Life Giving Motherhood (with Min Hwang)

Min Hwang Life Giving Motherhood Charlotte Mason homeschool conversations podcast interview

Min Hwang’s gracious, Christ-focused encouragement brings beauty and joy to my Instagram feed. Whether sharing her own artistic endeavors, Charlotte Mason homeschooling tips, or Biblical living encouragement, Min always has wise words to share. Thus, I’m delighted to bring our recent conversation to you! I pray it blesses you as much as it did me.

Be sure to check out all the other interviews in our Homeschool Conversations series!

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Min Hwang Life Giving Motherhood Charlotte Mason homeschool conversations podcast interview

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Who is Min Hwang?

Min is a wife of 21+ years to her best friend, Young. Together, they pastor a beautiful, ethnically diverse church in New Jersey. While serving as Pastor’s Wife, Children’s Ministry Director, artist, and homeschool mom to 4 precious children, you’ll find her loving on mothers at LifegivingMotherhood.org – a global community of mothers desiring to grow in their spiritual disciplines and life-giving habits – and podcasting at “Charlotte Mason For All” and “Charlotte Mason’s Volumes.”

Min Hwang Life Giving Motherhood Charlotte Mason homeschool conversations podcast interview

Watch my interview with Min Hwang

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Amy: Hello, everyone. I am delighted today to be joined by Min Hwang. You may know her from her podcast, Charlotte Mason For All, with her membership Life-Giving Motherhood, or her lovely Instagram accounts. I am just really looking forward to our conversation today. Min, here at the beginning, if you want to just tell us a little bit about yourself, your children and how you got started homeschooling.

Min: I am so honored to be here, Amy, thank you so much. Where do I begin? I am a pastor’s wife of more than 21 years now, hard to believe. I have four children who range in age from 13 down to 6. We have been homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason philosophy and methods from the beginning.

I, on the side, in my free time, I am also exploring the world of art and growing in my artistic endeavors which is something fairly new to me nowadays. It was always a childhood to dream, but I’m seeing it being realized as the Lord is giving the green light in this decade of my life. I also facilitate and lead a membership group which is online of global mamas, sisters in Christ around the world called Life-Giving Motherhood.

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling

Amy: You mentioned that you have using the Charlotte Mason Philosophy of education from the beginning. How did that come about? What was it that drew you to that approach to education? How did you decide to begin homeschooling in general?

Min: We have to go back to my middle school years to answer that question. I attended public school all my years of education and I remember sitting in class, in my biology class in particular and just saying to myself, “If I ever am a mother in this life, then I want to homeschool because I don’t want my children to have to go through this”.

I didn’t think much of it. In fact, I actually thought that I was going to be a celibate missionary. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but of course God’s plans are always better than ours. When I was later married and living overseas and pregnant with my first born, I started to do some serious research into different homeschooling resources and educational philosophies.

I read Susan Wise Bauer’s books, I read Montessori. The internet was, of course, where thankfully, I was able to access being overseas, all the content in English over the internet, the blogs that there were back then and there wasn’t very much actually on Charlotte Mason.

However, AmblesideOnline was there at the time and it might have been through AmblesideOnline or I wonder if it might have been through Brandy Vencel, her blog that I came across Charlotte Mason for the first time and her book For the Children’s Sake. I actually had it shipped over to me from the United States and the pink volumes, they were not in print. Her volumes were not in print at the time, so I couldn’t access her volumes.

Brandy Vencel interview

However, I read For The Children’s Sake and I read what I could online at from the AmblesideOnline, I don’t know if they had them all, but they had some of her volumes transcribed online, on their website and I just started reading them and it was like a fire was lit in my bones. I felt like I found a kindred spirit and everything she was saying were ideas that I wish I was able to articulate, but I couldn’t. I was so thankful that someone did. Just her thoughts of education, the child being a person, I just felt like everything that she said about the person and about what education truly is, was just so grounded in the gospel.

