Friday, May 25, 2012

Smarty Pants

I was making lunch for the kids, one of the paper lids needed to be opened off the peanut butter. I ripped it, pulled on it and couldn't get the silly thing to open. Drew and Daddy were staring at me - I couldn't give up! Then after about 30 seconds and probably some exasperated looks from John who was standing behind me, Drew pipes in with the most adult voice I've heard from him  and says, " Are you going to get the scissors already?"

John was at a loss for words - like father like son!

I reluctantly found the scissors and opened the peanut butter seal!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Unschooling Days

So its near the end of the year, most curriculum is almost done and we're working our way into a more relaxed environment. I took the pressure off a little actually, a lot. We are going to stay in 1st grade again this next year, enjoy fort and tree climbing, play dates at Bear Creek, lots of pool time and oh yea, work on those things my son is good at.

I took some great classes at the Arlington book fair this last weekend. It was like a breath of much needed air. I determined what I had already known but society kept telling me wasn't so, " Children develop at different times in different areas. No child is great at everything, they all have strengths and weaknesses. Spend time reading TO your child, dig into great works of literature, talk and talk and talk, dig and dig and dig, explore nature, sing loud to the Lord, crawl around of the floor and make forts."

So that is our plan from now through September. Once Drew starts at Alliance Christian we'll see how it all goes. The great thing is that I've given myself the freedom to pull him out if the pressure is too much.

So this is what our unschooling approach looked like this week, I was shocked at how much self learning Drew actually came up with.

Started the morning with breakfast, bible reading, lots of great questions and review.
Kids went outside to play in the yard, I cleaned up the kitchen.
 The kids made a giant fort out of a table, leaves, random objects around the yard and a bunch of blankets and towels from the house - they spent hours playing in their fort and trapping the dogs and random bugs!
Boys came in and asked to color - what? My kids hate coloring! I happily obliged and didn't even ask them what they were going to draw. I sat down and colored with Abby and made a ladybug.
Boys finished and ate a snack, then Drew went off by himself and worked on  his Time4Learning phonics.
After lunch we read another chapter in The Magicians Nephew, Drew begged for a second chapter since I left off with a cliff hanger.
He then went upstairs and created a pulley, gear system out of erector sets. It was really awesome.
After quiet time, Drew emptied the dishwasher and Gabe vacuumed the house.
Then we worked on his Explode the Code and some Math (only 2 more chapters!).
The it was time for dinner and daddy came home and started a sword fight.

The flow was so natural, the questions my kids asked were really intuitive. They learned about the protagonist and antagonist in the story we were reading. I overheard Drew telling his brother "Don't  be such an antagonist Gabe!" That made me smile!

We're excited for summer fun, forts and lots of great books!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Revealing

Dear Child,

Remember today, remember that sweet chat we had together in the car where you finally saw My bigger picture for you as a mother. The job I have entrusted you with is to capture the hearts of your children, to play silly games, read wild books, smile, sing, and be joyful. The school of life is that which remembers the bigger picture – the revealing. If I take your children home to Me at 15 years of age, will their handwriting really matter, will all those hours of flash card torture make you proud? Or will you have regrets that you got distracted along the way and invested too much in the things of the world that moth and rust will destroy. Do not fear! Do your children need to be busy all summer with activities, or would you better serve them by staying home and sharing cuddles on the couch? Will you be a better mother by being home most evenings instead of running to and from music and dance and soccer? Will your kids get more acclimates in heaven for being a great soccer player? Or will I great them at the gate with all those people whose lives they have changed? Remember, its heaven or hell, eternal life or eternal death in the LOF (lake of fire). That is all that matters in this big picture of life. Do not be distracted from your mission - filter life through my 20/20 lens.

Let me be clear---

I don't care if your son can read 60 words per minute.
I don't care if his handwriting is perfectly even - don't you know people type now!
I am not really concerned with how much Latin or Spanish the kid knows.
I'm not even that excited about how many books of the Bible he can recite in order.

The next time your son longingly looks up from school work, wishing he could make dirt creations that look like dog poop - smile and tell him to go get dirty! I Am in creation - especially dirt and making messes into masterpieces!

I am looking for His heart. I love it that your son longs to be in your presence, because as he learns more about Me and I capture his heart, he will then long to be in My presence.

I delight in the way he sings me songs from his heart, even if he only can repeat the same phrase "My God is King" over and over again. I received glory when he held the door open for you today and that unbeliever who was behind you noticed. I am using those little things to break open, raw unbelieving hearts - don't be too busy to notice. Slow down. I found joy watching him create giant airplanes and rockets with his brother yesterday. I saw his servant heart as he showed his younger brother how to add wings to his personal creation – he was so patient and gentle. I smiled as he taught his little sister the colors of each Lego and didn't get upset when she broke his Lego ship. I saw grace in his eyes as he controlled his anger and kindly used words to tell his sister how she isn't to ruin his Lego creations. I am in the lessons of life that are simple, mundane, and unhurried. Simplify your heart and your day – notice those things which are eternal.

As you studied the book of Revelation this year in Precepts, remember what I taught you - it applies directly to your vocation as mom and teacher. I want you to be an overcomer. I want your children to overcome - teach them the Word of God, focus your time and efforts on the things that truly matter – invest in their hearts. Develop deep, biblical character - character that will never compromise my Word and is willing to die for Me. I need more followers with deeply rooted character; character that is trained through serving siblings and doing daily life together. I am developing character that will one day wash the feet of a dark and cursed world. It is this character that breaks the daily curse of death and bring forth My light and glory.

Daily Invest into their little lives while they are still young and model joy, kindness, applying the Word of God, grace, patience, and song to each moment. They will catch your contagious joy! Remember, do not become trapped by Satan and his invisible, loosing war. Your eyes are open to the truth and victory has already been won. Remember what you have seen, and heard - apply them daily. The traps are set and you must not be afraid but overcome as I too have overcome!

Do not fear about your children's immaturity or their differences according to culture. If I want them to be composers I'll give them music just like Joel Clarkson. If I want them to be a scientist I'll give them an interest in science and open up their brains to my science. I want them to love me and I've created them in My image for a perfect plan. All that energy your son has - I've made him with energy for a reason. All her drama - she needs that for all I've prepared for her. All his humor that drives you batty - smile and laugh more, he is there to remind you to live and know that I too have a sense of humor and that I love to laugh! Rest in Me, know that I am God and their personalities are no accident - they are perfectly designed by Me! That lazy eye is not hidden from me, those words that move on the page are not a mistake, the sensory issues are for My glory! Relax and just pray to Me. I'll give them everything they need - and you too!