Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
There are mixed responses among friends/family, those whom we respect and care about.
On the side of public school:
1. We all went to public school, and we turned out just fine.
2. Are you crazy? You want all your children with you all day every day?
3. You're just sheltering them from the world and its evils. How will they learn to deal with that when the time comes?
4. Aren't you afraid they'll be socially backward and not know how to make friends?
5. You realize they'll be there all the time.
6. What about sports and music and all the stuff you can't duplicate at home?
7. Think of all the people they could tell about Jesus.
On the side of homeschooling:
1. You get to have your children with you all the time!
2. You can shelter them from all the evils of public school and explain things to them when you feel they're ready to handle it instead of letting a teacher or their friends make this judgement for you.
3. Home-cooked lunch!
4. The parents get to pick the curriculum.
5. There are lots of groups to join in order to be involved in music or sports or go on field trips.
6. Sibling relationships can be nurtured.
7. Parents will know when a child needs extra help.
8. Behavioral problems can get dealt with in a biblical way, and it can be consistent with what usually happens at home.
These are just a few examples of both sides. Some came from me.
I would like to say that my primary reason for choosing homeschooling for our children, at least at this point, would be not that I could shelter and protect them, but that I could give them things that the school would not. There are some amazing curriculums out there that seek to provide a God-centered world-view for all subjects - history, math, science, etc. Imagine learning science from day one with such a view! I think that science would have had a lot more appeal for me!
The protection would be an added benefit. I do not think that a child should be sheltered from the world to an extent that they are unequipped to deal with it later in life. I do think that we, as parents, have a God-given responsibility to shelter our children from certain aspects of life and the effects of sin until they are able to understand it and are ready for it. This comes at different ages for all children.
For instance, I don't think that my 5-year-old is ready to hear about homosexuality, even on a simple level. I think that there needs to be a certain amount of spiritual understanding, especially regarding sin, before a child can accept this in a godly way. We all know and have seen many examples of children introduced to subjects such as homosexuality too early - teasing and unkind words spoken with carelessness. If I am able to give my child an understanding of a particular evil, I can also try to instill in them grace and compassion for the one who struggles. You don't find grace and compassion in public schools. You find blatant denial that the behavior is wrong, blatant denial that it is even all that different than a "regular" romantic love.
Yes, as a follower of Christ, I do need to trust God with my children. Does that mean I leave them home alone for the day, trusting God to take care of them? No, just that when my children are beyond my protection that the Lord would be their protector. More so, that the Lord is their protector first and foremost! This allows for parental grace - for those many mistakes that we as parents make throughout the day, week, year.
God does give us the responsibility of caring for them though and does not expect us to blindly follow whatever "is done" in society as the best means of raising/caring for our children. I believe that most parents are in a situation where they could choose to homeschool. I'm not ready to say that I believe that most parents should homeschool, but I definitely think it should not be lightly dismissed. Consider carefully with prayer. After all, it is possible that it is God's express will for you to homeschool your children. And it is possible that it is God's express will for you to send them to public school. Pray and see.
So our plan is, right now, to be in prayer about the subject. To seek out opinions. To prepare for either scenario. To be very involved in Sam's experience with kindergarten in the fall. To be aware of what is taught. To pray for the friends he will make. To trust God to protect.
By the way, I agree with many of the points made in the "for public" and "for homeschool" lists above.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
"Well, uh, never Sam. Although, some people believe that when we get to heaven everyone will be the same age."
"I'm some people because I believe that!" he answers.
"I don't think age will even really matter in heaven, since God is so much outside of time. Things go on forever and ever and ever and just keep getting happier and better." I tell him.
"Well, will people have babies in heaven then? Because having a baby is a very happy thing!" Sam responds.
Today, Sam asked me if the neighbor's dog (who recently died) was playing up in heaven.
Caleb asked what kinds of food is going to be there.
Sam said he wondered if there would be flowers growing in "God's house". "`Cause He could just say `Let flowers grow from the ground right here!' and then they would!"
Both wanted to know if they could bring toys to play with or if there would be any toys there. "Heaven will have so many wonderful things to do and see that you won't care about silly toys anymore." I respond.
Sam asks if he'll get to see Jesus there.
Caleb said he hopes there will be lots of vegetables growing there, like green beans. "Only in the summer though".
We were also having a discussion about their spirits and how our body is kind of like a glove for our spirit. That led to "My spirit's name is Sam" "My spirit's name is Caleb" "Your spirit's name is Mommy". I'm cringing listening to this as I imagine them saying something like this to the general public.
Sam asked me if the dead bodies in the ground would just get "sucked up" to heaven when Jesus comes back.
When I told them that they'd probably get to see and talk to a lot of cool people from the Bible, Jonah was a favorite, as was Noah and Adam and Eve.
"And why does everyone sin now, Mama, just because Adam and Eve did?" This from Sam.
After this, it was time to clean up from breakfast.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
If Jesus had chosen to come to earth in our time, would He have watched t.v.? Gone to a movie? Played video games?
It is not my intention to label these all as bad.
However, it may be beneficial to think "what would Jesus do" for a few minutes and then analyze "why?" or "why not"?
I think Jesus would prefer the real person over a screen version every time. He ministered to individuals, therefore it's almost ridiculous to imagine Him watching a screen.
Sports crossed my mind.
What's wrong with watching a good `ole baseball game once in awhile?