With every other philosophy maybe because I didn’t delve in deep enough, I’m not sure, but with every other philosophy, I’ve felt like I had to do a little bit of acrobatic work to Christianize the concepts, but with hers because everything derived from what Christ said about us and what the Scripture says about just life and relationship and the purpose of life– even her methods, it just all tied so well together in my mind.

Also I read a lot of parenting books because that’s person I am and while I was pregnant and onward afterwards as well. Many times I felt like the author would say beautiful ideas, truth but they were ideas and I didn’t know how to practically implement them into my day. Like what do I do when I wake up in the morning? What do I do in the afternoon when we have all this free time together?

How do I implement these ideas in actual, tangible, practical ways in our home, in my parenting, in my relationship with my child? Charlotte Mason does that. She actually talks about methods and these are actual, tangible, practical methods that you can employ in your communication with your child in math, in writing, in science. That’s what really pulled me in and I became an arduous student of her philosophy and her methods.

When I returned, when our family was called back to the United States, I quickly scoured the online used bookstores and found each of the pink volumes one by one and devoured them. I would stay up as long as I possibly could at night when there was peace and quiet in the house and soaked it all in.

Amy: I love hearing about that story is how your passion for the gospel first and foremost really underlaid was the foundation as you were thinking about the education of your children. That’s something I think is so important. A lot of times I hear even Christian homeschool moms talking about educational philosophy and pedagogy as if it’s separate subject that’s this thing we learn about. I think it’s so important to realize that our theology undergirds what we believe about who man is, undergirds our anthropology, which of course, undergirds how we view our children.

The way we think about God affects the way we think about this created world that He has made. It’s so important to have that as a foundation first and to be able to find something that resonated with you that you could see how this approach to education met your fundamental pre-suppositions is beautiful, and I think that’s such a wonderful encouragement.

Min: Yes. You said it right. I believe that theology needs to inform all the other ologies.

Min Hwang Life Giving Motherhood Charlotte Mason homeschool conversations podcast interview

Some of Min’s Favorite Parts of Homeschooling

Amy: It comes first for sure. Well, what have been some of your favorite parts of homeschooling over the years?

Min: I have to say hands down it is the relationships that I get to have with my children and that together we can experience with our God every single day. One of the things that was very important to me was to be able to keep my children’s heart close. I feel like because we are learning together, we are being honed and shaped together by our God every single day, we cannot help but stay in open communication, heart to heart connection with one another. Otherwise, it just doesn’t work.

I have to say with each of my four children, that is the one thing that is always true for us. They cannot handle it. If there’s even like the littlest obstacle or block, they feel in their relationship with me, they have to have it worked out. They have to have it resolved before the day is over. It’s so important to them and it’s so important to me. I love just that we have this gift to be able to be daily nurturing this relationship with each other, because otherwise, if we’re apart from each other for most of the day, it not only is hard to protect and nurture this relationship, but also it’s hard to even notice sometimes that there is a problem or that there is a drift occurring.

I see that often with some of my friends whose children are not with them for most of the day. This is their common prayer request and heartache because they could feel that rift with their child, but they’re unable to then know how to patch that and heal that and have their child’s heart open to them again. I think we, as homeschool moms, have this wonderful gift and opportunity from the Lord to just to do preventative work and to ensure that we are able to have this openness at all times. I know that it wouldn’t be the same if I was apart from my children for most of the day.

Amy: I know that it does not take away the tensions or the challenges of parenting because we’re a family of sinners all living together and with homeschooling, we’re always on top of each other, seeing each other sins so clearly. The kids see mine, I see theirs, but what a gift also at the same time. As much as that can be a really hard part of homeschooling sometimes, it’s also one of the beautiful gifts that we have that time to deal with those challenges, to form the relationships and those bonds that I pray I continue to have with my children and also within the siblings as well. It’s not just that relationship with me and them, but that they will be good friends.

Min: Yes. I tell my kids on a regular basis that they have a gift in each other. I don’t want to them too much because they’ll get depressed about me being gone sooner than their sibling will, but that they really have a gift in each other and they need to nurture a relationship. Relationship is one of the hardest things, I think, for us to care for in our lives, but really life is about relationships. Relationship first and foremost with our God and then with one another and with God’s universe, His creation.

