Watching Annie Get Your Gun for the first time while keeping out of the heat.
Saturday was the second yard sale day. The kids did a great job helping with the sale, making change, selling cookiews and water. Rewarded the kids with a trip to swim in the pond after cleaning up.
I have been working on the new multi-site theme so much that our house is trashed and the bigger groceries still need put away. And so of course we went out yesterday to visit Grandma, go to the park, and go out to eat with her.
While out the kids figured out how to figure out how many waiters were on the wallpaper boarder in the pizza shop (146) without counting them all (they were in groups of eight), they learned that too much greasy food makes you want to eat salad forever, how big and heavy a 50# bag of flour is, that you can play go fish with ocean fish cards in the car (someone has to be the table), among other things.
A bit under the weather today, stupid joints, so I thought I would share pictures from our trip to the pond Sunday–this is where I grew up and very close to my heart.
Feeding the fish out on the dock.
Breaking up slate looking for fossils.
Feeding the fish.
Taking a walk.
More fish feeding–these are some well fed fish.
Pulling up anchor.
Fishing for the stick that was blocking the pipe.
Today I reluctantly went to the mail box. We had spent several hours at the pond yesterday walking around and I was taking it easy today. I didn’t really want to stop reading my book and go check the mail. Yes, my life is so very hard. 🙂
In my mailbox was some random junk and a package. Now normally packages aren’t a big deal–U do Swapadvd and Paperbackswap so they are pretty regular. However this package was not from either of those–it was from a bloggy friend with whom I occasionally share snail mail and projects. This time it wasn’t a cool craft it was a book. A gift for Rachel. The perfect gift.
To start Rachel looked the book over–“Mom, this book is really well made. The paper is really good quality and it has a beautiful cover. ”
She opened it up and ooed and awed as she browsed the pages. She then settled back in her chair and began to read, every once in a while exclaiming over another thing that it explains that she wanted to be able to do.
As most of you know Rachel has a crafty/project streak. She loves making and building things (she has a go cart in the works from The Dangerous Book for Boys) as well as cooking and baking. What you may not know is that she is an outdoors-woman at heart. She longs for me to let her camp out for a week in a tent all buy herself. She wants to build a shelter, live in it, make her own fire, and make her own food. A long time ago she told me she felt called to be an old fashioned missionary–the type that not only goes out and witnesses but also has to make her way in the wilderness. She also wants to fly.
Today we continue to celebrate Home Education Week with Dana of Principled Discovery who asks:
- What are your goals for home education? What do you hope to instill in your children? Are you planning any changes to how you educate your children?
- As I mentioned before our goals for are children are that they grow in wisdom and understanding, learn to love learning and how to learn, that they love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind, and love their neighbor as their self. We want to train them in the way God wants them to go.
I don’t think we are planning on changing too much about how we train them. We roll with the punches and try to keep things flexible and suited to their and our needs so that is not likely change. I would like to travel more but at this point that is not too likely either. We do want to do more big outdoor projects together .
I would like them to continue to get better at helping with the housekeeping without a fuss and we are working on that. Other than that I think we are good. 🙂 And whatever else God has for us, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
The pictures above were all taken today down by the shelter we built last fall. The kids designed a playground around the area including a slide (behind on the tree), a sports area with soccer net, a see saw, a mini sandbox, and a swing (which Rachel made herself for Issac with no help from me–it needs some work and we are going to design a safer one.) I love their perseverance and ingenuity and want to continue to encourage it. Oh, and I know one of my kids was in a winter coat and the other in shorts–it was 60 out and raining–he took off his jacket and she couldn’t find her raincoat. 🙂
Today was our big shopping day. Rachel decided to join me on the trip to Sam’s Club and Target (Target sells Propel packets which is my husband’s addiction for $1.20 less than the only grocery store around here that carries it!)Read More
My husband’s cousins brought this back from Tanzania and showed it to us on Monday. I forgot to take pictures so I emailed her and asked for a picture–it just came in my email! It took all of us some time and a few clues to figure out what it is.
You’re never late–even when it is daylight savings time and everyone wakes up way past when any church starts.
In other words today church will be later–probably evening. 🙂 Actually it often is since that is when my husband prefers having it.
Squirmy kids only interrupt a few people and the leader can stop church and deal with any disciplinary issues.
When fellowshipping and worshiping in a smaller group–in our case, immediate family (Matthew:18: 19-20) it is a simple thing to deal with a noisy kid and there is no embarrassment on the parent’s part because the children like to sit front and center where they can see everything so the parent has to lead the small crowd all the way back to the back of the sanctuary to remove the kid. This also includes bathroom breaks which are always more frequently needed when children are sitting in church.
The lesson can be taught in a way the the children “get it” and can be discussed at the moment instead of trying to remember all the questions later.
When we “went to church” the kids went with us and were expected to pay attention–well at least the older two, Issac spent the time rolling his cars under the pews. This meant that they would often have questions whichthey whisper during the sermon. Later, on the way home, we would ransack our brains trying to remember what their questions were. Now the kids ask immediately and the “sermon” is more a discussion of a reading as it takes place than a lecture. Not only does this benefit the children but it also benefits the adults involved–one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else.
The children are actively involved in the lesson.
My girls adore reading verses that have struck them during the week aloud after the main Bible reading. They also love to share what God has been doing in their lives throughout the week. Issac is not quite as interested in what is going on–last week he spent the entire time determined to read quietly from my Bible. He read two paragraphs of the chapter we were reading–Mark 7.
