This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 9th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Charlotte Mason approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.



Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Great Waters Press: No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope ~ a TOS review

Ah, the tween years… You know that time between 8-14 years-old when your seemingly lovable, snuggly child jumps aboard the emotional rollercoaster called puberty and you get a one way ticket. There’s not much you can do about it but hold on for the ride. Well, that was before Hal & Melanie Young, the authors of Raising Real Men, released their newest book called No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope from Great Waters Press.
No Longer Little by Hal and Melanie Young
Hal and Melanie Young wrote this 203 page to help you navigate the sometimes rough waters of the tween years. Inside the pages they halep you see what might be going on not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually with your child. The tone of the book is gentle and doesn’t make you feel like a failure but rather guides you along with a helping hand with encouragement, strategies and tips to deal with the ever changing emotions of your child during this time.

The Youngs have raised eight children, six boys and two girls, so they have first-hand perspective to raising children through the teen years. The book includes twelve chapters, an introduction, references, scripture references, an index, as well as a Colophon page which describes the fonts used. Speaking of fonts, I really like the 14-point Neuton font used throughout this book. It’s nice and easy on the eyes and makes the book easily readable.

The topics discussed within the pages of this book include: 

Chapter 1: Getting Bigger ~ Hormones and Body Changes 
Chapter 2: The Rollercoaster ~ Emotional Upheaval 
Chapter 3: Brains Turn to Mush ~ Why School Goes Awry 
Chapter 4: Many A Conflict, Many a Doubt ~ Spiritual Questioning 
Chapter 5: The Awakening ~ Sexuality and Virtue 
Chapter 6: Social Struggles ~ Overcoming Awkwardness 
Chapter 7: Media, Gaming, and Discernment ~ More than Amusement 
Chapter 8: Conflict At Home ~ Family Relationships 
Chapter 9: Transitioning: Youth in the Bible 
Chapter 10: Celebrating Growth ~ Coming of Age Ceremonies 
Chapter 11: Producers, Not Consumers ~ Work and Stewardship 
Chapter 12: The Next Big Thing ~ High School and Beyond 


This book arrived just as I was about to take a trip to Michigan so I popped it in my carryon bag to read on the plane. Since I was traveling all day long between Michigan and home I was able to get through Chapter 5 that first day. I was able to finish the book the following week and then I went back to the sections I had marked to dig in a bit more. As you know I have five girls and 1 boy so I have been through this stage three times already yet I felt unprepared each of those times. Before I was literally gob smacked when my child emerged from her room and her brain was literally mush and she couldn’t even do simple multiplication problems. Like how does that even happen!?


Being able to read this book has helped me prepare for the little changes that lead to the bigger changes that are still to come. My youngest two daughters are in the “tween” stage at 8 and 11 years-old. Thankfully, my 11 year old seems to be somewhat coming out of the fog, so to speak, but I am just entering it full swing with my soon to be 9 year-old. And let me tell you guys, she is a little spitfire. She may be little, but oh she is fierce and has an opinion of her own. Having your own opinion is not a bad thing, but I don’t need to argue and fuss with little people over every.single.thing. Why? Because I’m the Mama!

Yes, the tween years of 8-14 years-old can be a difficult time for both parent and child, so I am glad I had some new helpful advice with their newest title to arm myself for this upcoming stage. One of the tips I have been implementing is a reward system. Each of my children have a focus area where they need to dedicate more time to learning or mastering. Whether it be math facts or fluency in reading. So, we have set up a reward system. Do your job and master your goal and you will be rewarded for your effort.

This works well for my children who are naturally competitive and love to play games. A few weeks ago we had an arm wrestling contest, which I won the grand championship , guess I’m a bit competitive too. We made it so whoever was challenging had to recite a math fact family, by skip counting while doing push ups. We would pick a fact family by rolling our die and each child would have the chance to recite the facts up to 12. If a mistake was made, that person would do push ups for the number they missed. If it was too high of a number, we would half or quarter it, or the person would do jumping jacks instead. While my middle schooler doesn’t have all her multiplication facts mastered she is getting closer and quicker at remembering them more easily just as my 8 year old is learning her basics 3’s and 4 facts.

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}
Another chapter I found helpful was Chapter 7 on Media, Gaming, and Discernment. We are on the brink of a media ban which includes all Ipads, phones, laptops, etc. to start August 6th, the week before we head back to school. However, I may just need to instill a two week ban because attitudes and tones have become an issue over the last few days. I am a firm believer that starring at a screen too long causes attitudes to become skewed. I also found that when my children play a certain pixelated game they become more aggressive towards each other in tone and speech. Something that I have nipped in the bud immediately by banning the playing of the game. I even refunded my daughter the price of the game because she is no longer able to play. While we do not have cable TV anymore the lure of Netflix and other online streaming can become overwhelming too. So, it’s all about learning to balance everything.


Overall, I have found No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope to be a breath of fresh air. It has given me the framework and guidance that I need to help guide my Tweens through this emotional time all the while protecting our relationship through newfound moods and growing minds and bodies. I recommend you get your hands on a copy of this book, you’ll be glad you did. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this book as well as the other title being reviewed, Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality by clicking the banner below too.

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}

 Format ~ paperback book, ISBN #9781938554216 
 Price ~ $19.97 sale
 Ages ~ for parents of Tweens, 8-14 years-old

Raising Real Men
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