

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But, well, okay, so does homeschooling start at birth, because then I’m at. I’m at

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30. Let’s say you’re at 30 then. Okay. I just upped it

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for you. Don’t you love all.

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I’m really making you into something else.

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I’m a doctor, Durenda, and now I’ve got 30 years of homeschooling. 30 years of

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homeschooling experience. Everybody needs a. Like this. Really. Thank you. Well, it’s

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why you keep me around, right? Oh, no. So many more.

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Oh, goodness. Okay, so doctor Doinda has been homeschooling for over 30

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years. And one of the questions that gets

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asked constantly is, how do

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moms homeschool multiple kids

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and multiple with multiple ages? And that’s a real. I mean, I only have

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two, and I find that even to be a challenge for myself.

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My girls are five years apart, and so, you know, they’re in. I

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have a high schooler in an elementary school child, and so that can

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even be a challenge for myself. But when you. When you’ve got more than two

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in the mix, if you have four or five or six or more, that can

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really, really be a challenge. And I know that moms do it all the time,

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but I would love for you to encourage those moms. And how have

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you kind of mastered that idea of teaching multiple

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kids? Bastard is the right word. Well, you’re a doctor. You’ve mastered it.

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I’m going with it. Some of it, you know, I mean,

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honestly, there is never a perfect homeschooling day. I always tell people in the

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thousands of days that we’ve homeschooled, there’s never been a perfect one. Yeah. But I

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will say that in the back of the day, when there were a lot of

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little ones, I just had to finally embrace the fact that

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a big part of my kids education was family life. Even

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my older kids, like we were, they were learning how to care for young children.

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You know, the Bible talks about caring for those who are weak, who’s weaker than

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a baby and a toddler. Right. So we’re really teaching

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them a lot of wonderful things by

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serving their families. And so that can. That is

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very much a part of their education. But when it comes down to the nuts

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and bolts of actually doing the schoolwork piece of it with all

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of those kids around, I think the first thing that I would

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encourage parents to do is encourage your kids

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to become independent learners as soon as possible, so you

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don’t want them leaning too hard on you for things that they can really do

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themselves. So we want to start out right away saying, okay, well, here’s your

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work. I’ll be right here if you need me. But you go ahead and

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get started, especially once they’re reading, writing and doing basic

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math. So they’re, when I say writing, able to write their letters

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and start to write sentences or even practicing their letters a lot of times,

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once they know how to do it, they can do it on their own. So

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you want look for those opportunities to let them do things on their own,

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and you can check back in with them again, let them know you’re right there

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if they need you, but you want to encourage independence as soon as

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possible. And the second thing we have to remember

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is that there are things that you can

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do together with them, but with,

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with everyone at the same time, and

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then tailor the other pieces to individual

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needs. For instance, we want to read aloud to our kids. Well, we

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can read aloud to all of them at the same time. And maybe that what

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we’re reading is maybe geared towards the little bit older kids. The

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younger kids are still listening, and it’s not as important that

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it be at their level, just that they’re there learning to listen to

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a book, you know? And so. And sometimes we’ll cut them loose a little. We’ll

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cut them loose sooner than the other kids. I heard someone describe it like riding

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a bus. You know, you let those little ones off sooner, then you let off

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the older ones. And so there’s some things you can do together, do what you

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can together, and then, you know, work

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towards having some of the, you know, other things that they need to

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do individually. The other thing that I did was I had older kids help with

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younger kids. So if I needed to spend time with

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my seven year old because he was struggling in a certain

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area and I knew I needed to spend some time with them every day, or

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maybe it just randomly that day, I need to.

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I can take an older child and say, hey, look, you’re done with your math.

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You’re not moving on to anything else yet. You’re getting ready to move on to

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something else. Will you just play with this baby for a little while, for 20

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minutes while I help your brother? So assigning an older child to sit with

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a younger one for 20 minutes at a time, I felt like that was really

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kind of the limit for the little one and for them.