We can focus on a verse or section as long as we need to.
God has been speaking to us through Mark 7 for two weeks now. Shamus and I are also reading through Romans together on the side and God has lined up our readings brilliantly and is teaching us much. Our church time is also much shorter than traditional church. We don’t need to spend an hour on a subject unless the conversation goes on that long. Often the main conversation is short and then extends into later conversations throughout the week.
The kids are with us and no one is pointing out that there are all kinds of “Children’s Ministries”.
Some time ago the Lord started convicting us that our children needed to be learning beside us instead of in a separate classroom. Some children benefit from “children’s church” and all that entails but not my kids and God made it very clear. When we went to the more crowded services, kids in tow, many well meaning adults would gently let us know that the church had a wonderful “children’s program”. When we began attending the smaller, earlier service the mostly elderly adults loved to pull us aside and bless us for bringing our little ones so they too could be fed. I agreed with them and was delighted to know others felt that way. I know that “Children’s ministries” are necessary for some but don’t tell me that you have a family friendly church and then separate my family at every possibly moment. Child friendly? Yes, family friendly? No. Family friendly to me means beneficial to the family as a family unit. There are no scriptures that I can think of that refer to children being taught separately from their parents but there are several that refer to women and children being present while the teaching was going on– Ezra 10 is one of my favorite examples but when Jesus taught the women and children also gathered to listen (for example see Matthew 14:13-18.)
Homechurching and homeschooling give us ample opportunity to focus on what each child specifically needs to learn. It also allows us to live what we teach and teach what we live. Our goal is not to train our children in the way WE THINK they should go but in the way God designed them to go. We are giving them the tools they need and making sure we teach them His truths at every step of the way. We are also able to remove separate the traditions of men from the truth of scripture so they can stay focused on Him. The Lord has reminding us of this over the last few weeks as we study Mark 7 and Romans 1-5.
As I said before–homechurch isn’t for everyone and God has definitely called us specifically to homechurch for this time. It has been a real blessing and the above listed are just a few of the ways.
Watch any child who is free of schedules, strict socially structured and planned activities, and the freedom to use the materials on hand and you will find that child playing. Any parent who has watched and listened quietly as their little one plays can tell you that that child is imitating and working out what is in the world around him. What parent hasn’t been surprised to find their 2 year old more interested in the wrapping paper than the brightly colored toys it hid? What parent hasn’t noticed a baby’s joy at a set of keys or a spoon?
The only reason older kids don’t play happily with what is on hand is that they have been told they need the latest toy or that cool kids don’t play that anymore. They have been trained to need entertainment, to demand it, and have been taught to be bored without it.
We don’t need to teach children to be creative–we need to keep from killing their creativity by smothering them with talking or overly specific toys and too many scheduled activities.
I want my children to grow up happy and fully intact. That means I let them loose with how-to books and the supplies on hand. Rachel has a list of things she wants me to buy at the craft store and I tell her that she can buy it if she saves but otherwise she has to make due with what we have. She has made old fashioned can stilts, a fishing pole with a hook made from a jewelry find earring hook and paper fish, a riding horse from an old broomstick and a sock. She made a card board and clothespin ring toss, and a plethora of clothespin dolls. No, they aren’t high quality but she and her siblings love them because she made them herself. In fact, she is amazed at how wonderful these old fashioned toys are compared to the junk she used to buy all the time at the thrift shop.
Sure my kids play games and watch movies, and other than an occasional “that’s enough, go find something else to do” or a request that chores be done first they are free to play as long as they like. They get sick of it pretty quick when they have that much freedom. Boredom is not tolerated and pretty soon they are engrossed in something else.
Now that they are older they love to plan out games and spend much longer organizing the activity and preparing for play than actually playing. They, at 6, 8, and 10, still spend plenty of time really playing. The girls have a doll house and their cabbage patch kids, Issac has his marbles, race tracks, trains, Legos and Construx–they all play with all of it so when it comes down to it they are only divided by rooms . Every time I enter the girls room I see the dollhouse rearranged–their Only Hearts Club Kids stand in some new fashion–it always makes me want to take a picture as there is so much thought put into the setup. In my son’s room , well it is a mess. They love building things and use all sorts of random objects to build elaborate structures. One day it is Lego vehicles, then next it is Construx, the next it is race tracks. (And, as you can see from the photos, my son likes to play with our rock collection.)
They don’t own any toys that all go perfectly together. They wouldn’t keep them that way if they did. Marvel Super Heroes and Villains often make their way into the doll house alongside my vintage Strawberry Shortcake dolls. The ceramic tea-set my in-laws got the girls are as often used with miss-matched plastic kitchen things and foods and Cabbage Patch Kids as they are used for real dress up tea parties elaborately set up by the kids. Wooden blocks and train tracks are often used with matchbox cars and the old fashioned Little People from my Sesame Street set. And that is just inside–you wouldn’t believe the mish-mash of toys that litter our yard in the summer months. (And you know those boots we went to find–those were so my ten year old could go play in the giant mud puddle that fills the valley out back every spring.)
Yes, it gets messy. Sure it isn’t as nice and neat as those little craft kits and running them to t-ball and every other thing under the sun that kids under 12 can be involved in. Yet somehow it is right and it works and the kids are learning and enjoying and growing in ways that they wouldn’t if they were on a schedule and played one kit at a time.