Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Creative Journal for Children

In my on-going quest to help our kids not only be good writers, but enjoy writing creatively and expressively, I picked up The Creative Journal for Children, by Lucia Capacchione (and I got it really inexpensively! If I could remember how I did that I would share it with you, but I don't).

I have wanted my kids to be in the habit of journaling each day, but I dreaded what I thought would be the inevitable, "I don't know what to write!" This book solves that by giving suggestions for journaling that start simply with allowing the children to draw what they are thinking. Now, honestly, I thought this would be worse for Megan because while she enjoys writing, she is not a confident artist. I don't know what it is though - maybe the option of drawing and/or writing each day, but they both really enjoy it! When I said it was journal time today Ethan said, "What do we have to do for it?" in a tone that implied he was excited. They've needed very little prompting.

The author suggests parents and teachers to allow the journals to be private so as to encourage kids to be as open as possible. I told the kids they didn't have to show me their journals, but so far they have wanted to do so. I'm glad because it was fun to see that on the day Megan was supposed to write about how she was feeling she wrote, "My neck hurts. I don't really feel anything today. But I feel sort of sleepy." Not exactly mining the depths, but I am so excited that daily journaling could be something the kids do without complaining and even enjoy! (this is after only a few days though, so ask me again in a week what they think!)

The topics in the book are meant to help the kids be more self-aware and expressive, which is my goal in journaling (rather than the actual act of writing - they do enough of that in other school work). If you're looking for something like that too, you might want to check this out!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Didn't Anticipate This

We came back to Singapore at the loveliest time. There's a span of a few weeks some time in January and February when the rainy season is over but the breezes linger. We can leave the windows open all day and enjoy the fresh air. If only it could stay this way!

We jumped back into homeschool this morning, and I found a strange reluctance, even a sense that something was wrong. I then realized what it was - it feels like summer! It feels like a nice Minnesota summer day, so why on earth should we be doing school? Never mind that we just spent essentially a month playing hooky there and we really need to get cranking on the books again. I've been highly trained to associate this weather with no school.

Well, either I'll get over it soon or I'll have to make myself get over it soon. It's back to school time!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

An abundance of patience

When I tell people I homeschool, one of the most frequent comments I get in response is something like, "Oh wow - I could never homeschool. I'm just not that patient." I don't usually respond to this. If I do, I mutter something about God helping me. They are unconvinced.

But what makes me laugh about this comment is that it implies that I AM patient. Like I sat around thinking, "I am SO patient. In fact, I think I might have too much patience. Where can I find an outlet for this excess of tolerance? Ah yes, I will homeschool."

I know that really, people aren't thinking through this comment at all. They just want to distance themselves from the idea of it with what seems like a plausible excuse.

This has come to mind again this week because we picked up homeschooling again after a long than expected break (there was just too much travel in December!) and I am finding once again that my reserve of patience is nowhere near what I need for this task.

So should only the patient homeschool? Or should those who homeschool (or parent, or nurse, or drive, or cook, or live in any way) find what is needed in Christ?

"The Lord will guide you always. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a stream whose rivers never fail." Isaiahd 58:11