Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Spending many days each year on the road means that we are often packing up from a hotel room early in the morning, heading for the van. I was struggling with trying to get five children up, through their personal Bible time, in and out of the bathroom, down to the breakfast room, packed up, and out the door those mornings. Often I could hear a commander-style tone in my voice as I told each person what he or she needed to accomplish. This process was making miserable mornings for me, and I don't think my children liked it either.
My justification was that Steve wanted to be driving at a certain time so I should be facilitating that process. That was true, but my methods were not the godly ones that I desired them to be. Steve was right there in the room with us. As the father, he was capable of directing the children if he felt they weren't moving at the speed they needed to go, or if they weren't doing what he thought they should be doing.
After several unhappy mornings and then crying out to the Lord through prayer during the van drive in the day, the Lord gave me the solution. I wasn't the one in control. I needed to be quiet and let Steve do the job the Lord Jesus had given to him—without my attempts to take over. I wouldn't have thought that was what I was doing, but it was. What Jesus showed me I was to do was to first get myself ready to go. Then I could begin to help any child who was still getting packed up or eating breakfast. No more orders, no more tones in my voice, and no more controlling. I can testify that when I got into the van after following the plan the Lord Jesus had given me, my heart felt joyful rather than condemned.
One of my greatest struggles comes from trying to control—my husband, my children, my circumstances. You name it; I want to make it go the way I think it should go, and grab the responsibility to try to ensure the outcome. I have a great distance to go in learning spiritual lessons about not being a controller, but I want to share what I have gleaned and applied so far.
The first step in my journey to not be a controller has been to recognize that my controlling tendencies and actions are unpleasing to Jesus, and therefore they are sin in my life. Even this step has been difficult for me, because I find I always have a justification for my controlling behavior, and as long as I justify it, I am content continuing as I have been.
Why would controlling be sin? For me there have been three main reasons. First, when I am controlling, I am not trusting the Lord but rather attempting to manage the situation to accomplish the outcome I have deemed to be best. Philippians 4:6–7 says, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." These verses do not indicate that I am to then solve the problem. Rather I am to take these issues to the Lord Jesus in prayer and then allow His peace to keep my heart and mind. When I am a controlling wife or mom, my tendency is to action rather than to prayer. Even though I pray, I do not experience His peace because I am focused on doing what I think I should do rather than waiting on Jesus to direct my steps.
The second reason I am sinning when I am controlling is that regularly I am usurping my husband's authority. If Steve is around, then it is his responsibility to deal with situations that come up, not mine. I am my husband's helpmeet, not his mother. Therefore, my role is better served by being in the background and serving with a meek and quiet spirit rather than trying to make happen what I think should happen. Early mornings in the hotel room are a great example of that. I see myself as a controller concerning my husband when I continually remind Steve of things he needs to do or when I point out areas in the children's lives that I don't believe he is noticing.
Here again, I can apply Philippians 4:6–7, pray about any concerns I have, and trust the Lord to bring them to Steve's attention if He chooses to do so. I have noticed that because of my controlling tendencies, I focus on the negative and therefore criticism comes easily from my mouth. When I am being quiet and letting Steve have the role the Lord has given to him, then I avoid the critical and harsh words I so dislike in myself. It is my desire to be my children's encourager, not discourager. Growing away from controlling is a part of that process for me.
The third reason my controlling is sin is because that controlling is not done with a meek and quiet spirit. 1 Peter 3:4 instructs me on the importance of a meek and quiet spirit: ". . . the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." Usually when I am in a controlling mood there is a tone in my voice that indicates the emotion I am feeling. That tone is evident to my family, recognized even more quickly by them than it is by me. The controlling can disintegrate into an argument or confrontation with the person I am interacting with, which seldom has the characteristics of love and harmony that I want for my life or my family's lives.
My commitment has been to confess my controlling each time the Lord or someone else points it out and to repent of it. Since controlling is wrapped up in pride, confession and repentance are critical to overcoming it. James 4:6 says, "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." I am continually praying for God's grace and help in leaving my controlling heart behind to be replaced by a humble heart. The more I control, the more the help of the Lord Jesus, which I desperately need, is unavailable to me because of my pride.
As I grow in this area, I have recognized the importance of choosing to be quiet and serving my family rather than being their commander, especially when Steve is at home. As a mom, I still have responsibility for the children and authority over them when Steve is not around, but that can be accomplished without being a controller. For me, controlling versus not controlling usually comes down to my attitude. Controlling is evidenced when I am being selfish. Let's say a child doesn't do his chore. When I feel inconvenienced by this, I will respond with the controlling attitude—a critical spirit with negative tones in my voice. When I see the child's failure as an opportunity to help him learn and grow, then my response is not controlling but is patient, encouraging, and gentle. That is the attitude I want to have in all my mothering tasks.
May I encourage us as wives and mothers to evaluate whether we have controlling tendencies. If so, is that what pleases the Lord Jesus? If not, are we willing to use the situations in which we feel a need to control as opportunities to trust the Lord and develop a meek and quiet spirit? My prayer is that we would choose to serve our families with gentle spirits, patient hearts, and quiet voices rather than with controlling attitudes, behaviors, or voices.
Below you will find 3 months worth of things to do for your husband. Do them over and over.
Try doing these things each day for your husband, and watch your marriage grow!
Dress up in a nice outfit just to greet him at the door when he comes home.