We talk about that in the Charlotte Mason Philosophy too, in terms of education being the science of relations. When we see it that way, it’s such a gift again to be able to be on the lookout, be vigilant for our relationships to continue to grow and not to pull tension and ensure that we are building each other up and not tearing each other down. Those are common conversations in my home.

Amy: Mine too.

Min: I love that we’re able to do that on a daily basis. It’s not lost on me what a gift that is.

A few of the challenges of homeschooling

Amy: This relationship is definitely one of these beautiful gifts of homeschooling, a favorite part, for sure. What have been some of the challenges that you’ve faced with homeschooling and how have you sought to overcome those?

Min: Well, I think you mentioned it already, Amy, because we’re with each other every day and for most of the day we could all be on top of each other. It’s so important to be able to create that space for each person. I know one of the common questions I receive is, well, what do you do? I know you’re an introvert, Min, what do you do to be able to protect your time? How do you do it as an introvert, because I would go crazy if I was with people, not just my kids, but with people day long because I am.

I’m very much an introvert, but what I have therefore for survival’s sake and for my sanity’s sake and for my children’s sake is they need a happy, healthy mom. I have needed to, first of all, realize what my needs are and what my children’s needs are in terms of space and time to be able to learn the way in which each of us need to be replenished and just in our thoughts and in our energy. I’ve had to come up with disciplines and habits and not necessarily, I don’t time things according to one o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock like an actual time schedule, but at least the flow of our day so that there’s always for myself, three chunks in my day where I do have of time to myself.

I train my children from a young age to respect that time for me and they understand. Especially because I start when they’re young, they understand the importance of that for mommy and they see the effects that when mommy has these three chunks of time in her day, she’s so much more pleasant to be with.

Amy: Well, that’s so smart too, to have it as time blocks that fit within the flow, but not to be locked into a specific time because then you would have the anxiety of like no, the math homework is going too long and this is my time. You don’t feel that tension of the schedule, but at the same time, everyone has the predictability of the flow and those time blocks. That’s a really good idea.

Min: Yes. I think because also it depends on personality I’m sure. If you have a tendency to get anxious, that things on your checklist are not checked off at the time that they should be checked off, doing time blocks is a much gracious way to be able to still ensure that your day is flowing and ensure that your priorities and your goals for that day are being met, but then not being a slave to the time.

Min Hwang Life Giving Motherhood Charlotte Mason homeschool conversations podcast interview

What are some of the lies we believe as mamas that keep us weary and overwhelmed, especially when it comes to this homeschool journey?

Amy: Yes, you are the one in charge of the plan, not the other way around. Well, you mentioned thinking through you’re recognizing your own needs as an introvert and being aware of those and nurturing that time for yourself. I know that a lot of home school moms can feel weary and just tired and maybe even discouraged whether it be with the homeschooling itself or just the daily realities of motherhood, which are beautiful and wonderful, but can also be tiring. Are there any lies that we can believe that creep into the way we think that are what may be contributing to making us feel weary or overwhelmed, especially when it comes to homeschooling?

Min: Well, two big ones come to my mind immediately. One of them is, I am the only one going through this. I am alone. Nobody else is feeling this way. Everybody else seems to be doing really well. Everybody else seems to be handling everything perfectly and excellently and I’m the only one who wants to stick my head in the sand or just put the blankets over my head and not get up in the morning.

I think that’s a very common big one and then another one would be that I’m not good enough, that I am inadequate for this call, that maybe God made a mistake but I know God doesn’t make mistakes. I just don’t know why I am just always feeling exhausted and lost and I don’t know what to do for this day, I’m failing my child, I’m failing my husband, I’m failing my household. I think that’s another big lie. I think those are two really big lies.

Lies in the sense that I think, our feelings are valid, and that we might feel that way at that moment but we don’t need to stay there, and we ought not to stay there because God’s Word and His truth for us is above and beyond what we feel at the moment. And I think if we recognize that this is a feeling, it’s an emotion, and we are able to, therefore lay down that emotion at his feet and ask His truth to redirect our emotions, we can then come out of this pit that slough of despond that we have allowed ourselves to be in.