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Sometimes I actually scheduled it so that while I

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was intentionally working with this child every single day,

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that this, this child was entertaining the two

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year old or playing with the baby or whatever, and sometimes I would even let

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them choose a special activity that they only did

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with that sibling. Like, maybe the, you know, the nine year old is

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playing with the two year old and she’s picked out a couple of activities that

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she thought that he would enjoy, and they only do it during

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their time together. So it’s special. It’s something she’s

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picked out. And right there, also, what I’m doing is I am nurturing sibling

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relationships. I’m saying, this little person needs you, and I’m. And

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I’m intentionally putting them together. So there’s a whole lot

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going on just in those simple dynamics. So

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it never, I feel like it probably never went super duper

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smooth. There was always, you know, something, but we just, you know, we just

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adapt and adjust along the way. Just don’t be afraid to

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engage those older kids to help with the younger ones.

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And, you know, like I said before, family life is educational. You know,

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fixing sandwiches for the other kids or reading with or to their younger

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siblings and changing diapers. Those are all legitimate,

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valid parts of their education. And the thing that I

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love about that is the kids learn right off the bat that the world does

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not revolve around them. And they start to, they

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encourages them to be other oriented. And that’s really what

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we want. You know, kids who are completely self consumed or always thinking about

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themselves. People who do that are not happy people.

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Happy people are thinking outside of themselves and

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about the needs around them. And so we’re actually encouraging our kids to be

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happy, and we’re showing them this is what it looks like to be

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happy. And because God says, you know, even Jesus said,

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I come to serve, be served. I came to serve. I

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want to go back to one of the things that you talked about. You talked

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about encouraging independence. And I know

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that with eight kids, I’m certain that of your

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eight, you had some who were just go

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getters. They could. You could give them an assignment and they would just run with

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it. And then you had other kids who were a little more insecure about

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their ability to do things, who would just say, you know, I can’t. I just.

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I can’t do this. And there might be tears and

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frustration. How can we help our kids

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when they’re feeling insecure about their ability to do things?

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How did you encourage your kids who fell into that category

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of just feeling like, I can’t do this, I don’t know what to do?

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Well, I think sometimes just taking a breather, hitting the pause

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button, stepping back, and maybe just letting them go do something else

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for a while just to reset their brains and

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then bring them back in and. And try again.

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Or if it’s an ongoing thing, I would just really have a

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conversation with them when they’re calm, not when they’re

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upset. You know, it could be a completely different time of the day. You cut

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them loose and you just sit down and talk about it later in the day

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over a cup of hot chocolate or something and just say, hey, tell

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me a little bit more about what’s happening when you do your math. I noticed

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that you’re getting discouraged and it seems like

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it’s hard for you. What about it do you not like what?

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What about it is hard for you? Start asking them questions and it’s

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amazing. Kids can tell you way more than you think they can.

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And often we and always be prayerful

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before you do it because the Lord can really give you discernment to sort of

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read between the lines. If your child isn’t maybe the best communicator or maybe isn’t

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quite connected to their feelings, because a lot of times they’re just

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emotional. And so just having

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that conversation with them, to me, has always been one of the most

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beneficial things. And just letting them know, listen, you’re learning.

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You’re still learning. And it’s okay if you don’t get this right now because you’re

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going to get it someday. You’ll get it eventually. It doesn’t have to be today,

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you know, but we just want to make sure that

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you are enjoying learning and we want to be able to help you

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if there’s some things that we can help you with. And so if you can

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help us understand what’s happening, that would be great. You

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know, something like that. Very positive. And

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just when we bring them into those conversations, it helps them

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own what they’re doing. And when they know they’ve got that kind of

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support and backup and that we’re problem solving

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together, that’s another thing, is we’re teaching them, listen, this is

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an obstacle, but it’s not one we can’t overcome together. Let’s put our heads together

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and figure it out. You’re showing them we can do

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this. We can take any problem and we can work through it and we can

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figure it out. We can problem solve. Yeah, you’re absolutely right about.

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About not doing it in the heat of the moment and finding a

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time where our kids are calm and they can think clearly without the

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frustration. I actually just had this exact thing happen last night with my youngest.

