real encouragement for real homeschool moms



What a fun weekend I had as I shared my first book signing with my friend, Deon Lock Maas! Deon’s brother, Dale, and I graduated from high school together after attending schools in Farmington, Illinois all our lives. Years later, I got to know Deon all over again through her husband, Tom, who was my Toastmasters friend and also a mentor to our son as he went through law school. Tom passed away last year after suffering from brain cancer and I had the privilege of giving a eulogy at his funeral, which was quite an honor for me since Tom was such a highly respected Toastmaster and a good friend to our family.

Deon’s first book, The Beagle and the Brain Tumor, is the story of how their rescue beagle, Hoover, became part of their family as Tom’s health diminished and Deon cared for him at home. In many wonderful ways, Hoover really rescued them! I think you would enjoy reading their story!

On Saturday, Deon premiered her second book called Trouble Met me Half Way: Memories, observations, and youthful indiscretions from one man’s upbringing, 1950-1971.  A delightful collection of essays written by Tom that tells about growing up during the 1950s in Milwaukee, Tom’s wit and gift for storytelling shine through in every essay. I heard many of these stories during the years as speeches for our local Toastmasters Club and it is fun to see them in print for others to enjoy as much as we did!

The day was a bit surreal for me, sitting at a table and signing books in my childhood library! When I first walked in the front door and inhaled, that same delightful smell of old wood and old books came flooding back to me! I closed my eyes and I was 8 again, lost in the racks, transported to other worlds.

“When I was a little girl, I loved going to the library. Housed in an old building with wall-to-wall oak bookcases, a cozy fireplace with inviting chairs in front of it, and a 90-year-old librarian named Minta who fascinated me, the library was my home away from home. I could spend hours curled up in one of the old chairs, reading Nancy Drew or books where the heroine was a horse trainer, a nurse, or a flight attendant. I would get so involved in the story lines that I often went through a period of real grieving at the close of the book because I hated to see it end. It was like saying goodbye to old friends and it would break my heart. Sometimes I would just finish the last chapter and go right back to the beginning of a book and start reading all over again! Best of all was when there was a sequel to the book on the shelf just waiting for me to take it home! ~ from The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling

If you haven’t yet gotten your copy of The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling ~ when the one anothers come home, it is available on Amazon in print or Kindle version and will also be available in the new release of the wonderful Rainbow Resource Center Catalog. If you need multiple copies for a book study(Hint: there are questions for reflection and discussion at the end of each chapter) or want an autographed copy, send me a note and I can mail them directly to you!  And, if you have read the book, please give me a review on Amazon! I would so appreciate it!!!



“Over the years I have heard the lament of many parents who are struggling with broken relationships with their adult children. I have also witnessed the grief of children who long for the grown-up, peer interaction with their parents they are meant to enjoy. I believe this passage in Hebrews gives us the warnings and admonitions we need to heed if there is to be healing within these relationships, if we are to prevent bitterness from taking root and destroying our lives.

We are told to “pursue peace with all people.” The word used for “peace” in this passage comes from a root word that literally means “the wholeness that you experience when all the essential parts are tied together!” It conveys the completeness of a relationship, the joining together of separate parts. We are to actively work toward bringing about this type of harmony.

However, this pursuit must go hand in hand with holiness. In other words, while this is to be our goal, peace is not to be embraced at all costs; declaring that there are no problems for the sake of a worldly type of unity is really no peace at all. Psalm 85:8-10 tells us that in God’s restoration process, “mercy and truth have met together….righteousness and peace will kiss.” Holiness and righteousness require truthfulness in discerning the problems that caused the broken relationship in the first place. It means we must agree with God as to what sin actually is.” ~  from The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling




“We must call sexual abuse by its real name. Abuse is not limited to just rape or molestation. Here is an official definition from a reputable Christian book on the topic:

“Sexual abuse is any contact or interaction (visual, verbal, or psychological) between a child/adolescent and an adult (or older teen) when the child/adolescent is used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or another person.” (Dan Allender, The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse)

Let’s face it: the term sexual abuse is loaded and ugly. So often people try to mislabel abuse as “inappropriate behavior” or an “indiscretion” or “immorality” to help remove its stigma.  But renaming something just confuses the issue at hand and prevents us from dealing with the reality of its dangers. Children and youth who have been damaged by abuse—even if the abuse seems “minor” to us—will often live their lives through the lens of that experience; and frequently make poor relationship and spiritual choices as they mature. They need our help for recovery.”   To read the entire article, go here…..


