September 30, 2015

"Praying for Boys" ~ End of the Month Wrap-Up

"I've been on the bottom of too many wrestling piles to believe that aggression in men isn't commonplace.  It may not manifest itself in the same way for all of them, but it's there nonetheless.  For the physical boys, it shows up in their need be on the top of the wrestling pile.  For the intellectuals, it shows up in their need to score the highest on the exam or be at the top of the class.

Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with a little aggression.  I don't want to break my boys of their aggressive streak, and I'm learning not to be afraid of it.  But I do want to teach them how and when to use it. 

One of the best ways I can think of to do this is to train them in gentleness."

-Brooke McGlothlin-

Raising Gentle Boys

"In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy,
always being prepared to make a defense to anyone 
who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;
yet do it with gentleness and respect."

1 Peter 3:15

September 15, 2015

"Praying for Boys": Mid-Month Discussion

Usually I post a question posed by Brooke McGlothlin from the coinciding chapter in her book "Praying for Boys" at the mid-month mark...
This month i'm posting a couple paragraphs from the book "Heartfelt Discipline" by Clay Clarkson instead.  It provides the same type of "discussion" as Brooke's questions.

"Even when it is not associated directly with discipline,
gentleness is a recurring idea in the New Testament.

Jesus is described as "meek" when entering Jerusalem as King
(Matthew 21:5),
and He earlier used the same word to declare 
"blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth" (5:5).

Paul cites the "meekness and gentleness of Christ"
as his model and spirit in admonishing others (2 Corinthians 10:1),
names it twice as qualification for spiritual leadership
(1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 3:2),
and requires it in confronting those in opposition to a leader's teaching
(2 Timothy 2:25).

Finally, Peter says that a "gentle and quite spirit...
is precious in the sight of God" (1 Peter 3:4).

There is an indisputably large body of New Testament teaching and
examples that commend gentleness as a hallmark quality of being like Christ
and being a mature believer.  By comparison, the teaching on physical discipline
in the Old Testament, an equally indisputably harsh and un-gentle practice,
is so scant as to be nearly nonexistent.

Any Christian parent who honestly and openly looks for biblical guidance
on childhood discipline simply cannot ignore the weight of
New Testament teaching.  

If you want to be like Jesus to your children in your discipline,
then you must take seriously the biblical admonitions to gentleness,
and honestly question any method that does not allow for gentleness."

September 14, 2015

"Home for Good, Home for God"

"Much of education is oriented, for better or worse, 
toward making a living, rather than making a life." 
Dr. Roger Walsh
Bennett and I are starting a new routine today, 
the same day that Erik is starting a new "routine" in his life as well.  
[He flew to Portland early this morning to begin nearly 6 weeks of training 
that will allow him the chance to become a Captain for Horizon Air! Exciting!!!]
So it seems fitting that we make today, September 14th, our first day of "Scribblers"!
Now I am sure you are wondering, what in the world is Scribblers?!!
Well... It's more of an idea or concept, rather than a course
 or a grade level, or any formal kind of "Pre-K" curriculum.
(Click here to find out a little more)
From "Educating the WholeHearted Child" by Clay and Sally Clarkson:
"When you decide to keep or bring your children home for good
you are saying two things:
(1) that your home is where they should be and
(2) that your home is a source of goodness in their lives.
You don't have to look very long or hard at the state of culture to see a rapid deterioration of truth, values, and morality. You rightly worry about so many negative influences that could lead your precious children away from God's goodness and grace, and even away from you.  
Home is a place, by God's design, where you can shield them from those negative influences, protect their innocence, and preserve the good in their hearts and minds.  
Home is good, but that's only half the solution.
When you bring your children home for God, you are saying two more things:
(1) that your home will give God the most undistracted access 
to their hearts and minds and
(2) that your home will give you the greatest freedom to influence them 
for God for their entire childhood.
When your children are home, they are in the best place to experience the presence of God in their lives, either directly in a childlike-faith kind of way under your guidance, or indirectly through watching, listening to, and learning from your own relationship with God.  You can limit negative and unnecessary influences that would distract them from God, and you have complete freedom to speak God's love, grace, and truth into their lives without competition from voices that do not share your convictions."
With those important ideas in mind (from my favorite married-author-couple), there is also the fact that since moving to Chewelah I have been embraced into a loving community of friends who are all homeschooling their children... and the fact that my husband was homeschooled & believes in homeschooling... and the fact it gives me the opportunity to tailor my children's education around each of their unique and individual needs/interests/talents... and the attraction of how a more flexible schedule would allow my little family to take better advantage of the airline benefits we are blessed with (while living loooong distances away from ALL of our family members)... and, and, and...!
Image result for classical conversations
"It is not overly dramatic to say that it is a decision of epic proportions, 
so make sure you make it for the right reasons.  
Whatever else influences your decision, 
there is really only one reason in the end that should settle and seal it-- 
that in your heart, before God and by faith, 
you know that being at home with your children is the right thing to do." 
-Clay & Sally Clarkson

