August 26, 2009
Now, let me say, I am not talking about the kinds of idols that compete for your attention on TV nor the ones that were made of wood and worshiped by civilizations of old. No, I am talking about the things of this modern age which take our focus away from the things of God.
Idols cam come in the form of anything from too much TV or computer time, too much emphasis on sports or in our case, too much STUFF!
This morning I was looking around the house realizing that not only were behind on some much needed daily cleaning tasks, we also were beginning to suffer from a case of "stuff-itis". A.K.A. clutter and junk that needed tossing. I made a note to myself to tackle this mess over the next several days but my main objective today was to get the girls bedroom done and get them in the proper mindset to be on board with me on this cleaning mission.
I began by telling them that the mess in their room was not acceptable. Our oldest two are very good at cleaning and really know better than to shove things under the bed or in the closet instead of tossing them or putting them away (which is what I found today). I reminded them of what then need to do when they do clean up. I went on to explain that if we own to many things or fail to toss our trash out, we are creating an idol for ourselves because we will be spending way too much time on managing our mess than on the things of God. I also told them that my job as their mom is to train them how to manage their things and we then went on to start the cleaning project together.
I accepted no arguments on why they wanted to keep any particular item. I decided what to keep and what to toss. They quickly were on board with me and happily tossing things that were honestly just trash and needed to go.
The room is now looking much better and the girls are happy that they now won't be wasting their time on sorting and managing all the things we threw away.
My husband and I area also planning to have a family meeting with the girls this weekend. We are going to discuss these things in more depth as well as setting some new guidelines on the things we will be keeping or bringing into our home. We really purpose to keep "things" to a minimum around here as to have a better learning environment and more time on our hands to serve others and spend our time on things that honor God.
August 22, 2009
I notice a lot of people don't really concern themselves on certain attitudes that their children have. They brush things off as being "just how kids act" or say that "they just don't understand". So often I see children in stores or other public places throwing fits to get their way. The parents of these children do very little to stop the fit, they often times seem to just give up or ignore the behavior. This is a dangerous things to do. Children understand much more than we give them credit for and they are able to be taught and trained from birth.
Today I had to tell my girls that due to Daddy's work schedule we will miss church AND their AWANA class this week. We will still have a devotion time as a family but they will not be able to participate in their two very favorite activities for the week. This is something they of course look forward to all week.
Now, some people might expect some pouting and whining when having to make such an announcement. From very little ones they might expect crying. Maybe a tantrum?
That is not what we expect nor is that what happened. All four of my girls nodded politely when I told them and went back to playing smiling and happy.
How is it that their behaviour was not what seems to be "the norm"? Honestly it is because we make it a point to guide our children to the mindset of God, to seek after His kingdom and to cherish what he cherishes. My children understand that Daddy's job is a blessing for our family. They know that at this particular time in life, two days of overtime is a HUGE blessing to us and will help our family a great deal. They know that God is above all, then their family, then their friends and others. They have been taught to take joy in life when they see God's hand at work blessing us and allowing us to bless others.
Proverbs 22:6 says "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it"
As Christian parents we need to be sure that we are holding our children to a high standard just as our Father in heaven holds us to such a standard. Never assume a child is too young to understand. Teach them concepts that are above their understanding and continue to teach those things, reinforcing them, until they do understand them.
Also, remember that younger children will try to imitate the behaviors of the older children. Encourage your older children to display behavior that will encourage and train your younger children.
August 21, 2009
August 15, 2009
This year I bought separate schedule books for my 7 and 9 year old. I plan to fill in one month at a time and each day they can see what assignments they will be working on. They really like this. I list all of their workbook assignments, science experiments and art projects as well as suggested activities sch as learning to type, working on craft projects or cooking.
I can see that our biggest challenge for my 9 year old is going to be the Language Arts program that I chose. It is harder than what she is used to. I think this is a good thing because she enjoys being challenged and it is really helping her learn how to really study. She's always been a very bright student and not had to put too much effort in as far as studying things goes.
My 7 year old has really blossomed as a student. She works very independently now. Many times I set aside time to sit with her and work on school, she has already taken it upon herself to do certain pages on her own and has done very well. Her biggest struggle right now is math because some of it seems boring to her, although it really is drill work that is reinforcing her memory of facts.
Our 5 year old is loving being a "school girl" this year. She loves working on school whether it be listening to me ready, reading with me, practicing her handwriting or doing a math workbook page. Her drawing skills are really blooming and I think her biggest challenge is going to be having patience while I work with her sisters and she has to wait for her turn to have my undivided attention.
2 year old is just "being two". She is at a stage of challenging us on everything and testing her limits and boundaries. So there has been a lot of training going on with her in the area of behavior and self control. She loves to sit and color or play with blocks when we have school time.
2 year old is also VERY ready to potty train and I am hoping to get her started this week or next. She is not at all afraid of the big toilet and loves to try to use it any chance she gets. I guess we have started unofficially... I am just nervous about officially starting because one thing I am not good at is potty training. I am praying that God give me extraordinary patience to push through and help he succeed. If anyone has any great potty training tips I would love to hear them, especially night time training!
Tomorrow we will be having a family devotion time instead of church because three of the girls have colds and need to stay home to rest.
Life is very busy right now but full of so many blessings!
