Saturday, November 27, 2010
For a primary school or older girl, a set:
- Just the Right Words, a book of sentiments to write in cards
- Blank notecards
- Perhaps some fancy pens
Or alternatively, these books by Laura Ingalls Wilder:
- Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder - Volume One: On Wisdom and Virtues
- Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder - Volume Two: On Life As a Pioneer Woman
- Writings to Young Women on Laura Ingalls Wilder - Volume Three: As Told By Her Family, Friends, and Neighbors
For an older preschool or elementary child, another set:
- The Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball That Floats in the Air (I cannot vouch for this particular edition because mine is an old, old copy, but looking at it on Amazon it appears that this should be a decent reproduction. Old copies can be found on Alibris, but make sure you get the first book in the series and not the second, which has a title which begins just like the first.)
- Melissa & Doug World Map 33 pcs Floor Puzzle
For a little boy, a couple of set options:
- The Little Fire Engine (Lois Lenski Books)
- Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies All About Working (This set has a fire engine.)
- Policeman Small (Lois Lenski Books)
- Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies All About Racing (This set has a police car.)
For an elementary-age boy, a couple of set options:
Other random items:
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Several years ago we constructed an Advent calendar out of toilet paper rolls. We've been putting Jesse Tree scriptures in each box, but this year I plan to fill the tubes with colored slips of paper, one per child per day with a good deed suggestion on it. (Each child will have a designated color. Each day's calendar opening will have one slip of each color, so that each child will get a new slip each day.)
Here's my tentative list of deeds:
Make a card for a teacher at church
Clean one kitchen counter
Write a special note for each of your siblings
Say "thank you" whenever someone does something for you
Help your brother make his bed
Tell each person in the family "I love you."
Help your sister with her chore.
Tell your sister something you really like about her.
Tell your brother something you really like about him.
Tell your mom something you really like about her.
Tell your dad something you really like about him.
Clean up next to your bed.
Put a nice note on each person's pillow.
Take your dirty laundry basket to the laundry room.
Help Mom with a chore.
Help Dad with a chore.
Fill the bird feeder.
Let someone else go first.
Fill someone's water glass.
Put away all the dishes, not just yours.
Find a beautiful leaf and give it to someone.
Put the shoes in the sunroom back in their bins.
Pick up the coats from around the coatrack and hang them up.
Clean your desk.
Also, we have a rack in our fireplace to hold wood, but we don't use it, so I'm going to make it a manger for the Advent season. Each time a parent notices a child doing something praiseworthy, that child will be given a piece of hay to put in the manger. The idea is to fill the manger with hay before Christmas, at which time we can have a ceremonial placing of the baby in the manger.
This all ties in to the idea of preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus, focusing on the idea of his second coming which we are awaiting.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Expect this post to be revised periodically, up to the beginning of Advent 2010.
Much of what we're doing this year comes from "Celebrating the Church Year with Young Children," a favorite resource for spiritual training.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Thursday, September 30, 2010
<<there seems good reason to believe that the limit to human intelligence arises largely from the limit to human interests>>
<<We talk of lost ideals, but perhaps they are not lost, only changed; when our ideal for ourselves and for our children becomes limited to prosperity and comfort, we get these, very likely, for ourselves and for them, but we get no more.>>
<<The psychology of the hour has had a curious effect upon the sense of duty. Persons who are no more than a 'state of consciousness' cannot be expected to take up moral responsibilities, except such as appeal to them at the moment.>>
<<If we receive it, that the whole of education consists in the establishment of relations, then, the relations with our fellow-beings must be of the first importance; and all associations formed upon any basis except that of 'my duty towards my neighbour,'––as upon sympathy in art or literature, for example,––are apt to degenerate into sentimental bonds; and the power of original thought appears curiously to depart with that of moral insight.>>
<<We owe it to the past to use its gains worthily and to advance from the point at which it left off: We owe it to the future to prepare a generation better than ourselves. We owe it to the present to live, to live with all expansion of heart and soul, all reaching out of our personality towards those relations appointed for us.>>
<<We owe knowledge to the ignorant, comfort to the distressed, healing to the sick, reverence, courtesy and kindness to all men, especially to those with whom we are connected by ties of family or neighbourhood; and the sense of these dues does not come by nature.>>
<<Another preparation for his relations in life which we owe to a young person is, that he should be made familiar with such a working system of psychology or philosophy, whichever one likes to call it, as shall help him to conduct his relations with himself and with other people.>>
