Sunday, February 21, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (on Sunday) (Vol. 3) -- Our Rule of 7 Review for the Week

I have been enjoying taking part in 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary for the past two weeks as a way to reflect upon the kids and our homeschooling efforts. I did not want to break the habit, even if this week, I am a bit late in posting. So here are our 7 Quick Takes Friday on Sunday. This week, I am focusing them around our Jammies School Rule of 7 for:

Loving God: Luke and Nina have been loving God by focusing on Saints and learning about Lent. We thoroughly enjoyed a St. Valentine’s Breakfast Tea and have also been focusing on Lent activities. Every day, we try to do something to help us learn about and live as God wishes us to during Lent. So far, we’ve made a list of ways we could give to others, made Bean Jars for earning and counting out up to three beans a day (for praying, fasting and giving), made purple “Pray”, “Fast”, “Give” letters with smiley faces on them to remind ourselves that it makes Jesus smile when we do these things for Him and begun setting up our Lent liturgical table. We’ve also, of course, been enjoying Lent and Easter theme books, such as the Story of the Cross for Children.

Loving Others: The kids sure enjoyed putting their love for others towards making Valentine’s for friends and family with glue, paper, stickers and glitter on Valentine’s Day. Why did they choose purple hearts as well as red ones? Due to inspiration from an old Valentine theme book I have that Luke enjoyed during our dailt storytimes – The Best Valentine in the World.   (Now I just have to distribute those Valentine’s so their love is really shared!)

Loving Movement: Luke’s OT specialist has suggested we add “heavy work” to his daily routines, including pushing exercises. So, along with pushing Mommy and Daddy over during “rough play” and pretend-pushing down walls, the kids enjoyed helping push about their new-to-us bunk beds the other day as we put them in place to set up. How they showed their muscles!

Loving Beauty: As the old adage goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” right? So, it is when you are two and four. One day this past week, while I attended to some important work papers, Nina and Luke took it upon themselves to decorate the windows for Lent. How? By surreptitiously making their own window “paint” from chocolate sauce, milk, water, toothpaste and who-knows-what-else. (Gotta hand it to their creativity.) Once I realized what they were doing and asked them what they were thinking, Luke responded with a smile that he was helping me. Earlier, when he had asked where our winter window clings were, I told him I wasn’t sure. So, he wanted to help by decorating the windows with Nina... Oh my!

Loving Working: Luckily, Luke and Nina were ready helpers in cleaning up the messes they had made while formulating their paint concoction. They readily sprayed and wiped walls and windows with me and mopped up spills on table and floor.

Loving Playing: For one reason or another, Luke began a new phase of biting and pinching last weekend. (Yikes!) Luckilu, not only did he decide to “fast” from such unkind habits for Lent, but I (succcesully - prasie God!) decided to help him kick start impulse-control with a little chart motivation. Since the beginning of latest biting phase had coincided with spending three days playing with dino figurines and puppets, reading dino books form the library and enjoying a few Land Before Time videos with Daddy, I suggested to Luke that he may have started biting again because of the influence of all those meat-eaters. So, together, we made a no biting-no dinosaurs chart with the numerals 1, 2 and 3 written on it. Then, we collected all his dinosaur toys and books, putting them away for three days until he could prove that he knew carnivorous behavior was unkind. (Well that is all but the two toys I missed, which Luke found and, honestly, brought to me, giving me one, saying “Mama, this one is a carnivore, but this one is a plant eater. He won’t make me bite.” His honesty earned him a pass on the plant-eater.) In any case, Luke -- with many reminders and much effort-- controlled his tooth-bearing impulses for three days and was thrilled when he awoke to find the chart “disappeared” after the third day. He excitedly asked for his dinos back and has been happily – and peacefully – playing with them since!

Loving Learning: Our main learning this past week has centered around practical life and Lent. The kids cannot get enough of juicing clementines, sipping the fruits of their labor with smiles. And, both children are paging through our Lent reading basket regularly. Nina is particular drawn to the page in our Stations of the Cross book where Jesus is stripped. I have yet to figure out if it is because she is concerned for him, as she sometimes gets quite a sympathetic pout going and declares, “Poor, Jesus. He’s naked.” Or, if it is because she happily identifies with Jesus’ in the almost-buff as she smiles with “He’s naked!” – which although not the most sacred or solemn response, is understandable when you consider our little Nina loves stripping herself down to just a diaper or big girl pants lately, as can be seen in the many half-naked pictures of her...

In any case, we are just thankful that the children keep learning and growing so actively with their Jammies School Rule of 7.  And, we look forward to more fun (and challenges) in the weeks and years to come.

We'd love to hear about your own homeschooling, pre-school rearing and chidlren's faith formation experiences.  Please leave a comment!


Mindy said...

I really enjoy reading your posts. I love how you handled the biting/dinosaur issue...nice job!

Martianne said...

Thank you, Melinda. We have been through several biting periods with Luke - the first being when he was just learning to speak and I was pregnant with his sister. I thought we were through the frustration of them. But, even if we are not, it is good to know that we now have strategied we can use to help him learn impulse control.


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