August 8, 2009
Our family lives in a fairly conservative area with lots of other homeschooling families around. Many moms stay home. Generally people understand that having mom stay home is a normal thing to do, not some strange, alien idea that makes no sense to their secular mindset. However, I still often encounter people that look at me strangely or often times in awe when I explain that yes, I do have four children and yes we do homeschool. They say things like "You have a BIG family" or "Oh, I could NEVER to that" or "Oh, bless your heart, you must be so tired!".
Why would anyone stand in awe of me for doing what God has commanded me to do? Since when is hard work that bears amazing fruit something to be shocked about?
Ephesians 6:4 says...
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
And by the way... why do so many people think that 4 children is a BIG family (and what's wrong with having a BIG family anyhow)?
Psalm 127:3 says...
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
God has given us a duty to raise and train our children. God has entrusted their lives to us and we are to nurture and grow them. I personally don't think that sending them off to a government school is fulfilling that mandate.
Here are some misconceptions that many people (yes, even other Christians!) hold about homeschooling and my response to them...
Your children will not be socialized - My children are much more social that most children I know. They are not afraid to socialize with anyone, not matter their age. They can hold an intelligent conversation with any person and they take great phone messages as well. They love people and socialize quite normally.
I could never do that, it's too hard! - Wrong! Listen, I am NOT a trained school teacher. I am not even a GREAT teacher. There are many methods, curricula, books, forums, etc. available to any person wanting to homeschool their child. If you can do enough research to decide which cell phone company to choose, which car to buy or which neighborhood to move to, then you certainly can find a way to homeschool your child that will suit both your personalities and help them learn to their optimum level.
Don't you want your children to be "salt and light" to the world - Yes! Of course I do! And they have plenty of opportunity to be just that without us sending them out into the world when they are not yet fully mature in their faith. We give our children every opportunity to witness to to others and when they are adults and have been properly taught in their faith they will certainly have even more opportunity to be salt and light.
I wish I could AFFORD to stay home and teach my kids but we need my income - I beg to differ. There are many ways to cut corners and live on less. Often times the choices we make determine how much money we require to live. I personally know many families that make less money than we do and have more children and still "afford" to homeschool. The Internet is a wealth of information on how to save money in every area of life.
No, homeschooling is not always easy but unfortunately our society is often so very enamoured with what is easy or what makes life more enjoyable or fun. Self serving ideals reign supreme and selflessness is unheard of. What happened to laying our lives down for Christ? What happened to putting others before ourselves? It is rarely done any more, at least not without whining and complaining and a "poor me" attitude. To honor God is to crucify our flesh and do what is best for others, especially the children that God entrusted to our care.
Trying to prove to others (especially working mothers) that we as homeschool mothers "work"... this is not something that I try to do. Whether your work shows any fruit in your life or the lives of others will reveal the true value of your work.
If I leave my home to go to a job so that we can afford more THINGS which sending my kids to a public institution every day then those THINGS that I am working for have become my idol. They are more important that my children. I am blessed with an able bodied husband that is more than able to go out and earn a living to support our family (as God would have him do as the head of our home) so there is no reason for me to go out and work so that we can afford to have the American Dream while someone else educates my children.
Here are a few more verses regarding teaching your children...
Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
Jeremiah 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
August 3, 2009
OK, Let's see...
I am God's child. Made in His image, saved by the blood of His Son, redeemed by faith and sanctified by His amazing and Holy grace. I love Him above all else.
I am am a non-denominational Christian in my doctrinal beliefs. I believe God has given us liberty as His children and although I have attended churches of various denominations over the years, I hold to none 100%, only to the Bible, the truth of God's word.
I am a growing Christian, seeking to learn and grow in God's word. As I continue to read the Bible I learn so much more each time I read, God's Word is so alive and dynamic, it always fills my soul.
I am always praying that God use me in any way He see fit to further His kingdom. Whatever he has for me to do I am willing and ready.
I am a wife of an amazing husband, totally dedicated and still so much in love after 10 happy years.
I am a mom that is in love with her babies and very protective of their lives and hearts.
I am a serious person. I do love to smile, laugh and joke (and I do so often) but in general I take things seriously and ponder them deeply.
I am a lover of all things culinary. Cooking is not just a hobby of mine, it is a passion and I have to keep myself in check otherwise I would spend all day in the kitchen and get absolutely nothing else done.
I am a music lover. Especially Christian hip-hop which has a special place in my heart. However, I also love old hymns, popular worship songs, instrumental music and so much more. Music always brings me joy.
I am a quilter. I have made hand-made quilts for more than half my life and every time I make one I love making them even more.
I am a homebody. I love to be at home, doing things at home, just enjoying our home. Home is comfortable, safe and warm... always.
I am a list maker and planner. I am always making lists, they can be found all over our house and in my purse. If I don't have a list I am lost.
I am concerned about the health of myself and my family which is why I love to make healthy foods from scratch and encourage us all to get outdoors for fresh air and exercise.
I am a bibliophile. I adore books and have to restrain myself as to not spend too much money on them.
I am a a person who wishes to garden. I wish so much for a garden but have not yet had the opportunity to start one. One day... one day... :0) I do grow herbs in pots and mini roses as well.
I am a lover of people. I make friends easily and love to meet new people. It is a joy yo be able to share with people that love that God has shared with me through Christ.
oh... and here are a few things I am not...
I am NOT a good dancer. I love music with a passion but dancing... uh... NO!
I am not patient. I am much more patient than I used to be and God is working with me on my patience but naturally, I am not patient.
I am not perfect! I will be the first one to say that I have my faults and they are many, but praise God He is working with me on them and I am making improvements.