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She’s ten and she’s an excellent reader. We read the bible together

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every day as a family. And she, every night she reads part

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of whatever passage we’re reading. And I’m like, if you can read the

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bible, you can read anything, you know? And the words that are

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hard, that you know, I mean, they’re words that I can’t even pronounce in the

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Bible. Right, right. We sound them out together. Right,

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exactly. So we sound them out together and we work through it. But she was

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just feeling really insecure about her ability to read, which is so strange because she’s

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a great reader. But so I, it was bedtime. She

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wasn’t reading at the time. She wasn’t frustrated. And I just said, you know, I

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said, because she recently got roller skates. And I said, when you first

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got your roller skates, how good were you at roller skating? She’s like, not very

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good at all. I’m like, no, not, you were not good at all. You couldn’t

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even go down the driveway. You were falling. And, you know, she

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would go a few steps and then she would step onto the grass.

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Because you can’t roll on the grass. Right, right. And I said,

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now look at you. You’re getting really good at it because you’ve been

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practicing. And reading is the same way

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you practice. The more you read, the better you’re going to become at

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reading and the bigger books you’re going to read. And so she’s like,

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oh, all right, I’ll read, you know, but I always want to be

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like, just, just read a book. And she’s like, but I don’t want to. I’m

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not a good reader. And so just reminding her

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when it wasn’t a time of frustration for her

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that, you know, let’s look at the big picture here. You really can

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read, and you’ll become a better reader when

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you continue to practice reading. So let’s take a quick break. We’ll be

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right back. Have you tried CTC math yet with your

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child? Here’s a testimonial from another happy homeschool mom,

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00:13:27,004 –> 00:13:30,764
Amber said, I’m absolutely thrilled with CTC math.

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It’s a rare find that I’ve used with my children for more than five years

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now. I have six children using CTC math, and each child has

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found it easy to navigate and very applicable. Thank you so much

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for all that you are doing in providing quality math lessons for my children.

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If you’re looking for a great online math program, visit

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ctcmath.com dot. That’s ctcmath.com

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00:13:52,584 –> 00:13:56,296
dot. Are you looking for a homeschool curriculum

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that goes beyond textbooks and truly engages your children in the joy

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of learning? Apologia’s award winning curriculum is written

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by homeschool parents to specifically meet your needs and captivate your

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students with hands on activities and experiments that make learning

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unforgettable. With an easy to follow, open and go format,

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Apologia takes the stress out of planning and provides a simple

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roadmap that can easily be tailored to your family’s needs.

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Explore live classes or self paced courses designed to

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00:14:25,652 –> 00:14:29,324
accommodate every student’s unique learning style, elevate your child’s

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education, spark their curiosity, and nurture a lifelong

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love for learning with apologia. Discover Apologia

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today@apologia.com. dot we are back

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with Durenda Wilson, and we’re talking about her new book called the four hour school

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Day. And the book is, is really just a book of encouragement for

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homeschoolers and really to help us kind of see the big picture of homeschooling in

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that it doesn’t look like what it looks like in the traditional

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school. So, Durenda, in this book, I mean,

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you’ve got there, it’s a wealth of information and

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wisdom and everything that you share in this book, lots of personal stories,

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what the Lord has taught you through your 30 years of homeschooling.

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What is the number one lesson that you would want people to take

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from this book? The four hour school day. And it’s called, again, called the

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four hour school day. How you and your kids can thrive

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in the homeschool life. What would you want people to walk away with when they

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read this book? I think I really, really want parents to

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understand that at the end of the day,

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you have to know how valuable your role is

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in your children’s lives. Providing safety and security

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and stability so that they can learn more naturally and

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easily is just, it’s so

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foundational to them as growing

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into whole, healthy adults. And,

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you know, really, it’s not about molding our children to the image we

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want them to become. It’s about working with who they already are, who

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God made them to be. And we have that, that

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ability to do that when we homeschool because we can

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provide the stability and the safety and the security that they need,

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again, so that they can learn naturally and easily. So

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it’s not about choosing the perfect curriculum or even giving

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them the most robust education, as it is about growing

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emotionally healthy, caring, contributing adults

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who are critical thinkers and problem solvers. And of course, at the end of the

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day for us as believers, we want them to own their

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walk with. We want them to be

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powerful for the kingdom of God. We want them to take their place

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in the body of Christ and do it well. And all of those

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things, I just believe, can be best done from home.

