Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Teaching Tuesday: Reflecting

Today I just wanted to spend a little time reflecting on how "school" has been going.  As I have been spending lots of time nesting this week, I am going to keep this simple and use a list format for what works for us and what does not.

What does not work:
  • Having a strict beginning time (Rushing everything to be sure we are starting right at 8)
  • Insisting the 2 year old track right with the 4 year old
  • Lots of sitting very still
  • Lots of coloring
What is working:
  • Starting when our normal morning routine is finished (ex. breakfast is over, kids are dressed, mom has showered, dishwasher is emptied, laundry is started)
  • Having some alternatives ready for Elaine (ex. paper to cut and glue, puzzles to do, etc) Then she is free to join when she is up to it, and Landon is less distracted by her.  The site Hubbard's Cupboard has been very helpful.
  • Using hands on/movement activites
  • Free style art time - Landon is not a fan of coloring when he is given a specific task, such as color the 3 apples red.  He loves, on the other hand, to paint picture after picture.  We do spend some time on following specific directions as this is an important skill, but making time for him to paint or use play dough is also very important.
I am hoping to share a little craft project we are going to do to get ready for the new baby later this week.  That is if nesting doesn't completely consume me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teaching Tuesday: Vowel Review

Landon has been introduced to the name and sound for each of the five vowels a, e, i, o, and u.  He seems to have o and u mastered but a, e, and i were giving him some trouble.  So this week we are having a Vowel Party, which is a fun way of saying a vowel review.  Each day Landon is making a "poster" for one of the vowels.  We are also using more tactile activities to help him commit the information to memory before we introduce more letters and sounds.  For the posters I printed the capital and lowercase of each vowel and pictures of items that begin with the vowel's short sound.  These can be found here.  We used the block formation as that most closely matched what he is learning with the ABEKA manuscript curriculum.  We go over the name, sound, and formation of the letter.  Then he colors the letter and pictures.  Next I cut out the letters, while he cuts out the pictures.  Finally he glues them on construction paper of his choice to make a poster.  Here is the one he made for Aa.  

We are also writing our letters in shaving cream and painting them with jello paint.  For the shaving cream you give the child enough shaving cream to create a thin layer on his or her desk.  Then they can write the letters with a finger, and then spread out the shaving cream again to erase.  A simple jello paint recipe can be found here along with a few other fun "paint" ideas.  You can also mix a small amount of jello or kool aide powder with cool whip for fun paint.  Hopefully this week will be a fun review of the short vowels for Landon.  These activities would work well for introducing or reviewing any of the letters. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

A New Revelation: Part 2

As I accept the challenge to pray that Christ would reveal more of himself to me each day, I have been overwhelmed with the transformation of my thoughts that has occurred.  As I shared yesterday I have been released from the defeated feeling the enemy uses, and now am focused on the fact that God wants us to overcome.  He convicts to bring us closer into relationship with himself.  To purify and make us holy, not leave us in despair about how far off we are from ideal.  You may be wondering what all of this has to do with studying the book of Revelation.  Isn't Revelation all about Christ returning and the end of the world as we know it?  Well it is most definitely about all that but it has so much application to the Here and Now, hence Beth Moore's title for her study of the book.  Remember,
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
So what does Revelation say about overcoming.  Just listen to the promises Christ presents the seven churches he addresses if they overcome:
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. Revelation 2:7

He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. Revelation 2:11

 To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. Revelation 2:17

To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations-- 27 'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery -- just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give him the morning star. Revelation 2:26-28

He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.  Revelation 3:5
Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.  Revelation 3:12
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.  Revelation 3:21

Amazing promises!  So how does one overcome?  Our trust for salvation must be fully in Jesus and His death and resurrection.  Then we live in His spirit daily.  Not seeing Christ through the world's eyes, but seeing the world and ourselves through the eyes of Christ.

The funny thing is I think God has been trying to use my son to teach me to be an overcomer all along.  See Landon is sure he can win at everything, and if for a second he has the slightest struggle he is devastated.  In fact his desire to overcome was one of the things that had me feeling defeated.  So I thought for sure I needed to get Landon to understand he can't win at everything, when his desire for victory is God given.  Now don't get me wrong, Landon still has to learn humbleness, being a good sport, perseverance, and obedience.  Just like I still have much to learn.  But his desire to be an overcomer is not something to be disciplined, only shaped.  So he understands his victory is in Christ, not in himself. 

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:3-5

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A New Revelation

I am currently in Beth Moore's Here and Now...There and Then, which is a study on Revelation.  I just completed the 3rd session last night, and I was blown away.  I know that God is always present and at work, but I was very tuned in last night to what He had to say.  It was like session 3 had been crafted for this specific time in my life.  Last week was very rough for me.  I just had these general feeling that I was failing at...well everything.  Beth asks us to let Christ reveal more of himself to us each week, so I prayed God would show me how to succeed at this life He called me too.  Thinking He was trying to teach me something about the way I had been doing life.  I felt better as the week progressed, but not truly victorious.  Then I went to Bible Study last night.  One of the first things she pointed out was that God wants us to live as overcomers, but that the Enemy (Satan) wants us to live defeated.  I quickly realized that the generalized feeling of failure I had felt was not of the Spirit, but of the Enemy.  See the Spirit will convict specifically, while the Enemy uses generalities so we don't have an action plan.  Last night the Spirit spoke right to what had been holding me back, and instead of feeling defeated, I felt enlightened and ready to be an overcomer!  Hebrews 7:25 states speaking of Jesus:
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Jesus is interceding for us...He lives to intercede for us.  While listening to the enemy left me wondering if I would ever succeed, conviction from the Spirit left me anticipating success.  I don't mean success in the world's sense of the word...lots of material things, fame, and power.  I mean overcoming sin patterns and living out the call of Christ on my life.  That is the type of victory that is truly fulfilling anyway.  I plan to share more specifically what I learned, not that I could ever put it all into words.  So come back tomorrow for more revelation.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Well Spoken Advice

For today I am linking you to a great guest post over at It's Almost Nap Time.  Her guest blogger is Lora Lyn from Vitafamiliae, and the post is How to Help a Friend Who has had a Miscarriage.  Coming from my own experience (which you can read about here and here), she is right on target.  Chances are you already know someone these tips would help with, and if not, you most likely will in the future.