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Posts Tagged ‘child moments’

My children have a special tradition that they do with their Grandma every time that a new baby is born into our family. They bake “baby brownies”! All of the children from the oldest to the youngest get to help prepare and decorate brownies to be enjoyed when Mommy, Daddy, and the new baby come home from the hospital. This allows the children the chance to make wonderful memories with their Grandmother while she is caring for them, and teaches them that babies being born is something to celebrate and look forward to!

This is the third time that they have made “baby brownies”, and let me tell you,they keep on getting even tastier every time. After all, they are made with more and more love each time, as another little set of hands gets their turn to help!

Aprons on! Everyone is ready to get started!

Kassidy has got the right idea!

 

Kaitlyn adds some oil.

Here comes Kourtney with the eggs!

Time to start the mixing!

More mixing with Kyle.

Kassidy keeps it going.

Kourtney gets her chance to mix it up.

Okay, time to bring in the big muscles with Kory!

Time for the yummy chocolate frosting!

Kyle is the official frosting-tester…now that is a great job to have!

Ah! The finishing touch…rainbow sprinkles!!!

Here is the final product…delicious!! These did not last long, let me tell you!

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Kaitlyn and Kyle with their arts&crafts painting projects!

Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kourtney check out some other projects.

 

 

Kassidy thinks that the fair is lots of fun!

Kory enjoys one of the free coloring books they gave away.

Kaitlyn with her tree poster project.

Kyle with his tree poster project.

 

Kassidy and Kory like their flags!

Kaitlyn found stickers, candy, and a flag!

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A week ago, we took the children to a living history museum that is local to us, to enjoy a summer festival they were having. We met with their cousins there, and a great time was had by all. Here are some pictures that were taken inside the children’s discovery zone. Lots of hands-on activities, games, dress-up, and more!

Kassidy shows us that even two-year old pioneer girls have a job to do!

Kaitlyn and Kyle are ready to take your order in the country store.

Kourtney has a basket of goodies all prepared!

Kory likes the view from the train engine.

Who knew it takes THREE girls to drive a tractor?

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Here are some pictures of my little ones having fun together. It is great to always have a friend available to play with! These are older pictures from back before our youngest was born, so they are only of our oldest 4. When I transfer more pictures over to this computer I will post some more pictures of all 5 of them together.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kassidy hanging out in the tree-house.
Kyle and Kassidy having some park fun.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kourtney in the weather exhibit at the Children’s Museum.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kourtney playing in the pioneer gallery of the Children’s Museum.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kourtney having an indoor picnic together for their snack.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kourtney enjoy the butterfly garden at the zoo.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, Kourtney, and Kassidy are all ready for a nice summer walk!

Kourtney gives Kyle a helpful push in the swing.

Kyle and Kassidy blasting off to space in a rocket!

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My last entry was a picture of all 5 of our children sitting together smiling on our couch, with words describing that it is possible for brothers and sisters to be friends-best friends in fact. A new reader, Jana, asked me how to make siblings friends and said that she is facing sibling rivalry at the moment. So, I decided to respond to this question in a new entry. Now, before I begin, please know that things are not perfect around here. We still deal with the typical day-to-day interactions just like everyone else does, some pleasant and some not. But I like to think that we have been able to foster an attitude in our children to regard one another much differently than they are encouraged to in society and culture these days. So, here are some things that have worked for us.