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Yeah. Amen. There’s no better place for kids. There’s no

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place like home. There’s no place like home. No place like

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home. No better place for them to be than under the

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instruction and discipleship and love of

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their parents and their family who God has placed them with. And that’s who, you

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00:17:09,146 –> 00:17:12,994
know, I tell parents all the time, God has intentionally put you with

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your children in this specific time. You know, I know

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we live in some ways very challenging times, but in some ways very

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exciting times. And God has made all

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of us for such a time as this. That’s right. He planned for you to

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be the parents of these children during this time. That’s right. And I

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believe I’m seeing so many christian families.

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God is turning their heart back toward their children and back

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toward home. And we, you know, many, many a big part of the body of

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Christ needed a wake up call. Yep. And it’s happening. And it’s. It’s

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a wonderful, wonderful thing. And to see and to hear

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00:17:49,294 –> 00:17:53,070
all that we are, it’s. It’s just super exciting because I

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believe that at the end of the day, it’s going to change the trajectory

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of the church. It’s going to change the trajectory of our nation.

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We need to not despise the day of small

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beginnings. And I think that’s where we are right now. And

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we get to be part of it by investing in our children and investing in

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the next generation. We got to think multi generationally. We have to

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stop thinking about just the here and now. We’ve got to think bigger than that.

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And because honestly, I tell people when you raise and homeschool

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your kids, you are raising and homeschooling your grandchildren and your great

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grandchildren. So think big because

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you were made for such a time as this. That’s right. It’s a legacy that

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we’re leaving for our kids and our grandkids, and you’re getting to see that firsthand,

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00:18:37,000 –> 00:18:40,752
Durenda. I am. What a blessing. So thank you so much

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00:18:40,768 –> 00:18:44,200
for your time this week. You are one of my favorite people in the whole

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world. You are such a blessing to me. I thank you for just.

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For your role in my life, but not just my life, for your role in

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00:18:51,408 –> 00:18:55,016
the lives of, you know, thousands of homeschool moms around the

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00:18:55,040 –> 00:18:58,824
world. It is such an, just such an encouragement

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to be able to talk to you and glean from your experience

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00:19:02,304 –> 00:19:06,000
and take the wisdom that God has given you with home

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00:19:06,032 –> 00:19:09,736
educating and raising up and discipling your kids. So thank you for

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00:19:09,800 –> 00:19:13,616
all of the hard work and sweat and tears. And I

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00:19:13,640 –> 00:19:17,168
know it’s been fun over the past couple years as you’ve been writing

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00:19:17,216 –> 00:19:21,008
this, there have been many times where you and I have texted back and

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00:19:21,016 –> 00:19:24,800
forth. You’ll just say, pray for me. I have. You know, this next chapter

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00:19:24,832 –> 00:19:28,432
is due by Friday, and you’ll go lock yourself in a

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00:19:28,448 –> 00:19:32,096
cave and write it. And so it’s very exciting to see

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00:19:32,120 –> 00:19:35,616
it have come to complete, to completion. I love that I get

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00:19:35,640 –> 00:19:39,328
to have been part of one of your, being one of your prayer warriors

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00:19:39,456 –> 00:19:43,112
throughout this. Well, I sure appreciate it. That is, you know, they always say, you

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00:19:43,128 –> 00:19:46,712
know, a book is never, you know, somebody authors it, but it’s a team effort

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00:19:46,768 –> 00:19:50,512
and certainly the prayer support is huge. So thank you. Yeah,

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00:19:50,568 –> 00:19:53,952
absolutely. Well, you guys pick up the book. It’s called the four hour school

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00:19:54,008 –> 00:19:57,752
day, how you and your kids can thrive in the homeschool life. Make

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00:19:57,768 –> 00:20:01,592
sure you pick up a copy. Go to dorindawilson.com. we will put

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00:20:01,608 –> 00:20:04,928
the link in the show notes. And also, you like, quickly

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00:20:04,976 –> 00:20:08,752
breezed by this, but you have a podcast yourself that’s very

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00:20:08,848 –> 00:20:12,320
excellent and encouraging. It’s the Durenda Wilson podcast. Imagine

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00:20:12,352 –> 00:20:15,656
that. Imagine that. Yes. This is not the Doctor Durenda,

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00:20:15,680 –> 00:20:19,304
it’s Wilson podcast. I’ve got over 200

