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There were 2 scriptures that stuck out to me this morning during my devotional time:

Luke 6:45

45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Philippians 2:14

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing..

This weekend has been a huge challenge for me! I have been very uncomfortable with this pregnancy from the daily aches and pains to the thoughts running through my mind as I sit on bedrest. At times, it is hard to believe that I am here again. When I had my son, I was placed on bedrest for preterm labor at 24 weeks, however I never expected that during a second pregnancy I would be told to “take it easy” starting at 12 weeks. I have been trying to take it a day at a time, but it is NOT EASY. These scriptures help to remind me I need to take some time out and reflect on how I can do some deep spiritual housekeeping….cleaning out my heart. Within my heart is worry, concern, and fear about what the future holds. Will our baby be healthy? Will I be able to carry to full term? Will I have to go through the rest of the pregnancy in pain? Will we be able to handle everything financially?

I notice that when there is fear in my heart, it tends to pour out of my mouth; I am not as confident in the way that I speak, I am not a energetic about my normal responsibilities, my thoughts are negative and discouraged. However, I know that if I think about good thoughts, good things will come out of my mouth as a result.

I must do my best to not complain, remember that this situation is only temporary, and continue to believe that all the pain that I am going through will be all worth it when I get to see the beautiful little baby that God is growing!

Do you have any words of encouragement?

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Have you thought about homeschooling? I have been thinking about this a great deal, especially since my son will be entering kindergarten in the fall. It is especially difficult when you have a regular daytime work schedule! However, I truly believe that no matter how busy your schedule is, there is still time to dedicate to homeschooling. Whether you have a couple of hours a day or a few days out of the week, it just takes some dedication, research, and creative thinking. Here, I will provide you with 5 steps to help you get the ball rolling!

Step 1: Focus on the skills that your child needs to master for a particular grade level. Focusing on the skills first is important because your time is limited. You want to make sure that what you are planning to teach will meet or surpass the milestones that are expected for your child’s grade level.

Step 2: Decide what subjects are important for you to teach your child. Since your time is limited, it would be best to focus on the subject areas that your want your child to learn or improve in. For example, possible subject areas would be: math, language arts (i.e., reading, writing, listening, speaking), social studies, science, art, music, religion, foreign language, computer, etc.

Step 3: Examine and list the methods you want to use to teach the subjects you have chosen. Worksheets tend to be the first things that are readily available in stores and online, however there are plenty of  hands-on methods that can be used to teach various subjects to your child. Using manipulatives, visuals, books, interactive games, flash cards, field trips, and experiments are just a few ways that can spark the interest of any child.

Step 4: Research the materials you want to use to teach your subjects. There are so many curriculum kits and guides that you can buy to teach the skills that you want to cover for each subject area, however remember the guide is just that. It is important to be flexible in what you decide to teach, the way you present it, and how much you actually cover. Also, feel comfortable in finding material that is free, which will ultimately meet the same objective.

Step 5: Create a plan. There are multiple parts to creating a plan for the time you will spend homeschooling your child:

  • Days Available
  • Hours Available
  • How much material can you realistically and enjoyably cover in the time provided without rushing?
  • When will you cover each subject that you have decided upon? How often?

Once you have figured out the answers to these questions, you can map out the skills in each subject area, along with materials, that you will teach first. Remember, there is no need to rush through the skills. The important part is mastery and that varies from child to child. While it is important to not spend too long teaching a particular skill, it is fine if there are the regular life interruptions and you need to return to a concept the next day or so.

Also, take the time to organize the space that you and your child will be using. It is so important to have materials readily available so that you are not searching for the next thing that you are going to be teaching. Decide ahead of time what space is available for homeschooling and how you will make the materials easily accessible.

With these 5 steps, you should be able to begin the rewarding process of homeschooling with a limited schedule!

Have any additional tips? Feel free to comment below.

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I first want to apologize for not posting these past few days. I have definitely been under the weather with severe heartburn (commonly experienced by women who are pregnant) and all the other issues that I have been dealing with on bedrest. Last night I posted on Facebook that I had taken some ginger tea to help alleviate the terrible chest pains/heartburn I had last night. This did not work!!! Therefore, I ended up having to call my OB, who suggested that I take some Maloxx or Mylanta. This was all after taking 8 Tums over the course of 6 hours, which did absolutely nothing! My wonderful husband went to the store for me in search of the medicine and was only able to find a generic version on Maloxx. Anyway, I took it and after about 2 hours, it worked! All the other pains are still here, but at least I can sit up straight without having to clench my chest every few minutes. I never knew that heartburn could feel so bad. Now I am completely afraid of even digesting certain foods for fear the pain will come back.

Please, if you have any suggestions on what can be taken during pregnancy for heartburn besides OTC medications, I would love to hear about it! I know it is coming back!!!!