I pray that we don’t stay there and I think that is why Life-Giving Motherhood came about because I find, at least for myself, and I’m finding for many moms in similar situations that the biggest, most powerful way to be pulled out of the slough of despond is to have many helpers (Help from the Pilgrim’s Progress), and being in community is that so many times I’ll have a sister that the Lord will speak through her.

He’ll just whisper something to her and she’ll give me a call or send me an email or Vox me a voice message and it’ll be just what I needed to hear. We need that camaraderie and accountability and to be able to speak life-giving words to each other. That’s how Life-Giving Motherhood came about, it’s for this exact purpose.

Amy: Because that goes along with what you were saying is we think maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t have it all together. Every other mom, her children are dressed in matching outfits and they never have sibling conflict and they’re keeping up with their schoolwork and they’re not behind on their read alouds, and her kitchen is clean, and she’s cooking amazing meals from scratch.

We go on and on and create this perfect ideal imaginary homeschool mom who actually doesn’t live anywhere and we think everyone is like that and I’m the only one who’s struggling. Just to hear someone else say no, I’m struggling too but we’re not going to stay here together, let’s point one another to Jesus, let’s point one another to what’s true, let it get.

Min: Amen.

Min Hwang Life Giving Motherhood Charlotte Mason homeschool conversations podcast interview

Life-Giving Habits and Spiritual Disciplines

Amy: Well, what are some of the life-giving habits and spiritual disciplines we ought to be cultivating as homeschool moms in this pursuit of Life-Giving Motherhood, which I just love that idea of life and growth and joy. A lot of times people will talk about some of these habits but it becomes yet this one more work that we’re doing on our own to please God. I would really especially like to hear about some of these spiritual disciplines and habits and how they are coming from a place of resting in the work of Christ on our behalf.

Min: Oh, I love how you put that. Yes, I would love to share what we are working on in the Life-Giving Motherhood membership because it is actually it’s not a free-for-all community, it’s more like a program that we’re doing together and we’re journeying together on this pilgrimage. We focus on five primary spiritual disciplines that we see in the Scripture, Jesus Himself lived out while He was on this earth.

Date With Jesus

One, first and foremost we call it DWJ or Date With Jesus. Some of our members came up with that acronym, DWJ and that has to be first. We always start off with that because I have no goodness or power on my own, of my own accord, I need to be abiding in the vine, I need to be dwelling and receiving from the Lord, I need life to be poured and breathed into me from the Lord every single morning before I begin my day. We start with a spiritual discipline of ensuring we have this time and we make this time and we make it a habit to have this time with our Lord every morning.

Prayer and Fasting

The second spiritual discipline we work on is prayer and fasting. We have regular times of prayer and fasting for our children. Each of us go down the line. If it’s your only child, and you’re praying and fasting for your only child each time and then if you have more than one children, you just go down the line and what’s beautiful is, and this is what got me so excited when the Lord gave me this vision of mothers all over the world, sisters in Christ all over the world and we’re all praying and fasting for the next generation together.

We do this for each other too. I’m not just praying– because it’s not just about my child only, it’s about all the children, all of that generation. This generation is going to be an army for the Lord and you and I both know that things are pretty tough right now in our world. All the more there is a sense of urgency to do this. Making it a discipline, making it a habit to do this together and we do it regularly. We also pray and fast for our spouses on a regular basis. That’s our second spiritual discipline that we then implement one doesn’t stop when the next one begins. We’re basically adding one at a time, while we continue the others.

Service to Others

Our third spiritual discipline after that, that we have just started actually is service to others but in a bit of a different angle. I’m approaching this not in the usual way that we think of this in terms of a mercy ministry, bringing food to someone who might be sick in our church, but more of figuring out, hearing from the Lord in this season of my life what is that one craft in the context of motherhood, in the context of if our member is a homeschooling mom, and not all are.

