Back to Back Issues Page
Practice makes ....? - Live life with your kids - Issue 067
August 15, 2008
Hi there! ....

This week:

The highlight for me this week was Friday morning. We had the other older homeschool kids from town join us for a Speak Up lesson and our Creative Circle (Keepers). During the creative time, we listened to an audio book – Kings in Grass Castles. I love the atmosphere in our home when the kids are listening to something and busy with their hands, and to see a bigger group of kids do this was also a buzz. We stopped the audio about 3 times and discussed what we had heard. This did help the younger two keep up with it but it also made the older ones keep their brains engaged. We need to listen to things with a thinking mind – ask ourselves questions, ponder quotes, make connections. This is what our discussion helped them do. We all look forward to the next time we get together to listen to the rest of the story.

Live life with your kids!

Family Life is a Resource for Education

Practice makes .... ?

Many of the things that happen in family life happen over and over and over again. The kids need to do their chores every day. They need to clean their teeth three times every day. They practice the piano, they practice ball skills, and they practice calligraphy strokes. Every time we call them to come, it is an opportunity to practice obedience.

Because these things happen so often, we can easily overlook them as learning opportunities in our children’s lives. We tend to get frustrated that we need to remind them to practice, or that life seems so mundane just repeating these things. It isn’t so much a case of practice makes perfect – but rather practice makes it mine!

The Army drills and drills and drills its soldiers. The purpose of these drills is two fold

  1. To ensure submission
  2. To make skills automatic

When our soldiers are in a confrontation their lives are at risk unless they can react automatically. The same goes for our policemen, and firefighters, rescuers and so forth.

We need to see these mundane things that happen in our family life an opportunity to train our children, yes, initially in submission but ultimately in automatic behaviour. Not automatic because their brains aren’t working but automatic because it has become a habit in their life.

Children, from as young as toddlers, need to see something before they understand it. They may need consequences to establish in their minds and hearts the importance of what we are teaching them and they need time (practicing time) before they start to make wiser choices for themselves. This is why we need to be consistent with practice. Practice doesn’t make perfect but rather practice makes it mine! We want our children to own their behaviour – be it practical, moral, or academic.

For example:

Responsibilities – such as household chores
Yes, our children need to practice these, over and over and over, every day. The reason? To make them a habit. But more than that; as they practice they can start to own those skills for themselves. Once they know the skills, and they no longer need your supervision or reminder, they can start to apply these same skills in other areas of their life – in their own rooms, or in order to bless other families.

Moral Behaviour – such as speaking kind words
When we teach our children to speak kind words we model it for them and we get them to practice, especially if they have just been unkind. When we do this we give them a repertoire of kind words that they can draw from in times when it is hard. Something isn’t our own until we do it, consistently, even in hard spots. We need to practice obedience, self control, orderliness, manners and so forth until they become a habit of the heart and we walk in those ways naturally.

Academic drills– such as typing, math facts, foreign language etc
This is probably one of the areas were we are most comfortable with the idea that the children need to practice practice practice. Our children will go much further with these skills if they can own the study for themselves. To help transfer this from a skill we want them to have to a skill they desire in their own lives we need to

  • Know why we want this skill, communicate that to the children, help them get on board
  • Consider their bents and talents, and make choices that build the individual child rather than make choices based on social expectations around us
  • Be gracious with how long it takes, practice is an open ended exercise, though we can expect consistency and a right heart

So next time you feel you are just going over and over stuff – remind yourself that it is the practice sessions that transfer the skill/habit from something that you desire to see in your child’s life to something that they can call their own.

Website Updates

Math with Living Books - Using literature to find everyday examples of math has helped me teach these concepts to my children.

Learn about Homeschooling - There is so much to learn about homeschooling, read my recommendations for establishing a discipleship mindset.

Cost of Homeschooling - The cost of homeschooling is always a consideration. What are the priority things we should spend our money on for a discipleship homeschool?

Have you just subscribed to Live life with your Kids?
You can read back issues here.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

If there are any new additions throughout the week, they will be posted at the Lifestyle Homeschool Blog Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

Contact me: If you have any comments, questions or content ideas I'd love to hear from you. Make your comment here.

Know somebody who'd like to read this? We really hope that you've enjoyed reading this newsletter. If you think your friends might be interested in taking a look, please feel free to forward it to them.

Haven't subscribed yet? If you're reading this on the recommendation of a friend and would like to receive all the future editions, you can Subscribe here for free

About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life is a Resource for Education – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

Back to Back Issues Page