Get Debi Pearl's book Created To Be His Helpmeet and start reading it today.
Request his opinion about something you might not usually request his opinion about. Thank him for his opinion and do not criticize it at all.
Give a comment of appreciation for something well done.
Give him a hug for no apparent reason.
Make a good meal for him. Put effort into making something he will really enjoy!
Thank him for doing a simple task today.
Keep your house clean. There's nothing more distracting and unpleasant than your husband coming home to an unkept house. Remember, along with caring for the children, that is in your job description. If you balance out your time and energy you should be able to do this adaquately.
Spend some time cuddling him.
Give him a foot massage.
Look up the word RESPECT. Now show it to him today!
Pray for him right now. You should be praying for him every single day.
Let go of something that bothers you and give it to God.
Send him flowers, or drop off a rose in his car while he is working. If that isn't possible, make sure to have pretty flowers on the table during dinner.
Take him on a surprise trip (overnight?)
Pray for him. Send him a note or e-mail telling him you did this.
Ask him what pleases him and what could make you a better wife in his eyes. Oh, don't get angry when he actually tells you!
Iron his clothes.
Chart your menstrual cycle and the days that you are most grumpy. Make a list of the true qualities about your mate and husband, and look at this list when you are feeling grumpy to remind yourself what the truth is.
Choose to turn the TV off and to avoid TV shows, movies, books, etc., that give poor and inadequate descriptions of what your husband and your marriage ought to look like.
Look up verses about your role as a wife.
Do not complain about anything today. Remember, you don't want to be like dripping rain (Proverbs 27:15)
Think about the friendships that you have--which ones positively influence your marriage and which ones don't? Pray about this, and then make some changes.
Think about 1 or 2 issues that usually come up in your arguments. Spend some time praying about these things today.
Work hard at making your home a place of rest for him.
Read Proverbs 12:4 and meditate on it.
Look into going to a marriage conference (one hosted by Michael and Debi Pearl or other couples that teach your biblical place in the marriage.)
Think about something on your schedule you can drop to spend more time with your husband. (phone and internet time)
Take him on a picnic! If it's cold out, have a picnic on your family room floor!
Put a love letter in his lunch box.
Schedule a date for your husband that you plan for him!
Make a weekly menu. It will save some of that hard-earned money. Then show him your savings.
Make dinner pretty tonight. (Ideas: Candles, a table cloth, etc.)
Think about practical ways of making your husband your #1 priority (above the kids and everything else!). Set some goals for yourself.
Plan something fun for your husband to do with a christian brother to encourage his spiritual growth.
Take a little time to read about how Jesus treated others (in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and treat your husband the same way today.
Make a yummy dessert for your husband.
Do something off of his to do list today.
Read the Song of Solomon with him today.
Think about his birthday and what you will get him or do for him.
Play a game together.
Do not ask anything of him today.
Take time out on the couch with him today.
Offer him time alone in the garage, or time alone to read a book.
Participate in one of his favorite recreations with him--fishing, golfing, game-playing, etc. Think about it
Do not complain about your life today at all.
Randomly give your husband a big hug today!
Encourage him to do something fun with a spiritual brother.
Before talking about anything else tonight, ask him how his day went and listen intently.
Spend some time praying about your role as a wife, and pray that God would lead you each day.
Pray with your husband before going to sleep tonight.
Do not utter one breath of criticism today. Hold your tongue!
Look up the word "Verb" and remember that LOVE is a verb.
Read the Proverbs 21:9. Meditate on it.
Wake up and offer to pray for his day before he goes off to work. Make sure to get up early enough so that he isn't late.
Thank him for doing a simple task today.
Send him a note in the mail today (to be delivered at his work, or even at home), telling him how much you love him. Decorate it like you may have done for your buddies in junior high!
Give him a back rub.
Make him a candle light dinner.
Thank him for going to work today.
Think of all the ways he is your "hero" or knight in shining armor. Make a list and share it with him.
Go to No Greater Joy and read through ALL of their Wife/Mother articles immediately.
Let go of something that really doesn't matter. Pray about it and give it up to God.
Let him know that you love him unconditionally. Look up the word "unconditional."
Give your husband 5 compliments today.
Thank your husband for doing the yucky jobs around the house.
Do whatever you can to make sure your home is picked up and you look pretty for your husband when he gets home today.
Don't intervene in the way he does things. Let him have his own style.
Go on a walk together and hold hands.
Take the word NEED out of your vocabulary when speaking to your husband. Ex. You need to take our garbage, you need to do this or that.
Look up the word CONTROLLING. Make sure that you are not controlling!
Set out clothes for him to wear to work tomorrow--make sure they are freshly laundered and ironed. Extra idea--put a note in the pocket to tell him how much you love him!
Look through your wedding photos or watch your wedding video and remember the positive events and feelings that surrounded that day (do NOT focus on anything negative).
Keep in mind today that the only thing you can control is YOU.
Remember that Jesus sacrificed Himself for us. Practice living like him in your marriage today.
Read Proverbs 31. Then duplicate the trait of that woman.
Be the sunshine in your husband's life today. Make him smile, give him an encouraging word, and give him a hug.
Make your husband glad that he came home to you today. Give him a big hug and a kiss. His favorite place in the world should be at home.
Think of one of your flaws today (not one of his!) and thank him for always putting up with it. Then, do your best to work on making it better.