Actually, not all of our members have children, but they’re hoping to and so they have a headstart, some of these moms, I tell you, these sisters in Christ, I tell you, they’re preparing, they’re going to be so ready. What we do is we are spending this time now really listening from the Lord and not being so overwhelmed from just the day to day and surviving from the day today, but realizing that He gives us the call and the power to be able to serve others in a particular way.

I know it sounded vague but it is something that we’re working through together and it’s very exciting because I’m already hearing back from some of our members, how the Lord has revealed things to them that they’re able to do now that they never realized they could. This is with toddlers and infants and homeschooling children all in one home but they’re realizing that there are areas in which in terms of their time and energy, they haven’t been good stewards, but He’s now showing them how they could be better stewards, and be able to then serve others in a particular way. That’s the third one we’re working on.

Intense Study of God’s Word and Ways

As of January, we are also going to then be adding the fourth spiritual discipline which is intense study of God’s Words and ways. In addition to our date with Jesus, something that could be coupled with that time, we’re doing something similar to what I’d like to call an at-home seminary. It’s a seminary for us, very busy homeschool moms. We will go at a much slower pace than a real seminary but it’s going to be fantastic, I know because we are our children’s first theologian. We are our children’s first theology professor so we got to know our stuff, we do.

It’s not like oh, I don’t have the mind for it. Yes, you do. The Lord gave you this call. He gave you this vocation. He will gift you with the grace you need to be able to study the Scripture like any seminarian, like any theologian, and we’re going to do it together. That’s really exciting. We’ll be starting that in January.

Simple Living

The fifth spiritual discipline that we will be adding is simple living. Right away, I know a lot of us, we think decluttering our homes and I could see that is actually probably going to be a side effect because our homes tend to show what’s going on in our hearts. What’s going on in our kingdom of Mansoul as Charlotte Mason would call it. Right? Our inner world, it’s a reflection. Sometimes if it’s really busy in there, our environment looks really busy, but we are going to get to the root of it and we’re going to be diving into the condition of our heart, whether it’s divided or undivided and really pursuing a singleness of heart. That’s something to look forward to as well next year.

Amy: That is really exciting and encouraging just to hear those things even just causing us to think about some of these areas that we can get on autopilot and just put things to the side or move without purpose through our lives as moms, and so to take something and to focus on it for a time, really causes you to be more mindful, to be more aware of how you’re using your time and your energy.

I have been thinking about the first– I always forget if it’s 1st Thessalonians or 2nd Thessalonians, but it’s such a simple admonition where it’s like live a quiet life, work with your hands, mind your own business. Sometimes just bringing back even as you were talking about the simple life, that’s what came to mind and how often we overcomplicate things.

Min: Yes.

Amy: Become our own worst enemies at times.

Min: Yes. Amy, you mentioned, well, how could we ensure that we’re not doing all the things in order to please God by our own merits? I just wanted to respond to that. It actually works completely the other way, doesn’t it? I want to please God, and I want so badly to be about my Father’s business and do what He is doing. That is what motivates me and drives me. It’s not because I feel like I need to be good and I need to do good in order for Him to be pleased with me. I know He’s pleased with me. He’s already done everything to show that to me.

He has given us plenty of evidence, namely Jesus on the cross, before anything. He has done it and because of that, I want every single day to be His, and I want all of my words, I want all of my actions, I want all of my thoughts, all the things that I ponder, I want them to be for Him.

Like Les Miserable and Jean Valjean and the grace that he was given, because he was given that grace by the priest right at the beginning, that totally changed his aspect or his outlook on his life and he wanted to therefore have his life live up to that grace that was given. It wasn’t because he felt like he needed to prove himself. He was already given that grace, but it was because he knew the value of his life. He came to know the value of his life. He wanted to live out the rest of his life, pouring out that grace that was already poured into him.