<<There is nothing like early intimacy for helping one to know people.>>
<<The value of self-managed clubs and committees, debating societies, etc., for young people, is becoming more and more fully recognised. Organising capacity, business habits, and some power of public speaking, should be a part of our fitness as citizens.>>
<<To secure the power of speaking, I think it would be well if the habit of narration were more encouraged, in place of written composition. On the whole, it is more useful to be able to speak than to write, and the man or woman who is able to do the former can generally do the latter.>>
<<To complete his education, I think there is but one more relation to be considered––his relation to Almighty God. How many children are to-day taught to say at their mother's knee, to learn from day to day and from hour to hour, in all its fulness of meaning––'My duty towards God is to believe in Him, to fear Him, and to love Him with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my soul, and with all my strength; to worship Him, to give Him thanks, to put my whole trust in Him, to call upon Him, to honour His holy name and His word, and to serve Him truly all the days of my life'?>>
<<Sentiment is optional; and young people grow up to think that they may believe in God, may fear God, may love God in a measure––but that they must do these things, that there is no choice at all about the love and service of God, that it is their duty, that which they owe, to love Him 'with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their soul, with all their strength,' these things are seldom taught and understood as they should be.>>
<<Even where our sentiment is warm, our religious notions are lax; and children, the children of good, religious parents, grow up without that intimate, ever-open, ever-cordial, ever-corresponding relation with Almighty God, which is the very fulfilment of life; which, whoso hath, hath eternal life; which, whoso hath not, is, like Coleridge's 'lovely Lady Geraldine,' ice-cold and dead at heart, however much he may labour for the free course of all other relations.>>
We can drill our children in correct theology or the catechism or apologetics, but if they have not the love for God their Father, the joy of knowing Him intimately, they have nothing but dust.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
The applicable passage is on page 42:
<<We have only room to mention one more point in which all of us, who have the care of young people, would do well to practise a wise 'letting alone.' There are burning questions in the air, seething opinions in men's minds: as to religion, politics, science, literature, art, as regards every kind of social effort, we are all disposed to hold strenuous opinions. The person who has not kept himself in touch with the movement of the thought of the world in all these matters has little cause to pride himself. It is our duty to form opinions carefully, and to hold them tenaciously in so far as the original grounds of our conclusions remain unshaken. But what we have no right to do, is to pass these opinions on to our children. We all know that nothing is easier than to make vehement partisans of young people, in any cause heartily adopted by their elders. But a reaction comes, and the swinging of the pendulum is apt to carry them to a point of thought painfully remote from our own. The mother of the Newmans was a devoted Evangelical, and in their early years passed her opinions over to her sons, ready-made; believing, perhaps, that the line of thought they received from her was what they had come to by their own thinking. But when they are released from the domination of their mother's opinions, one seeks anchorage in the Church of Rome, and another will have no restriction as to his freedom of thought and will, and chooses to shape for himself his own creed or negation of a creed. Perhaps this pious mother would have been saved some anguish if she had given her children the living principles of the Christian faith, which are not matters of opinion, and allowed them to accept her particular practice in their youth without requiring them to take their stand on Evangelical opinions as offering practically the one way of salvation.
In politics, again, let children be fired with patriotism and instructed in the duties of citizenship, but, if they can be kept out of the party strife of an election, well for them. Children are far more likely to embrace the views of their parents, when they are ripe to form opinions, if these have not been forced upon them in early youth when their lack of knowledge and experience makes it impossible for them to form opinions at first hand. Only by masterly inactivity,' 'wise passiveness,' able 'letting alone,' can a child be trained--
"To reverence his conscience as his king.">>
CM's point here is that sometimes we grownups form strong opinions on religious or political matters (other than the essential doctrines of Christianity, which are necessarily few) and then teach them to our children as though they are the only possible acceptable view. When we do this, we stunt their development and make it harder for them to understand the reasoning behind our own conclusions and therefore actually make it more likely that they will radically depart from our own position when they are grown and suddenly see that many other positions also have reasonable bases.