Play footsies at the dinner table.
Read Proverbs 25:24 and Proverbs 27:15.
Call him at work today just to tell him you love him. Do not complain about your day, just tell him you love him and focus on him.
Plan a date for him today. Go somewhere he would like to go.
Make sure that he gets to sit at the head of the table every night.
Give him a back rub.
Write down all of the reasons you adore your husband, and show this list to him.
Look up the word GIVING, and make sure you are a giving wife. Remember, you are HIS helpmeet, not the other way around.
Spend some time praying about your role as a wife and ask God to lead you each day.
Wake up early to make his breakfast (if you don't already.)
Make him laugh today.
I pray this list blesses your heart.
A Mom by any other name....
A woman named Emily renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.
"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job, or are you just a . . . .?
"Of course I have a job," snapped Emily. "I'm a Mom."
We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation . . 'Housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.
I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar".
"What is your occupation?" she probed.
What made me say it, I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."
The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"
Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't), in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (the whole darned family), and already have four credits, (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree.?), and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door. As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby), in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom".
Motherhood . . .. What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door.
A kegel is the name of a pelvic floor exercise, named after Dr. Kegel who discovered the exercise. These muscles are attached to the pelvic bone and act like a hammock, holding in your pelvic organs. To try and isolate these muscles trying stopping and starting the flow of urine.
How do I do the kegel exercise?
Once you have located the muscles simply tighten and relax the mucsle over and over, about 200 times a day. These are basic kegels. There are many variations on kegels: elevator kegels (Where you tighten slowly, in increments going in and out, like an elevator stopping on several floors.), you can hold the muscle tightened for five seconds, you can bulge the muscles out at the end, and many other variations.
Why would I want to do kegel exercises?
Kegeling provides many benefits:
1.) Conditioned muscles will make birth easier, and your perineum will more likely be intact (fewer tears and episiotomies)
2.) Sexual enjoyment is enhanced for both partners
3.) It can prevent prolapses of pelvic organsIt can help prevent leaking urine when you sneeze or cough
From R to L: My dad, Ed, Nick, CJ, and my brother, Evans, feeding the ducks at Centennial Gardens in Nashville.
Here I am helping my brave little man get suited up to climb the infamous rock wall at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center.
The Worth of a Woman
The Worth of a Woman
One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house.
His three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud,
with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The
door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house.
Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been
knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front
room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was
strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes
filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was
spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile
of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of
clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she may be ill, or that
something serious had happened. He found her lounging in the bedroom,
still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at
him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and
asked, "What happened here today?"
She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from
work and ask me what in the world did I do today?"
"Yes" was his incredulous reply.
She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."
The above funny came from:
When I'm a Mommy
by Ginger Adair Fulton
A Little Girl's Paraphrase of Proverbs 31
When I grow up I want to be a mommy----a very good mommy----the VERY BEST mommy!
There will be a lot of things for me to learn. And the Bible tells me what I need to know to be the very best mommy.
My children will wonder where their daddy found such a good mommy. Why, my family would not trade me for even a whole chestful of sparkling jewels!
*******Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Prov 31:20******
My husband won't have to worry. Everyone will know I am doing what is best for our family.
*******The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life...Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.Prov 31: 11-12, 23*****
My hands will stay busy doing things for the ones I love most.
********She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands....She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. Prov 31:13, 19*****
I may have to shop all over town to find the right kinds of food and good prices.
*******She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. Prov 31:14*****
To fix a good breakfast, I will have to get up early in the morning.
******She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. Prov 31:15*******
We will have fresh vegetables to eat from the garden I plant. The fresh air and exercise will be good for me.
******She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. Ths girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
Prov 31:16-17***** I will be pleased with the things I get done. Sometimes I may have to stay up late to finish my work.
******She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. Prov 31:18*****
But I must not forget to be kind to others, especially the ones who need help the most.
******She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. Prov 31:20*****
I will make sure my family has plenty of warm clothes to wear, long before winter comes each year.
*****She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household is clothed with scarlet. Prov 31:21*****
I will take time for myself, too. I will want to look neat and dress pretty. And in my spare time I can earn extra money at home. I will smile at each new day that comes.
*****She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple..She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strenght and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. Prov 31:22, 24, 25*****
I will want to think very carefully before I say anything. My words should always be wise and kind.
*****She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Prov 31:26*****
My family will tell me how much they love the things I do for them. "WOW" they will say. " You're the best mommy of all!"
*****Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Prov 31:28-29******
God will help me be the very best mommy someday, because I am going to do what He says.
*****Favor is deceitful, and beaty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. Prov 31: 30-31******
By Susan Davis
Friend, February 1989, page 46
A typical pioneer school had only one room, one teacher, and about twenty-five students in grades one through eight. Not only did boys and girls of different ages study together, they often played together during recess.
On bright, sunny days, shadow tag was a perfect game to play. At the beginning of recess, Henry was chosen to be it. Henry chased the other boys and girls, trying to step on somebody's shadow. He was just about to step on Laura's shadow, when she cleverly hid it inside a tree's shadow. But Laura couldn't stay there; she had to count to ten, then leave the safety of the shadow. When she did, Henry quickly stomped on her shadow, and she became it.
