I loved this idea for using some of that leftover Easter candy for an educational purpose. I Can Teach My Child has some really great ideas for interacting and teaching small children. Go on over and see how to play the Jelly Bean Guessing Game.
I must start by saying I am not trying to prove that homeschooling is for everyone. I am not giving arguments for homeschooling. I am only sharing my personal reasons for doing so.
I have been asked many times why we decided to homeschool. There are many reasons, but the answer I always give first is that I LOVE teaching! I went to college determined to major in music, but realized once I was there how valuable an education degree would be to me at home. So I merged the two and graduated with a music education degree. As of right now, I wake up 5 days a week and teach. We start with academic subjects, and sometime in the process of our day we do music.
I love being in control of what my children are learning–this is the next reason we made the choice to homeschool. With our flexible schedule, my kids get the chance each day to learn math, language arts, music, cleaning and organization skills, food prep and cooking along with healthy eating choices, hands on science, laundry, history (this one is a favorite for all of us), goals and rewards, work ethic, current events, and many more things that vary each day. Because I am mommy, I can see when they are ready to learn certain things and when they aren’t quite ready to handle them. I also am able to give them the biblical foundation for WHY we learn various skills.
In contrast to that reason, I am also able to loosely control what my kids are NOT learning. When my child is away from me for the majority of the day, there is no way to know what they are learning during that time. I have some tough conversations with my kids about things that go on in our world today, and I am grateful for the chance to be able to use Scripture in introducing them. It is also incredibly important to me that they view everything through the lens of grace. It is too easy to point out sin without teaching them to have love for the sinner. This simply leads to a superior attitude, “Well, I don’t do that so I am better than that kid.” I want my children to notice the sin going on around them (and choose not to participate), but I also pray that with a biblical foundation, they will see that a person without Christ has no real choice in the matter. None of us do, except for Christ’s sacrifice on that cross. His mercy provided an escape from damnation, and His grace gives us victory in Christ.
This post is not an attempt to convince anyone that homeschooling is the “right” option, I am simply sharing with you why we chose that route. However, each of us DO homeschool, whether it is for 14 hours a day or for 6 hours a day, whether it is academic subjects or other things, whether it is formal learning or a more relaxed environment. I encourage you to make every hour you have with your kids intentional in what you teach them. Even though they must learn some tough things in our world today, determine to teach how those things relate to them in Christ. And teach them to show the love of Christ wherever they spend their time.
Someone sent me this link the other day, and I was excited about the possibility of using these free videos when my kids get older. When I talk to homeschooling moms, most of the time the topic they are most worried about teaching in the upper grades is math (pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, calculus, etc). This seems like it would be a great tool to turn to when the child (or the parent, or the teacher) needs some extra help or instruction.
There was also a 14 minute video of CBS interviewing the creator of the program, that I found interesting. You can watch that by clicking here.
When we are blessed with children, we are also given a responsibility. You have probably heard the verse I am referring to many times: “Train up a child…” (Pr. 22:6) Each parent has to decide, “Will I train my kids or leave them to figure out life on their own?”
When we accept the responsibility of training our children, what exactly are we committing to? What does it mean to train? I wanted to study and apply this word in my own parenting, and here are some of my results.
First, I decided to get an actual definition for the word ‘train’ from Mirriam-Webster Dictionary. Each variance gave me new insight into what training actually means. So much is crammed into this little 5 letter word that if I stopped here, I would have my work cut out for me! Today, I will share the first 2 definitions and how they apply to raising kids, and tomorrow I’ll post the rest.
1)To direct the growth of (a plant) usually by bending, pruning, and tying
Obviously, our children are not plants. However, it created a picture in my mind of a horticulturist tying plants to a stake to strengthen the plant. Or possibly clipping off a diseased stem to keep the rest of the plant healthy. The “bending, pruning, and tying” is not intended to be harmful for the plant—these purposeful cuts are for the good of the plant.
Children need this kind of attention from their parents. When I see something developing in my child that might cause harm (now or in the future), it is my responsibility to carefully and gently train them in right direction.
2)To form by instruction, discipline, or drill
This definition at first made me think of a drill sergeant. I can see him standing in front of a group of soldiers, directing their every move with his commands. But if you look at the WHOLE definition, there are three things that go hand in hand to complete this definition of ‘training’. What I find really interesting and amazing is that we have already been told what to use for this process—the Scriptures! (2 Tim. 3:16) The Scriptures are profitable to instruct us, to correct us, and to train us. So as a parent, we can be confident that teaching our children the Scriptures will be profitable to them. This is why I believe it is important to bring every thought and action back to the Bible when instructing them, correcting them, and ‘drilling’ them. This is a BIG ONE, so I’ll talk more about this later on in this series.
Tomorrow, I will list the last two definitions that not only talk about the action of training, but the goal. Click here to view the 2nd post.
Photo #1 Jason and Elsie, taken by A Lot Like Love Photography
Photo #2 Wikipedia
Love, love, love this idea! I am going to start collecting milk caps right now. I wanted to share this practically free learning idea with you guys.
Go on over to Crayon Freckles and read about it.