Among Christians, there are some who find force abhorrent and some who find force absolutely holy. Do you understand the position of each group and why they feel their view is right? Do you accept that believing Christians could hold both viewpoints and still be trying to follow scripture faithfully?
Among Christians, there are some who find that observing special religious holidays draws them closer to God and some who find religious holidays unacceptable. Do you understand the position of each group and why they feel their view is right? Do you accept that believing Christians could hold both viewpoints and still be trying to follow scripture faithfully?
Among Christians, there are some who believe that spanking is absolutely necessary and others who believe it is never necessary or acceptable. Do you understand the position of each group and why they feel their view is right? Do you accept that believing Christians could hold both viewpoints and still be trying to follow scripture faithfully?
Among Christians, there are some who believe the earth is quite young and others who believe it is quite old, both groups accepting that it was created by God exactly as spelled out in the Genesis account. Do you understand the position of each group and why they feel their view is right? Do you accept that believing Christians could hold both viewpoints and still be trying to follow scripture faithfully?
(There are other possible positions on each of these issues. This wasn't meant to be a comprehensive list but just to hopefully hit some bugaboo for each of us. <g>)
If your understanding of an opposing position was gained by reading an explanation written by someone who holds *your* position, understand that you probably misunderstand the opposing position.
I'll recommend a book here that can be helpful for looking at multiple sides of these issues:
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
For each McGuffey lesson, I typed up word cards so that I had about three cards for each word introduced in that lesson. We would study each word, then dd would find the matching word cards that were mixed in with the other word cards. She would also try to write the word on a white board without looking at it. Sometimes I had her spell the word in the air with her arm–I should have done that more often, actually. Sometimes I would put the cards around on the floor, call out a word, and have her hop onto that word card.
We would play with word families. If we learned the word “cat”, I would write “at” on the white board and then add different initial letters and have her tell me what the new word was. When we were looking at a new word in our lesson, if it contained a “word chunk” we had studied before (like “at”), I would bring that to her attention to help her identify the new word.
We’ve spent a complete school year using these types of lessons. Because dd was not truly ready for them, her progress was slow. At times we had to backtrack. But we have completed through lesson XV pretty thoroughly and dd is now able to recognize words we haven’t studied and can read stories from other readers with simple vocabulary.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Back in the first century, devout Jews worked hard to learn and follow God’s commands. God provided detailed instructions in the law, but not detailed enough to satisfy the people. To resolve questions, religious authorities compiled lengthy lists of rules extending and clarifying the original laws. Many of those devout people trying so hard to obey God’s commands ended up committing egregious offenses against God by adhering to rules meant to assist them in understanding God’s will.
As humans, we find rules reassuring. In every context of our lives, we tend to add rules. As Christians, we often find it intimidating to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than on a list of specific rules, much as the Israelites preferred to have a human king rather than waiting on God to direct them. As parents, we are too quick to accept a list of rules for parenting that have the imprimatur of some respected Christian teacher or that are backed up by scriptural arguments.
God has called us to follow His direction. For this purpose He gives us the scriptures as well as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Alas, He in no case gives us as full a set of directions in scripture as we desire. This should force us to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we search ALL the truth that God has revealed to find the best course to take.
All too often when we encounter a situation where scripture does not give us clear, explicit instruction in specifics, instead of seeking guidance prayerfully and educating ourselves about God’s truth as revealed in other sources (always enlightened by the truth we have in scripture), we instead turn to authorities who parse scripture for us to make lists of rules that purport to guide us in God’s ways. These are not, of course, God’s rules–nowhere does He give us these rules explicitly. They may be wise principles, effective in particular situations, but we abuse them when we give them the weight of Divine authority and apply them indiscriminately.
God has not given us step-by-step instruction on how to train our children. He has given us some principles by which to judge and adjust our efforts, and He promises to give us wisdom if we ask for it. The Holy Spirit knows our children, knows what they are thinking and how best to train them. He will guide us if we ask Him fervently and continually.