Another form of tag that pioneer children played was chain tag. In this game, two people were it; this time it was Edna and Mary. Edna clasped Mary's hand, and they began chasing the others. When they tagged Carrie behind the schoolhouse, she linked hands with Edna, making the chain three people long. The chain grew longer as more people were tagged.
Last Couple Out
Another pioneer game was last couple out. Caroline was chosen to be the leader, and the other children each chose a partner. They lined up side by side behind Caroline. Henry and Charles were partners, and they were the last couple lined up behind Caroline. When Caroline yelled, "Last couple out!" Henry and Charles separated. Henry ran forward along the right side of the line, and Charles along the left side. The two boys tried to clasp hands before Caroline tagged either of them. But Caroline touched Charles, thus becoming his partner. They took their place at the front of the line behind Henry, the new leader.
Sometimes pioneer children divided into two groups and played dare base. Helen and Loren were the two team captains. Helen's team's base was the area around the flagpole. Loren's team's base was the area around the seesaw.
Loren felt daring; he thought that he could run around the flagpole without getting caught. He ran his fastest, and he made it! Since Loren's dare paid off, he got to choose Henry to join his team. Carrie was on Helen's team, and she felt daring too. She ran her fastest but only made it halfway around the seesaw before she got caught. Her dare failed, and she had to join Loren's team.
A form of baseball was another game the pioneer children played. Can you imagine the pitcher throwing a homemade twine ball and you swinging at it with a flat board? That's how pioneer children did it.
Railroad spelling bee
In school, if the children had been well-behaved, the teacher might reward them by having a railroad spelling bee after the afternoon recess. All the children lined up next to the wall. One day little Mary was at the front of the line, so she could spell any word that she wanted to. She correctly spelled cat. Then Charles, who was next in line, had to spell a word beginning with t, the last letter in Mary's word. He spelled tail. Laura was next, and she had to spell a word beginning with l. She slowly spelled, "l-i-v-e-l-e-e." Then, because she had misspelled lively, she had to sit down. The game continued as Henry correctly spelled a word beginning with y.
All too soon the railroad spelling bee ended--it was time for the children to go home. But the next day they would return to the one-room schoolhouse to study and play again.
If early settlers wanted a toy, they would have to make it themselves. Sometimes someone would make a toy and sell it to a store and then you could buy one, but this happened rarely. They played a lot of games that children still played today by different names. They are:
- Drop the Handkerchief is a pioneer game that is the same as Duck, Duck, Goose. Someone would go around the circle of people and drop a handkerchief on a player to chase them (the goose).
- Blindman's Buff is an old time game that is similar to Marco Polo. One person would be blindfolded. It was played several different ways. One way you played the game was to call out in Blindman's Buff like you do in Marco Polo. In another way to play the game, you were silent and the person had to find you.When the person finds you, they don't just tag you. They have to guess who you are.
- Leapfrog is a game we still play like they did long ago. One person would be the leaper and the other people would stand in a line, put their hands on their knees, and bend over just a bit. When the leaper got to the end of the line this action was repeated.
- Hunt the Shoe is almost like Doggie, Doggie, Where's my Bone? A guesser sits in the middle of the circle as the people around the circle pass different shoes around the circle behind their backs. ( All the shoes are passed at once). The guesser holds the match to one of the shoes that is being passed. Then the guesser would try to guess who has the match to the shoe they were holding.
Here are some games from long ago that you might not have played:
- Croquet is almost like miniature golf. You would hit a ball through stakes (wire loops).
- Shuttlecock is a thing made of feathers that you hit back and forth with a racket. Today it is called Badminton.
- Lacrosse is a game that some said was played to cure the sick. The Native Americans invented it and the settlers played it for fun.
Our 8 Year Old Son Still Doesn't Read
Our 8 Year Old Son Still Doesn't Read And believe it or not, we aren't worried.
by John Andersen
Our son recently turned 8. He recognizes letters and can write words, but still doesn't read.
By all accounts, we should be panic-stricken. Given our competitive society, many would no doubt feel we are highly irresponsible to let our son fall "so far behind."
Surely, we must be desperately looking for advice on dealing with late readers. Or we must be on the hunt for that breakthrough curriculum which will quickly turn him into a reader.
We feel confident when he is ready to read, he will read. And perhaps when that day comes, he will read with passion and purpose. We believe this because we've noticed a lot of interesting things about him.
For instance, whenever I play him in chess, he beats me. I'm no chess pro, but good grief, I can usually make a respectable showing. Honestly, I try to beat him. I give it all I've got. But he always wins. So I'm left to conclude he has a pretty good noggin.
Our son entertains us regularly with some very imaginative stories. The other night he invented an army tank (on paper) which has all sorts of ways of defending itself against enemy attacks. One of those is a force field which turns incoming missiles into liquid just before impact. Another is a net which catches bombs and tosses them back at the enemy.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of his fascinating mind. He is always asking questions. He is endlessly curious. We suspect before long, his desire to learn more about a given subject will be his motivation to become a reader.
Our approach to educating both him and his older sister, is that of unschooling. In other words, we serve them up regular platterfuls of learning opportunities and then leave them free to sample and dabble.
Of course, we ensure they do some of the 3R's each day. For instance, we require our daughter to write in her journal daily. And math is a daily kitchen table event.
But beyond those and a few other basics, the children independently follow their learning interests.
I didn't enjoy such learning independence until just a few years ago when I finally freed my mind of the notion that self-learning was inferior; that I couldn't truly learn something unless I attended an institution and paid tuition.