  •  We have spoken to each child about their siblings from an early age-when they were still babies. From the very beginning, we have told them that their brothers and sisters will be their best friends. Simply verbalizing this really does make a difference. It is so different from what they many times here from other children. It flies directly in the face of the usual “I HATE my little brother”.Or, “My sister is SUCH a pest”.  For us, it is not just, Mommy is having a new baby. It is, Mommy is having a new play-mate. Mommy is having a new friend to join in the fun when he/she is old enough to. The older children are encouraged to be involved in each new little one’s life from the start. They are not disappointed either. It goes from a baby who adores them, to a toddler who adores them, to children who have only grown up knowing a deep and profound love for each other. Now THAT is a bond!
  • We teach a servant’s heart. This can be revealed even in the small things, like sharing. It is not always easy, especially in the beginning, but the older children almost always think of how they can share something with each other before indulging. Perhaps they are given a treat by someone. You are more likely to see them deliberating over how to break a candy bar up into the appropriate number of pieces so everyone gets some, than fighting over it. My two oldest children participate in Bible Quizzing. This year, the leadership gave each child a piece of candy for every Bible Verse they memorized. Both of them deliberately selected some candy that they enjoy, and some special pieces that they knew the younger children would like. I did not ask them to do this. It brings them joy to do so.
  • We practice the “buddy system” around here. This couples well with developing a servant’s heart. We pair an older child with a younger to be special buddies. Not to the exclusion of others, just to foster a special relationship. Mom and Dad are the authority figures, but an older buddy helps a younger when possible. Maybe helping with getting shoes on/off, filling a sippy cup, looking out for them when playing. Just yesterday, we went to a park to have a picnic lunch after Church. My oldest child was following our one year old around while he explored. She is deathly afraid of bees and a couple of bumblebees started buzzing around in their area. Well, she started to cry, but she stayed right with the little one until I got there to “rescue” them. To me, that kind of commitment is a big deal for an 8 year-old, and we made sure that her selfless love did not go un-noticed. All of our children learned a lesson from that incident.
  • We tend to limit peer influence. Our children play with other children. Our children make friends with them as well. We think that this is good and important. However, we keep it on our terms. One thing we NEVER allow is for peer friendship to usurp our authority or to trump a sibling relationship. None of this, “Let’s go over here to get away from your sister so we don’t have to include her” kind of thing. Some people think that kind of singular relationship is necessary, we do not. If we do not allow it now, it is a lot less likely to become a problem in the future.
  • We encourage the children to share interests. We all have things that excite us or that we like to do. Those things are not always the same as what others like. Knowing this, we try to help the children share interests. A simple example. One of our children adores frogs. All things frogs, especially tree frogs. Who knows why. She just does. Her brothers and sisters go out of their way to find books, stuffed animals, pictures, you name it, for her, about frogs. They don’t care about frogs that much. It is enough that it brings her such happiness. We all want to feel special. Making others feel special is a fast-track to a great relationship.
  • We want our children to encourage each other. I mentioned earlier that my two oldest are in Bible Quizzing. This is a competition based program, and this year was the second year of participation for my oldest, and the first for my second-born. At their first quiz of the year, my second-oldest did better than the oldest, even though it was his very first quiz. I did not know how that would play out, but I was happy to see my oldest jumping up and down cheering for her brother for his achievement, even when it took the spotlight away from her.
  • We expect more from an apology than just saying “Sorry”. Around here, if you offend or hurt another, you must apologize, identify what you did wrong, and ask how you can make it better. This may simply mean a hug or pat on the back. Or it may mean, some special time is needed to re-build connection, like playing a game of the offended’s choice or helping with a chore. The words “I’m sorry” mean nothing if they are just empty, solitary words. Apologies and writing wrongs can be surprisingly good relationship builders. Especially if the one in the wrong can put themself in the place of the one who was hurt. Great lessons learned to carry throughout life!

These are a few examples of things that we do that I think make a difference in the relationships our children have with one another. The fact that we homeschool is an added benefit because they get a lot more time to practice what we teach them, being together pretty much 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I want our children to have lasting memories of a happy home life filled with a safety net of people who care. Brothers and sisters are an important part of this!

For more information and some great practical advice, I recomment checking out the book “Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends” by Sarah, Stephen and Grace Mally. It is a book you can read-aloud with your children and show them a clear vision of what you want their relationship with each other to be! You can find out more about this book here: http://www.visionforum.com/search/productdetail.aspx?search=mally&productid=83524 . It is well worth a look!

 

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My sweeties smiling for the camera!

 Here are my sweeties smiling for the camera! Teach your children that their siblings are their best friends and they will believe you! Seeing my children playing and working together happily fills my heart with joy. This Fall, there will be another little boy added to our crew. I think we are going to have to get a longer couch soon! I love being at home with my children! And we all love it when Daddy comes home to join us at the end of the day!

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I am a second-generation homeschooler. As a result, I have heard many, if not all, of the excuses people offer up as to why they cannot or will not home educate their children. Most times these “reasons” are flimsy at best, and not very well thought out. I have found a great article that addresses some of these issues, and shows how homeschooling many times can solve the very problems that make people think they cannot teach their own children.

This article is located here:

http://www.homeschooloasis.com/art_anti-homeschooling_excuses.htm

You can read the article below:

Anti-Homeschooling Excuses: Are They Valid?

  
by Tamara and William Eaton

  

Here are the “Top 10” excuses not to homeschool as collected and then answered by Tamara and William  Eaton.  But be ready…  these ten common excuses ~ which anyone who has been homeschooling for even a few months has heard over and over ~ are actually some of the very best reasons to homeschool!
 
 
1. My kids drive me crazy.
  
Then maybe it’s time you do something so they don’t drive everyone else crazy, too!  It’s easier to ignore problem areas if you send your children off to school each day ~ you don’t have to put up with it all the time. Let the teacher and other students do it instead.
  
But who must answer to the Lord for how you taught and trained your child? Not the teacher but the parent. Homeschooling isn’t a “cure-all” for poor behavior but it does give us time together to work out any problems instead of ignoring them, and it eliminates the negative role models and peer pressure which often influences negative behavior.
  
Or maybe you feel that they DO respect others, just not you? You can tell them when to brush their teeth, get dressed, go to bed ~ just not when to do their math! There is really no difference ~ it’s all a matter of obedience and respect.
  
