Sweet as Sugar

Sweet as SugarWe have a standing rule as parents. As tempting as it might be, we do not yell at our children. One would think that our home is always peaceful then, wouldn’t you? No yelling, no screaming, and no raised voices. (sigh) Very quickly though, one learns that just because you aren’t yelling, doesn’t mean all is right in the world.

I wish I was always kind. I wish my voice emanated grace and dripped with love. Unfortunately, I’m human. While yelling is purposefully avoided, I have noticed a trend which is equally unhealthy… bitterness. When speaking to our children during times of stress or discipline, I have taken note that my voice is not always as sweet as it ought to be. Instead of speaking with a gentle voice, I tend to become harsh and firm; in essence, allowing my pride to take over.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being firm. I think, at times, all children need a firm hand. However, there is a significant difference between being firm and being harsh. That is where I need a little work.

Instead of taking a moment to breathe, pray, and then bring my children back into a proper relationship with the family, I am taking the easy route and reacting to the situation. This ought not to be so. I need to make a better effort at adding a dose of sugar to my voice.

Truthfully, my fear is that I will sound like a mommy whose voice just drips with honey, but who lacks any substance. Do you know what I mean? I think we’ve all seen people who have the sweetest voice when talking to their children, but their children pay no heed to them whatsoever; continuing in their disobedience. I want to be taken seriously. No! I need to be taken seriously. I shouldn’t have to cajole and beg my children to do what needs to be done. I shouldn’t have to ask more than once and offer them something nice to get them to listen.

There must be a perfect middle. A place where I learn to be just a tad sweeter, but not so sugary that it makes one sick to the stomach. I am sure there is such a position, but I am learning I cannot stand there on my own. Being human, I am completely unable to be the parent I long to be on my own steam. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that I am able to love my children the way they ought to be loved.

Bearing one’s soul is always hard. It isn’t easy to admit we are failing, especially when it comes to our parenting. I want to make excuses and assure everyone that I try to be a good parent; that I don’t yell at them; that I don’t even become harsh that often. However, the truth is, even a little harshness is too much. I may be human, but that is no excuse.

Like my children, I too am still learning. Through our daily lives, through our homeschooling, and parenting, I am attempting to gain victory in this area of my life. I want my children to look back on their childhood with fondness and love. I want them to remember that while their mother might have been firm on important issues, she was also kind and loving.

I pray I have victory in this area. That I would be mindful of not only the words which come from my mouth, but the tone in which they are said. I pray my heart would be humbled and my life reflect the message I am learning. This is a battle worth winning.

Time to Chime In: Have you been able to conquer the battle with your tongue? Share with us helpful tips, hints, and ideas on how to better speak with love.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

Caught on Tape

When first starting our journey into homeschooling, my husband came across a set of McGuffy’s Eclectic Readers. He insisted these should be an active part of our home school routine and he was absolutely correct.

While oral reading, in-and-of itself, has a multitude of benefits, I think it might be time to take this to the next level… video recording!

Using our handy-dandy camcorder, we can collect each of the children’s oral reading sessions, reports, and presentations. Then the real fun begins….

Each week, these “sessions” will be played for all of us to watch. We will go through them together, assessing each one. Here are some things we will look for:

  • Clear Articulation
  • Correct Posture
  • Voice Projection
  • Appropriate Speed (not too slow or too fast)
  • Dramatic Inflection (if needed)
  • Recording Quality (lighting, setting, and camera angles)

All of us will be on the lookout for ways of improving each presentation. To be helpful, wet-reading-poem will list three things that we think need improvement and three things which were done well. The children will not only evaluate each other’s work, but will evaluate their own.

Our hope is that by continuing these recordings throughout the year (and probably the years to come) the children will better learn the art of a good presentation. Not to mention all the fun of learning how to use recording equipment and digital editing.

So… Lights, Camera, Action!

What are you looking for in a good presentation?

Full Steam Ahead

As if life isn’t already filled with “busy-ness”, our family is going to be charging full steam ahead during the next several weeks. We have a slew of activities planned and today was just the start of the all the fun!

Today we had a full schedule of events. We started off doing fall co-op with our homeschooling PSP, moved onto a library visit, rounded off with a park day, and ended with getting some paperwork done. Whew!

Marine Biology

My baby boy had a marine biology class this morning, during his co-op hours. He had lots of fun and learned quite a bit.

Speech

My oldest daughter had a speech class today. She was very uncomfortable, but she made it through. We are going to be doing some practicing before next week to help her get more comfortable.

Animal Habitats

My middle girls took an animal habitat class. Today’s lesson was on the life cycle of the frog. They even had a special visitor in class… a red bellied toad!

Math Games

I taught a class for the Kindergarten kids as well. During second period we played math games. Today’s lesson was on making tangrams and creating some neat animal shapes!

Heroes of the Bible

Second period meant Heroes of the Bible for my middle girls. They made neat notebooks and even got a cape to go with it!

Sewing

Second period was basic sewing skills for my oldest girlie. She had a lot of fun with this class.

Park Day

Just a few of our girlies who joined us at the park. It was great weather and great fellowship!

Dragons

Once again, our dragon friends graced us with their company and, once again, my youngest gal wouldn’t leave them alone!

Good Eats

My baby girl eating up her pizza. She WAS supposed to be eating her salad, but her dragon friends brought pizza to share… so… the salad was forgotten.

Our co-op classes were an absolute blast! We had so much fun and learned a lot. Thanks so much to the other teachers who helped make today special. We can’t wait for next week!

The park was awesome! The breeze was stupendous, the food was lovely, and the fellowship was sweet. I love getting together with my other mommies and listening to how their lives are going.

Today was definitely full, but it was all worth it. Now it’s time for some R&R!

If you could teach any co-op class, what class would you teach?