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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Great Gift Idea for the Homeschool Mom You Know!


By now, most homeschooling moms in Lord’s church have heard of COCHE (Church of Christ Home Educator’s Retreat). Now in its fifth year, it happens every March in Louisville, KY. I’ve talked with many moms who’ve attended and I’ve yet to speak with one who was disappointed. There’s a lot of curriculum sharing and excellent speakers on everything from learning styles to utilizing the resources in the local church to maintaining sanity when schooling multiples of all ages and personality types. There are give-aways and t-shirts and games. But I think the best thing that happens to moms who attend is the encouragement received from other moms who love the Lord supremely and want their children to go to heaven more than anything else in the world. I know there are plenty of moms who are not formally homeschooling who love the Lord supremely and want their kids to go to heaven, and there are other kinds of parenting retreats that are amazingly encouraging, too. But this one is specifically planned to cater to those who struggle  and commiserate and rejoice over challenges and victories in little heaven-directed homeschools all around this nation. 

I think surely all homeschool moms want to go. But it’s often the moms who are “slammed” financially (all that curriculum on one income) who need to go the most. That’s where grandparents. aunts, mentors and friends can make important and loving investments in the children and homes that they love— homes that are foundational to the body of the Lord.  

SO, here’s a very practical gift you might think about if you’re like me and there are some very precious kids in your life whose favorite teachers are mom and dad. You might want to make a gift of the registration fee which is $ 45.00. Maybe you could pitch in on the accommodations or travel expenses. Maybe you could just make the entire trip a gift from Grandma. What daughter-in-law would not love that?!

This years retreat is March 5-7 with a registration deadline of February 18th (SO you need to get a move on!). You can find all the details at or ask any questions of Vicky Yocum, the founder and creative mastermind behind the retreat at 

We didn’t have many amazing resources like this for my kids as they progressed through our home school. But I’m so thankful they are there as the torch is passed!

And don’t forget. The homeschooling book from The Colley House is on sale now, for a limited time at

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley Featured

Cindy Colley on Homeschooling–On Sale for a Limited Time!

Are you a homeschooling mom who’s feeling a bit (or a lot) overwhelmed by the task of choosing curriculum and planning its use for the next school year? Maybe you’ve never homeschooled before and you feel like its the most daunting prospect of your life, so far? I’m hearing this a lot–in private messages and as I peruse mom groups. I’m even hearing it from my daughter!

This book’s for the faint-of-heart homeschooling mom. I’m marking it down today, for a limited time, for all those moms who are getting ready for the most rewarding educational adventure of your lifetime. The curriculum market is constantly changing…broadening (and, in many ways, improving), so this book is not primarily to help you pick out textbooks. This book is to give new home-educating moms (who are Christians) the big picture that builds confidence in ability and clarity of goals. It’s more of a Titus 2 kind of encouragement for God’s woman in the homeschooling home. I want our kids to grow up to glorify Him, above all else. That’s the message of my book about homeschooling. But, in that process of glorification, I also tried, through the book, to offer a lot of encouragement and ideas for making your home a great school; not because I know all the answers, but because I found my God so faithful in providing all I needed to educate our children at each juncture of the journey.

Here’s a little more info in a review I just found while clicking around:

So for the next couple of weeks, Let’s lower the price from $14.50 to just $9.00. That’s a savings of a little more than 30%. So now’s the time…for your own school, for the school your grandkids will be rocking, for the friend who’s struggling with “keeping on.” We’ve got this. With the help of a God who gave us that great Deuteronomy 6, four-times-a-day-principle of homeschooling (and of all schooling), you’ve got this!

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Mama’s K.I.S.S. #53: Help a Homeschooling Mom

As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been running little installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” I know that lots of readers could give many more and far more creative ideas than I can offer, but these installments are just a few tried and true and mostly old-fashioned ideas for putting service hearts in our kids.  This is number 53 of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to serve. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.

When our Hannah was about 12, she began tutoring a kindergartner who lived in our neighborhood. It was a big blessing for her and I think it was also a blessing for the family of little Lindsey, I was close by, just in case there were any issues that required an adult for any reason. Responsibility and service were great take-aways for Hannah. It was a hands-on prep for the school-teaching and home education that Hannah would be doing later in life, as well. Most of all, it gave Hannah some real-life experience in handling issues that required discipline and ethical choices.

