The High King Lives

My Family Rocks! Sunday: Parenting and Stuff May 5, 2013

In this post: The Christian Parenting Handbook, Night Owls unite, Time Management help and Unschoolers (great blogs).  If you need to skip some of my dialogue I understand but please check out the links. They are worth investigating. 😉

Hello dear ones! I hope you’ve had a blessed week. I’ve got several resources to share with you today. But as I share I also want to show you pictures from my Mom’s house. She planted some lovely flowers and there were many photo opportunities :). Also she found small potatoes that had sprouted from old ones. So enjoy the pics and the info.


  •  The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 heart based strategies for all the stages of your child’s life

I’m loving this book. I haven’t finished it because I’ve been taking so many notes. First off, I haven’t seen any negative reviews. Secondly, this book gives a balance to parenting. Here’s the Amazon description:

“Nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.”

~Amazon description


I love that this book is based on Biblical principles. Parenting is hard.

I’ve always wanted a handbook.I’ve found myself going back n forth between the methods I grew up with. I know firmness isn’t the only method and certain punishments lose effectiveness over time. I don’t want Michael to be a robot. He needs to want to have good character because of love. I also know that letting him rule the roost is very unloving. If he thinks the world revolves around him then he will fall on his face as an adult. Children need boundaries to feel safe. God our Father is the perfect parent. We can learn from Him.

The Christian Parenting Handbook shows the Biblical balance of grace and Truth, justice and mercy. I love this quote about the difference between behavior modification and dealing with heart issues. First it explains that behavior modification came from Ivan Pavlov training dogs to salivate with a bell.

“The problem is that behavior modification embraces humanistic thinking, the belief that people are just a higher form of animal. The Bible teaches something very different. God created people different from animals. He gave each person a spiritual “heart”, and that heart affects the learning process….

Parents who simply use behavior modification often end up with kids who look good on the outside while having significant problems on the inside. Consistency can teach kids to appear good, clean, and nice, but to help them change their hearts, other parenting skills must be added to the picture.”

~ The Christian Parenting Handbook  Chapter 1: Consistency is Overrated

Some of the chapter titles include:

  • Build Internal Motivation
  • Identify character qualities to address problems
  • Parenting is an investment- think long term
  • The difference between tasks, problems, and conflict
  • Use firmness to focus on character
  • The difference between punishment and discipline
  • Don’t practice in the grocery store- that’s the final exam
  • Teach kids to be solvers instead of whiners
  • Firmness doesn’t require harshness
  • Use creativity to teach your kids spiritual truths
  • The  value of grandparents



  • Night Owls Unite!

I’ve been a night owl since elementary school (probably longer but I can’t remember). As much as I’ve tried to convert to morning bird-ism it hasn’t worked. My parents made me go to bed early and because I went to public school I had to wake up early. I was always a zombie the first couple of classes in the morning . I was tardy so much that I spent a lot of time in detention. It’s not that I liked being in trouble but I honestly didn’t do well in the mornings and I didn’t understand time management skills.

Now, there are certain aspects of my time management issue that may never change. All the methods I’ve tried haven’t changed the fact that I’m a night owl. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I’m learning that I shouldn’t schedule things early in the morning if I can help it. That’s hard because the world seems to cater to morning people. Night owls are often called lazy and people even twist the Bible  to say that morning people are holier.  But it’s not true and scientist are discovering that genetics and circadian rhythms actually determine what kind of bird we are. People often demonize what they don’t understand. It’s sad. Research is showing that certain personality types lean towards different sleeping patterns. The genes that determine how we sleep can even determine what time of the day we die (if by natural causes). Check out this interesting article:

I may not be able to completely change my night owl ways and I can’t change the world system but I can make sure I’m getting the sleep I need. I’ve seen improvement by using this site:

You punch in what time you are going to sleep and it tells you  the best times to wake up so you don’t interrupt one of the 90 minute sleep cycles. Interrupting a sleep cycle can leave you exhausted. You can also enter when you need to wake up and it will tell you when to go to sleep.


Here are two time management apps that I’ve been using.


Habit Streak

Although I’m a night owl, I still need to have a routine and a game plan. I still need to have a set bed time and wake up time. It’s not going to be early but it needs to be consistent. I need to make sure that my best hours are being used productively. I’m trying to get there.