That discovery opened a whole new world. My wife had long since been a self-learner. She was just waiting for me to catch on. Together, we decided it would be great to "teach" our children self-learning from their early years.
Hence, we unschool. And we don't get too uptight when our children fail to meet society's standards of mastery.
We think passion and curiosity are much more important, anyhow. And we like to believe passion and curiosity have a greater chance of becoming lifelong companions when given enough time and space for development during childhood.
So, we allow our son to spend lots of time in his imaginary world. Who knows, down the road when he finally masters reading and writing, he may have something profound to share with us. Or perhaps, he may not choose to do that, but simply use his reading and writing skills to pursue his passion and curiosity on another level.
Whichever he chooses is up to him. Our only hope is he will forever feel free to learn at his pace and according to his interests.
In terms of learning, it doesn't get much better than that.
This came from: http://www.unschooling.com/library/essays/our8yearold.shtml
Have you noticed how we remember things better from our experiences in real life and the books we choose to read on our own? I think the reason is that we come to that experience or that book with our sensors on "alert." Because we have questions we want answered, we are wondering "why?"; we are curious to know more. That is why we search out the book in the first place, or if we find it, decide to read it - we've scanned it and seen that it will be useful, maybe, to help answer our questions. The experiences that happen to us, that we remember, stick in our memories because they connect up with other parts of life that we are trying to figure out.
That is why unschooling works better, in my opinion, than trying to open a kid's head and pour in some facts, and then forcing him or her to memorize the facts out of context without the child's own questions to make up the framework to hang the facts.
My husband and I have been talking quite a bit lately about how we, and others we know, tend to see things in an "either-or" mode. I've seen this come up in unschooling discussions as well. If someone says, like I just did,
"don't force facts, don't make kids memorize," someone will come back with the questions and comments about how "children need to learn some things, and if they don't choose to learn them, the parent will need to force the knowledge." I think this is "either-or thinking."
In between the idea that it's "impossible to make a child learn something he or she is not interested in", and the other opposing thought that "it is necessary to make a child learn some things" is an enormous area of space where other ideas can live, too. Here are some of those ideas that I've been thinking about for a long time and that I think fit in to unschooling discussions:
~ Sometimes a child is not interested in multiplication facts today, but they may very well be interested in them next week, next year, or some other time in the future when there will be meaningful reasons for the child to know the facts.
~ Or they may learn them by osmosis, seemingly, because they've played with lego and cooked double/triple/quadruple portions of food, or they love science and want to learn about chemical equations and see the necessity for "catching up" on their math equations.
~ A child may not want to read a certain book that you think is worthy and valuable, but she may choose another book that is also worthy and valuable. The parent and child can discuss this second book, then the child may feel quite comfortable talking about books with the parent, more trust and a strong relationship develops, and someday the child may agree to try a book that is recommended by the parent - because there is a long history of good relationship and interesting discussions about books.
~ Sometimes the parent can jumpstart a conversation or an interest - that is not the same thing, in my opinion, as forcing a lesson. Even if the "jumpstart" is a lesson! For example, I'm teaching art classes to homeschoolers. Some of the children are there because they have to be there - the moms think it is a good idea for them to learn art. My own children are present at the classes because they are interested in art - they can stay home if they wish, they have a choice. So, even though my kids are getting a planned, facts-poured-down-the-throat lesson, they are coming to the classes with their questioning, wondering minds, and what I teach is a good starting point for them to follow up and continue to learn on their own. A few of the other art students, also, I'm glad to see, are mulling over concepts and bringing back their own artwork, ideas, and questions.
Does that mean the other children, who are there because they are forced to, aren't learning anything? I think they are learning lots of things - but not much art! They are learning to submit to their parent's ideas of what to learn and when - and I notice that they have already learned how to figure out what is the teacher's assignment, how to do it as quickly as possible, how to do the minimum required so they are done and can leave to do what they want to do. Maybe, once in a while a fact about color or drawing sticks in their head, but I doubt it.
Only the children who are there because they are already wondering about how colors work together or how shapes are formed by lines and tones are the ones who are adding more to their knowledge. And it's not so much because of what I am teaching them - they are adding my "facts" to their matrix, their framework - seeing where it makes sense to them. Some brilliant (ha!) tidbit that I am offering them might skip over them completely, but other bits they will keep because it fits into what they are already figuring out. But some other day, probably, they will relearn from someone else or teach themselves, or discover that missing tidbit on their own.
I love this quote - "We always learn from others and end up teaching ourselves" (James Beard). As parents who help our children learn, at home and other places in the world, we can show our kids things about life and the world, we can impart some knowledge in many ways (discussion, experience, offering classes, reading books aloud), but our kids will only take what they are needing to know right then, to add to their own knowledge, their long-lasting memory.
If we have good relationships with our children, with trust and love as main elements, this "imparting" of knowledge will be as easy, almost, as breathing. the reason is that we come to that experience or that book with our sensors on "alert." Because we have questions we want answered, we are wondering "why?"; we are curious to know more. That is why we search out the book in the first place, or if we find it, decide to read it - we've scanned it and seen that it will be useful, maybe, to help answer our questions. The experiences that happen to us, that we remember, stick in our memories because they connect up with other parts of life that we are trying to figure out.
