Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Teach the Heart

I'm cracking up at myself right now!

Usually, when I have a project that needs done, I wait until the desire to conquer it hits me in full and then I blow it away!

Seriously...rearranging furniture, cleaning out closets, sticking boys into new rooms all over the house...whatever it is, I wait for a day that I know I can persevere, and I go full force to completion...even if that means into the wee hours of the morning!

(Laura! Are you remembering a bedroom with navy blue walls, glow in the dark paint, and your foot in a bucket at 3 A.M. right now? Or Heather! Pushing an armoire up the stairs and trying to round the corner to a bedroom!  And Lissa! Sectional stuck in the door frame of my living room! HHHHAAAAAAAAAAAA!  Great memories!)

I'm thinking I am great with projects that I love doing or love the end result of, but these things that I have to get done...oh my!

I have never put school planning off this long, and deciding to put it all in a computer program while I am actually starting school is a bit much!  But I know the benefits of good record-keeping.  I know how nice it is to be able to print out a list of assignments so the student can just check them off!  

So why am I laughing at myself?  Well, I have already checked email and Facebook and shopped for guitars and caught up on my friends' blogs...so here I am distracting myself by writing here.  Hee hee


What can I share today?  

Nice of you to ask.  (wink) Okay, so it's our second day of school.  Fifth and eighth grades have begun!


That is beyond weird to even think about still!  Our eighth year of homeschooling.


I was getting very tickled at the boys as they sat at the table looking through their new books.  I tried really hard to put together great materials that they may actually find fun.  I want learning to be enjoyable for them!  I want them to be excited to read and find out how things work...to be thrilled to pour out their thoughts on paper or learn to speak another language or draw something from their imagination.  


Imagine how my heart lept when I heard them saying things like, "This looks cool!"  "I'm gonna do this first!"  "Mom, can I go start this book?"  "I'm actually feeling excited to do school this year!"


Thank you Lord!  Mission on the way to being accomplished???


I really have been trying to press into their hearts and minds that it is a blessing...a privilege to be able to learn...to live in a land where they have transportation, clean drinking water that runs from a faucet any time they want it, and a soft place to sleep while AC keeps them comfortable!  

I don't allow them to say, "I have to do this or that." They used to say, "Do I have to take a shower?"  I would say, "No son, you get to take a shower...please remember that."


Luxuries.  Luxuries taken for granted.  


You may be interested to know that I did follow through with my (God's actually!) idea to have the boys use only one arm for the day.  I think they gained some great empathy for people with disabilities!  Garrison even came to me with tears in  his eyes in frustration at one point which allowed me to say, "So are you getting a good perspective on how Bethany Hamilton must have felt trying to learn how to overcome adversity?"  All he could do was shake his head yes.


They had some good laughs amid their aggravations, but I believe they will look at people with eyes of compassion and admiration in a greater way now.


Homeschooling affords us many unconventional opportunities.  I do believe it is important to educate children academically, but I think a major downfall came when we became so focused on that aspect that we let life skills and heart issues that determine character slide.

Boys~No matter how or where God calls you to educate your children, make sure their education is complete and well-rounded.  Above academics, teach them character, morals, and compassion.  And don't forget...the most effective teaching method is modeling.  Live it guys.  Walk your talk because you will be their most influential teacher.  I honestly believe you will because you are already seeing the blessings that come from having a father like that, but you know, as your momma, I have to be sure I told you! (Smile)

Here they are with arms tucked inside their shirts.  I thought I was nice to let them keep out their dominant hand!  You were great sports guys!  Love you so much!!!



 

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