Another great resource for becoming more informed about sexual predators, which is who typically commits sexual abuse of children, is this book, Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders by Anna Salter. It is a painful read and if you have experienced sexual abuse, be warned. I would like to see this book in the hands of every parent.






How will you know if your homeschooling has been a success?

Such an important question with multiple answers.

Our own goals have been to raise children who are life-long learners who follow their passions while using the gifts God has given to them, wallowing in joy and happiness along the way!  True success, I believe, is obedience to the known, revealed will of God and central to that is using God’s good gifts to each of us for His glory!

The following article challenges us to consider what it really means to be educated and at how success in our homeschooling endeavors should truly be measured. Would love to hear your thoughts.


“The problem is that the indicators society typically uses to measure accomplishment are not very useful for predicting true success in life. Things like grades, test scores, contests, and college admission are only useful for comparing students to standards picked by society.

But if you think about the people in this world who are truly happy, or who have made the greatest contributions to society, you’ll realize that those people did not do what everybody else expected them to do.

They were not conformists, but innovators.

As a four year old, Alexander Graham Bell used to sit in a field to try to hear the wheat grow. He was fascinated by sound and voice. But his father wanted him to learn Latin and Greek so he could go to college and “be successful.” Where was the future in studying sound?

No one could have predicted that someday Alexander would invent the telephone. It had never been done. Fortunately, circumstances allowed Alexander to continue his studies and experiments until he earned the success that only authentic passion can achieve.”

Read the rest of this good article here.




Late night television host, Johnny Carson, used to do a spoof called Carnac the Magnificent where he donned a crazy costume and pretended to foresee the future. Perhaps his insights might be every bit as helpful as the variety of things I am reading these days about the future of the patriarchy moment in homeschooling. I have no sure answers as to where the patriarchs are all headed as, one by one, ministries embracing the basic teachings of patriarchy are tumbling down. But I do see some things that concern me greatly as well as some things I believe speak to the good health of the homeschooling spirit. Here are some of my rambling ideas and, as always, I welcome your thoughts and insights.

As the Common Core agenda continues to be advanced, homeschooling will continue to grow and with this growth comes even more diversity. This means that the profile of the average homeschooler will look even less like the 1980s variety of homeschooler than it does today. Denim jumpers, for the most part, have left the building and along with them the rigid lifestyles many still associate with homeschooling families. Articles like Home Educating Family’s Why I Let My Teens Date open the door to genuine, honest conversations about subjects that have formerly been taboo in Christian homeschooling circles.

The 2009 Homeschool Leadership Summit with its nonsensical manifesto was one of the last ditch efforts to attempt to control homeschooling on the part of the legalistic patriocentrist crowd. Those who embrace the fringe teachings within the homeschool culture will continue in their own distilling process, producing even more potent of an end product that is sure to leave an even more bitter taste in the mouth. There are still a few of those efforts today but, as my husband has often said, trying to organize all homeschoolers to do anything, because we are so naturally independent and stubborn, is like trying to herd cats. It will be even more difficult as homeschooling grows and new voices are heard above the patriocentric mantra. And, may I say, the real manly men are found in this new group!

Watch for this continuing diversity as even more Great Homeschool Conventions are coming to a town near you and local support groups of all flavors continue popping up. A number of years ago R.C. Sproul Jr. lamented the changes in homeschooling; I am excited about them. I see homeschooling coming full-circle and eventually returning to the ideals of the early days when a child’s education was actually about enabling children to pursue and excel at their dreams rather than attempting to upload them with personal preferences in order to fulfill the dreams of a parent’s guru.

Those who have promoted patriarchy, either outright, or by default and have kept silent out of fear, are starting to step up and speak out. They have not all been warmly received and, frankly, the jury is still out on the sincerity of some. Nonetheless, many are now willing to say what they have thought for many years, “Something is not right. This is not what homeschooling is all about!” Applause for the brave ones!

I believe this will naturally make way for more homeschooling moms to share what they have learned and to have genuine ministry to younger moms who want real encouragement rather than obligatory platitudes. Though those men-only folks who put on that 2009 summit and wrote their own manifesto chose to disenfranchise moms, everyone knows that without homeschooling moms, there will be no homeschooling. Gradually, those who plan conventions and organize homeschooling events will realize that moms who have been in the trenches are their greatest secret weapon against burnout and discouragement and will act accordingly.