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00:20:19,344 –> 00:20:23,032
episodes there, yet one of my favorite features is on the podcast page. There’s a

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00:20:23,048 –> 00:20:26,872
search bar so you can put in keywords and something will

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00:20:26,928 –> 00:20:30,656
likely come up. Yeah, we’ve talked about a lot of things after 200, lots of

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00:20:30,680 –> 00:20:34,104
things. And one of the things I love most about your podcast is that you’re

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00:20:34,144 –> 00:20:37,968
very, very transparent. And you’ve had several of your kids on

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00:20:37,976 –> 00:20:41,736
the podcast with you who have also been transparent with some of the struggles

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00:20:41,760 –> 00:20:45,208
that you guys have had as families, the joys that you’ve had of being a

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00:20:45,216 –> 00:20:48,992
homeschool family, the things that God has taught you. And so, you

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00:20:49,008 –> 00:20:52,424
know, it’s been a family endeavor for sure. So

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00:20:52,544 –> 00:20:56,372
definitely listen to Durenda’s podcast as well. You will be encouraged. Thank you

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00:20:56,388 –> 00:21:00,204
guys for listening again. Make sure that you are signed up for the schoolhouse rocked

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00:21:00,284 –> 00:21:04,092
newsletter. And please just pray about whether or not the

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00:21:04,108 –> 00:21:07,228
Lord would have you to help support the Skull house Rock to ministry

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00:21:07,276 –> 00:21:11,036
financially. We cannot do what we’re doing without the support of our

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00:21:11,060 –> 00:21:14,668
listeners and our sponsors. But we mostly have support from our listeners,

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00:21:14,716 –> 00:21:17,036
and that is how we do what we do, and that is how this movie

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00:21:17,060 –> 00:21:20,596
is getting into people’s hands. We are always in need of financial support. So if

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00:21:20,620 –> 00:21:24,452
you believe in homeschooling, you want to see it continue to grow. You want to

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00:21:24,468 –> 00:21:27,932
encourage homeschool families through the movie and through the podcast, please

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00:21:27,988 –> 00:21:31,612
consider a monthly or one time donation. It’s a tax deductible

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00:21:31,668 –> 00:21:35,260
donation. You can do that@schoolhouserocked.com. dot we would

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00:21:35,292 –> 00:21:39,036
be so blessed by that. So thank you guys for listening. Have a great rest

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00:21:39,060 –> 00:21:41,984
of your day, and we will see you back here on Monday. Bye bye.

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00:21:47,124 –> 00:21:50,908
Laughing in the face of imposter syndrome and coming to you from the

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00:21:50,956 –> 00:21:54,502
epicenter of manly overconfidence. I’m your host, Garritt

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00:21:54,518 –> 00:21:57,982
Hampton, and you are listening to the Thinking Dad.

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00:21:58,158 –> 00:22:01,486
Even if we’re able to push the evildoers and the

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00:22:01,510 –> 00:22:05,174
totalitarians back for another generation, maybe if we work really

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00:22:05,214 –> 00:22:08,654
hard, maybe even two generations, if they’ve got the young people,

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00:22:08,774 –> 00:22:12,558
it’s over. I often think about Daniel’s parents,

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00:22:12,686 –> 00:22:16,214
who you don’t hear anything about, but they must have

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laid down the foundation for Daniel to be able to go into

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00:22:20,126 –> 00:22:23,676
Babylon and not fall. We’re in that very

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00:22:23,740 –> 00:22:27,172
beginning part of the cycle for tough times. We’ve been fat and happy. We’ve been

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enjoying the, you know, we’re lazy because we enjoy so much freedom. We got all

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00:22:30,108 –> 00:22:33,012
these blessings, and why would you go do the hard work? And so for a

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long time now, decades, we haven’t had to do the hard work. We’ve been living

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on the fumes of previous generations, paying the price, and we got to raise

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the bar and say, I’m willing to give more of my life. That’s my time.

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00:22:43,748 –> 00:22:47,360
More of my money. Of course, that’s our fortune. And more of my sacred honor,

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which is my reputation. I’m willing to put it all on the line. Every single

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one of us has to be willing to do that. Join us for the first

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season of the Thinking Dad Thinking Dad.net.

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