Family

Family

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Building Up Walls

As I read through the book of Proverbs with my children each school morning I mark verses that really stick out to me.  It is funny that even after years of doing this there always seems to be a different verse that demands my attention.  Proverbs 25: 28 has been speaking to me loud and clear in the last few days and the children and I have spent some time discussing it.

Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.    Proverbs 25:28


Many times when we near a large city we will see neighborhoods surrounded by brick walls or tall wooden fences which remind me of the walled cities of the ancient world.  Why do the walls exist?  They are used for protection-to keep the enemy outside the wall.  Usually there would be a very few gates which would be heavily guarded and no one could enter without going through these gates.   If the walls were broken down then the city became defenseless.  It is the same for each of us.  We must have walls to defend our own souls.  We must develop habits that will build up walls of protection for our bodies, our thoughts and our emotions.  If we do not have self-control we will be of no use to God.  We must learn to defend the gates of our bodies by carefully guarding what we see, hear and do.

Remember the little children's song "Oh, be careful little eyes what you see? Oh, be careful little eyes what you see? For the Father up above is looking down in love, oh, be careful little eyes what you see?"  Other verses: be careful little ears what you hear, be careful little feet where you go, and be careful little hands what you do.  I think many of us forget this as we grow older and allow ourselves to become lax in guarding the gates to our thoughts, bodies and emotions.

God commands us to control our bodies:  1 Corinthian 9:27  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.  Many of us have recalled the guards and let thrown the gates wide open here.  We are too lazy, too busy and make so many other excuses that we don't exercise our bodies that way that God intended.  We overeat and eat foods that are not good for us.  Our culture has said to us over and over that we "deserve" a break, you only live once, go for the gusto!  But God calls us to have control over the desires of the flesh.  My flesh is weak!  I have established bad habits with overeating and lack of exercise.  As I continue to study more and more about self-control with my children I hope to model  better habits in these areas.

God commands us to control our thoughts:  2 Corinthians 10:5  Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.  We must guard our eyes and our ears and not allow ourselves to become involved in anything that would lead us to think of things that are impure and indecent.  We must also BE the guard for our children until they are old enough to have control in this area themselves.  Music, literature and movies can be the impetus of impure thoughts.  We need to guard these areas diligently so that our children and ourselves will not be exposed to materials that would cause any of us to have impure thoughts.  I recently assigned a book to an older son to read.  It was on several recommended book lists for the World War I period, but after reading a chapter or two he brought it to me saying that there was some unGodly language and that there were sexual innuendos.  He has learned to guard his thoughts by not reading or watching anything that would cause him to think impure thoughts.

God also commands us to control our emotions. Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.    Proverbs 25:28   We mustn't allow our emotions to control us.  Anger is a sin! Fear is a sin!  Irritation is a sin! We must curb our emotions and teach our children to do the same.  It is only with God's help that we can do this.  Our sin nature causes us to be an emotional mess at times.

Only through God can we build up the walls to protect ourselves and our children.   Learning to control our bodies, our thoughts and our emotions is necessary to live fully in Christ.   I look forward to studying more about self-control in the next few months using Polished Cornerstones and Plants Grown Up with my youngest daughter and sons.  These are wonderful resources from Doorposts that will help  you teach and guide your children to living a more Godly life.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;  in all  your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  Proverbs 3: 5-6


raisinghomemakers.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2011-2012 Schedule

I know one day of trying to maintain a schedule is not a good indicator of how things could be, but here are some thoughts that I have about ONCE AGAIN trying to stick to a detailed schedule instead of a more relaxed routine.  


A scripture that I am always reminded of as we plan out our days, week and months is Ephesians 5:  15-16.  See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. To walk circumspectly means very carefully as if you were walking barefoot across a floor covered with broken glass.


So how did day one on our new schedule go?


1.  Keeping to a schedule for my family starts the night before.  If things aren't planned, laid out, prepared the night before the schedule will not  work.  I canceled our last night plans due to some issues with Jackson's behavior yesterday.  He was already tired and struggled throughout the day. 


2.  If we do not get up at the scheduled time, the schedule will not work.


3.  I felt like I was constantly rushed and nagging the children to get going, keep going, hurry up, check your time, check your schedule, let's get going.


4.We didn't get everything done anyway.


5.  We did have dinner ready to eat (ok, the girls had dinner ready) at 6:00.  We had our Bible study at the table at 6:30.  At 7 Jeff and the boys were able to get some more work done on the chicken coop.  They had worked on it before dinner as well because daddy came home 30 minutes earlier.  That was nice!


6.  Because the kitchen never got thoroughly cleaned during the day, it took me a little longer to get it taken care of after dinner and because Jeff was busy working outside the little guys didn't get into the bed until 8:30  (thirty minutes late) and had trouble staying in bed.