And moms who are older, don’t think for a single minute that you are not needed and wanted. These younger moms tell me otherwise. Younger moms want to benefit from our years of living life, making mistakes, and finding grace. This was confirmed to me a while back when I was asked by my church to mentor a young woman who told me she asked for “an older woman who had been married for a really long time to the same man.” And how often have I heard the lament of young homeschooling moms who tell me that those of us who are “retired” from actual homeschooling and have moved on to new interests and don’t have time for them are a huge disappointment. This needs to change.

Even though patriarchy is not dead (but is wounded and even limping along in some places) there are those who are jockeying for the reigns of the patriocentric crowd, by one means or another. Scott Brown, current leader and spokesman for the National Center for the Family Integrated Church is currently advertising his internship program for young men, which appears to be amazingly similar to Doug Phillips’ Vision Forum model. If anything, this FIC leader is digging in his heels to further his patriocentric agenda. Stacy McDonald, continuing to promote her own particular paradigm of godly womanhood, is calling for the possible sidelining of the actual word “patriarchy,” but is in favor of holding tightly to the principles. Israel Wayne, whose recent attempts to sound like a kinder, gentler homeschooling leader, have been welcomed, even by some who have spoken out against patriarchy, but I believe he should be held up to greater scrutiny. Wayne’s long personal and family history in the homeschooling movement as well as his gracious and charming demeanor seem to have clouded the judgment of many who are just now saying they should have spoken up earlier against the Vision Forum agenda. But I have to ask, when it comes down to the core teachings of patriarchy, how are Wayne’s views any different that those taught by Phillips? Claiming that even courtship is not biblical, Wayne’s teachings on betrothal should not be overlooked as they place him squarely in the middle of patriocentricity. Are any of these teachings what we want to see promoted as mainstream?

A new, organized, and clearly focused group of former homeschool students, motivated, in part, by the bad fruits of patriocentric homeschooling, have taken up the banner for homeschooling reform, putting the very good ideals at the heart of homeschooling at risk. Their legitimate concerns over some instances of sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse of children have resulted in their misguided call for state-operated control over all homeschooling and have even extended to their advancement of “homosexual rights” for homeschooled children. Though I have had similar concerns about treatment of all children, homeschooled and otherwise, at the hands of adversarial methods, I do not share the solutions being advanced by this group! Let me encourage you to read through their websites to become aware of their agenda. I believe this group poses possibly the greatest threat to homeschooling freedoms we enjoy today and has largely been inspired by the patriarchy movement.

About 15 months ago, before any of this latest patriarchy nonsense came to light, I wrote a piece entitled Kitty Genovese Christians, encouraging us to be ever vigilant and pro-active when we see wrongs being committed against others and teachings that are counter to the Word of God. Let me encourage you to read it again and then ponder what may be coming our direction in the future. Let’s continue to put patriarchy on trial now and be prepared to do so down the road!

Any thoughts?




This is my first Mother’s Day having a birthmother’s name and face to put with the picture of her I have carried next to my heart for the past 60 years. Last fall I was able to find her name and her family, though she had already passed away 16 years ago. This week I met some of her family and was blessed to be able to look through pictures and mementoes. My favorite is this one of her pregnant with me, just days before she was taken to Crittenton Home in Peoria. She was only 14. The picture had been saved in a cedar chest along with baby clothes from siblings who had died and other family pictures.


These next two are fun. She managed two of the cafeterias at Bradley University and enjoyed cooking for the students for decades. I plan to make copies of these to hang in my kitchen!





I was a new mother for the fourth time and madly in love with my new, sweet baby. Ben’s big round blue eyes and wisps of blonde hair, as pale as a moonbeam, captivated me right from the start. My first three children had been bottle fed so my experience of nursing both intrigued and terrified me. It also brought into my life a magnified version of one of a mom’s greatest struggles: isolationism.

Following the cues from other mothers, Ben and I slipped out of the pew on Sunday mornings and, quietly and inconspicuously, hid in the assistant pastor’s tiny office on the second floor, the designated “nursing mom’s room.” Week after week for several months this became my “sanctuary,” the muffled sound of the sermon piped into the balcony next door but unintelligible from my corner of the church. I spent the time singing and praying but also longing to share the experience with other believers.