I'm also really excited to have the opportunity to utilize the
 Classical Conversations model 
for guidance and for community in our homeschooling journey.
(It will be 1 or 2 years still before we "officially" join the Classical Conversation group here in Chewelah, even though we have pretty much already joined them "unofficially"... we could be found hanging out with the director and her kids on many occasions this summer!)  ;)
The group gets together every Monday, then the rest of the week you teach at home based on what the group learned together on Monday.  You can find Classical Conversation (or "CC") groups all throughout the nation.  (Today, September 14th, is also the Chewelah CC group's first Monday getting together, just one more reason why today is a great day to mark as Bennett's first day of Scribblers!)
The following are links to a few more things that have encouraged me 
throughout this decision making process of choosing to homeschool:

1) One of my favorite blog posts~ on the topic of "The Goal of Education"
"So, let me just ask you, busy mom, why are you raising your children?
What is your goal for raising children?
Most moms I know wouldn't take on homeschooling
in a million years without a driven desire.
So, what's driving you?"
-Heidi St. John

2) Another great blog post ~ on the topic of "Home Education
(also, by Clay & Sally Clarkson!)
"God did not leave anything out of the home that your children would need."

3) A super encouraging TED Talk by a 13-year-old boy, Logan LaPlante,
who is being homeschooled (or, as he calls it, "Hackschooled"!)
"I spend one day a week, outside, all day. ... And this is where i'm really happy, Powder Days!  
Skiing to me is freedom, and so is my education... it's about being creative, 
doing things differently.  It's about community and helping each other.  
It's about being happy and healthy among my very best friends." 

4) While we're on the topic of TED Talks... I cannot NOT share this one... this is my all-time favorite TED Talk, from my girl Temple Grandin... on how important it is to figure out what "makes kids tick", and to utilize "what makes them tick" to help encourage them in their learning in order to aid them in achieving their ultimate potential of making a difference in the world we live in.
 "The World Needs All Kinds of Minds"
"They are not ending up in Silicon Valley, where they belong."

5) One more TED Talk ;),
 This one was mentioned in the "Hackschool" TED Talk, 
as the most popular TED Talk of all time
Who gave it? Sir Ken Robinson.
What is it about? How public school systems all over the globe 
are undermining our children's creativity.
"There isn't an education system anywhere on the planet that teaches dance 
everyday to children the way we teach them mathematics. Why? Why Not?"
-Sir Ken Robinson-

So without any further ado... let the watering begin!
Image result for classical conversations
"The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles,
but to irrigate deserts."
~C.S. Lewis~

I also would like to say, for the record... I do understand that homeschooling is not an option for many families, due to work schedules, family dynamics, etc... I realize I am fortunate to be able to have this opportunity to become my childrens' teacher and keep the classroom inside our home, but this does NOT mean that I disapprove of public schooling. I went to public school and I love many people who have their kids in the public school system and/or teach in the public school system.  
All that any of us can do is simply love our children, 
and do the very best we possibly can for them.
"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, 
so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."
-Matthew 10:16-
-soli deo gloria-

September 1, 2015

"Praying for Boys" ~ Month 17/21

"...speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, 
to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people."
Titus 3:2