There are home-schooling moms who can use a helper once a week. Why not have your teen approach one you know and offer their services as grocery store helpers, math tutors, piano teachers, once-a week casserole-makers or free Thursday backyard  babysitters for toddlers for an hour a week? It could be the beginning of a win-win situation for two families, as was the case in our neighborhood.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Homeschooling Again

It seems everywhere I go, the questions come about homeschooling; everything from “What made you decide to do that?” to “How does this affect your life as a preacher’s wife?” This last weekend was no exception. The event was a marriage seminar that my husband and I did, but, even so, it seems like we spent a lot of our one- on- one time discussing home schooling. (We love to talk about it, by the way.)
Of course, you know, if you have been reading the blog, that there’s a lot about the importance of teaching our kids and very few specific instructions about home schooling. However, if I can help anyone understand the motivation, the means or the methods of homeschooling that became such a part of our lives while Caleb and Hannah were growing up, I do think it’s a wise use of space and time. While I am not ready to say that home schooling is always the only method of successfully educating our children, I am sure that it is one very viable alternative for parents who are seeking to be Deuteronomy 6 parents in a world that has largely forsaken principles of truth and morality. For us, home-schooling was a gift from God so large in scope that we would be hard pressed to measure the benefits, many of which, we are sure, will be eternal.
So…all of that say this: If I can help you provide this blessing in your God-centered Christian home, I really would like to do that. I do not have all of the answers and much of what I learned was through trial and error in an era when home schooling families were far rarer than they are today. Caleb and Hannah are surely not products of a mom and dad who were confident and wise at all junctures. They are products of the blessings of a merciful God to whom we appealed daily for His wisdom and providence. They are, quite literally, answers to our prayers.
The homeschooling book on our site (!/Homeschool/c/3290201/offset=0&sort=normal) is there not because I know all about it, but because we put the best years of our lives into the process and we now know something about it. But mostly, because so many wonderful people need to know that they can do it. If Cindy Colley (organizationally and mentally challenged as she is) who had barely even heard of home-schooling when it was time for Caleb to go to kindergarten, could amble her way through the maze of questions and challenges for some eighteen-plus years, then you can do it if you want to do it. If you have specific questions or comments that might help others, please feel free to contact us through the website.
This has obviously been mostly a spiritual blog, to this point. But I’m convinced that questions about educating our children fall clearly under the Titus 2 directive to be guardians of our homes and love our children. They fall under the Deuteronomy 6 principle of diligently teaching our children so that our sons and our son’s sons will follow the statutes of the Lord. I think we all agree that’s the primary objective. Considering the option of home-schooling is a very wise thing to do. If I can help you in your journey, let me know. May He Bless Your Heart as you think and pray about this important decision.
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

