Monday, September 27, 2010

Building cabins for history

Overall, it's been a fun week.  Last week NyGirl attended her monthly Science lab offered by her homeschool "cover school", and if I remember correctly I posted pics of those also.

Today she'll be attending her Geography lab, and I'll post updates on that.

In History we've been studying the expansion westard (arly 1800's).  Because NyGirl is such a "do-it-in-order" kind of girl, she's been attempting to find all the Dear America book series from the 1800's before we move on to 1900's...which won't be for a while, I keep reassuring her.

Anyhow, I really enjoy our BJU materials, and we finally got a timeline for our wall so she can follow along with dates. 

The projects have been loads of fun too.  We didn't get around to making a covered wagon, but here is the beginnings of the cabin she built (without the roof):

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rosh Hashanah- Remembering God As Our King

So last Thursday came and went, and I forgot to blog about our experience celebrating Rosh Hashanah.  Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish holiday which means "head of the year" literally.  Is it the beginning of the Jewish new year (the new year is 5771).  It is the birthday of mankind and celebration of Adam and Eve's creation as well.  The main focus is on God being our King.

One of the main events of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the trumpets.  It represents the coronation of our King, heralding Him with the sound of the shofar.  It also serves as a call to repentance (leading into the next Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur).

I don't have many pictures, because in my hurry to cook and clean I forgot to snap a few photos.  At any rate, we set a beautiful table with each person having a trumpet (okay, a toy flute, really!) at their plate.   I lit the candle and my husband and I prayed blessings over the girls.

I had the girls make Rosh Hashanah cards for their dad.  I do, at least, have pictures of those...but ignore the misspelling of Rosh Hashanah!!  The girls really enjoyed making these cards for their dad.

(picture coming soon...)

The girls then blew their trumpets (flutes) according to the different sounds associated with the Feast of Trumpet's service (Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah, and Tekia Gedolah).  Some sounds are short and stacatto blows, others are  wave like, or long and unbroken.  Each trump sound represents an aspect of our relationship to God and His call to mankind.

Where did I learn all of this?  This book tells it all.

And lastly, we had apples dipped in honey, a tradition that symbolizes a sweet year ahead for you.  In reality, we had run out of apples, so we had pears from my parents' pear tree and garden.  Cooked slightly and dipped in honey, they were delish!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Creatively Correcting My Children

I'm at a whole different stage of my parenting now.  This is just one of those seasons where I am just really into the throes of motherhood to the point that sometimes I keep attempting to peek beyond this season into the next.  It's like bobbing up and down in a pool for a breath of fresh air.

And, you know, that may not be the best analogy for parenting.

I want to reiterate the fact that all mothers know: parenting is hard work.

Yet, I want to also note: parenting can be a beautiful process.  It all depends on which choices we make.

It's imperative for me in my life right now, to take the reigns on my kids and drive.  While they are young and impressionable, this is the time allotted, the window of opportunity, for us (my husband and I) to speak into their lives and teach them those timeless truths they won't learn any easier than right now.

And that, my friend, is the hardest part in the younger years.  (If you have teenagers, please don't remind me that it gets harder as time goes by!)  I am really doing my best to think positively and believe that there is a good chance all of this teaching and training we are doing today will sink in and take root before they are teens!  But we all know- kids have a mind of their own.  My prayer is that my daughters will adopt the mind of God- thinking Godly thoughts and acting in Godly ways.

Hence, the work laid out for me today is crucial.

In our home, (and as you know, we are homeschooling), we have been doing a lot more character development studies recently.

If I see a problem in heart or attitude that needs correcting, the first thing I want to do is go to the Word of God.  God's Word literally is an anecdote to all problems, and there is a solution to every dilemma under the sun right in the Bible.  That's why we have the Holy Spirit with us- He is living, He is breathing, He is working, He is real, and best of all, He is IN us who believe!

So, I simply take the Scripture and apply it to their situation (for my 8 year old, mostly).  If we keep having a character problem or a particular issue that constant verbal correction doesn't solve, we are now tackling it from the angle of, "What does the Lord have to say about that?  Go bring your Bible, and look up the Scripture, read it to me, write it down in your notebook, and then let's talk."

Let me tell you, this is bringing about massive changes (and I haven't even touched on the consequences chart yet!)
I have been getting some of my ideas from Lisa Welchel's Creative Correction:

Here's a video by Lisa about this book:

Right now, for my 2 year old, discipline is as basic, primitive and rudimentary as it comes.  But that doesn't mean she can't understand when God is happy.  She will often tell me (after doing something fabulous like picking up the toys from the living room floor), "Mommy, you happy?  God is happy?" and she will skip cheerily away, just knowing that she's done a good thing.

Kids know, even at the very tender ages of 1 and 2.  So, it's never too young or too early to start them on the Truth of God's Word for instruction.

And the biggest thing is- correcting and instructing in a spirit of Love (the way our Heavenly Father so patiently loves us).  I know, it takes a LOT of time to discipline that way.  To have children look up scripture pertaining to their heart attitude and then have a heart to heart with them, pray over them...that takes a lot of time.  It is oftentimes far easier to send them to time out, spank them, or take away a privilege.  But with those methods (none of which I criticize and some of which I use depending on the situation), there is real no connection that lets my kids know WHY what they did is wrong, and how our Heavenly Father FEELS about what they did.


here I am printing out, cutting up, and creating little "correction cards" for our home school and parenting life, knowing that yet another new idea God has given me to help me out with my little ones will take some work and planning...

But in the end, I pray and I believe- it will all be worth it.
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