Friday, February 27, 2009


Real Life Subjects: What Your Family Does Ordinarily That Teaches Your Child an Abundance of Lessons

As homeschooling families we have an opportunity to reach parts of our children’s lives that are missed during public school hours. What are some of the ‘life lessons’ that come naturally within the walls of your home?

Toa of Boy's history lesson on Wednesday was about the First Thanksgiving. At co-op, I told his class about the corn game we play at our house each Thanksgiving. To remember how little the Pilgrim's had during their first winter, everyone starts Thanksgiving dinner with only 5 kernels of corn on their plate and no other food on the table. We pass a small bowl around the table. As the bowl comes around, each person picks up one kernel of corn from their plate and tells one thing he or she is thankful for that year. The bowl passes around the table five times, till everyone's corn is gone. Then we bow our heads and give thanks to God for all our blessings. And only then do I put the dishes of food on the table and we start eating.

I've been thinking a lot about our traditions recently, because I've been reading Treasuring God in Our Traditions. It's really made me stop and reconsider what I do on a regular basis and what that is teaching my children. The corn game is cool, but it only happens once a year. How do I celebrate God at other times of the year? On special days? On "every" days?

One thing that we do nearly every morning is our devotions. We don't have a family devotion time, but we do start out the day in His word. As part of my devotions, I keep a little journal. I start my devotion time by drawing a column of seven little hearts. Beside each heart I write some *specific* blessing in my life. Sometimes its something sweet from schooling the day before. Sometimes its the color of the morning sky. My daughter, Sweetling, loves to read the little lists of blessings in my journal. (Then I write what scripture I read that morning and a sentence or two of what the scripture means to me.)

Each evening at dinner, we say grace together. Each person in the family takes a turn thanking God for their food and for one other specific blessing from that day. I'm trying to model and teach "an attitude of gratitude". We have so much, we are blessed with so much, but it is so easy to slip into the trap of taking what we have for granted.

Last summer, Sweetling decided she was going to read through the entire Bible, one chapter each day. I was a little worried about the time-frame for that goal, but she was insistant and has been steadily plugging along. She's in Numbers now. I've been so proud of her for her consistency and perserverence.

I just started reading Leading Little Ones to God with Toa of Boy. We read the devotion on one day and talk about the concepts. We read the suggested scripture passages on another day and he traces a scripture verse in a little copy book. This week's scripture is "The heavens tell the glory of God." He's downstairs right now painting his own interpretation of Van Gogh's Stary Night. Yesterday at co-op they did tints and shades and looked at Monet's Water Lilies and painted their own water for a water lily piece. So this morning he read his scripture verse from his copy book and we looked at Van Gogh's Stary Night and talked about the tints and shades and swirls Van Gogh used to paint the sky. I gave him a paint pallette of white, yellow, orange, blue, violet, and black with 6 empty wells for mixing and about ten brushes and am letting him go to town on his sky painting.


Dana said...

I love the Thanksgiving tradition. We started a similar one several years ago where we each tell of something we are thankful for from that year. I love the corn idea, though! I may incorporate that into ours. Thanks for sharing.

Beth said...

I love the journaling idea. What a great way to model a heart of thankfulness!

Catherine said...

Great ideas. Our family reads aloud every night (and during the day when we have extra time) as one of our treasured traditions. And, it does rub off on them!

Anonymous said...

We have the same Leading Children to God book. I've been meaning to get started with it. My excuse is that we are in the throws of moving. Our house is finished! And it only took two years almost. Should be all moved in by next weekend. Pray we get a good buyer for our old house.

I REALLY like your focus on attitude of gratitude plan. I think that's a habit that would be great to dedicate our new home...and aid me out of this sinkin' SAD issues I get in the winter.

Many Blessings,

Anonymous said...

Uh, oh. You want me to post pics? I want me to post pics too. Gotta find time somewhere to actually learn to do that with ease.

Moving date has bqcked up...again. Septic issues. LOL, pun intended. Another two weeks? I feel like I'm in the movie, Money Pit. We've been in "two weeks, two weeks"-mode since November. Very testing.

I'm all too familiar with the up and downs of foster/adopt back and forths. It can be so heart stretching. My sister eventually was able to adopt nine of her fosters.

Many Blessings,

Anonymous said...

P.S. While packing up our bookshelf, I discovered...yep, we have the John Piper book also! I wonder how many other books we have that are the same. I'm very good at reading, just not so good at applying. Maybe that's why I haven't started reading my own copy of Love Dare. LOL.

Many Blessings,

Anonymous said...

oops, I mean Noel Piper? Holly@aiminghigh