From the Archives: Remembering One Back-to-School August

back-to-school_M1eTPK_u_MI’ll never forget this August of 2010, when My daughter Hannah, 23, and fresh out of college, became a high school English teacher. Hannah!…the one who had never attended a day of “real” elementary, middle or high school!  She also had never planned to be a school teacher. In fact, she had purposefully planned NOT to! Here are her thoughts that fall:
So I realize, of course, that it’s been 198264910.7 years since I’ve updated this thing. I would apologize for this, but seeing as how I’ve made no prior commitment to waste your time with my own random musings which are probably only interesting to me and maybe my mother who loves me more than any daughter deserves to be loved (my dad loves me, too, but is much less likely to even know what Tumblr is), an apology really isn’t necessary.
In the event, however, that you, the current reader, are somewhat interested in my quite unexpected post-grad way of life, keep reading. The other 90%, just stop here. This is just another, “Wow-let-me-impart-into-your-soul-some-urgent-life-changing-thoughts-that-are-really-not-that-earth-shattering-but-feel-good-to-get-off-my-chest” post.
The last time I got on here and talked about my life, I was fresh out of college, about to stay in a friend’s apartment all summer in Henderson, TN. I was doing some freelance work for a religious publication and working with some great kids in my youth minister boyfriend’s youth group. I was also speaking at youth rallies and such on some weekends. For then, that was plenty. I was just glad I didn’t have to feel like a major moocher at my parents’ house . I wanted to feel like I was doing something worthwhile. I felt that by the end of the summer, I would have another exciting plan to chase.
I had an amazing summer. I cooked every day. I had slumber parties. I dyed t-shirts. I got to speak to hundreds of girls who were hungry for truth and just someone to relate to them. I made new friends—some of which I think will last forever. I went star-gazing. I wrote a lot. I fell in love.
In the meantime, I sent my resume to as many newspapers as I could find that needed writers. I quickly discovered that not a lot of promising journalism opportunities are made available to newly graduated starry eyed writers with no major reporting experience and no Masters degrees.
By the end of the summer, I was still believing in my heart of hearts that I was going to get a call with an exciting job offer in an exciting new city in which I could spread my wings and become the competent journalist I was meant to be.
It seems God had other plans.
I got a call near the end of the summer. Chester County High School needed an English teacher and I had been recommended. Would I be interested in coming in for an interview? I chuckled. Never in my life did I ever think of myself as a public school teacher—much less HIGH SCHOOL. I was an English major, yes, but had never had a single education class, and definitely no student teaching experience. What a joke! I expressed, however, how honored I felt that I was considered, but for now, “probably not—I’ll get back to you though.”
Long story short—a week later, still no job, and my desperation was at an all-time high. The last thing I wanted to do was to financially depend on others when I was perfectly capable of working for my own paycheck. After a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to call the school back and inquire about the position. After all, it would only be a 1-year contract, it was good money for starting out (especially in this economy), and it would be good experience to have under my belt regardless.
The position was filled.
I knew it would be. Sure I did. My own stupid fault for being too good for a perfectly good job that not a lot of fresh college grads are offered.
I was kicking myself for a few weeks because of that. I kept praying. I asked God to open another door for me since I had shut that one.
Then I got another phone call.
I was sitting in McDonald’s with the boyfriend when the principal at CCHS called me and asked me to come in for an interview. Turns out the guy who was originally offered the job had a family emergency and had to give up the position. I was really sad for him, but this time, I wasn’t so smug about a temporary career path that wasn’t necessarily my first choice.
Two short weeks later, I was thrown in a classroom, responsible for the education of over 150 ninth graders, my heart pounding. What you may or may not know about me is that I’ve never stepped foot into a public school. Home schooled all my life, my expectations of public high school were…well, there weren’t any. I’m not just making funny jokes when I say I didn’t know what a hall pass was, what bus duty was, what in-school suspension was, or even what a grade book looked like. I felt like a turtle trying to run a marathon, but I put on a confident face and, although I looked like a student myself, tried to convince my students that I was aptly authoritative and deserved their respect.
I’ve somehow made it through 3 complete months of teaching. While I know this may not the path for me (and that, more than ever, I want to home school my kids), I don’t regret the decision to teach for this year. God has given me more open doors in these past 3 months than I remember having my whole life. I’m amazed at how many of my students feel comfortable opening up to me about real-life issues: divorce, abuse, sex, break-ups, self-abuse, and most importantly, how to get to heaven. I’ve had Bible studies with students who are searching for something solid and stable in their worlds that are full of everything that’s broken. I’ve had multiple opportunities to share Christ with so many different open and desperate hearts. It happens just about every day—not exaggerating.
Besides that, I’m learning so many life lessons myself that I know will inevitably help me to be a better mother, a better teacher, a better organizer, and a better communicator. God knew I needed these lessons. I complain a lot about how He’s teaching me patience and wisdom, but deep down, I can hear my dad’s voice ringing loud and clear….”This is good, Hannah. It builds character.” Every time you hear a parent say something about “character-building,” you know it’s going to feel lousy sometimes until it’s all over and you can admit it helped you to grow. I’m trying to beat myself to the chase by admitting it now. The truth is, just as a disclaimer, I complain a whole lot because my job requires so much more work and time than I ever dreamed it would (I’ve realized that all teachers are underpaid and underestimated). I am ready to experience something new, but I do not question God’s plan in placing me here. Yes, He’s using me as a mouthpiece for Him in many ways (whether or not I always make the best use of that), but more than that, I think He’s teaching me a few lessons I needed myself.
I still view my life as an adventure, despite the day-in-day-out routine I’m in at the moment. After this year, I’m excited to see what God has in store for me.
As always, I’m so unworthy and I make the dumbest mistakes. On the upside, I believe I’m learning from each one. That makes them almost worth it.
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Back to School $12 or $20 Special (You can save $10.45)!

11845918_10153165486854069_742535851_nBack-to-School days mean chaos in Walmart, followed by the homeschoolers’ favorite time of year in that store—the days before you’ve officially started your home school, but all the other schools are in session. Walmart is relatively peaceful every day from 8 to 3. Your kids can roam the toy aisle while you are a couple of aisles over in the health and beauty section and you can actually hear their conversation. That’s when you love home schooling.

Of course, you moms with kids in “regular” school are thinking “But I get to go to Walmart at that time and I’m just fine NOT hearing my kids!”

But, for all moms, there are challenges that come with the Back-to-School days. We worry about what they are learning if they are at school. We worry about what they are NOT learning (that they should be) if they are at home. We worry about keeping our sanity when someone we do not even know is teaching our kids and we surely worry about keeping it if WE are teaching them.

But all of us, whether the kids are leaving home for school or not, are facing new calendar challenges. Commitments collide with limitations and it takes a real mom to make sure everything that’s supposed to happen does happen and that it all happens in sync.

So the Poems, Prayers and Promises planner is for all moms (poems and planner pages) and Cindy Colley on Homeschooling is for those who are doing it (homeschooling) or want to encourage someone who is doing it. It’s especially for those who are on the fence about doing it. The Back-to-School $12 or $20 Special is just what it seems. You get either product for 12 dollars or both for 20. (The planner is regularly $15.95, so you save $3.95 when you buy that one. The homeschooling book is regularly $14.50, so you save $2.50 when you purchase the book. Buy both and you save $10.45!)

You can access the special by clicking on the links above.