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I have been reading a great deal on Charlotte Mason’s philosophy, on Simply Charlotte Mason, of establishing good habits in your children. In the process, I have realized that some of the things that I want to just be natural for my children when they get older, must first be established with me. There is nothing wrong with varying from your established habits every now and then, but for the majority of the time you must be consistent. Therefore, I have focused on some key areas that I need to work on while teaching them.

Order: Keeps own room orderly; Take care of nice things; Does not allow emotion to prevent orderliness; Has adequate space for storage of own things; Understands that simplicity makes orderliness easier.

I do believe that having a place of order is following God’s design. I often try my best to take care of my things, but every now and then the amount of belongings that need to be kept in order can be overwhelming. I know that I especially need to work on making sure that my emotions do not cause me to slack of in my duties of keeping things orderly and tidy. Oh yes, I am also true believer in understanding that simplicity make orderliness easier. Now, I just have to continue finding ways to simplify my life.

Regularity: Has a regular bedtime; Eats at regular intervals throughout the day; Has a regular schedule, or routine, for a typical day; Understands that a schedule is flexible.

In terms of the regular bedtime…I am usually quite sleepy around 10:30 p.m., so I find myself dosing off at that time. My son’s bedtime schedule is pretty regular (between 8 and 8:30 p.m….unless we have a night with a special activity). I just have to work on getting all the things that I need to get done before bedtime so that mine is consistent.

Eating on time is and has never been a problem for me. My body tells me when it is hungry and it usually works like clockwork…every 3 hours or so. Therefore, I have about 3 regular meals and 2-3 snacks spread throughout the day. My son has also followed this schedule very naturally. Yay! I can check this one off!

My daily schedule (written) is pretty regular. After I tweak it a bit, I should be able to follow it well. I have already established a Morning, Afternoon, and Before Bed Routine that has been a huge help. The area that I need to work on is my Weekly Cleaning Schedule and making it happen. Also, as soon as I am allowed to leave the confines of my bed (bedrest:() I will continue my Daily Fitness Schedule. Flexibility is key, especially when life happens!

Regularity in Devotions: Communicates the importance of daily devotions by word and example; Has an established time and place for devotions; Has unhurried devotions when fully awake and alert; Supplements devotional time with carefully selected books; Has both spontaneous prayer and set times of prayer; Has plenty of direct contact with Scripture; Understands that devotions are helpful but do not earn favor with God; Incorporates praise in devotions; Sings reverently, offering best praise; Knows several hymns.

This is one area that I believe is the most important. Understanding who God is helps in forming habits that represent Him. Digging into the Word, by having wonderful times of  confession, prayer, praise, study, and thanksgiving, allows us to reflect on aspects of our lives that are pleasing to God and those that need improvement. One area that I am really focusing on is making sure that I consistently have an established time and place for my devotions. This is one that I have been working on for years. I enjoy the morning time, but find that I have to get up so early to just get some time alone to read and pray. It just doesn’t realistically work for me. However, I can get some time to listen to devotional music….I am alert and fully awake enough to do that in the wee hours of the morning. The evening time is actually better for deep study and reflection…especially after my son is in the bed fast asleep. Afterwards, I have some time to spend with the hubby and prepare for bed. Again, being realistic about what works and doesn’t work is so much better than following the methods that someone else has established.

I hope that my of sharing these areas that I am working on in my own life will inspire you to think of how you can continue to establish good habits in yours! Your children will thank you for it!

What good habits are you currently working on?

 

 

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I recently have begun reading a book called The Quiver: Christian Parenting in a Non-Christian World by Douglas & Victoria Jacoby and have been eager to see what spiritual advice is given on raising amazing children who have a love for God.

Summary

The book addresses several questions that I was curious to find out the answers to (quote):

  • As a mother, how can I balance it all?
  • With our hectic lives, how can we make the home a haven?
  • What’s the best way to train and discipline our children?
  • Why are mealtimes so important?
  • How can we keep the world out of our home?

Chapter 1: Quiver, Bow, & Arrows, discusses how the quiver is the case that is used to temporarily carry the arrows in. In archery, the arrows do not end up serving their purpose without an archer and a bow, which is used to guide the arrow in the desired direction. The Jacobys use this analogy to help us understand that parents are the “archers” and use the bow (the way that they raise their children) to “aim” or guide their arrows (children) to the target. This requires a parent who is willing to use biblical principles to have patience, “a steady hand, a keen eye, and a calm spirit”.

Reflection

A skilled archer carefully thinks through the steps that are needed to have the arrow meet the target. It is not rushed or done haphazardly. It should be the same with parenting. I was intrugued by this comparison, since I had never thought of it this way! So much guidance and modeling is needed for children to learn what it expected of them and how to meet those expectations. I am looking forward to learning more in the next chapter!

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