It seemed that I was just coming out of this stage of mothering when my next baby was born, followed a couple years later by another little one and even more months in “solitary confinement.” On most Sundays I wondered why I had bothered to dress and come to church at all! You see, as much as I really loved time alone with each of my babies, I desperately needed the inspiration that corporate worship provides and I really struggled as I tried to put life into perspective in those days.

Of course, those years are now far in the past and were I to do it over again, knowing what I know now, I would have nursed under a blanket, graciously moving the barriers of everyone’s comfort zone! But, now I see this same struggle in the lives of the mamas of my grandbabies and in other mothers who spend all their time caring for the neediness of their young families. I see it on the eager faces of the moms who hurry into the church for their MOPS meetings, anxious, not to have time away from their children, but rather, to be inspired in their relationships with the Lord and in the high calling of motherhood that God has given each of them during this difficult season of life.

I believe there are two reasons why homeschooling moms have put inspiration on their Mother’s Day wish lists, both of them equally important.

The first one is that we need to be inspired in order to grow as we mature as believers in Christ. Hearing the Word preached and reading it for ourselves are both ways that the Lord reaches into our hearts and pours out His grace into our lives. Hymns and songs of praise draw us into worship and stir up gratefulness in our hearts and should be a regular part of each day. Words of encouragement and inspiration found in works of literature, books by authors who take the Word of God seriously, and especially thoughts from other moms who have traveled the path we are on and are genuine in their approach to sharing, are also ways the Lord uses to strengthen us from day to day. Spending time in nature, soaking in the greatness of God’s creation will also create in us a sense of awe toward the God who knit us together in secret yet who cares enough to meet reach down and touch us in so many ways.

We can also be inspired in ways that are not necessarily “spiritual” but that contribute to our own personal growth and that benefit us as wives and moms. I have bookmarked several places online that inspire me as a homemaker every time I visit them. When I need inspiration for cleaning and decorating my home, sewing or hot-gluing something new, or even with ideas for meal planning, I have several blogs and sites that are guaranteed to give me fresh thoughts and motivation. When I want to meditate on a new idea, I have other websites or even books in my personal library that will give me something good to chew on for the day. These are all areas where I desire personal growth and the Lord has graciously provided them for my benefit.

There is also a second important reason why we must stay inspired. Other people, especially our families, are depending upon us to set that example and it is impossible to inspire anyone if we aren’t inspired ourselves!

Homeschooling mom and author, Sallie Clarkson, reminds us that raising children is a ministry and that one of the most crucial aspects of it is to paint a picture for them of God’s mighty presence in their lives, to inspire them to follow and serve Him. She writes:

“When we take the opportunity to expose our children to the glory of God displayed in a rainbow or powerful ocean ways, or a star-studded night sky, we are helping them understand that there is a Being much bigger than themselves who created the universe and holds it together with His power. When we tell them about our answered prayers and those amazing “coincidences” that confirm God’s presence in our lives, we help them realize that God is close and caring and active in our daily circumstances. When we explain the things we have been able to do in the Holy Spirit’s power that we couldn’t accomplish alone, we help them understand how God works and what He can accomplish through us. As we tell them “look” and “observe” we instill the hope that a supernatural being more powerful than we can understand intervenes in time and space to help us and to interact with our lives.

The knowledge of God’s mystery and omnipotence, His active presence and His constant love helps us, and our children, learn to stand before Him with soft, teachable hearts. When we are ready to receive the grace of His power and presence into each moment of our lives, we cannot help but look differently at all our daily activities. When we learn to look and listen and to ponder, our everyday moments can be transformed by the knowledge of a God whose companionship brings us joy, “wind to our wings” and the possibility of a miraculous touch at any moment.” (from The Ministry of Motherhood)

I would encourage you today to purposefully choose to be inspired, first so that you will mature in your faith in Christ, praising Him for the grace He has so freely given you as His daughter and also for the opportunity He has placed in your hands for inspiring your children with that same grace. Today, look for inspiration, even in the ordinary because, as moms, we serve an extraordinary God who wants to give us the best gifts this Mother’s Day, including the gift of inspiration!


(This is an edit of a post from 2009 if this sounds familiar but the truth needed to be shared again today!)

now available!!!


