Saturday, June 26, 2010

Geography the Easy Way!

Back in the spring, I had a chance to join some sweet friends for a Charlotte Mason retreat. We had a great time, and I learned several ways to enrich our school.

One of the tips I learned was a low-pressure, minimal time-consuming way to stay on top of mapping skills.
I couldn't wait to apply the tip and incorporate it into our school day.

I began by giving my children a blank map outline of the United States and a pencil. I gave them 5 minutes to label as many states as they could. After the 5 minutes, I gave them a labeled map and told them to check and correct what they had just completed and then pick 5 new states to add to their own map. I praised whatever they had done, and we then moved on to the next subject(s ;-).

The next day I gave them another blank map and asked them to label it again and try to remember the 5 new ones they had added the previous day. I was so pleased with the results!

For example, one child could only label 23 on the first day but could label 32 on the second day. Every child improved under this low-pressure approach, and 2 could label all 50 by the 5th day! Great success with no painful memorizing or time-wasting busywork.

It was almost as easy as when they learned the capitals by listening to a cd in the van.

Gotta love it!

In the Heart of our Home,

P.S. I am using U.S. and World Map Outlines, a handy book from Creative Teaching Press, to copy all my maps, but if you don't have such a book yet, I hear they sell these things on CD ROM now (maybe Uncle Josh's?). Then a lucky mama could just click a button and print all she needed!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Somebody's Turning One!!!

I can't believe it. It just can't be true.
No matter how much I love on him and savor each moment,
he keeps getting older!

Little Brother is having his first birthday!

Oh, my. He is such a honey. Mama's Sweet Potato.

Even though the first week was rough with an unexpected visit in the NICU,

God was gracious.

Life with Little Brother is a blast. . . .and so so sweet. He is like a dream come true.

Hey,. . .I'm not the only one who's smitten. ;-)

I think I need a spoon, and it's not for the cake!

Thank you, Lord, for this precious blessing.

In the Heart of our Home,


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Tyranny of the Urgent

For the first time, I am reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in what is supposed to be a year. (It looks like my Bible should say "Read the Bible in 15 months or so." ;0)

Nevertheless, it is something I wish I had done long ago.

I am learning so much and seeing much more in the "whole counsel" of God's Word.

This morning I was in Luke 12:

"Then He also said to the multitudes, 'Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming'; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, 'There will be hot weather'; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time'" (54-56)?

How often do we get caught up in the natural? We often live like this temporary world is all there is or will be. If you are a Believer, this is not your "best life now" or ever. Today is just a staging time for the eternity.

I know at my house there are days that the tyranny of the urgent reigns. The urgent of this natural world.

I want the important things to reign each and everyday. (Am I hoping too loftily here?) I want to lie down at night and know that my day was not driven by the urgent but by what God considers of upmost importance.

Most of us can "discern the face of the sky and of the earth," but are we discerning "this time?"

In the Heart of our Home,

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

Little Sister folds the household towels almost everyday. This is quite a refining tool in her life and in mine. :0)

Today she told me she just couldn't fold the towels today because she just felt bad all over.

And why does she feel bad? Because she lost "every one of the Wii games."

"Besides," she continued, "Folding towels just hurts my feelings."

Hmmm. . . .
But have you ever had days that washing those dishes just seemed like more than you could handle? Or paying the bills, or mopping the floor, or changing the diapers, or cleaning that bathroom was closing in all around you? Does it all sometimes just hurt your feelings, too?

Sometimes we do need a break, or at least to delegate, but there are some things we cannot take a vacation from.

We must continue to love, continue to look into their eyes and pray for wisdom into what they need, continue to kiss those boo boo's and give those hugs that only a mama can give, and most importantly, we must continue to speak the Word of the Lord into their lives.

Deuteronomy 6 says to speak of the things of the Lord daily and throughout the day in the normal everyday things of life. Then Galations 6 says to "not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

Another encouraging Scripture that reminds us we cannot do it alone is Isaiah 40:31:
"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
Remember, it is not you anyway; it is the power of Christ in you!
In the Heart of our Home,

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another Great New Blog!

I do have other things to say other than tell you about new blogs. . . LOL, BUT, I thought this one is noteworthy. If you have daughters at home, or if you are still a teachable woman, this blog should be a great asset.

If you get a chance, go see Raising Homemakers.

In the Heart of our Home,