I know that some of you thrive on being on a schedule. Some of you couldn't function if it weren't for that schedule stuck to the wall or refrigerator. I don't have to look at a piece of paper, but we do have a schedule. We enjoy keeping to it and getting things done in a timely manner because of it.
Normally, I rise and start breakfast before Jeff returns home each morning. This morning was a bit different. He called and told me not to start breakfast and don't wake the children. For some reason, he must not have been very hungry. I was wondering what the problem was the whole time. I thought maybe he wanted to "talk." However, I didn't let on. He came in and ate a bowl of cereal, then I started to feel badly because he worked all night he came home to a bowl of cold cereal. Well, he had no problem with that since he only eats cereal about once or twice a month. He went to the bedroom and asked me to lay with him until he fell asleep. I thought that was so sweet. He told me that all he wanted was to "cuddle" since we rarely get that time.
So, the kids slept until noon, and so did I, and my beloved got to fall asleep with his arms around his Valentine.
I am very blessed.
May God Bless your life with this very important ARTICLE. Please read it in full.
My little man missed his nap today and that is the reason he slapped your Johnny. When your Johnny started screaming that he was hurt, it upset my boy so badly that he threw your cup and broke it, but he didn't do it intentionally...besides he was just upset that it was empty and he doesn't yet understand how to ask. This whole thing was just a misunderstanding. He is normally such a sweet child but does not do well around so many new people. He is shy you know, and his way of showing his feelings is pitching a fit. Well, it's not really pitching a fit; it is only that he loses control of his emotions because he is so emotionally high strung. I read about high-strung children being uptight and often explosive, and not knowing how to direct their feelings. I think he must be overly bright. His aunt is, and she has to use medications to help her relax. I do not believe in Ritalin, but I know there are some brain disorders where such drugs are necessary, and my doctor said it might help my sweet child to relax. Being emotional volatile runs in the family, you understand?
Are you having peas for dinner? I am so sorry, but could you fix something for my little man. He is so sensitive to textures and just can't swallow peas. No, really, he will choke to death before he can swallow them. Poor little guy. He gets so scared when he chokes that he screams for hours, and I never like to upset him.
Please don’t shut the door; he likes to always be able to see his mommy. We are so close. Oh, here is mama's boy now. He is hungry now and can't wait for dinner. I think maybe he has a touch of low blood sugar, and he just gets frantic when hungry. No, he does not like applesauce, it is mushy. I told you about that, how he gets choked, remember? He wants a peanut butter cookie. I know you planed on having the cookies later, but one little cookie will not make any difference, and his sugar level seems to know what he needs.
Please forgive him, he did not hear you tell him to pick up his cup off the floor, or maybe he did not understand. He is only 3 years old, and when a request is made out of context he can not understand, besides he is easily distracted and simply forgets what you told him to do.
Oh honey, don’t hit. It hurts mama's heart to see you hit someone. I am so sorry, he hit your Johnny. He thinks it’s unfair that Johnny gets the best toys. At MY house I try to let the youngest visiting children have the best toys, but I guess YOU do not have that rule-the golden rule, you know. Yes, I know I did not do it last time you were there, because my boy was just too young to understand, but I have decided to do it from now on. Anyway, he is so young he can't understand why Johnny's toys are not his. He is not capable of understand sharing, yet. He is too young. He gets so stressed, not mad, just stressed when he thinks the other child unfairly has the best toys. He has such a high sense of right and wrong. I really hate to explain to him about the toys being Johnny's, because he gets so depressed when he realizes that he is wrong and has to give up his toy. I know it is just a stage he is going through.
You know, I have heard, really smart people tend to be moody, and he is given to depression. I have that problem as well. When he is tired or hungry, sometimes I can tell he has a headache and it makes him irritable. I bet he has a headache right now. If he really gets disappointed about something he holds his breath. I am afraid he will die right there just because some child was too selfish to share with him.
That lady at Church that leads the little boys' class avoids my son, and I can tell she does not like him. He is so sensitive and he knows when someone thinks he is bad. It is not fair. He told me she did not give him a cookie last week, and she gave one to all the other boys. I ask the other little boy and he said that only the boys that picked up their books got a cookie, but I knew she did it just to hurt him and make him feel rejected. In fact, he plays by himself more and more because people seem to pick on him.
I would put him down for a nap, but he can't go to sleep unless I am lying beside him, and it is noisy in here. Noise upsets him. My mother was like that, she is dead now, but she would stay awake for days if there was any noise. I told you he missed his nap, and I think there is a good possibility he is cutting a new tooth. It bothers him. He bit one of the babies at Church this week. I tried to tell the mother he did not mean hurt the little thing, it is only that his mouth was hurting him, and he was distracted with all those children. As you know, he does not do well with big crowds.