"In today's homeschooling world, you can find all sorts of formulas and prescriptions. If you just follow the correct method, your children will grow up to live godly lives, and they will always make family (including you) their priority. In this book, Karen Campbell gives you the real story. Homeschooling and parenting are not about formulas and prescriptions. They are about relationships. Weaving together Scripture, her own successes and failures, and her observations of the homeschooling world, Karen provides a wealth of wisdom for the homeschooling parent. If you want a formula, this book is not for you. If you want honest wisdom that will aid you in your homeschooling journey, this book is exactly what you are looking for!" – Dr. Jay Wile, PhD, speaker and author of the popular "Exploring Creation with" series of textbooks.

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Family Integrated Church podcasts

The Family Integrated Church ~ Are you frustrated in your search for a church home? Are you considering a family integrated church? The podcast series on the FIC movement is just for you! This series includes Pastor Shawn Mathis who explains the "theological basis" for the movement, Pastor Steve Doyle, who was once an FIC pastor and left the movement, and Bible scholar and author, Jon Zens, who looks at the underlying doctrines that permeate many FIC churches. The series concludes with thatmom's encouragement to homeschooling families as they seek to be part of the entire body of Christ. You will also want to read the series of articles on the pros and cons of the FIC and my exhortation to homeschooling families who are looking for a church home!

thatmom’s thoughts on curriculum

And you can learn about my thoughts on developing your own philosophy of education as well as finding the methods of homeschooling that work best for you and your children by

looking for my presentations on the Home Educating Family media site!

Three Cheers……..


truth from the Word

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73: 25-26

Phillip E. Johnson says:

“When pressed in interviews to name my heroes, I have spontaneously responded that they are homeschooling mothers! To me, the heroic mothers who nurture the next generation of faithful Christians are among the leaders of the church.” ~ Phillip E. Johnson

John Stonestreet says:

“C.S. Lewis said that for every new book we read, we ought to read three old ones. But I think for every latest, greatest new homeschooling book you read, go find three old homeschooling moms and ask them what happened and what worked.” ~ John Stonestreet

Oswald Chambers says:

"If we simply preach the effects of redemption in the human life instead of the revealed, divine truth regarding Jesus Himself, the result is not new birth in those who listen. The result is a refined religious lifestyle, and the Spirit of God cannot witness to it because such preaching is in a realm other than His." ~ Oswald Chambers

Carolyn Custis James says:

“The power of our theology comes alive when we take the truth personally. Holding God at arm’s length—no matter how much theology we think we know—will never make us great theologians. We have to learn to write our own names into the plot. God will always be the subject of our theological sentences but our sentences are incomplete until we make ourselves the direct objects of his attributes…..Simply knowing a lot of theological ideas, no matter how orthodox and sound they are, will never turn us into great theologians. Theology isn’t really theology for us until we live it. Not until we learn to make explicit connections between what we know about God and the race we are running will we taste the transforming power of our theology. Fixing our eyes on Jesus means reminding ourselves of all that He is to us now. He brings meaning to our routines and energizes us to tackle the difficult tasks at hand. Fixing our eyes on Jesus gives us hope to offer disheartened husbands and hurting friends, and the wisdom we need to raise children who will fix their eyes on Him, too.” ~ from Carolyn Custis James in When Life and Beliefs Collide

William Carey says:

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."

Tim Keller says:

"God’s love and forgiveness can pardon and restore any and every kind of sin or wrongdoing. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter if you’ve deliberately oppressed or even murdered people, or how much you’ve abused yourself… There is no evil that the Father’s love cannot pardon and cover, there is no sin that is a match for his grace." ~ Tim Keller

Tim Keller also says:

“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.” ! Tim Keller in The Reason for God.

Anne Ortlund says:

“So what do we do to encourage them to grow inwardly, to become resourceful and creative, to think, to meditate, to lay the foundation for growing up well? Don’t push, but affirm them! Give them the sense that all is well, that their rate of progress is acceptable to you, that you like them just the way they are…..Guide them but be delighted in them. Let them know that life is to be reached for and drunk of deeply…..Enthusiastic, that’s how you want them to grow up! The word comes from “en Theo,” or “in God.” Support them with words of faith, hope, and love, and in that framework “in God,” they’ll be ready to tackle everything. Fears and cautions are built in at an early age but so is courage! Tomorrow’s world will be different if your child has been released to experiment, to risk, to lead others, to pursue righteousness, to be an affecter for good in society, to go courageously after God.” ~ Anne Ortlund in Children Are Wet Cement

J.C Ryle says:

"Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys, these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily, these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart." ~ J. C. Ryle in The Upper Room

