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Step Back and Really See - Issue 207
July 01, 2011
Hi there! ....

This week One of the highlights was seeing Daniel’s face after he had spent time with his dad in the workshop. He was so excited to show his siblings his completed wood project. After a while I saw him lift his box and give it a good sniff…. He said, “Smell this mum – wood!” (in hallowed tones!) It is such a joy to be able to give our children activities that delight their soul.

Live life with your kids!

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

Step Back and Really See

This is a post from my blog archives though here is a lesson well worth being reminded of.

Yesterday we got together with a few other homeschooling families. We started our morning with a lesson on Flexibility (using Character First). Interestingly enough, we had all experienced a change of plans that very morning which gave us a great starting point to discuss flexibility.

Over the next few months we are going to spend time with our kids teaching them the games we remember playing in the playground - Skipping (with long rope) & Elastics were last month’s choice, Jacks and Knucklebones are this months.

Between the 3 families we had 9 kids of playing age. I paired them up with a younger and older and we showed them how to play Jacks. I then went around each pair to make sure that everyone was doing okay. The younger ones were all having difficulty so I set them a little practice pattern - breaking down the whole picking-up-the-Jack-thing to achievable steps. Catching the ball, touching the ground and catching the ball, pick up Jack and catch the ball. We allowed the littlies to either catch in two hands or pull it to their bodies.

Once they all were having a good time the mums stepped back into the kitchen for another cuppa! It was at this time that I saw what was really going on. This is what I saw:

  • Patience, as the older children responded to their younger partner, being lenient but not being unfair to themselves
  • Verbal encouragement
  • Kindness, as a ball from another set would roll into their own Jacks they would return it without being upset
  • Serving, as someone would get someone else’s ball as it rolled away
  • Initiative, as they saw an empty set of Jacks they rearranged themselves so someone could practice by themselves.
  • Perseverance, as they practiced and improved their skill
  • Internal motivation, as they set to improve themselves, not compare themselves against others

The only thing I didn’t see was a willingness to stop practicing when someone wanted a partner to play a game. And thinking of it now, I should have pointed that out to a few of the older ones and given them a chance to respond from their heart.

The lesson I learnt, as the mother, is how easy it is to get caught up in the activity and miss seeing what is really going on. We were playing Jacks and Knucklebones but what was really going on was an opportunity to relate to others with character and love.

I wonder what other opportunities am I missing because I don’t step back and see?

I blog during the week over at Live life with your Kids Blog. This week I wrote:
  • Telling vs Training This post touches on a very important parenting issue – I encourage you all to pop over and read it.
  • Planning a Training Blitz Do you know how to intentionally plan and address the things you see in your children?
  • Over at I’ve posted Are Holidays any Different I share some tips that have helped me balance holidays and learning.

Have you subscribed to my blog yet? It is easy to subscribe and receive updates via email - check out the right hand side of my blog for the details.

My Bookshop

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!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life – 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

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