I’m so miserable on Sunday mornings. I try my hardest to stay awake in church. An all night prayer session….now I could do that. I can burn the midnight oil and beyond.  But morning prayers and devotion times would guarantee failure in my prayer life. I would fall asleep and not remember what I read. So I may wake up at 11(or later) and spend two hours doing my devotions and drinking my hot tea. Good news is that I do spend time with the Lord and that by the time I’m done it’s lunch time and I get to eat again. Woot! That may seem lazy to some but when most people are asleep I’ve cleaned house, planned lessons, & saved the world. Okay, maybe not the last one ;).


I’m thankful that my best buddy Hannah is also a night owl. When we get together we can all hang out and be laid back. No one freaks out if the kids aren’t in bed by 9 on a weekend. I don’t feel judged by her. You know what they say 🙂 birds of a feather flock together. I also want to note that Hannah is the most productive person I know and an excellent leader.

Some interesting articles for night owls:

Praise God! Hannah and I are not the only homeschool moms that are night owls. I was delighted to find very intelligent and productive night owl moms online & to see that there kids are doing just fine.  Here are a few to check out:

Homeschooled Teens can rest easier~

This blog not only deals with night owls but also unschooling…something I’m very interested in~

Early birds I do love you. I accept you. I just ask that you accept me too. And maybe we can all be thankful that there are people who get things running both morning and night.

Pic of Mom planting flowers


Moving on…

I’m not sure if Heather of Blog She Wrote is a complete unschooler. I’m still learning what all these terms mean. But I do know that her blog is brilliant and her homeschool methods are unconventional. She’s not really into using workbooks and she teaches with a lot of hands on. I really hope you check her blog out. The latest post was about using math to sew a Gandalf doll. Her son won a blue ribbon at the NY state fair for creating a NY monopoly style state trivia game. He’s 14 now and that was in 2010. This mama is obviously doing something very right.

Heather is also very open to helping others. She just took a lot of time helping me with my math issues. She gave me some creative ideas to make math fun for Michael and maybe this will end our battle with the math workbook.

“Honestly, my suggestion is to have him practice the new concepts and the ones he needs work on. I would not continue to do section upon section of work that he knows. It’s redundant and it is fatiguing. Let him do the sections that involve the new concept and only the ones he needs practice with. Skip the rest. Maybe rotate what he reviews to keep him sharp.” ~Heather

She also pointed me to The Life of Fred, a very different way to approach math. I’m very excited to look into this.

Anywho, Heather’s unit studies are super neat.  She’s also got a great Pinterest that I took advantage of….being the Pinterest master that I am ;).

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


4 Responses to “My Family Rocks! Sunday: Parenting and Stuff”

  1. I’m currently reading the book “Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys.” I highly recommend it. You can find it here:

    I can’t say enough good things about this book! It goes through each phase of boyhood, what to expect emotionally, physically, etc. It was written by two Christian counselors who specialize in treating boys. The authors talk about the physiology of the boy brain, which helps me understand why they do the goofy things they do! (Aha! Now I understand why they’re so squirrely!! I’m more patient with them now that I know they’re hard-wired by God that way.) It talks about the mother-son relationship, as well as the father-son relationship. It gives tips for getting a quiet teenager to open up with parents, as well as discipline ideas that don’t involve physical punishment.

    Anyway, just wanted to offer you another good read.

    • amberdover Says:

      Thanks Stacie :). That looks neat! That’ll be on my list to read. Boys really are so different. I think traditional school caters to girls. I see kids that are being labeled A.D.D. when they’re just being normal boys. God bless!

  2. Heather J. Says:

    Ohhhhh! Interested about sleep! I’m a night owl too, and it causes for a sleepy mama during the day a lot! I’m interested to make a few changes and see how it helps!

    • amberdover Says:

      I think night owl Mamas are more common than once thought lol. I’ve even wondered if Michael should play outside for most of the day while everyone else is in school and do school work at night. That would only work though when we don’t have afternoon events and when Chris also has night school & is home during the day. At least we can be flexible with homeschool :). Btw thanks for stopping by!

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