Thursday, August 30, 2007

Engaging Little Minds

I sometimes wish I could go back to school. Seeing my niece Katey prepare for school makes me think back to those memorable days when the UPS man would knock on our door at home and deliver a big box of exciting new books for that year. I especially loved watching my Mom's face as she would excitedly (sometimes more so than us kids!) open the box and pull out each book one by one. She would read the title of each book with flare and then hand it to its new owner. We'd ooh and ahh over each book (she made even the boring Algebra books seem exciting!)...ah, I miss those days!

My parents gave me a wonderful gift in home education, and Ben and I want to pass that gift on to our children. The dream of being a teacher of my very own schoolhouse is now becoming a reality!

I have realized, however, that I don’t have to wait until Elianna is four or five to begin homeschooling. Right now, right here in my own home, I want to create for her an environment of learning.

But, really, what can you teach a 13 month old?

God has fully equipped young children to reach certain milestones, like walking, on their own, with very little help. Natural abilities will come...well, naturally! But when it comes to learning about Godly character, Ben and I have to provide a safe place for her to be able to discover these things. She will not learn obedience, attentiveness, and love naturally on her own...they must be taught (or maybe they are more caught than taught?)! An environment that fosters her natural abilities is important, but a home that fosters an environment of Christ-centered learning and worship is so much more rewarding.

Two things will last in this life: God's Word and the souls of men. If I can impart a sincere love and passion in Elianna for these two things, I will have given her everything. We try to read out of the Bible every morning, pray together, spend time during the day reading books as often as possible, go on walks outside, and spend time learning together. Does she understand what I am reading and saying? Probably not everything, but she is being exposed and introduced to the wonders of God’s world little by little. May God give me wisdom to teach her and grace to live a life of example! Only through HIM!

"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons [and daughters] and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Duet. 6:4-9
P.S. Letter of the Week is a site I recently discovered with ‘lesson plans’ neatly laid out for babies 3-12 months of age. Oh, and the sweet little avatars on this post are from my cousin Janna's blog, The Joy of Home!


Craig & Jessica said...

I agree with being excited to prepare for school each year! Now I'm the Mother with the little girls who hover around looking at all the new and exciting books! It is so FUN!

It is true that learning starts early! It is so important to start young on "young" things that they can build on as they grow! I am glad that Valerie & Elizabeth will have such a wonderful little cousin (and cousin-to-be)to grow with!

Funny! I blogged about our children too...and a training of sorts! It is fun to watch our children grow!!!

Love you!

Melanie said...

Wow are such an inspirtation to me. Even though I don't have any little ones of my own to train I feel somewhat of that same responsibility towards my neices and nephews. It is such a privilege!

Thanks for this great, thought-provoking post!

I love you too!