I don’t know if I did justice to that to that storyline, but anyway, I think it’s that same concept where I am so thankful. We have nothing to worry about. We have nothing to be anxious for, nothing to fret about, because everything is completed. On the cross, Jesus finished it. I have no more check boxes I need to check off. He checked them all off for me and that liberates me, therefore, with joy to be able to now do what I see my Father doing. I feel like a lot of things that wear me down, a lot of activities and flurry of must dos or should dos that I tend to bog myself to out with are really not up to and should dos.

Jesus said in John, that He only does what He sees His Father doing, and those are such freeing words. If I do only what I see my Father doing, that gets rid of overwhelm. I find that I’m usually anxious and fretting and overwhelmed because I am not doing only what I see my Father doing. I have clung onto, and I have put onto myself, all these other extra things that He never told me to do, but it’s a constant process for me because I have a tendency to make work for myself. I’m very good at it, and so, it’s a constant process for me. That’s why my DWJ, my date with Jesus they’re so important in the morning because otherwise, I tend to just be about things that are from my flesh and building my own kingdom.

I don’t want to waste time like that and I don’t want to waste my breath like that. I want to only do what He has given me to do that day and when I do that, it absolutely will come from a place of rest and will come from a place of fullness and not out of emptiness and not out of feelings of inadequacy or that I need to prove myself to some unknown judge out there.

Judge of a panel of mothers out there who are judging me because it really me live for my Lord’s eyes alone and soak in the reality of what He has already accomplished for me on the cross. At the same time, I want to be a 10 minas servant. I have to hold both in my hands. I want to be that 10 minas servant, not the 5 minas servant and certainly not the wicked servant.

When Jesus comes and I know He’s coming, He’s coming, my friends, He is coming back and each of us are going to stand before Him. That’s what the Scripture says. The thing is, I don’t want to be the only one who hears, and I know I won’t be, but I don’t want to be the only one who hears from among my friends, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Here are now 10 cities for you to be responsible for.”

I want to have all of my friends hear that together with me, and I think that is even a greater joy, isn’t it? Holding both of those realities in my hand, the work that was already accomplished for me at the cross by Christ Himself and the fact that He’s going to return and it’s not that I feel this anxiety about accomplishing a lot for Him. There’s nothing that I can do for Him, but it’s about me cooperating with Him in His work because I get to, until He comes back and doing it faithfully, making sure that I have oil in my lamp, that I’m watching for Him and that when He comes back, He will find me still faithful.

I pray that Lord find me still faithful. Find me still longing for you and for your return, not being like the wicked servant. He was wicked because he was not wanting his master to return. He may not have said it. He may not have said it out loud to himself, but all of his lifestyle, his action, it showed it, because he just hid it. He just hid that mina, I don’t know, under his mattress, wherever he hid it.

I pray that my life will show that I worked hard, not because I need to prove anything, not because I need to earn God’s love and pleasure, but because my heart is longing for Him, because my heart is longing for the day He will return. That’s what it shows. That’s what the evidence of this hard work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit shows. It shows my devotion. It shows my longing. I don’t know how else to put it, longing for Christ to return, and we do that together.

Amy: Yes, when we are able to find our identity first in Christ, His perfect obedience, I just more and more every year, the fact that He obeyed for me that He didn’t just die for me and He also obeyed for me means much as a hope and a comfort. When I find my identity there and in what He has done, then I feel free to then walk in those good works He’s prepared beforehand from before creation for me, right? Like, an amazing promise that I don’t even have to sit here and anxiety like, Oh, no, I’ve got to drum up, like come up with something great to do for God.

That ordinary thing when I wake up in the morning and I drink my coffee and I smile at my children and we go through this day with diligence and sin and repentance but all of those things. To know that these are those good works, and to walk in them as one who has already been redeemed, right? Not as one who’s stressed out and anxious but I’m already redeemed, I can walk in joy and love and thanksgiving. What a freeing, delightful, motivating thing to keep in mind.

Min: Absolutely. Such freedom.

Min Hwang Life Giving Motherhood Charlotte Mason homeschool conversations podcast interview

What Min is reading lately

Amy: Well, this has been such an encouraging conversation, and I’m excited to get to share this with my internet friends. I know this will be an encouragement to them as well. Here at the end, I’m just going to ask you the questions that I’m asking everyone this season. It’s really fun to hear everyone’s answers. The first question is just what are you reading lately, and I know it’s quite a bit.