Certainly we should educate ourselves about what scripture says that has bearing on our task as parents–we must study the scriptures and even other resources that help us understand the principles in scripture. Certainly we should also educate ourselves on the natural law regarding child training–we must study our children but also study what has been learned about effective child training, even from secular sources. Along with this we must also pray and seek the guidance of God, trusting Him to help us find the right methods for each child.
Monday, March 22, 2010
This pattern is majorly estimated, so don’t try this if you need specific, exact instructions! I just jotted some notes for the last few hats I made; this is the result. I probably almost always size my hats too small, so unless you crochet very loosely you may want to make yours bigger than specified.
This pattern uses:
* Worsted weight yarn
* Size I crochet hook
(The same principles will work for other yarn weights. For baby weight yarn, use a smaller hook and keep increasing for more rounds. For a heavier yarn, of course, use a larger hook and make fewer increasing rounds.)
In second chain from hook, make 6 single crochets. (If you crochet over the tail, you can pull it tight at the end of the round to close up the hole.)
Use a stitch marker to mark the last stitch of the round so you don’t lose your place. Move the stitch marker to the end of each round as you complete it.
Make 2 single crochets in each stitch around. (12 sc)
*Make 1 single crochet in the first stitch, then 2 single crochets in the next stitch (increase).* Repeat from * to * to end of round. (18 sc)
*Make 1 single crochet in the first stitch, 1 single crochet in the next stitch, then 2 single crochets in the third stitch (increase).* Repeat from * to * to end of round. (24 sc)
For each round after this, until the correct crown size is reached, keep increasing the number of single crochets before the increase by 1. (So the next round would have 3 single crochets before making 2 single crochets in a single stitch to increase. The round after that would have 4 single crochets before increasing. And so on.)
Here are some approximate crown sizes:
* Infant – 9 single crochets before the increase
* Toddler – 11 single crochets before the increase
* 3-5 years – 12 single crochets before the increase
At this point, you don’t need to move the stitch marker anymore. Just single crochet around until the hat reaches the desired size. You can make it a bit big because the bottom can be folded up to customize the fit and allow the hat to be worn longer.
If you want to make ear flaps, stop the single crochet rounds when the hat comes to about the middle of the ear.
Chain 1. Turn.
Make 14 single crochets. (Adjust this number as appropriate for the size hat you are making.) Chain 1. Turn.
Make 2 single crochets together (decrease). Make 10 single crochets. Make 2 single crochets together (decrease). Chain 1. Turn. (12 sc)
Single crochet across. Chain 1. Turn. (12 sc)
Make 2 single crochets together, then make 8 single crochets across, then make 2 single crochets together. Chain 1. Turn. (10 sc)
Single crochet across. Chain 1. Turn. (10 sc)
Make 2 single crochets together (decrease). Make 6 single crochets. Make 2 single crochets together (decrease). Chain 1. Turn. (8 sc)
Single crochet across. Chain 1. Turn. (8 sc)
Make 2 single crochets together (decrease). Make 4 single crochets. Make 2 single crochets together (decrease). Chain 1. Turn. (6sc)
Single crochet across. Chain 1. Turn. (6 sc)
Make 2 single crochets together (decrease). Make 2 single crochets. Make 2 single crochets together (decrease). Chain 1. Turn. (4 sc)
Single crochet across. Chain 1. Turn. (4 sc)
Make 2 single crochets together (decrease). Make 2 single crochets together (decrease). Chain 1. Turn. (2 sc)
Single crochet across. Chain 1. Turn. (2 sc)
Make 2 single crochets together. Chain 1. Turn.
Make one single crochet.
Chain 30 or until appropriate length for tie.
For the second ear flap, find the opposite side of the hat. (Take the total stitch count for the last round, subtract 28–or twice the number of stitches in the ear flap first row, and divide by 2. Count that many single crochets from the end of the first flap.)
Attach the yarn there, and repeat the instructions for the first ear flap.
Let me know if you find any errors in this pattern!