I get this question about once a week, so I decided it deserved one more post.
Where did you get your girl’s swim suits?
Annie @ Beauty in the Surrender asked, “Does your family use the Westminster Catechism? How do you teach it to your children? ”
We do use the Westminster Catechism in several forms.
Mark helps our children memorize the Catechism for Young Children before they are able to read and we memorize the Shorter Catechism by including it in our memorization box. Recently we purchased a set of CDs that have all the Shorter Catechism questions and answers in song. We are playing these regularly to help the younger ones learn and older ones retain.
Mark has worked through portions of the Larger Catechism and Scripture proofs during our time of family worship. This provides a good opportunity for Mark to teach the children what we believe and for questions and discussion on a variety of topics.
In my post about teaching young children I mention that we teach our younger children to take responsibility for their own work by requiring them to complete their daily school tasks without being reminded or nagged.
Jenn asked, “What sort of system do you use to keep track of your kids assignments in your homeschool? I love the idea of teaching my kids to be responsible to complete their assignments but there is no way that at the end of any given week I am going to remember what I told them to do.”
I have a few tricks that I use for keeping up with this:
When it comes to workbooks like Greek and handwriting my method is simple. Each week when I look at a child’s book I check and mark their work from the previous week and assign and mark the assignments for the next week.
- Each page that is completed correctly receives a check mark or sticker.
- If the page needs correcting, no check mark and I write the page number on the next unfinished page so that I’ll remember to go check it the next time I check their work.
- I circle the page number of each page that I assign for them to complete over the next week and I write the due date on the last assigned page.
This allows me to tell at a glance what they’ve completed, which pages need to be corrected and what I expect them to complete over the next week.
Many of our other assignments are the same each week. (i.e. Daily copy work or dictation, weekly nature and poetry journal entries, map work, etc.) To keep track of these things I have a master list of the subjects that each child is covering and simply check off of that.
Any additional assignments I write on the chalkboard wall.
I will admit that sometimes things fall through the cracks and I don’t remember that I assigned something until later, but that doesn’t happen too often, at least not that I can remember.
One reader asked, “ [Our children] see other families with 1 or 2 children and they have benefits that we just don’t have (sort of like the grass is greener on the other side syndrome). How can we respond, react, and adjust our behavior that our children will see a large family as a blessing and will possibly *want* to have a passel of children when they grow up?“
I have thought a lot about this question over the last few days because we haven’t seen this type of thinking in our children. Our children feel sorry for kids who have only one or two siblings, pray that God will bless us with more children and are sad when we remind them that I am probably nearing the end of my years of child bearing. They also desire large families of their own, are grateful and happy and don’t desire what others have.
I emailed the other ‘4 moms’ with the above thoughts and wondered if they would be better equipped to answer. Their response was that we would probably all say the same thing.
So, I wondered, “What are our children missing out on?
I asked my parents (who, although we lived below the poverty level for most of my childhood, instilled a contentment and desire for a large family in my heart) and I asked Mark “Why are our children content with the family that God has given them, and why do they love and desire life in the form of many children?”. They had three thoughts:
- Parental attitude – Kids usually learn from our thoughts and attitudes much better than they learn from our direct instructions. God is good and one of the best and most wonderful gifts that He gives us is children. As I learned in the responses (both comments and emails) to my post about having many children, even though many people say that children are a blessing, many only want those ‘blessings’ on their own terms. If we believe that what God says is a blessing is only a blessing if we get to pick the timing and the number. If we believe that we have a ‘responsibility’ to choose whether we would prefer to have a less restrictive budget (or more energy) rather than another child, then our children will consider those things too.
- Delayed gratification - We live in an entitlement generation. Kids (and adults) today tend to think that they are entitled to a certain level of affluence. I’ve met adults who think that they ‘must’ have cable TV, a cell phone, monthly manicure or quarterly hair cut. In reality these things are all luxuries, no one needs them. When I got a cell phone about 6 months ago, it was a luxury. It’s something that I know I don’t need and therefore it’s something that I appreciate. If we give our children what they want when they want it, it’s difficult for them to learn this lesson. Delayed gratification helps children discern what is truly important.
- Gratitude – Throughout Scripture we are called to be a grateful people. “for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:” ~Phil. 11:4 “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ~ 1 Thess. 5:18 Rejoice in the Lord always. Just as we, the children of God, are to be grateful to Him for His goodness to us, so we teach our children to be grateful for His provision through our family to them.
Compared to the majority of people on our planet, Americans are amazingly wealthy and amazingly ungrateful. If you are reading this blog in your home then you have much, much more than you need. I think that Kristen’s post, “When Jesus Isn’t Enough“, brings much of this home.
If you have questions please feel free to use the search bar on the right to see if I’ve already addressed your question in a post. Otherwise please leave your question in the comment section or use the contact form.
I’ve written a lot about homeschooling so if you have homeschooling questions, please explore my homeschooling page where I have links to many of my posts on why and how we homeschool. You may also browse the blog by topic by clicking on the archives in the right hand sidebar.
You may go visit the other moms of many to see what questions they are answering today.
Next week we’ll talk about spending time with your husband without spending money.