~ Kids are so cruel these days. My son feels like no one likes him, and I believe he is right. And the other lady would not let him go with the 5 year-old boys' class last week. He told me how the other children are mean to him and it just breaks his heart. When it is my turn to keep the younger boys, I make them play the games my son likes. The only time there is true justice is when I am in charge and see to it that the other boys play nicely. He loves it when I am there. We are so close. ~ He has such a strong will, like his daddy; he finds it very hard to give in. Most children with average IQ's just blindly do what they are told. With his good mind, he has to think things out before he decides to obey. That is the reason he shut the door when you told him not too. And you heard him; he does not obey anyone but his mama. I thought about teaching him to obey others, but I am so afraid some stranger might take advantage of him. Of course, he might not have understood that you meant right then. He is too young to understand the now and later thing. He did not mean to disobey or shut it on your baby's hand. It was an accident. He is so easily frustrated because he expects so much of himself and he being so sensitive he can tell others are displeased with him. He needs people, especially ladies like you, to really like him so he can feel good about himself. His daddy does not take time with him like he should. I try to make up for his daddy's lack of interest, but no one can take the place of a good father, even a mother who is as closely bonded as we are. ~ No, please do not think he lied to you. He would never intentionally lie. He misunderstood what the children were doing. You can see by the intense, earnest way he is looking at you that he could not be lying. No child could look you in the face so innocently and be lying. He is not old enough to understand such duplicity. I can always tell if he is guilty. I know most mothers cannot because they are not as attuned to their children as I am to him. He tells me everything, and I mean, everything. He tries to not say bad things about the other boys, but you should hear some of the awful things the other children do or say, and he says they make ugly faces behind my back. It is disgusting. I cannot go to the other mothers and tell them what my son told me that their children do. They would not believe it. But he does tell me everything and that is the reason I know he is telling you the truth now. I can tell. Trust me. ~ I have to go. My husband is home and he will wonder where we are. No, darling those are Johnny's toys. Put them down. Do not pitch a fit. He’s not really pitching a fit, he is just expressing his disappointment, and he is so high strung emotionally that this kind of upset makes him lose control. The other day he was embarrassed because a lady talked to him and he had a fit, well, not really a fit, but lost control. People need to understand that raising one of these highly intelligent, emotionally volatile children is totally different from raising regular children. Would you mind so much if we just took one little toy home, well, maybe 2 little toys…OK honey, 3 toys home with us. I will be glad to bring them back in a day or two. There is no sense in upsetting him. Asthma runs in the family and stress often brings on asthma. If he gets the toys, he will settle down at home. He does better play by himself. Oh, by the way, he wants to take the applesauce to eat on the way home. He thinks he likes it now. ~ No thank you. I know you set great store in that book, but I read it and so did my pastor, and he says it is too harsh. Yes, I know that the Pastor's children have gone to the devil, but that is just it. The Pastor says the reason his grown children are in such sin is because he was too harsh on them. Yes I know his younger children are little terrors; everyone knows that. But he says when you lose one you lose them all. He says the Pearls try to train children like they were animals. We all know that our children have sinful natures, so what good does it do to try to train them before they can understand? A child so small should not be put under the emotional stress of having to obey. I tried it for a few days and it just made my son mad. I love my child and want to nurture him. If I spanked him for every disobedience, I would be spanking him all day long. I know your children are gentle and obedient, but your children do not have the same temperament as mine. I want my child to be close to me, to bond with me. ~ Anyway, I am sorry, but I must really be going. My husband will already be at church, and our pastor is having a meeting for all the parents with small children. We are going to have to make some changes in the children's church. You know how it is when you get a bunch of children together. I think we should spend the money to get better videos, something that will hold their interest. What do you think?
Kids are so cruel these days. My son feels like no one likes him, and I believe he is right. And the other lady would not let him go with the 5 year-old boys' class last week. He told me how the other children are mean to him and it just breaks his heart. When it is my turn to keep the younger boys, I make them play the games my son likes. The only time there is true justice is when I am in charge and see to it that the other boys play nicely. He loves it when I am there. We are so close.
He has such a strong will, like his daddy; he finds it very hard to give in. Most children with average IQ's just blindly do what they are told. With his good mind, he has to think things out before he decides to obey. That is the reason he shut the door when you told him not too. And you heard him; he does not obey anyone but his mama. I thought about teaching him to obey others, but I am so afraid some stranger might take advantage of him. Of course, he might not have understood that you meant right then. He is too young to understand the now and later thing. He did not mean to disobey or shut it on your baby's hand. It was an accident. He is so easily frustrated because he expects so much of himself and he being so sensitive he can tell others are displeased with him. He needs people, especially ladies like you, to really like him so he can feel good about himself. His daddy does not take time with him like he should. I try to make up for his daddy's lack of interest, but no one can take the place of a good father, even a mother who is as closely bonded as we are.
No, please do not think he lied to you. He would never intentionally lie. He misunderstood what the children were doing. You can see by the intense, earnest way he is looking at you that he could not be lying. No child could look you in the face so innocently and be lying. He is not old enough to understand such duplicity. I can always tell if he is guilty. I know most mothers cannot because they are not as attuned to their children as I am to him. He tells me everything, and I mean, everything. He tries to not say bad things about the other boys, but you should hear some of the awful things the other children do or say, and he says they make ugly faces behind my back. It is disgusting. I cannot go to the other mothers and tell them what my son told me that their children do. They would not believe it. But he does tell me everything and that is the reason I know he is telling you the truth now. I can tell. Trust me.
I have to go. My husband is home and he will wonder where we are. No, darling those are Johnny's toys. Put them down. Do not pitch a fit. He’s not really pitching a fit, he is just expressing his disappointment, and he is so high strung emotionally that this kind of upset makes him lose control. The other day he was embarrassed because a lady talked to him and he had a fit, well, not really a fit, but lost control. People need to understand that raising one of these highly intelligent, emotionally volatile children is totally different from raising regular children. Would you mind so much if we just took one little toy home, well, maybe 2 little toys…OK honey, 3 toys home with us. I will be glad to bring them back in a day or two. There is no sense in upsetting him. Asthma runs in the family and stress often brings on asthma. If he gets the toys, he will settle down at home. He does better play by himself. Oh, by the way, he wants to take the applesauce to eat on the way home. He thinks he likes it now.