Min: It is going to take a long time if I go through the whole list. I have like piles of books in every room.

Amy: Like a good homeschool mom.

Min: Yes and I have a tendency to be reading many books at one time and I know many of us have that, right? Many of us tendency. Let me see. I do have a local Charlotte Mason book club and with our book club, we are currently on volume three, School Education. I am reading that. I do also read aloud Charlotte Mason’s volumes on a podcast called Charlotte Mason’s Volumes. Just because I wanted audio versions of them to be free for anybody to be able to listen to all over the world and have easy convenient access and I feel like doing this, and for that, I’m reading volume four, Ourselves.

I started with that one because I know that, of course we need to hear those ideas, definitely but also it was written for our children, for our teens and I wanted to help some of our moms who have teens, who are reading through Ourselves to have an audio version available their teens could be listening as they’re following along in their book. That’s another one.

We are currently in the 1800s in our homeschool and I have been reading for myself a book on Queen Victoria for fun. Although I can’t help but read sections of it to my children, because it’s interesting. So interesting. I love history. That’s been fun. I have been reading, for my creative endeavors, a book by Seth Godin and I can’t recall the title of it right now but I think it’s something about creating creative work or shipping creative work or creative practice. I’ll have to get you that exact title, Amy and what else am I reading?

I’m looking at various books all the time because I am looking through and creating the book list for the at-home seminary that we’re starting up in January, but there’s just a slew of them. I don’t even it’s a blur in my mind all the different titles but there are various authors and various books because we want to cover systematic theology and apologetics and biblical theology.

It’s like it’s all in there or just in just even like, how to read the Bible. We’re going to start even with some very basic things, understanding the Bible as a whole. I’m not going to assume anything and we’re even going to learn what are the books in the Bible and how is the Bible apportioned and how is it put together? How is it made? A lot of books about that.

Prisoners of Geography is another one I’m actually rereading with my children because we love geography in our home as well and we’re reading that together with my two older ones.

Amy: I have that one on a stack somewhere in my living room [crosstalk], yes, by the end of the school year, I want to read this aloud in morning time.

Min: Yes, it is interesting especially with all that is going on in the world right now. I think it really puts things into perspective. I recently also got the new prisoners of geography map, book Atlas book. Have you heard of that, Amy?

Amy: No.

Min: I found it used and it’s great to also try to include my younger two. It’s interesting for me, actually, I love looking at it too.

Amy: The secret reason we homeschool is to get to learn all these fun things with our kids.

Min: Yes, I feel like I’m having a real education now. It’s so much fun. There we go. Just all the different areas.

Amy: I love it. I think it’s wonderful to talk to other people who get that fun, just like I do of like having multiple books going in different genres and the fun thing, and this is a very Charlotte Mason idea. The fun thing is you’re reading all of these books that seem unrelated but then you start making connections. Just adds a whole another layer. I could never read just one book at a time.

Min: I notice that about you, Amy. Kindred spirits.

Min’s best tip for helping the homeschool day run smoothly

Amy: Well, Min, my final question for you is just what would be your best tip for helping the homeschool day runs smoothly?

Min: Oh, other than begin with your DWJ. That’s a given, right? DWJ Date With Jesus is a given. Definitely have a timetable for yourself. Not just for your children to have their school timetable but have a timetable for yourself. I call it a mother’s timetable, make it visible, not just to you, but make it visible to your children, and give a copy to your spouse as well that he could be knowing what’s going on and praying for you throughout the day because we definitely need our spouse’s prayer throughout the day.

The reason why I say make it visible for your children is not that they could be like, Mommy, shouldn’t you be doing this right now. Although that might happen, warning, that might happen but because even in this simple act of making a timetable for yourself too, not just for them, and making it visible to them so that they know mommy has one too, it shows that mommy too, is under a greater authority. That mommy too, her day too, her energy, her time belongs to the Lord and she has duties too before God and she’s answerable to God Himself.

