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Example is the only way to teach - Live life with your kids - Issue 068
August 22, 2008
Hi there! ....

This week:

Reading has a calming affect on our household. I often remember a technique I read that was used in a classroom -

We’ve used this technique during “off” days, during long car trips, while visiting folk, and even just for the fun of it! Give it a try!

A few months ago when we were studying the trait of Patience we discussed using our spare time wisely. I divided spare time into two different categories –
1. Our free time – when no one has any expectations on us
2. Our waiting time – when we are waiting for someone/something.

Reading books is our number one activity in our house when we are waiting. Before we established reading as our “waiting” activity I would come back ready to help someone and they were off in another room or even outside. They thought they were being patient, using their time wisely but in reality their choice was a distraction. Reading can absorb their attention but at least their bodies are where you want them to be!

Live life with your kids!

A Homeschool Thought

Example is the only way to Teach

Example isn't another way to teach,
it is the only way to teach.

Albert Einstein

As parents we are keenly aware that our children mimic us. We are aware that since our desire is to disciple our children we need to be a role model and as such we consider our spiritual walk, our character and our actions. Discipleship though is about our whole life so we must also consider the aspect of learning and be an example to our children in that area of our life too.

Love of Learning
What is your attitude towards learning? To be real in our children’s eyes we need to be more than enthusiastic for their lessons, we need to be enthusiastic for the things that we are learning for ourselves. We need to show our children that learning truly is a life long pursuit. This message will only make sense if they see you learning, and learning with joy!

A few years ago I started to think about what I read. I read books to approve for my children. I read picture books to my children. I read books about homeschooling, books about being a parent, books about being a Christian. It had been a very very long time since I had read a living book for my own pleasure. I decided to set myself a goal of 6 living books a year without them being attached to my homeschool goals. I have read some great titles (and learnt lots) over the last few years with achieving this goal easily every year. Time is short though – I still want to read those other types of books as well – so I am not reading heavy books, but I am reading good quality books, books I am proud to discuss with my children as I am sparked with ideas and knowledge.

Though for young children the purpose for copywork (writing, word for word, a sentence/paragraph from a selected piece of published writing) is more about handwriting, sentence structure, spelling and grammar for the older student copywork commits ideas, quotes and information into their memory.

As an adult I do copywork regularly. Often during my Quiet Time I want to remember a Scripture, or a devotional thought that I have read. I copy these words into my Devotional Journal. Over the months I often reflect back on these words and am encouraged once again by the wisdom those words represent. There have been times where we have been in a discussion with my children and I can refer back to my journal. This makes copywork a living and real example of learning to my children.

I also use “copywork” when reading a book other than the Bible. I jot quotes, one liners and sometimes whole paragraphs into my Reading Journal. The children see me doing this and are encouraged that Reading Journals are a life long learning tool rather than a horrible school assignment their mother has cooked up!

This is my favourite!! Narration is all about talking to others about the things you learn. My children hear me on the phone talking away to my friends, sharing the new ideas and thoughts that I have been reading. I talk these things to our children as well. Our favourite place for these discussions is over the dinner table. As the children listen to either Peter and I discussing the things that we have read and/or learnt they are gaining an understanding of those very same topics. The children talk about their learning too. Since we all read and are interested in different things as we talk together about what we learn the others in the family glean from our learning experience. As we talk, narrate, and even teach over the dinner table the lessons become firmer established in our own mind.

Notetaking and Summarising
As the children grow older we expect them to take notes and summarise the things that they learn. This is a key study tool and if we are active learners ourselves, reading living books and discussing new ideas this study tool needs to be a part of our learning experiences as well.

Once again the real life model in my life is my Devotional Journal and my Reading Journal. As I read and are struck with a thought I will either copy it, as it stands, or summarise it in my own words in one of my journals. When I take the time to do this I start to internalize the idea, ask questions, and find answers. The purpose of learning is to increase in wisdom. When we interact with thoughts and ideas this way we give ourselves time to ponder and reflect.

For wisdom will enter your heart
and knowledge will be
pleasant to your soul
Proverbs 2:10

Be that Example
Do your children see you learning and enjoying it?
Do they see you writing, asking questions, and finding answers?
Do they see you pursuing wisdom and knowledge?

It doesn’t matter what you are reading – the Bible, a living book, a homeschool help book, or a Christian book, I do encourage you to be intentional and aware about what you are learning. Step up and be a role model to your children and show them that the very tools you wish for them to practice are a part of your life too.

If this is a new step for you I encourage you, just as if your child was starting, to start out with small steps.

  1. Choose a book, one that you will enjoy reading
  2. Find a Journal
  3. Each day, when you read – copy, talk, or sumarise something from that book.

Enjoy learning with your Kids!

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Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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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

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