7.  Jeff didn't get up at his usual 4-4:30 this morning and slept in until 5:45.  I was counting on him getting up which wakes me up.  I don't have an alarm clock, iPod or phone to wake me.  Perhaps a new alarm clock should be purchased?




I know I can't base success off of one day, so we will try to keep to the schedule for the next two weeks and see if things improve.  We will then have two weeks of a crazy family/work schedule that we will have to school around.  One thing I do know is this:  we are first and foremost a family.  Our school comes in second to the family and if the schedule continues to be a stress factor for me (which trickles down to the children) I will drop it in favor of our more gentle routines.  I am seeing that our routines (knowing what we are supposed to do and doing them within a general time frame) will be more effective if I spend more time planning things out.  Perhaps it is I who needs more scheduling of MY day than the children.


Here is the schedule for those who asked to see it.  I did not include my 23 year old daughter who is at home three days a week.  When she is at home she takes over much of the kitchen duties and helps out with two year old Caedmon.  She also teaches Kaelan violin, works with Caedmon on some early Suzuki method activities and will be teaching Jackson violin as soon as we get  him a violin.


Our group activities consist of reading a chapter each in Psalms and Proverbs, reviewing memory verses and Latin and Greek roots,  a read aloud based on our geography or history studies, history, geography, The Thinking Toolbox or The Fallacy Detective and music history/appreciation.  We do not do each of these every day.  Jackson draws or plays quietly
; ) while listening during this time.  I choose 3-4 activities for Caedmon to have available on the rug in front of me...puzzles, box of beans with cups, jumbo cuisenair rods, blocks, etc.  If Devin is home this is the time that she would watch him for a few minutes for me.




Time
Anita
Jordan
Aaron
Kaelan
Jackson
Caedmon
6:00
5:30-wake, bath, dress, make bed, quiet time
5:30-wake, quiet time, dress, make bed
wake, quiet time, dress
wake, make bed, quiet time
sleep
sleep
6:30
computer
chores
chores
breakfast prep with Devin
wake up, dress, chores
sleep
7:00
breakfast/chores
breakfast/chores
breakfast/chores
breakfast/chores
breakfast/chores
wake up/breakfast
7:30
chores
chores
chores
shower/chores
chores
dress/chores
8:00
w/Jackson and Caedmon
independent
language, BTS and reading
piano for 45 minutes
math tape, Bible Story, Mind Benders
activity bags/puzzles
8:30
w/Jackson and Caedmon
independent
language, BTS and reading
read to Caedmon 8:45-9:00
math lesson, flash cards, game
math blocks/activity bag/read with K
9:00
group
group
group
group
group
floor activities
9:30
group
group
group
group
group
floor activities
10:00
group
group
group
group
group
floor activities
10:30
w/Kaelan and Aaron
independent
 math drills, typing, start math
language
break/outside/snack
break/outside/snack
11:00
w/Jackson and Caedmon
independent
finish math
math, BTS, typing, math drills
language arts
table time activity
11:30
check up
independent
finish work and lunch prep
finish work and lunch prep
computer: spelling/phonics/math game
short movie
12:00
lunch
lunch
lunch
lunch
lunch
lunch
12:30
chores
chores/work
chores
chores
chores
chores
1:00
nap with Caedmon
independent or work
piano/theory-45 minutes
teaching Jackson
with Kaelan-art/Geosafari/listening
nap
1:30
computer
independent or work
1:45 break
violin-45 minutes
rest period
nap
2:00
w/Aaron
independent or work
science
2:15 break
chores or activity with mom
nap
2:30
w/Kaelan and Jackson
independent or work
science
science studies with Mom and Jackson
science studies with Mom and Kaelan
nap (fingers crossed)
3:00
w/Kaelan and Jackson
independent or work
independent reading
hands-on activities with Mom and Jackson
hands-on activities with Mom and Kaelan
snack and play
3:30
chores
chores/work
chores
chores
chores
chores
4:00
walk
free/work
free
free
free
free
4:30
dinner prep/chores
free/work
free
free
free
free
5:00
dinner prep
chores/work
chores
dinner prep
chores
chores/movie
5:30
dinner prep
chores
chores
dinner prep
chores/play
play
6:00
dinner
dinner
dinner
dinner
dinner
dinner
6:30
dinner
dinner
dinner
dinner
dinner
dinner
7:00
family worship
family worship
family worship
family worship
family worship
family worship
7:30
little boys
chores
chores
chores
bath/book
bath/book
8:00
school prep
free
shower
free
bed
bed
8:30
school prep
shower
free
free
bed
bed
9:00
computer/bed
bed
bed
bed
bed
bed

http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2011/08/hip-homeschool-hop-83011/





Monday, August 29, 2011

The Building of a Chicken Coop

We always have a least one project going on.  Last year at about this time Jeff and the boys gutted and rebuilt the boys' bathroom.  You can see that project here.  The current project is building a chicken coop for our laying hens who should start laying eggs in the next month or two.  A few weeks ago the guys built the base of the new coop. It was a little tricky as the ground is not level.  There is lots of practical learning going on and the boys are gaining many great skills as they work.



