Create memories and experiences for and with your children. I find it strangely amusing this piece of advice is the most difficult for homeschooling moms to wrap our minds around. I’m still wrapping MY mind around it. I have yet to be in conversation with a mom and felt the urge to remind her of the importance of math, reading, or language arts. We’ve got that down. It’s never perfect, but it is getting done. It may often be stressful, but it is always scheduled, and placed as the pinnacle of our homeschool days. I’m beginning to think no one would bat an eyelash if I said, “You really should do more math every day.” or “Only one hour of reading a day? That’s not nearly enough.” I say this in jest but what I’m getting at, truly, is that any responsible mom knows these skills are important. We are all working on these subjects are we not? I think what we forget is we will never teach them everything, nor is it our job to do so. What gets lost is the ability to enjoy each other, enjoy the world our Creator gave us, and the time to fill our children’s hearts with beautiful moments. I’m convinced when my time with them is up there will be laughter and fond memories over our camping trips and baking days, not math lessons and sentence diagramming.
Ahh..Christmas time. We are a family full of singers. Not that we always sing in perfect harmony with each other or even sound decent…but we all LOVE to sing! Loud and long. In the car ,(specially) in the house, in the yard,with friends, even alone. You get the picture. Not a lot of silence going on. Christmas time is even more fun. My kids love singing all the Christmas carols and even plan on dragging friends out to go caroling with them. (Watch out). Some of the more wintery songs mention snow. Snow? What’s that? We live in Southern California and don’t get to see it that often. Chances are, when we do, we gather it up, pack it down, and chuck it at someone we love. As we were wondering about this white phenomenon, I happened upon this. Snowflakes close up.
Wow! This made up wonder about nature…beauty… And our Creator- the Artist himself. Geology.com says “A snowflake begins when a tiny dust or pollen particle comes into contact with water vapor high in Earth’s atmosphere. The water vapor coats the tiny particle and freezes into a tiny crystal of ice. This tiny crystal will be the “seed” from which a snowflake will grow.” It goes onto explain that as it falls closer to the earth, it picks up more and more frozen water vapor increasing its size while adding to its hexagonal shape. What?!?
I have never dropped something from any distance and had it turn into something as beautifuland intricate as a snowflake. Mind blown.
Ok, so every snowflake is different? Our Creator knows the number of hairs on my head…
Luke 12:7 “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
…and the number and names of all the stars? Wow.
Psalm 147:4 “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.”
Our God is bigger than we can comprehend, but sees it fit to be a personal God…to love us and know us intimately. And, we are as individual as the snowflakes.
We have found that many times, admiring nature and further research into the how’s and why’s lead us to a better understanding of our God and creator. What an artist.
Well- in my signature way, I am again behind. Better late than never? Maybe
I was looking for a way to fuse our family tradition of doing the Jesse Tree Family Devotions a friend had shared with me years ago, and an Advent countdown. I found a couple things, but ultimately decided to make my own…and everything I do takes quadruple the time I estimate. That is my life in a nutshell.
Anyways, if you want to participate-I have included the pdf for you to print.
Remember the REASON.
|Rainbow dash cutie mark 🙂|
For a more in-depth talk through to do with your kiddos- go here.
|*made using Numbers on a Mac
Dry ice? Of course…cuz theres a science lesson in there too…
Dry ice is frozen Carbon Dioxide. Cool thing about dry ice- it goes directly from a solid to a gas (sublimation). Not-so-cool thing- it will burn (freeze) your skin if you touch it. Use heavy leather gloves when handling and keep the kids hands AWAY. For more info, go here
|plastic wrap makes a bubble.|
Wow. Ever been inspired by just observing nature? If you are anything like me, chances are YES…all the time!
Object Lesson err… Activity for kids:
Watch one form of succulent propagation.
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” -Albert Einstein
While I have always been a voracious reader, I have not always considered myself a life long learner. This is one of many reasons I will forever be grateful to the Lord for calling me into homeschooling. Somewhere in the prayer for guidance and the frenzy to find the topics and resources to ignite wonder in my children, my own curiosities were awakened. I’ve always had one foot (ok, more like every fiber of my being) in the realm of politics, government and American history. I never dreamt I’d find an interest in botany, latin, ancient history and much more. It is crystal clear. God created us with a desire to learn. But lets face it, I have a husband, four children, two dogs, and four chickens. I’m tired. When am I going to carve out time to “learn” anything? After much thought I think the answer is, I won’t. Oh maybe, when my kids are grown and gone and my husband retires I’ll be able to carve out hours a day to read and ponder all the ideas and information I could ever imagine. But right now? Life long learning simply has to be a way of life. A ritual I participate in daily. A habit my children see woven into each experience in our day.
It doesn’t need to look a certain way. Any parent who engages in discovering the world with their children is a life long learner. Every time I read a history or science book to my kids, I discover something new. So maybe it just looks like a normal school day. But maybe it also looks like a late night study session in latin because I want to keep up with my Jr. Higher. Sadly, I am not keeping up. And that’s ok. I know more today about latin then I did last week and next week I’ll know more that I do today. Isn’t that the point? Progress? We will never know everything but we can purpose to use the time we have graciously been given to explore, to inspect, and to wonder.
