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Making Changes as they Grow Older - Issue 182
January 07, 2011
Hi there! ....

This week we are still on holidays, if you’d like to catch up with what is going on – I maybe blogging (or I may not be). You’ll have to go over and have a look-see! Belinda’s Notes

Live life with your kids!

If you are an Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

Making Changes as they grow Older

There is a lot of information out there to help a family homeschool their younger children but no where near the same volume when it comes to our older, teenage children. Do the same methods and philosophies work regardless of the ages of our children? I believe that we have to make changes as our children grow older – the same principles will work we just have to adjust the practices.

Regardless of the ages of our children we need to know what our beliefs and goals are for their education. Discipleship homeschooling is about

  • teaching and practicing ways of loving and serving God
  • teaching and practicing ways of loving and serving each other
  • Educating (teaching, training and finding an application for) the whole child – spiritual, moral, social, emotional, mental, practical
If these are our foundational beliefs and goals why would they change just because the child gets older? These are principles and principles remain true regardless of the circumstances.

But our practices are how we live out these principles and as our children grow older these may well look different; in fact, I believe they need to look different. This is because we also consider the developmental growth of our children when we set goals. If we look at it from the practical life skills part of life we start off with our child pulling up the doona-cover/quilt and call that making the bed, later on in life we expect our children to be able to strip the sheets and remake the bed from scratch. We start off with them boiling an egg and aim for them to serve a whole meal. We need to be moving with their growing in every area of their life not just these practical skills.

Another aspect of setting the right practices for our older children is recognising the seasons of life – childhood is a time of developing character and basic skills, of discovery and learning, of being introduced to the world around them. Adolescence is a time of preparation for the adult world, to understand and to function in the areas of relationships and responsibilities that they will need as adults. Even as an adult we have seasons in our life – we may be preparing for marriage, or growing into a young family, or becoming elders in the community, or enjoying being a grandparent. Each season of our life, and our children’s lives are no different, need to have specific purpose and goals. If we don’t grow with our children, and set new goals for them, we keep them in the season of life that we are comfortable with, not the season they need to experience in order to mature. Growth always brings change. Are we changing with our children?

What are our goals for our children in the areas of mental achievement? Or are you poking along comfortable in knowing your child is learning, and yet without an intentional and directional plan. Remember your goals will be different than our family goals but I share some of our thoughts to get you started to think about yours:

  • We want our children to be able to know what they believe and why
  • We want our children to be able to communicate that to others and even defend it to those who disagree
  • In order for this to happen they need to be able to express their thoughts in verbal and written ways (writing helps define what they believe and makes them think carefully to find the right words to then speak)
  • They need to understand the world in which such a person is coming from – that is, they need to understand not only their own worldview but other worldviews as well. We need to know the times that we live in and how our beliefs are counter-cultural.
  • We want them to be able to make connections with people – to show that they interested in and care about them.
  • Having a broad general knowledge gives a platform to speak to many different people – when you meet someone new if you know about their home country for example you have an immediate connection, something to talk about.
  • We want them to have the practical skills to be able to care for people as well.

Why do you have your children learn things? Is it just because you have to – the government demands it of you, your parents (your children’s grandparents) expect it of you, or maybe you are just doing what everyone else is doing?

We need to know what our goals are for our children in terms of learning and then make sure that we are meeting those goals at every developmental stage your child will go through. This means change – it means stepping outside of what we know already works, it means learning more things ourselves and yet for our child to reach their fullest potential we need to do these things.

Have you ever visited my blog?

Have you read about the Boyanup Chrisitan Homeschool Conference? where I'll be speaking on discipleship homeschooling?

My Bookshop

Discovering the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas This workshop style e-book helps you decide how to celebrate Christmas with your family and keep Christ as the center of all that you do.

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

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

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Until next week

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!
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