I’m not answerable to my children. I’m not answerable to my spouse, per se, I am answerable to my Lord and something so practical and tangible and invisible and I feel like most often for ourselves and for our children, they need to have something visual. It really helps to show that. They know that when mommy says yes, and when mommy says no, it’s not arbitrary, because she herself is under a greater authority. We are together as a family under a greater authority. I don’t say things and I don’t do things out of my own whim or because of my certain mood at that time.

I feel like that makes a huge, huge difference in the home because, as I said, it’s not like this as if like the time is the tyrant, and you need to be obeying the time and that’s why you have a timetable but again, it’s this whole atmosphere, that it sets. Have the conversation with your children too, of course, but it’s the atmosphere that it sets that we belong to God and that means our energy, how we use the time that He gave us, which is a gift, it all belongs to God and this is how we do it and this how we show it. We’re not wasteful and at the same time, we’re not negligent and that there is a purpose to our day, there is meaning to our day, there’s purpose and meaning to what you do, and what you say, and that’s why we have this flow in our day.

Going back to what we said earlier, the timetable doesn’t mean you’re saying, eight o’clock, this is what we do, nine o’clock, this is what we do, but having just a flow for your day, a rhythm. I think a lot of mothers call it a rhythm, but make it visible, make it a visual rhythm, and again, for yourself. If you put your children’s timetable on the wall, put it next to it, so they could see what mommy’s doing too.

Not just during school hours, of course, because you’re probably right there beside them during the school hours, but the whole day, so they’re seeing what mommy does before they even get up in the morning, they’re seeing what mommy does in the afternoon when they’re doing their afternoon occupations or lessons or whatever. She’s not just twiddling her thumbs or scrolling Instagram and having fun. She has duties and responsibilities given to her by God, and this is what she’s doing, and so on and so forth. I think that will be a powerful tool.

Amy: Do you have a picture or an example of that on your website or on Instagram?

Min: You might have to scroll back quite a bit on my Instagram. You know what I’ll do is I had to create a new one, because– This is the thing, it has to work for you. Which means that change it as much as you need to. I end up having to do a new one each term, because with the seasons, and your kids are growing and changing, you’re growing and changing, and sometimes in the middle of the term, I need to create a new one. Please, it’s flexible. It’s a tool that needs to work for you. You’re not a slave to it. I have a new one. Maybe what I’ll do is I’ll share that at some point up on Instagram. I’m not on Facebook very much. I’ll put it to Instagram if that helps.

Find Min Hwang Online

Amy: Yes. I will try to look for that when I publish this interview and include it in the show notes for this episode over at humilityanddoxology.com. Where can people find you all around the internet?

Min: Wow. We have a new website for Life-Giving Motherhood, and it’s simply lifegivingmotherhood.org. Check us out there and tell me what you think of it. Give me feedback. I designed it myself, it still needs a lot of work. I appreciate your feedback, constructive feedback. You can also find us, if you’re on Mighty Networks, you can find us on Mighty Networks, but then we don’t open our doors until November 1st. We’ll only be open for about 10 days or so, and then we only open three times a year so that we could give concentrated care to our members who come in.

I’m also on Charlotte Mason For All Podcast with my three wonderful co-hosts. As I mentioned earlier, I have been reading Charlotte Mason’s volumes on the Charlotte Mason’s Volumes Podcast. I play in Instagram, Min.J.Hwang, H-W-A-N-G, you could find me there.

Amy: Fabulous. I will link all of those things up over in the blog post for this interview. I look forward to chatting with you more. Thank you for coming today.

Min: Thank you so much, Amy, this was fun.

Min’s Websiteswww.lifegivingmotherhood.orgwww.minhwangart.com
Min on Instagram: @min.j.hwang, @minhwangart, @lifegivingmotherhood, @charlottemasonforall
Min’s Podcasts: Charlotte Mason For All, Charlotte Mason’s Volumes

Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews Podcast HumilityandDoxology.com Amy Sloan

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