Friday, October 24, 2008

Autumn Learning Adventures II

Today I am continuing to share what I have learned in the past month of teaching my children at home. If you missed the last post, you can catch up on the first three things, then read on as I delve into the deeper lessons that God is teaching me this autumn.

5. We cannot learn it all...yet. With each topic we discuss, I realize how much more in depth we could go, and how much more there is to learn. I have wondered if I should spend several weeks studying apples instead of trying to cover all kinds of growing things in just two months. Sometimes my inner perfectionist finds my laid-back approach to preschool education frustrating because of its lack of definition and completeness. At the same time, I am content that this is just what we should be doing. Our informal activities give me an opportunity to connect with my boys while fostering their love of learning. They will have many years to discover the intricate details of phonics and photosynthesis and physics. For now, there is a joyful freedom in taking our time as we learn through reading, play, and everyday life.

6. The adventures will only increase next June, when we welcome a new baby into the world. I have been wondering for a while when God would bless our family with another child, so I am excited to have this glimpse into our future. The Lord continually reminds me that even when it is not what I would have expected, His timing is always the best. And I know that throughout this pregnancy - and when I have three young children to care for - He will be faithfully teaching me to rely on Him for guidance, wisdom, and strength. The lessons in God's faithfulness and grace in spite of my own inadequacy are, of course, ones I will be learning for life.

7. The most important teachings are found in God's Word. If my children can identify letters and count to 20 and explain how an oak tree grows, but they do not know God, then I have taught them nothing worthwhile. So in addition to reading theme-related Bible stories, I have printed out relevant memory verses for us to study. Our art activities include decorating the verses, which I preserve by slipping them into sheet protectors inside a binder. The children love to look at their handiwork in the book of verses, and even little Hayden has memorized the keys words of Scripture. Our first verse, the one that we decorated with apple prints, was Proverbs 7:2:

Keep my commands and you will live;
Guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.

If they learn nothing else, I want my children to learn to keep God's commands. In fact, it is the most important lesson I can learn, too. As I guard the Bible's teachings in my heart, I am learning all I need to know.

So what have you been learning? If you would like to play along, just share six things that you have learned this month, and leave me a comment so I can come check it it out!

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