No thank you. I know you set great store in that book, but I read it and so did my pastor, and he says it is too harsh. Yes, I know that the Pastor's children have gone to the devil, but that is just it. The Pastor says the reason his grown children are in such sin is because he was too harsh on them. Yes I know his younger children are little terrors; everyone knows that. But he says when you lose one you lose them all. He says the Pearls try to train children like they were animals. We all know that our children have sinful natures, so what good does it do to try to train them before they can understand? A child so small should not be put under the emotional stress of having to obey. I tried it for a few days and it just made my son mad. I love my child and want to nurture him. If I spanked him for every disobedience, I would be spanking him all day long. I know your children are gentle and obedient, but your children do not have the same temperament as mine. I want my child to be close to me, to bond with me.
Anyway, I am sorry, but I must really be going. My husband will already be at church, and our pastor is having a meeting for all the parents with small children. We are going to have to make some changes in the children's church. You know how it is when you get a bunch of children together. I think we should spend the money to get better videos, something that will hold their interest. What do you think?
21 Reasons To Homeschool
1.Because the responsibility for training and educating children
rests primarily with the parents and primarily take place in and around
the home. Parents are capable by God'sgrace to accomplish this
(Deuteronomy 6:7, 11:19; Psalm 78:5-7; Isaiah 38:19).
2.Without quantity of time with parents, there is little quality time
to train and influence our children in all areas of life (Deuteronomy
32:46-47). To lay up treasures of memories in the lives of our children.
3.So our children will daily learn the truth of God's Word for the
ultimate salvation of their soul (II Timothy 3:15) and as a basis for
developing all other areas of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7).
4.So our children will experience the peace of the Lord in their
lives (Isaiah 54:13).
5.As defended by the Supreme Court, parents have the fundamental
constitutional right to direct the education of their children according
to their beliefs (Wisconsin vs. Yoder ). A right exercised is a
right preserved (Acts 22:25-29).
6.Though some aspects of education may be delegated (I Samuel
1:25-28; Galatians 4:1-2), in this day we cannot in good conscience
place our children under the control of government schools (Proverbs
29:12; Colossians 2:8; II Timothy 2:14-18), especially with those whose
philosophy is contrary to righteousness (Psalm 1:1).
7.To protect our children's hearts from negative peer pressure,
various fleshly temptations, and ungodly role models during their
formative years (Proverbs 28:7; I Corinthians 15:33). Children will have
more parent supervised time and therefore be better protected from
injury or assault, especially in these wicked days of random, senseless
8.To gain the respect of being the teacher to our children (Proverbs
31:28-31), to prepare ourselves to teach younger parents (Titus 2:3-5)
and to provide visible evidence of our ability to handle ecclesiastical
affairs (I Timothy 3:4-5).
9.To be the customary source of answers to life's questions, the
dispenser of advice to life's challenges, and the giver of encouragement
to life's trials (I Thessalonians 2:11).
10.To foster family unity, emotional closeness, and mutual enjoyment
11.Increases the opportunity to develop your child's tastes and
attitude Proverbs 22:6) and to provide individual nurturing for their
unique needs (Ephesians 6:4).
12.The social training received in home will produce a stronger sense
of personal identity through their unique contributions to the family
and will call our children to higher levels of maturity (Proverbs 13:22l
II Corinthians 12:14; II Thessalonians 3:10).
13.To have greater personal influence in preparing our children for
the responsibilities of adulthood (Philippians 2:12).
14.Choosing curricula suited for the child's needs will assist them in
developing confidence in what they know and lay the groundwork for
15.A tutorial education is a superior academic process. It allows our
children to have more time to explore and think since their studies will
generally be finished in less time. Since we know our children best we
can make the studies fit them individually to develop their areas of
weakness or mature their strengths, without wasting their time on
repetition or busywork.
16.It gives us the freedom to live our family life without having to
accommodate to the structure and demands of a school setting. It
decreases certain stressors on the family, such as rushing to be at
school by a certain time (though punctuality is a virtue) or facing
unwanted imitated behavior.
17.It is a cost-effective choice compared to an expensive private
education and a wasteful government managed education. Some of the
investment in equipment, materials, and curricula can be recouped by
18.To obey the Great Commision of our Lord Jesus Christ in the lives
of our children (Matthew 28:19-20).
19.To repetitively pass on lessons that we have learned in life in
order to guard our own hearts as well as our children's (Deuteronomy
4:9). To personally be challenged to grow in grace through the
instrument of our children.
20.Public school are unable to administer corporal punishment and
Christian school are limited in the adminstration of such discipline.
Therefore, the godly fruit of corporal punishment is more likely to be
achieved in the home school setting (Proverbs 3:11-12, 13:24, 22:15,
21.To reap rest, delight, and salvation in the lives of your children
(Proverbs 29:17). To avoid reaping shame for leaving our children to
themselves or in the company of riotous men (Proverbs 29:15).
Article from: http://members.aol.com/belfairhs/21.html
Article from: http://members.aol.com/belfairhs/21.html