Today is the first day of the Advent season. Each year we take this time to read, reflect, and enjoy the coming of Christ as a family. Last year we started a tradition where we gave new pajamas to the children as their Advent gifts and to follow suit, we had another Advent gift tonight. We set up a scavenger hunt where we hid clues in six different locations and the last clue led them to their gift. My husband was creative in coming up with a poem for each clue.
A poem for one of the clues:
Which led them to this location:
On this very useful item was taped another clue that pointed them to the next location.
So, the next child read another clue.
Eventually they uncovered their gifts.
All the children are holding a “pee wee” version of their beloved Pillow Pets. They had been wanting them for a long time and we finally found the opportunity to secure all six. They were quite elated when they got them, and one of them even squealed in sheer delight. I love that!
After the scavenger hunt, we went ahead with our Advent reading. Once again we’re reading Russ Ramsey’s Behold the Lamb of God, which is only available in the Kindle version these days. Accompanying this book is Andrew Peterson’s Christmas album with the same title.
For this Thanksgiving holiday we arranged a Thanksgiving Tree. T start, we went to a park to gather twigs, which in itself is a fun activity for the kids. After we got home we arranged the twigs in a vase.
I had the kids write things they’re thankful for on a 2.5″ circles, and they could write as many as they want.
We punch holes in the circles and hang them on the twigs, and here’s our final product that is now the centerpiece of our dining table.
I’m a bit amazed that we’ve become a family that uses different electronic devices in our homeschool. We use both the iPad and the Kindle for reading and doing Bible copywork. When I saw my daughter doing her Bible copywork off of the Kindle, flat on the table, I knew I had to find a better solution for her. It’d be better if the Kindle could be propped up. Not wanting to spend a bundle for a stand, I looked around on the internet and found a blogger using a Nite-Ize GearTie for his smart phone. These gear ties are simply rubber twisties that can be bent to different shapes. I knew this was definitely a winner so I sent my hubby to Home Depot. Seriously, I get lost in that store. My brain just shuts down seeing all the home improvement assortments. After spending about $4.50 for a pack of 18″ rubber twist ties, we have ourselves a Kindle stand!
For fun, I put my iPad on it and while it works, it’s a bit wobbly. A 24″ tie would work better.
Previously I made some headbands for my girls and I still have a lot of elastic left. It seems we can never have enough hair elastics in this house, so it’s time to make some pretty ones. These elastics are quite easy and fast to make. I love projects like this.
To start, cut elastics to 7 or 8 inches on the diagonal.
Burn the edges to prevent fraying. This is my favorite part because fire is just plain fun.
Great post on avoiding presumptuous parenting, and replacing it with optimistic parenting.
“My hope is not in my flawed covenant-keeping, my faulty educating, or my fail-filled child-training. My hope is in my merciful Savior sovereignly blessing His Gospel promises to the salvation of my children.”
All children at some point don’t want to work hard, especially doing things that are difficult for them. This type of attitude comes in ebb and flow, and we have certainly experienced it plenty in our home(school). Honestly, we adults often suffer from the same thing. We don’t want to learn new things, especially when it’s hard and require work. We prefer things that are fun and don’t require us to put much effort. So, how do we help our children through this?
Whenever a child loses his motivation to work, the first question I always ask myself is if I’m putting undue pressure on this child. Is his assignment beyond his capability at this time? Do I need to slow down the lesson by couple notches? Have I been forceful in making the child do the assignment? Are there external factors that might affect his attitude right now such as lack of sleep, hunger, or illness? If the answers are in the negative and it’s obvious that the problem is with the child’s attitude, then it’s time for a talk.
Character development is very important and we value it as much as we value academic excellence. The primary driving force in our character development is the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 comes to mind:
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
As Christians we are to do all things that honor and give glory to the One who made us. Homeschooling is really another vehicle for helping my children develop character. I try to dig deeper and have both myself and the child examine his own heart. Why is he unmotivated? Why is he lazy? What does his attitude reveal? Why does he quit when the going gets tough? What can we do together to help? I don’t want the child to feel he’s the only one who has to dig himself out of this hole, rather, I want him to know that I’m here to help. I’m his helper, not his enemy. I stress the importance of diligence, hard work, and perseverance because these matter beyond just the school work. As the child becomes a man or woman, these are still important. How will this man or woman react when approaching something difficult? How does his attitude affect him when it comes to working at a job? How will he handle the pressures of life? I strive to give the child a long view of his life. What he does now matters and it carries forth into his future. I want to help prepare him as much as possible.
Homeschooling goes much more smoothly when our children’s attitudes are in the right place. This is one of the “secrets” of having success in homeschooling.
I came across a dancing video of a group call Koo Koo Kanga Roo and I knew instantly that my kids would love it. Whenever we feel a bit sluggish and that we need a pick-me-up, I play the video and we all get into the dancing action. Honestly, we do the dance moves even when we don’t feel sluggish. We really like the creative, energetic, and fun dancing moves.
One of the children’s favorite is called “Awesome Rainbows”:
Here’s a few of us dancing in the kitchen:
We like all the dancing videos and if you’re interested in dancing along, just click the link.