Book Review: The Low Pressure Guide to Parenting Your Preschooler

The Low-Pressure Guide to Parenting Your Preschooler  -     By: Tim Sanford<br />

I enjoy reading parenting books, because everyone seems to have a different perspective and you can always glean something new. Tim Sanford’s new book, The Low Pressure Guide to Parenting Your Preschooler really got my attention, because every parent wants to take some of the stress off!

This book has a very interesting perspective, and it really did help me feel better about the job I’m doing as a parent. Toddlers and preschoolers are stubborn little people, and Tim Sanford helped me to realize that my children have free will, and their decisions often don’t reflect how I’m doing as mom. Our job is not to make them turn out right–it’s to validate and nurture. We can influence our children and we need to consistently instill the truth and God’s Word in them, but we can’t control what they ultimately decide to do.

These revelations really took the stress off of me, and I appreciated it. My job is to validate my children by making them feel loved and wanted, and to nurture them emotionally, mentally, and spiritually while providing for their physical needs with food and shelter. My job isn’t to make them turn out right. I pray for them, I validate and nurture, but by trying to control things I have no control over, I create more stress in parenting than I need to.

I really liked the perspective in this book, and I will keep the wisdom with me for many years, as it applies to all ages and not just preschoolers.

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review; positive or negative. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Our Screen Free Experiment


Being a mom is exhausting. Being a mom of a child with special needs is exhausting. Being a homeschool mom of a child with special needs is exhausting. In short, life is exhausting. In my exhaustion, I used to look forward to those times during the day when I could set the kids up in front of a show or on the iPad, so I could get a break and get a few things done around the house.

Junior has been in Occupational Therapy (OT) since he was 2 years old. Because of his hearing loss, he has some sensory issues, and sometimes gets frustrated from his speech delay. He was acting out, and having multiple meltdowns a day. I couldn’t take him anywhere because I just didn’t know how he was going to react. I started to withdraw from my friends and was praying for answers. Usually, to calm him down, I would turn on a show or give him the iPad.

About a month ago, I came across a book conveying the harm of screen time on a child’s brain. As a last resort, I decided to try the 3 week “media fast” outlined by the book, hoping it would improve Junior’s behavior and Tater’s concentration.

I was prepared for a struggle. I imagined days and days of screaming and whining and “I’m bored”. I knew it was going to add to my already heavy workload to have to figure out how to keep them occupied.

Guess what happened?

Day 1…We stayed out of the house most of the day at the playground to eliminate temptation. The kids asked for the iPad or a show a few times, but weren’t overly distraught about not getting it.

Day 2…Blocks came out. Lego creations were built. Hot Wheels had races. They only asked for a show once.

Day 5…Tater pulled me aside and said, “Can the media fast last for 3 months instead of 3 weeks? I feel so much better.

Day 9…Books, books, more books. We were going to the library every day to keep up with their reading!

Day 13…Junior’s attention went from running around the house and not playing with anything for more than 30 seconds, to sitting at a single task for 15 minutes.

Day 16…One meltdown for Junior in almost two weeks…which is amazing, since we were having at least one meltdown every day.

Day 21…I finally let them watch one movie that was on the “approved” list. They sat mesmerized for an hour. Then they didn’t ask for another show again after that.

It’s Day 24 now. Junior has only watched one movie and one TV show. I have received countless compliments about how well my kids behave in public. Just today, we went to a birthday lunch and the kids sat for 2 hours at the restaurant. They were engaging, they colored, and not once did they ask to play on the phone. This never would have happened a month ago.

Amazing things happened in the 3 weeks we did the media fast. Next time, I’m going to tell you how you can do it yourself at home. It wasn’t as painful as I thought it was going to be, and I am so incredibly happy with the results. I hope I can be an encouragement for someone else to try a media fast if their child is struggling with attention issues, sensory issues, and behavioral problems.

Our 3rd Grade Curriculum Choices


I just can’t believe that my little Tater is in 3rd grade. We are in our second week of school, and she has told me that she LOVES third grade. I think much of it has to do with our curriculum choices. I am actually writing my own Bible/history/geography/social studies/art/music curriculum this year, and I have a lot of fun stuff planned!

Here are our curriculum choices for Tater’s 3rd grade year:

Math- Horizons 3
Langauge- Abeka 3 and Latin/Greek Root Words
Spelling- All About Spelling 3
Science- Apologia Astronomy
Handwriting- Handwriting Without Tears Cursive

The history, etc., I mentioned I was writing is World History and Cultures. We are studying every country. We are studying the history, geography, art, music, and languages of each country using a lot of craft projects, hands on activities, and TONS of living books. I am checking out about 30 books a week from the library.

I’m excited for 3rd grade, and I can’t wait to share some of our activities from the year!

Book Review: Where Hope Prevails

Janette Oke has always been a fixture in the Christian fiction community. Now she co-authoring with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan. Where Hope Prevail is the third book in the Return to the Canadian West series, which is a companion series to the popular Hallmark Channel TV show When Calls the Heart. It takes place in the 1920s in the Canadian West.

In this newest novel, Elizabeth Thatcher is back in Coal Valley, the Western “frontier” of Canada, after a wild and unexpected summer vacation back East with her family on a dangerous cruise. She is excited to resume her teaching job with the children she has grown to love. When she arrives back at the end of summer, however, she realizes that Coal Valley is changing. Not only is the landscape changing because of “progress”, but a new teacher has arrived and she has been moved from her boarding room at Molly’s to the abandoned home of some former residents so the new teacher can board at Molly’s. The new teacher, Mr. Robert Harris Hughes is highly academic and is an atheist. Beth is worried about his influence upon the students.

There are so many changes, and Beth is still not sure what her future with Jarrick, the Mountie, looks like. They know they want to get married, but staying in Coal Valley would mean that Jarrick would be stationed far away. Beth can’t stand the thought of leaving the small town she has come to know and love, but also wants to be with her husband-to-be every possible second once they get married.

This was a sweet book that was an easy read. Most of the conflict was interpersonal, but it was enjoyable and well-written, which is what I have come to expect upon picking up an Oke book.

*I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Book Review: The Loyal Heart

I’m reviewing another historical fiction novel today (surprise, surprise!) Step back into Reconstruction Era Galveston, Texas with The Loyal Heart, the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray’s new Lone Star Hero’s Love Story series. We meet former Second Lieutenant in the Confederate Army, Robert Truax, as he travels to Galveston to look in on the widow of one of his friends and fellow Confederate officers, Phillip Markham. While they were being held captive in a Union prisoner of war camp in early 1865, the men in the unit all promised to look after each other’s families, and after the war, Robert wants to fulfill his duty to Phillip.

Miranda Markham, widow of Phillip Markham, is maligned by the community because of rumors that her husband was a traitor. She has turned her home into a boarding house to make ends meet, furthering the town’s distrust of her. Miranda is depressed, tired of being an outcast, and at times,  doesn’t even want to continue living.

Robert doesn’t tell Miranda his purpose for visiting Galveston, but he soon learns that she is in need of someone to defend her honor and give her a reason to live again.

This book was a little slow, and I didn’t feel like I got to know the characters very well. The book kept alluding to Robert Truax’s history, but it never actually told us much about the man or his past so the reader is left dangling a bit. The characters were also kind of wishy-washy, and the ending was a bit cliché and not overly satisfying. I’m not sure if there is a sequel planned or if the series will be following new characters with each book, but hopefully the next book will answer some of my questions about the characters.

**I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan Publishers and BookLook Bloggers. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.