Maybe it looks like getting together with some of your favorite people to dissect a cray fish. Because if you are going to lead 8 students in a dissection, you want to know what you are doing. And possibly work out some of the heebie jeebies before the big day.
Ok, so I am by no means a motivational speaker of any kind, but today I had an epiphany. Epiphany…well, maybe just a realization, but an eye opening one at that. I think many of you homeschooling moms feel the same way I feel-DRAINED. Completely drained. Our many duties and hat changes during the day seemingly never cease. Beyond that, we have our checklists- whether in tangible form or just in our heads-so many things to do during each day and, if you are like me- most of which get pushed to the next day due to the craziness of life.
Today, as I was in the thick of creating key word outlines with twin 9 year olds, and attempting to keep my 6 year old on task with his handwriting, my 4 year old comes to me with a tea cup perilously balanced on a book. “Mommy, want some tea?”
I normally would have feigned a sip and sent her on her way- but why? Just so I could attempt to check off my list of things to do? Who are we kidding? Judging by my past record, those weren’t going to all get checked off anyway.
I know that I think, as a homeschooler, all extra things have to be school related. They have to have some intrinsic lesson to be learned, or a demonstration of some concept. Sometimes even thinking about thinking about how to add these to our daily lives gives me a headache…and I quit. Yes, those are nice (and guess what, its even nicer when a homeschooling friend who happens not to feel so fried that particular day, invites you and your crew to join in on their planned out extracurricular lesson), but I am talking about simply taking your child up on and invitation to play. No plans. No supplies. Nothing extra.
I have no idea what the lasting influence these few minutes might make on the kids- what wonder might it inspire?…but I am willing to try it. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by being the teacher, I want to revel being the mom.
I suppose its obvious from the title I am not a huge fan of the library. I have always had visions of my little ducklings following behind me with their personalized tote bags full of wonderful literature. Yet somehow my reality couldn’t have been more different. Our journeys to the local library mostly consisted of the kids pleading to play the computer games which now take up a good portion of the children’s section, and finding any book displaying Barbie or a monster truck. Not my idea of life changing stories. This lead to me trying desperately to convince them we should find better stories with better illustrations, which lead to frustration for everyone. Sounds fun, am I right?
After a long period of avoiding the library all together and relying on Amazon for all my book needs, which I assure you are many, my homeschool forced a change. We participate in Classical Conversations and my oldest was entering Challenge A. This meant he would be writing a science paper every week on a new topic and of course would need resources. Even Amazon wasn’t going to be able to keep up with this. And truthfully, I don’t want to buy books about algae and clouds. So back to the library I go.
One huge change solved my dilemma. I began going to the library alone. ALONE. I began making my library trips in the evening or on weekends when my husband was home. I had two missions on these solo trips. One, to find (or try to find) great books for read aloud time. Two, find resources for my son’s reports.
The first mission was significantly easier to accomplish on my own. I could browse a few sections and pretty quickly pull out a collection of great read alouds. My children needed to see what a great story looked like, what it sounded like, and how it made them feel. It’s my job to show them. Without needing to steer them away from the brightest colored book cover, I am able to find stories I know will speak to their souls.
Why are you homeschooling your children?
What is it at the end of this adventure with them that you wish to accomplish?
When I first set out on this homeschooling journey it was because of one simple thing obedience. I knew the Lord was asking me to bring my kids home but I had no idea what it would look like. The thing about obedience is, it’s simple, but it’s not easy. I was sure homeschooling was going to be a disaster and my family would somehow end up on the evening news with a headline something like “Mother Bores Her Children to Death.” Truthfully, there may be days where this headline would be accurate. What keeps me going on those days is my answer to those two questions.
Why am I doing this? What do I want to accomplish?
I want my children to leave our home loving Jesus. I want that love to overflow to their communities and beyond. I want them to hear His voice and follow it.
And if these are my goals, how does my homeschool reflect that?
What am I doing every day to point them to the one who suffered and died for their salvation?
Cultivating our family relationships, discipling our children, and living sacrificial lives is the most difficult and most important endeavor we can undertake. And it is worth it.
No amount of time I’ve laid in bed worrying about their education and future can stand against the times I’ve prayed over them, studied scripture with them, or worked on their character.
No amount of time I spend scouring through curriculum can replace the moments we’ve lounged on the couch reading aloud from The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.
No penmanship worksheet will do for their hearts what packing bags of food for hungry people around the world will do.
I write this as a mom who has cried over a reading lesson.
Yelled over a math assignment.
A mom who has lost her temper with her husband for wanting to have a conversation with her while she is prepping for tomorrow’s school day.
Of course, my kids must learn to read, write, and work out math equations. What they don’t need is to learn those things from a mother consumed more by those lessons than capturing their hearts. A mother exhausted by her fear of not being enough or not doing enough. I am not enough. But He is.
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8
Oh that this would be true in all our homes. I’m praying for it to be so in mine.