Ephesians 6:1-2 “Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
    

  

  
2. I don’t have enough patience.
    
Patience comes through overcoming trials and learning to yield to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) instead of the fruit of flesh. You’ll never develop patience if you continually avoid opportunities that would require you to put it into practice. But you might be surprised how quickly it grows with frequent exercise ~ homeschooling can be that vehicle the Lord uses to work patience in you!
  

  

 
3. I’m not highly educated.
  
Fine ~ here’s your chance to learn right along with your children! There are tremendous resources available to help us teach our own children. Studies have proven time and again that the success of homeschooling is not dependent upon the level of the parents’ education. According to Dr. Brian Ray’s recent study, “Home educated students’ test scores remain between the 80th and 90th percentiles, whether their mothers have a college degree or did not complete high school.” [from National Home Education Research Institute.  And there’s lots more “proof in the pudding” where that came from!]
  

  

  
4. I love my job.
  
What’s more important during this season of your life ~ your children or your job? Your job can wait. Your children can’t. Your decisions and priorities are already influencing them every day ~ either for good or bad. I’ve never heard older people say that they wished they had spent more time on their job. I have heard them say they wished they had spent more time with their children.
  
If you love your job more than spending time with your children then maybe this is a sign that your priorities need reevaluating.
  

  

 
5. I don’t have time.
   
There is always time to do the will of God. Is He calling you to homeschool? Then He will provide the time. As a result of homeschooling our children, we have limited outside activities and found a simpler lifestyle. We’re not forced to succumb to the modern pressures and stresses of our society with its hectic pace ~ instead we are able to slow down enough to enjoy time together as a family, embracing a slower paced lifestyle without sacrificing the modern conveniences of our microwaves, washers, dryers and computers!   

  

  
6. I’m selfish ~ I need my privacy and space.
  
Jesus said unless we take up our cross and die to self, we can’t be His disciple. (Luke 9:23-24, 14:27) Good parenting requires sacrifices during this season of our life. However, choosing to homeschool doesn’t mean that you can never have any privacy anymore. When the children are young, we have regular naptimes and bedtimes so that gives us time apart. Older children are trained to respect the need for quiet time in the afternoons and evenings. The children also have their own activities and playtimes apart from mom during the day at times, too.     

 

 

 
  7. I can’t afford it.
If it’s God’s will that you homeschool, you can’t afford not to! And He will provide all your needs if you trust Him. (Matthew 6:33) We have never been a “high income” family but God has worked in the most unexpected ways to provide our needs over the years. Think of how much you spend now by sending your child off to school ~ don’t forget to include the “hidden” expenses of special school wardrobes to keep up with the peers. Homeschooling curriculum can cost as much or as little as you like ~ it all depends on what you choose to do. The public library is free and full of helpful resources for your homeschooling! We have always chosen not to purchase a full packaged curriculum and saved so much money by putting together our own curriculum. 

  

  
8. I never liked school.
  
Homeschooling will help you see how enjoyable learning can be in a relaxed, pressure-free atmosphere at home! You don’t have to structure your homeschool like a public or private school ~ so don’t let your past experience with school hinder you from committing to homeschool your children. Give them the opportunity to experience what you missed out on in your childhood and see how much fun you can have while learning together!
  

  

  
9. My children are too sociable ~ they’d get lonely homeschooling.
  
An EXCELLENT reason to educate them at home so you can make sure their “socialization” experiences are positive instead of negative. Homeschooling doesn’t require your children to become hermits, but you will have the freedom to select the activities and make sure they are blessings and not hindrances. 
  

  

  
10. I could NEVER do that!
   
If we had known in advance and in detail all the negatives and challenges we’d have to face as parents, who among us would have been brave enough to have children? God gives us the grace, strength and wisdom we need when we need it ~ not in advance! I find great encouragement in scriptures that remind me that I must yield and abide, then He is sufficient to take care of all the needs and enable me to fulfill my responsibilities.
  
II Corinthians 3:4-5 “And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God…”
 
John 15:4-5 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”
 
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
 
 And the following scripture has always encouraged me when I’ve been tempted to dwell upon my inadequacies:
  
1 Corinthians 1:27-31 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God had chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

Homeschooling, like parenting, requires faith ~ faith that the Lord will give us wisdom and grace as we need it. In His infinite wisdom, He has designed us so that we MUST rely upon Him! Why doesn’t He give us all the wisdom we need to be parents right at the start when the child is first conceived? Instead, He allows wisdom and maturity to develop as we grow through trials, the study of His Word, and experiences ~ all the while, pointing out our need of Him daily in order to walk in His ways. Thus, He receives ALL the glory!
  
May the Lord direct your family in His Ways and give you clear wisdom and direction in the education of your children!
  
Proverbs 3:5-6 “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.”    

©Copyright 1997 by Tamara Eaton

 

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