Kathy Thile says:

"I say this gently, as the parent of grown kids, knowing *insert parenting guru* is also the parent of grown kids: we have wonderful children — he does, I’m sure — and so do I. But without even knowing his children I can know this about them: they are not perfect. They hurt. They make mistakes. They struggle. They are prideful and overly simplistic at times; and crippled by shame and hesitancy at others. Yes — they are beautiful examples of human beings, his children (I assume), and mine (I know.) But they are not perfect. If they were, they would not be human. If it were possible to raise children to perfection, then God would have sent a parenting method, not Jesus. Our marching orders are not to raise our children by a method to be like *insert parenting guru* children. Our marching orders are to be Christians to and with our children." ~ Kathy Thile

Clay Clarkson says:

“Many Christian parents, myself included, tend to speak to children as though they were Pharisees. We can speak harshly and with judgment, implying by our manner that their hearts are hard and resistant. But this attitude is not justified by Scripture. There is no record of Jesus ever speaking to a a child in a harsh tone. When the Gospels record Him speaking to a child, it is always with gentleness. Our children are not our adversaries. Though our children’s hearts are corrupted by sin, they are not hardened sinners who have made conscious choices to reject the Savior. Our children are simply immature and childish. That’s why children need love and compassion, not harshness and guilt.” ~ Clay Clarkson in Heartfelt Discipline

Tim Kimmel says:

“Grace can’t be some abstract concept that you talk about in your home. It has to be a real-time action that ultimately imprints itself in your children’s hearts. To talk about grace, sing about grace, and have our children memorize verses about grace – but not give them specific gifts of grace – is to undermine God’s words of grace in their hearts. Grace means that God not only loves them but that He loves them uniquely and specially. The primary way to give our children grace is to offer it in place of our selfish preferences.” ~ Tim Kimmel in Grace-Based Parenting

Chuck Swindoll says:

"You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here's how - guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do's and don'ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately...yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it - emotional and spiritual damage will occur. "

Anna Quindlen says:

“The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less." ~ Anna Quindlen

Winston Churchill says:

“My education was interrupted only by my schooling." ~ Winston Churchill

John Taylor Gatto says:

"The shocking possibility that dumb people don’t exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the millions of careers devoted to tending them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my central proposition: the mass dumbness which justifies official schooling first had to be dreamed of; it isn’t real." ~ John Taylor Gatto

Fred Rogers say:

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” ~ Fred Rogers

thatmom says

"The truth is that the way a marriage becomes truly heavenly is for each husband and each wife to pursue, really pursue, a relationship with Jesus Christ, to commit to obey the Word of God, to set aside each of their own agendas and paradigms, and then as they walk in the Holy Spirit, as they are sanctified, a little at a time each day, they will grow closer to one another. Godly wisdom will manifest itself in purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, a willingness to submit to one another, the fruits of the spirit, and no role-playing (the true meaning of hypocrisy). (James 3:17)" ~ thatmom

thatmom says:

"We need to approach our children not as character projects, but rather, we must see them with hearts of sympathy, with compassion and understanding, and with ears that listen. You see, homeschooling is not about lesson plans and research papers and standardized tests. Homeschooling is about building a relationship with our children, friendships that will last our entire lives on earth and clear into eternity. Homeschooling is merely the tool whereby we build those relationships." ~ thatmom

thatmom knows:

As a homeschooling mom, I have realized that everything, ultimately, is outside of my own control. I have learned that the unique circumstances that happen in my family have occurred because God’s plan is so much bigger than my own. It is knowing this truth about God and in experiencing that truth with those in my home that has enabled us to face past challenges and that will prepare us for all those difficulties that still lie before us.

thatmom says:

"Real books from the library, a tub of art supplies, being read stories rich in vocabulary, a variety of good music, the daily discussion of God’s Word and how it relates to the world around him, and the attention of a loving parent who includes him in all the activities of real life are the secrets to a great learning experience for children." ~ thatmom

thatmom realizes:

If I think about nearly 40 years of marriage, times the number of loads of laundry I have done for 2 parents, 6 children and 1 grandma, I am amazed to know that I have washed, dried, folded, (sometimes ironed) and put away roughly 27,526 loads of laundry. That is over 215,000 socks! Or, in that same amount of time, provided 38,324 meals for a family and sometimes guests. Or that I have overseen nearly 21,500 hours of education of one sort or another during that time. Just thinking of these numbers takes my breath away. ~ thatmom

thatmom says:

"Being a mom is sort of like being all the people who crowd into a basketball arena all at once. Sometimes we are the players, the ones who are responsible for everything that is going on and our presence is front and center. Sometimes we are the coaches, giving comfort and encouragement, instructing with a clipboard in hand. Other times we are the referees, no striped shirts required but whistles are a must to break up the disputes when the game isn’t played as per the rules. Still other times we are the fans, cheering wildly from the stands, shouting from a distance but not from the floor. And then there are the days when we are the cheerleaders, the ones who scream 'Yeah, you can do it.' " ~ thatmom

thatmom says:

“The beauty of homeschooling is building relationships within our families and inspiring our children to become lifelong learners, gently leading them into the truth of Scripture and trusting that the work we have begun will be brought to completion by a sovereign God who has a plan for building His heavenly kingdom.” ~ thatmom

thatmom also says:

“After parenting for 36 years, I have come to realize that all paradigms are basically a list of do’s and don’ts that someone has created. Instead of embracing a list, I have discovered that it is best for me to run all ideas, philosophies, and paradigms through my “one-anothering hopper.” I ask myself if the suggestions or ideas I am hearing will serve to build my relationships or will serve to tear them down; will they reflect the one-anothering commands of Scripture? I ask if they are a picture of Christ and His relationship with me as His needy daughter. If not, I am not interested, no matter how much appeal they might have for any number of reasons.” ~ thatmom

thatmom says this, too:

“The word wisdom is used in Exodus to describe the knowledge that the Lord gave to the skilled artisans so they could make Aaron’s garments for worship. We are told that these workers “were given wisdom and understanding in knowledge and all manner of workmanship.” I have never had to sew any garments for a priest to wear for worship. I have not had to sew any draperies or build any walls or prepare any inner sanctuary as per the Lord’s instructions. But I have been called to give all I can toward the goal of building up children in the faith, preparing children for life outside my home, children whose bodies, we are told, are called the very temple of the Holy Spirit, children whose job it is to worship in spirit and in truth." ~ thatmom

what does thatmom believe?

" What is thy only comfort in life and death? "That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with His precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him." ~ Heidelberg Catechism

What does it mean to be a Christian?

1.We must acknowledge that we are all sinners. “For we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6) and “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

2.We are all accountable for our own sins before God. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

3.There is only one way to be forgiven of these sins and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ. “Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

4.If we confess our sin to the Lord and repent of it (not allow it to rule in our lives) we can be forgiven and be in right standing with God. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousenss.” (1 John 1:9)

5.Genuine salvation will result in living lives of good works but none of those works contribute in any way to our standing before God which is based solely and completely on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. (Hebrews 10:12) and “Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5) and “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

6.We all, men and women, boys and girls, have direct access to the throne of grace because everyone who is a born-again believer in Jesus Christ is called a “priest and king” in God’s economy. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (I Peter 2:9)

I believe that many of the false teachings within the patriocentric movement are in direct contrast to these Scriptures and I would encourage each of us to first examine what we believe about Jesus and His work on the cross, its implications and its marvelous power.

Secondly, I would challenge anyone reading here to examine your own heart and ask yourself whether you have been trusting in good works….baptism, homeschooling, church attendance, modest dress, the list goes on and on, or if you have placed ALL your faith and hope in Jesus’ blood and righteousness alone.

And finally, I would challenge you to examine the teachings within your own church system, whether it is Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, etc. Ask yourself what your church teaches about ecclesiastical authority and family authority. Does it line up with the Word of God? It is a top down system that requires certain works in exchange for a relationship with Jesus Christ or do you have the assurance that you are saved for eternity by His death on the cross in your stead? Does it teach that the fruits of the spirit and obedience to all the one anothers is what our lives will demonstrate or is there a list of man made rules?

If you desire to talk with me about this, please send me a note to My desire is that no one who visits this website will leave without knowing the glorious truth that we can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and can enjoy a life filled with His goodness and grace!



Adoration of the Home was painted by regional artist, Grant Wood. The original hangs in the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Ben Campbell and Lon Eldridge deserve extra cookies for writing, performing, recording, and mixing Mom’s Prairie Song for the podcast intro and outro. Great job, guys. Garrison Keillor would be proud.

Copyright © 2014 ~ ~ Karen Campbell ~ All Rights Reserved.