23 April 2015

Two Secret School Subjects That Bring Success

Dear Lissy,

Spring is the time we choose next year's school curricula.  Choosing curricula for you and Matt is both exciting and a tad overwhelming.  We're on a tight budget, so I look at free resources first, and then supplement with programs that cost money.  During my considerations, I have two "secret subjects" that I consider even more important than readin', writin', and 'rithmetic:  discipline and perseverance. In parenting, choosing immediate, complete, cheerful submission to God-given authority and thinking of others are the foundations for every other character trait.  In teaching, a child needs discipline and perseverance to master any (and every) subject.

 Instilling discipline and perseverance were my primary consideration from K-4 right up through 12th. 

Will this program allow me to teach my child to discipline themselves to work through tedious or mundane material?

Success in adult life depends on the ability to motivate yourself to complete mundane, routine, tedious tasks.  Computer or paper programs that offer only games and reward systems with lots of color and flash may teach the subject well, but they often fail to teach the discipline of work. I especially like programs that are divided by day so a child can see their progress through the course in relation to the school year.  Some programs, like Apologia Science, have separate publications available for day-to-day assignments.

Will this program give me the opportunity to teach my child to persevere through challenges?

Teaching a child how to teach themselves is my number one academic goal.  I firmly believe that anyone can learn anything given the proper resources.  I want a program that reinforces that thinking. We use Saxon Math, not just because it is an outstanding curricula, but because the publishers place the relevant lesson number beside every review problem.  When a child can't solve a problem, they know exactly where to look to find a similar problem.  Still struggling? We have the teacher videos that work out each problem step-by-step.   Khan Academy videos are also grouped by subject and skill.  Still struggling?  Now I'll sit down and help you figure it out or find someone who can. 

Choose to teach your children or students these two "secret subjects" and they'll be well on their way in life.

It's no secret how much I love you!


19 April 2015

3 Things To Do On Sunday When You or the Kids Are Sick

Dear Lissy,

My whole life your Daddy has been front and center on Sundays preaching, leading music, directing the choir, or teaching Junior Church and Sunday School classes.  I try to minimize my commitments on Sunday so that we don't have to get subs when one of you kids is sick.  Because of that, I can miss a month of church by the time an illness runs its course through the family.  Missing that much church is not healthy for any believer!  I've come up with a "home-with-a-sick-child" routine that nourishes my soul that I want to share for you.  This would be equally appropriate if you face a long term recovery or disability that keeps you out of church.  Now that you are all teens, I spend the morning service time pursuing Christ through preaching, song, and prayer.  When you were younger, I often had to split these three up in order to care for your needs.  We have a "no computer" rule for kids home sick from church, so you often join me for my Quiet Time.

Find a preacher online and follow through a sermon series.

I've listened to Pastor Jon Lands for years when we have poor weather or sick family members and have to miss services.  His preaching style is succinct and rich -- "visiting" Fellowship Baptist via the net is as much of a treat as eating out. I also listen to sermons while folding laundry, so I usually just download the next sermon in the series to my phone.  If possible I sit quietly on the couch with my Bible and take notes, but if your children are younger or very ill you may have to pop in earbuds and listen while you care for them.  Most kids who attend church weekly can start listening to sermons at home around 8 or 9 years old.

Listen to a favorite CD or play several hymns on an instrument.

I have CD's that I love to listen and sing along with.  As long as I'm not waking anyone up, the CD is a great way to get my heart in tune.  I love to play the piano, too, if the person I'm caring for is sound asleep in another part of the house.

Spend Time in Prayer

I pray for all of the ministry team at my church, those who will be hearing the gospel, new visitors, our church's missionaries, and then each family pew-by-pew.

God promises to gently lead those who are with young.  My primary focus on "sick" Sundays is ministering to my babies who don't feel well.  Nursing a little one may mean that I don't have a couple of hours spent focusing solely on God, but He is still with me.  I meditate on His care and compassion as I comfort and care for the three of you.  I allow Him to strengthen me when my strength for nursing is at an end.  I allow His Spirit to give me the fellowship and companionship I lack when I miss a service, too.  

Hugs and Kisses,


 Love, Momma