Saturday, November 27, 2010

Right now...

We just finished reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We loved it. It was especially interesting to use the Internet to research activities mentioned in the book that we weren't familiar with (like carding wool and using bobsleds to haul timber through the snow). I am still new with the practice of narration, and would like to grow in my creativity in narration avenues. It always amazes me how much the boys recall of a story though - even N (who's 4) follows the stories well and pipes in on our discussions, which are often at dinner time with Daddy.

We've been having fun with geography: using Ann Voskamp's A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth and HM Hillyer's A Child's Geography of the World. We've also been using Geography Songs by Audio Memory starting with the Continents and Oceans song. I've printed off world maps and we've coloured them for the different continents and oceans, and the boys labelled them too. I really love geography - it gives us a framework in which to place so many things that we hear or read about.
I'm using Hillyer's book as a read-aloud as the boys colour in and discover maps. I've skipped over sections (only 2 chapters in so far) either because the sections were too outdated, or because he speaks of the formation of the earth as happening over millions of years, missing out on the beautiful majesty of the Creator. But I do like how Hillyer approaches geography as an adventure. I am looking forward to more.

We have been enjoying Jesus: A to Z by Yvonne Riley. I created a little booklet for us to interact with the book - and spur discussion. It has often led to wonderful little conversations on Who Jesus is and what He has done for us. It is such seemingly small and simple things that I hope will take deep root in the boys' hearts and bear good fruit for my Lord.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vikings - Part 1

Vikings are what they're 'into' right now. So we've gotten books from the library - and one book had some great ideas for making things, as well as interesting information on Viking life.
(Technology in the Time of the Vikings by Peter Hicks) We adapted the ideas from Mr. Hicks' book and that's what this post is about.

Viking shields: the boys planned their own designs on paper. We googled 'Viking shield images' to give them some ideas and then off they went.
Then we cut out a circle of cardboard from our old moving boxes.
Next we cut out strips of cardboard (from another old moving box) to look like wooden slats. And trimmed them so that they matched the shield circle.

Then we used a hot glue gun to stick it all together. (**Note: if I was to do this again - I would attach the handles at this point by cutting slits in the back circle of cardboard, sliding the ends of the handles through and glueing them to the front; using either strips of webbing or strips of cardboard. The 'slats' would be glued over the ends of the handles creating strong handles)

Painting time! The boys enjoyed painting the shields to their designs with their colours. We discovered that the centre of a Viking shield features a 'boss', which is a metal disc. We created ours by glueing together circles of cardboard in decreasing diameters, so we ended up with a raised disc that we covered in aluminium foil. For fun, we made designs with hot glue on the cardboard disc before we covered it with foil so that when pressed the foil on it had raised areas.
Finally, we glued (with hot glue again) the finished 'boss' to the shield. And presto! The boys were off on another adventure.

An anchor

This is one of my all-time favourites.

"Parents, your children are children of the Kingdom, the Kingdom of God in heaven! Hold and love and train them for God alone. From God alone is your hope and your help. Seek it in much prayer. Accept it in childlike faith, believing that you will receive what you ask. Yield yourself to God, denying self, not allowing self any say in the guidance of your life or home. Yield yourself to God, keeping an ear open every hour to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, who alone can work in us the laws and powers of the Kingdom."

Andrew Murray
Raising Your Children for Christ

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mother vs. Drill Sergeant

I am missing something. Too often I feel like a drill sergeant rather than a mother. Maybe it's easier.
A mother needs to stop, to care, to guide - a drill sergeant barks orders and metes out discipline for infractions.
A mother needs wisdom from the Father - a drill sergeant makes sure the rules are obeyed.
A mother smiles - a drill sergeant glowers.
A mother patiently sows seeds of life into hearts - a drill sergeant, well, drills.
A mother recognizes that seeds take a long time to grow a good harvest - a drill sergeant is concerned about the outward, the now.
A mother needs to live by the Spirit from whom comes life - a drill sergeant lives by the law.
A mother gives - a drill sergeant demands
A mother conforms herself to the One who laid His life down - a drill sergeant requires recruits to conform to his standards, his schedule.

Lord, help me this day to seek to love, train, teach my children by Your Spirit - and not by the law, not by the flesh, not for my own convenience.