Friday, June 22, 2007

Educating Our Children in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord

Many homeschoolers feel that their children need to be able to give an answer to every trivia question that someone could possibly come up with in order to prove how successful homeschooling can be. I have, at times, felt pressured to stuff my children's little heads with plain facts for just this reason. Lee has been encouraging me throughout this last year to educate the girls with the emphasis on character and life skills woven through everything, that the word of God be not blasphemed (Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3-5), and giving them the tools they will need to give an answer to anyone who asks of the hope that lies within them (1 Peter 3:15). In other words, to give them a rich education that stems from a fear of God, not of man*.
Basic knowledge is very important. You can't manage a home with excellence if you can't stick to a budget and you won't be able to give an answer to the hope that lies within you very well if you can't articulate yourself both in your speech and through the written word. The Lord himself told us to watch the ant (Proverbs 6:6) and we are to consider His creation (Psalm 8:3). Great biblical truths can be demonstrated in such things and this makes science very important to us (Answers in Genesis is a great resource for this!). History is HIS story and it is imperative that we teach our children to recognize the providence of God both in their own history and in the history of the world we live in, starting at Genesis 1:1 (Acts 17:26&27, Psalm 78:4). All of these things can prepare our children to live a godly life and can be used by God to give an answer for the hope we have within us.
Some children will go further in different areas than others depending upon the giftings and interests that God has woven into them. A daughter who wants to grow up to create beautiful tapestries will likely put more time into such things than a daughter who has a serious interest in midwifery. A son who wants to go into some sort of full time missionary work will focus on different things than a son who wants to go into law. There is nothing wrong with being well versed in something, or many things, but the question begs to be asked, "Why?". Why do you do what you do and why do you teach what you teach? That is a question we have been asking ourselves a lot lately. We must not cause our children to be slaves to the world's knowledge but rather our goal must be to give our children the knowledge they need to take dominion (Genesis 1:28), to live out their faith in all things (2 Corinthians 6:4, Colossians 1:18), to love the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might and to teach these things diligently to the next generation (Deuteronomy 6:5).
There is no box that our Christianity fits in. Following Christ means that you take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), all of the time, whether it is "Should I use a History curriculum?" or "What should I wear today?". It is all His.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. ~1 Corinthians 6:19&20

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. ~Isaiah 26:3

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. ~Ephesians 6:4

She Worketh Willingly With Her Hands...

   Remember this post where I mentioned my loves-to-stop-and-smell-the-roses-girl? Well, she has been hard at work. Very diligently and very patiently.
I made this little sampler when I was eight...

I thought it would be neat for each of the girls to make one similar and then have them all framed. Bri has done a lot of different needlework before so she's doing a great job zipping through her's. This is all new to Tori, I think she was more afraid of holding the needle than I was of giving her the needle ;). She has had to take out and redo many, many stitches but she hasn't sighed or complained even once. It is such a blessing to me to see her steadily and joyfully plodding along :). Here they are working hard...

Tori's precious smile...

I even put Bethani to work refining her fine motor skills with a very blunt darning needle, some plastic canvas, and very close supervision ;)...

She felt like such a big girl :).
   I'll have to update sometime when they are completed and let you know how they turn out. I'm kind of anxious to see myself :).

 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. ~Proverbs 31:13

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Here's To Say... our favorite guy! The king of our home, a wonderful father and the love of my life :). Lee is such a great father and I am so glad there is an official day set aside for proclaiming that because I am afraid we don't say it nearly often enough. I love the poetry of Edgar Guest and this one in particular captures exactly what I would love to give my sweet husband on Father's Day, and every day of the year...

When Day Is Done
When day is done and the night slips down,
And I've turned my back on the busy town,
And come once more to the welcome gate
Where the roses nod and the children wait,
I tell myself as I see them smile
That life is good and its tasks worth while.

When day is done and I've come once more
To my quiet street and the friendly door,
Where the Mother reigns and the children play
And the kettle sings in the old-time way,
I throw my coat on a near-by chair
And say farewell to my pack of care.

When day is done, all the hurt and strife
And the selfishness and the greed of life,
Are left behind in the busy town;
I've ceased to worry about renown
Or gold or fame, and I'm just a dad,
Content to be with his girl and lad.

Whatever the day has brought of care,
Here love and laughter are mine to share,
Here I can claim what the rich desire--
Rest and peace by a ruddy fire,
The welcome words which the loved ones speak
And the soft caress of a baby's cheek.

When day is done and I reach my gate,
I come to a realm where there is no hate,
For here, whatever my worth may be,
Are those who cling to their faith in me;
And with love on guard at my humble door,
I have all that the world has struggled for.
                                           ~Edgar Guest

I hope you know how much we love you, Lee, and how much we appreciate all that you do for us. Have a blessed Father's Day, sweetheart :). 

Here's a fun link for more information on the history of Father's Day.

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. ~Malachi 4:6

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Seven Things I Never Thought I Would Say...

1. Bethani! Stop eating that candle!!!

2. Come here, sweetie. Let me kiss it. I'm sorry you're hurt but that's what happens when you jump off of the coffee table with roller skates on...

3. Bri, please stop climbing the walls (literally)!

4. Tori, that's not a lobster, that's a scorpion. Stay away and get me a jar!!!

5. Lee, I found the rest of my tea set...Bethani hid it in your speaker and the hole is so tiny I can't get it out. Oh! and there's that egg we never found last year -thank goodness it was empty!- and a....fork!? eeewww...

6. Me on the phone with Lee: Well, if I tear this panel out of her bedroom door I think I can get her out...

7. Motherhood is boring...Oh wait...I'm still pretty sure I won't ever be saying that ;)!

Thanks for the fun tag Marie :). I'm not really one for tagging because I can never remember who's done what but I would love to hear your list :). So if you've done this leave me a link! If you haven't done it consider yourself tagged and leave me a link after you have if you like :).

He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD. ~Psalm 113:9