Well, if He really wanted to watch the game, He could just appear there in a second I guess.
How about a "social watcher"? It's the chosen activity of a group of people at the moment. Jesus would be too focused on the other people in the room for a screen to hold His interest.
Yes, I realize that I'm making unrealistic comparisons - if we all wanted to follow the "what would Jesus do" we could argue that many things were "wrong" (cars...shoes...)
But I think about the hours I spend staring at a screen, and then I compare that to the hours I spend in ministry. Hey, even add that to the hours I spend reading His Word, praying... screentime wins. And our family does not "watch t.v." We still watch movies, spend plenty of time on the computer being very non-productive, and even play some games - well, Brian does:)
Sometimes it just makes me think ....
How many other time-killers, passtimes, whatever you want to call them, will Satan be able to introduce into the lives of present-day believers because they're so cultural, so society-permeated, soaked-in, widely accepted, etc...that we don't even think about it anymore?!! How can it be WRONG??? It's everywhere!
Yep, he's done a good job, huh?
How many hours of screen time do we need to put in before the Holy Spirit is lulled to sleep completely?
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I guess there's still work to be done.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I took Caleb with me to run errands today. He was excited to go, and I realized something for the tenth time - my kids are so different by themselves! Get Caleb away from Sam, and he's such a sweet, quiet little boy. Sam, by contrast, is pretty loud, even when he's away from Caleb. We did 2 hours worth of shopping without any discipline problems. Of course, there was the usual, "Let's buy this! How about this? Can we get this?" Most of the time he had no idea what the item was, but hey, new stuff is always fun, right? He responded very rationally to my "No, not this time." I was even commended by a salesperson for saying "no" to my child. Yes, I have no inhibitions about using that word! So we had a really fun time, and I was reminded yet again how important it is for both Brian and I to spend time alone with each of our children and see them as individuals rather than just a part of the tribe, so to speak. Of course I love my children, but doing this occasionally helps me to like them again.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
A Bb C A Ab A
Isn't He wonderful
G F Bb D Db D
G F E E D C D Db C
Isn't Jesus my Lord wonderful.
A Bb C A Ab A
Eyes have seen, ears have heard
G F Bb D D Db D
It's recorded in God's word
G F E E D C G A F
Isn't Jesus my Lord wonderful?
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Acts and Romans too
First and se-cond Corinthians
Philippians and Colossians
First and Second Thessalonians
First and Second Timothy
Hebrews and James too
First and Second Peter
First and Second and Third John
and Jude and Revelation too (whoo-hoo!)
We have one for the Old Testament that we got off of a CD, but it's not as melodic, so it's harder for them to catch onto that one.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Today was a momentous day for Sam - we took off his training wheels, and within 15 minutes, he was riding on his own. Brian got his exercise chasing after him, while Sam kept glancing back, laughing, and pedaling as hard as he could to get away. As you can see, we had him fully decked out in helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads. He stops at nothing. Both Caleb and Noah were jerked out of the way on several occasions just in time for Sam to whiz past. And I don't think he left a dent in the neighbors garage door.
Next up - he was promised a scooter when he learned to ride his bike. We thought we'd have awhile yet, but apparently not.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Now since Caleb started memorizing so early and was picking it up so well, I started him on recognizing his alphabet at just over 2. He learned them in a few months. Of course, I'll be the first to say that we have the smartest kids in the world. But I do think that this early memorization opened up their little "mind capacity" box for them at an earlier-than- normal age.
I would encourage parents of young children (or older children if you haven't started yet) to start very young. Even if it's just you repeating the verse as part of the bedtime routine, your child is hearing that, and you'll be surprised when they start vocalizing it too. An added benefit for the parent - you can stop wishing that you had the diligence/time to memorize Scripture and just do it!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
*The exam room table has fun paper on it for drawing or crinkling or hey, ripping to shreds too.
*The stack of styrofoam cups by the sink can be used to build buildings or towers - which are fun to knock down. They can also be used to hold a small amount of water for a 15-month-old to sip or pour down his front (this activity was promptly followed by "Mom, can I have some? I'm so thirsty, it's so hot in here..."). Or they can be given to the child for a temporary chew toy - this is a fun activity for both mom and child as mom can gather up each piece and throw it away one at a time.
*Tongue depressors are good for sucking/chewing on until they splinter.
*If the screaming gets too loud, the blood pressure cuff makes a great muffle! Just wrap it around child's mouth and squeeze the bulb a few times.
*A small mirror above the sink is a good distraction to practice waving or making silly faces.
*The doctor's little stool with the wheels is a fun ride! (Usually rooms are small enough where you should allow only your child to enjoy this - not yourself.)
*Our room had a poster from Star Wars - which provided a great conversation piece for Sam and Caleb about the cool light sabers. It also had a picture of an elephant riding a skateboard (my personal favorite). Noah enjoyed looking at the elephant.
If, by the time all of the above activities are completed, someone has not yet arrived in your room, I would suggest opening the door and favoring the nurses' station with the sound of your children and their patience level.
Our nurse had come back by this time with Noah's shots. Sam and Caleb instantly crowded around the exam table to watch the administration of the shots - it was the part they'd been waiting for! Noah didn't like it too much though. He refused to cry after the first shot (he turned beet red), but the second one was just too much for him. His consolation was the yummy medicine he got to take for his ear infection upon arriving home.