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Are you capturing your child’s delight? - Issue 299
May 17, 2013
Hi there! ....

Last weekend we had our annual church camp. Though there were various accommodation options our family tented – which we enjoy. The highlight for all of us was the time we spent with friends – getting to know them more. The ‘down-light’ was my mattress kept deflating! We enjoyed our weekend so much we came home and planned another camping trip with some family friends for another time. It was a very hot weekend and sure enough Monday morning – the weather changed to beautiful breezy days!!

This week, while the kids worked on their independent projects, I’ve spent my week planning lessons for the coming study block – which we start on Monday. I always get so absorbed in new lesson plans and have to be careful that I don’t dig so deep that I exhaust my enthusiasm leaving nothing to discover with my kids when we actually do the unit. One of the things that I love about homeschooling is that I am learning so much.

Live life with your kids!

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

Are you capturing your child’s delight?

One of the keys for raising children who are passionate about life is to capture their delight. To recognise, understand and allow the very thing that God has created in them to flourish.

For we are God's handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

God has created each one of us with the ability to do good works (not for salvation I must add, but because we are created in God’s image and because Jesus has restored us at salvation). God has a plan for our lives – He has created us in such a way, enabling us to walk in that plan. I wonder though how many times man and his ways have squashed the fulfilment of those plans or maybe taken people on detours!

Do you recognise the abilities, interests, passions, potentials in your child? What excites them, what distracts them, what can they talk about for hours, what motivates them, what brings a peace or creativity into their life?

When I was a teen it was all things creative. I would wake at about 5.00am and spend an hour working on whatever needlework project was at hand: embroidery, crocheting, knitting, (though I left my dressmaking to the evenings!) I would then catch the school bus and keep on stitching! I have continued to learn different creative skills throughout my adult life.

I see different things in my children. I started to see these things in my kids when they were probably between 6 -10 years of age and have tried to enhance, encourage, support, develop those things ever since. For Joshua it was understanding things which grew into worldview, philosophy, politics from a Christian perspective. For Jessica it was nurturing people, helping, caring, it was practical, creative, and orderly. She also has a deep love for God’s word and communicating it. For Naomi it is about being creative – about doing things differently, about making people laugh, having a good time, art, drama, fashion. (Now before you think that these are all surface and light things – think again – these things help her connect with people.) For Daniel it was making things, fixing things, understanding how things work.

Oh the diversity!!

So the first thing we need to do is recognise these bents in our kids. Then we need to understand their scope. Like I said before regarding Naomi’s passions – it is easy for us to cast certain interests aside, and see them for flippant, worldly, external teen things. One of the things that the Truth Project communicates so well (and I highly recommend this course for all adults and highschool students) is, that God is involved in every sphere of life. God is interested in all our passions: in art, in gardening, in electronics, in computers, in cooking, in ….whatever it is that makes you You. I believe that whatever we put our hand to, as Christians we need to reflect God. We need to reflect His character, His purposes, His power. We need to give glory to God in everything we do.

In the past this has meant that some Christians have ruled out certain paths for the Christian. This happened for my husband, who accepted counsel against joining the Air Force. The understanding or premise at the time was that all pilots lived ungodly lives (which we know is not true, but there you go!) There was no understanding that God uses people in all walks of life – that we need to flee evil in our own life but we are still to be in the world (but not of it). This is something that we have to contend with in our own family – how do we encourage the art and drama in Naomi’s life when we see such compromise of people’s personal faith and beliefs in the performing arts industry.

Edith Schaeffer’s book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, has shaped my thinking in many areas of my life. And this is one such area – the creative talents that God has given us are to be used to communicate God to others. We may do that in any area of study, be it the humanities, sciences or applied sciences. We may do that in any area of passion. Could Peter have reflected God in the Air Force and how can Naomi reflect God in the Arts. These are the questions we need to ask.

The third thing we need to do is allow our kids passions to develop, to grow, to be strong in their life. We need to give of our resources:

  • Our time – we need to make time for them to learn, to practice and excel
  • Our energy (both physical and emotional) – we need to support them in their learning curve with enthusiasm. We need praise them when they succeed and encourage them when they struggle. It takes physical energy to drive them to classes, cheer them on the sidelines, and turn up for performances.
  • Our money – we need to provide them with resources that will teach and guide them
  • Our abilities – we may not have the skills that they have, but we do have skills that support them. For example, I often have no idea what Joshua is talking about but I can ask good questions that help him find better words to communicate. I could never perform creatively as Naomi does, but I can prompt her to think about certain aspects of her given-character.

The challenge as a parent is to work through these three aspects

  • Recognise the talents, gifts, abilities, passions in our kids – regognise them as God created
  • Understand that these abilities can be used by God, and can glorify God (though we may not know how)
  • Allow for them to develop and grow in our kids’ lives – and see what happens next!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

During the week I blog at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I shared:

You may like to read about Hospitality and Children Helping our children be hospitable as people come into our home.

Check out other homeschool and parenting issues over at my website, Lifestyle Homeschool

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.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

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

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

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

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