Thursday, October 16, 2008

Understanding, Knowledge, Wisdom & Lemon Drops

We just enjoyed another fun & easy Science Project out of our Story of the World activity book. It just seems to make SO much sense to me for young children to listen to the great stories of history unfold chronologically, while reading good corresponding (age appropriate) literature along the way, coloring beautiful maps of your travels and letting great science happen as... well, as it did! It makes each subject come to life so wonderfully!

We're in the Early Modern Times book and it's all kinds of excitement as usual! Jamestown, The Early Colonies, The Search for the Northwest Passage, the French in the New World, Henry Hudson's quest and so much more! At these young ages we don't focus too much on exact dates and trivia but on the continuous unfolding stories and characters of the great cultures in time! As they grow, they branch out into more challenging literature, but keep right along with the fun! So since around this time there was a lot of hoopla over a pretty deceiving little mineral called pyrite - a.k.a. Fool's Gold, how fun but to segue into a little science experiment on the qualities of real gold using yellow Playdough and lemon drops as our two mysterious treasures.

The Playdough turned out to mostly resemble real gold so we just went ahead and ate all the "Fool's gold"! Nothing like lemon drops to seal those memories into the best places in their little brains!
(Silas coloring Henry Hudson after having used half his Father's tube of hair butter to form his Mohawk)


I only have a high school education. (SCANDALOUS! I Knoww!) Some people might think it's ludicrous that I'm teaching my kids myself. That's an argument for another day (that I will eh, but for now I want to just extinguish one specific little fiery dart of discouragement that the enemy, or the world, or a woman's own sinful mind will shoot straight at the heart of this thing called raising happy, godly children.

So you don't have a teaching degree. Wait whaaaaat? Not even college? You whaaaat? Even slacked off in high school?! Will the scandals never end?!?! You hate to read because the books were always soooo boooring? So you in fact, are not stoked on say... history for instance? PERFECT! You may have just as much fun as your kids! Let's be honest though, you and I would really suck at teaching calculus to teenagers right now. But here's the thing: Before calculus comes 1+1 dude. And 1+1= you can do it dude. Catch my drift?

Surely we can teach our 2 year olds? 3 year olds? 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 year olds? Do you realize how easy (and fun) this stuff is? It's stays soooooo eeeeassy for sooooooo many years! And these are the precious years! The foundational years. The years in which they will learn whether you want to be with them and whether they want to be with you. For now, it's all about love for learning! Whetting the appetite! Lighting the fire! What you will discover is that you, the parent will suddenly realize you are loving it because you are learning too. Very easily. Because you have an adult brain and you are learning basic stuff.

Home schooling is my second chance at learning! I get to acquire a lot of the knowledge that I didn't give a darn about at the time because duh! I was in schoool! And there were like...too many things to worry about! ;) I have an adult brain now and understand how wonderful knowledge is because I now have a little life experience to understand why. The heart of him that hath understanding, seeketh knowledge ~ Prov. 15:14 I'm a great reader (thanks to phonics at the Christian school while I was teeny), and I looove these little people more than any professional ever will. All it takes is a little planning and willingness.

But let me tell you... in just a few more years...possibly months, I will be no match for my eldest daughter in history. She takes an interest to someone like Queen Elizabeth or Abigail Adams, checks out every book in the library and suddenly I have a for real expert sitting right here in my dining room gazing back at me with these big knowing fawn eyes. I never know which direction her interest is going to go, or if I will be able to carry the library basket out that day or not. It has picked up more speed than I ever imagined it would! What my sweet, dear, precious daughter lacks, is the wisdom to know where to put all this beautiful knowledge. But that... is where I come in! For what I lack in calculus, prepositional phrases and the periodic table of elements... I make up for in wisdom gained right from the Source Itself. And my love and wisdom (and her Father's!) will guide and cover this precious child as she grows in that understanding and wisdom.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.~James 1:5

(But on't count me out on the other stuff either. I'm all stoked on memorizing my prepositions right now with my girls! And someday it may come to some pretty formal logic. Unless I want my boys running circles around me! Calculus? ...I may have a root canal scheduled that.... yeah.

Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. - Prov. 23:12

But when that moment does come where you are outrun by your sweet kid and she pipes up to correct you on some Abigail Adams fact because she indeed is now an expert, let your wisdom guide her in the humble telling of it, and may you rejoice in that moment exceedingly! It will be sweeter than any lemon drop!

Through WISDOM is a house built; and by UNDERSTANDING it is established: and by KNOWLEDGE shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. - Prov. 24:3,4

For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. - Prov. 2:6


Our growing family said...

This was wonderful (and fun to read!) to see what your kids are learning right now! I don't know if you read my blog, but I wrote recently about how we are just starting homeschooling and so far we are REALLY enjoying it! Because I have so many that are so young I went with a company called Sonlight as they had everything prepared for me...just what I needed! The kids are loving the books (although we haven't got to them today...guests over! One of the perks of homeschooling right!?! =)!) and already I am enjoying growing in this with them.
Do you use many different forms of homeschooling or just one?
Thanks for putting up such a great post on it!
Pray for us as we continue on this adventure!
Keep having fun!!

Brenna said...

Liz, have you read Teaching the Trivium yet? It's awesome.

Jenni said...

Good word sister! I'm just beginning to dive into homeschooling my kids (okay, well I've already begun a long time ago but more formally in the coming months, a few months after this baby decides to make his debut). Funny thing, Aidan has already informed me that he is an "expert" on a few things. But worry not, I gently let him know that he is not yet an "expert" on much of anything :) Thanks for the encouraging words, you're a great teacher! I would love to get together with you and pick your brain about homeschooling. You know, come to think of it, I think we need to have a mom's of homeschoolers get together so those of us who are just getting started can get some tips from those of you who've already been doing it for a few years. What do you think?

christa jean said...

As always, you are right on!

My greatest hope for my family is that we will learn to love life together as we learn together.
Lord, help me to remember that!

Blessed Mama of 4 said...

Liz... I don't know what happened, you dropped off my blogroll somehow... I just had a hankering to check, and look at the gem waiting for me :-D!!

Oh yea, I'm one of those who hung on. Great words. I am so encouraged and your thoughts bring confirmation to much of what has been working through my mind, as of late... as of my oldest is in 1st grade and 'we better get serious incase some one decided to check and see if we are "doing school"' enough hours or every day. There are disciplines and routines that I am still intent on establishing more consistently than I have, but to your point... just because school has traditionally been conducted one way, does not mean it must always be that way. And what a joy we get from going through the process and learning with them. And the joy of creating learners, not just students.

aaaaahh... I'm so refreshed

Anonymous said...

Great post Liz, I just got my first Story of the World and the girls and I are all really enjoying it. I love your perspective. Just today I was talking about you to my Mom and said that it seems like you truly have Joy in life and in your family. Keep it up it's an encouragement to me! Heather

Anne Marie said...

yay!! great encouragement to someone who aspires to teach her little ones as they grow. I really DO plan to come by and watch the "school of Kirkman" in action sometime... hopefully soon!