Saturday they began constructing the walls after a trip to Lowe's.


Here Aaron and Jordan work together on the frame.  One wall is already up.



It takes all of them to get the job done.  Jackson loves to be out working with his daddy!!


Chamblee and Sons Handy Man Service


Jeff and Jackson stand behind the wall.  I think it's looking good!


Now there are two walls completed.  The door will face the house and a couple of windows will be added for ventilation.  You can see the gambrel roof frame on the floor.


And, yes, we have a huge unfinished barn/workshop/storage building behind the new chicken coop.  Hopefully, it will be completed one day.


Jackson is proud of the work that has been done.

You can find the plans that Jeff is using right here:  http://mystorageshed.blogspot.com/  He will make adaptions to include nesting boxes, ventilation and a chicken exit.  ; )

homesteadrevival.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Menu Plan for August 29-September 4

Monday
Breakfast-biscuits or muffins from the freezer
Lunch-popcorn, grapes, pbj or grilled cheese sandwiches
Dinner-meatball stroganoff over brown rice, baked squash, English peas, rolls

Tuesday
Breakfast-pancakes and bacon
Lunch-bean tostados, raw veggies
Dinner-Macaroni and cheese, creamed corn, stewed potatoes, green beans, corn bread

Wednesday
Breakfast-granola and toast
Lunch-leftovers
Dinner-BBQ sandwiches, oven fries, cole slaw and fruit

Thursday
Breakfast-baked oatmeal with fruit
Lunch-popcorn, fruit, pbj or grilled cheese sandwiches
Dinner-chicken stirfry, brown rice

Friday
Breakfast-blueberry muffins, grits
Lunch-leftovers
Dinner-homemade pizzas, fruit cobbler

Saturday
Breakfast-biscuits, sausage, eggs, grits
Lunch-leftovers
Dinner-Jeff's choice...it's his birthday!

Sunday
Breakfast-cinnamon rolls
Lunch-finger foods at church
Dinner-vegetable soup and homemade rolls

Bless the Lord



Psalm 103:  1-5

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits;
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Schedules or Routines?

I struggle.  There, I admit it!!  I struggle greatly with getting it all done and most days, it doesn't all get done.  I try to teach, cook and clean too much in one day.  It gets hectic.  I get discouraged.  We get behind.  I make plans; I mark the calendar; we have setbacks.  Sickness, visits from Lauren and the grandchildren, home projects long left unheeded which now demand attention.  And now we throw in a filming schedule for Jeff's latest project which doesn't just involve Jeff, but the older boys and maybe even some assistance from the girls and I.   Time away from home and our plans are shattered.

We plug on and see success in some areas.  History and geography are going well.  Kaelan is keeping up with her Teaching Textbooks.  Jordan is knocking out some courses to finish up his last semester of his official homeschooling career.  I am staying on track with Jackson's math, phonics and Bible study. Menus are made and followed through.  Laundry is taken care of regularly and the great clothing swap has been completed.  Lots of books on history topics and missionary biographies are being read.  Lots of Bible study going on:  personal and family.   Children taking over more and more of the cooking responsibilities and doing them well.  Daily reading of Psalms and Proverbs with the children at the beginning of our school day.   All good.  (And is it any surprise that the things that are going well are the subjects and activities that we enjoy?

Struggling with finding the perfect science and math for Aaron.  Is there really such a thing? He has expressed an interest in the medical mission field.  A good background in math and science is extremely important for this. Ordering something new; something "out of the box".   Re-thinking our language arts....again!  Not getting to the hands-on science unit that I had planned on doing with Kaelan and Jackson.  Too much internet for me.  Too many videos for the little guys.   A house that needs some major decluttering, but I don't even know where to start.  Bedrooms that never get completely cleaned.  Neglected scripture memory.  Not good.

I was up very early this morning re-organizing our memorization card file and writing up a schedule--again.  Using a schedule really makes me nervous.  I am more of a routine person and, if we are enjoying our learning time, I hate to bring it to an end in order to stick to a schedule.  But, in order to get it all done I am afraid we will have to keep to a schedule.  I will try to finish up my schedule this weekend and put it to use starting on Monday.  But I am already seeing some interruptions.  We'll have two weeks on our schedule and then two weeks of filming with twelve hour days and then each day's work times being different.  We'll do the best we can and look forward to getting back in gear when the film dust settles.

So, how does your homeschool run?   Do you work best on a schedule or a routine?  I would love to hear from you and if you have a blog post about your schedule, please link to it in the comments.  I hope to post mine next week.
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