Final Post

Tuesday was Recitation Day which we held via Skype with the grandparents. We were also videoing at the same time and I was so overwhelmed with all these new fangled technologies as well as running the ceremony and trying to keep Gideon from eating the State Reports that I completely forgot to take any pictures! Any way, here is the run down of our program which the boys performed beautifully:

Opening Prayer by Titus “Lord, Teach a Child to Pray”
Apostles Creed by Joel (I know this is usually reserved for church services but the fact is that EVERY other thing we learn hinges on these important truths)
Key Note Address by Mom (transcript at bottom of this post)
Favorite Bird Hymns by All
“I Come to The Garden Alone”
“On the Wings of a Dove”
“Joyful, Joyful” (accompanied by Titus on piano)
Memory Verses A-Z by All
Favorite Bird Poems
“The Eagle” by Titus
“The Puffin” by All
“The Muffin” by Sam
State Report Presentations
“Alaska” by Sam
“Hawaii” by Nate
“Florida” by Joel
“Louisiana” by Titus
Closing Songs/Prayers
“The Heaven Bells Ring” an original composition by Joel
“The Doxology” sung in Hawaiian by Nate
Thank You, Lord” closing prayer by Nate
“The Queen’s Prayer” sung in Hawaiian by Titus

Sam and his home-made glow-in-the-dark Alaska state flag
Sam and his home-made glow-in-the-dark Alaska state flag

Happy Summer to everyone! I hope it’s glorious. We will be spending ours once again at Hartland Christian Camp which is in wonderfully close proximity to both sets of grandparents. So here’s to priceless time with friends and family! Cheers!

Hope some of your summer looks just like this....
Hope some of your summer looks just like this….

Oh, and here’s the transcript from my Key-Note speech:

“Mom, you’d be amazed at all the stuff I’m learning when you’re not looking.” So said my 10-year-old about half way through this school year. As humbling as those words might be to a teacher, they’re true. You couldn’t stop a child from learning stuff even if you tried. No matter what you do, or don’t do, a healthy brain cannot help itself from converting sensory data into knowledge of some kind. That’s just what our bodies are wired to do.

This year, more than ever I’ve been learning that my role as a teacher is less about filling their little minds with facts and more about filling their little hearts with delight. Delight is what gives all knowledge its meaning. It’s what makes facts relevant to a child’s life. Delight affirms that something is worth the knowing.

Psalm 111:2 says, “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.” What we call “doing school” is really just delighting in the works of the Lord together. My job is to plant that seed of delight in God’s works and nurture it and give them the tools necessary for studying that which they are delighting in. The germ of that seed, it’s most essential part, is the fear of the Lord. Psalm 111 closes with “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who practice it have a good understanding.”

This verse is why all our school days start with prayer, and hymn singing, scripture reading and verse memorization. Sometimes, our school days end with that too, because that’s all we get around to!
My carefully drawn out plans for our days don’t always come to fruition but what’s exciting about being a “delight-directed” teacher is all the unexpected fruit! It took me a while to adjust to the miraculous fact that while I might be planting apple-seeds my little trees are producing oranges! But at least they’re producing fruit, even if it is their own unique variety!

For example, given our daily delighting in music (my apple seed) I was more than a little disappointed that Joel didn’t want to take piano lessons this year (my coveted apple), but then he goes and surprises us all by composing his own music (a beautiful, plump, juicy orange). Here’s another: when it came time to transfer all the little state facts the boys had put on notecards into a proper report (apple), Titus balked and decided to write an epic poem about his state bird instead (orange) (Click here to read). Or Sam who couldn’t quite squint his eye enough to see this year’s Blood Moon we were observing through the telescope (apple) and instead ran inside and drew this beautiful picture of what he could see instead (orange). And sweet Nathan who at the beginning of the year seemed to be going backwards in his reading skills (apple) so I just put it on the back burner and he threw himself into math with a fervor (orange). Then at the end of the year he starts reading like he’s been working on it everyday for months. It was like picking peaches in the dead of winter!

In conclusion, as a teacher, I’m ever learning. Learning to not just love apples, and to expect them at some artificially appointed season. But to rejoice in oranges and pears
and bananas and each in their own good time. My students themselves are some of the Lord’s great works and studying them has become my greatest delight.

Like we all didn't see THAT coming!
Like we all didn’t see THAT coming!

18 thoughts on “Final Post

  1. It has been delightful for both my husband and me to follow your blogs this year. We rejoice to read of your family priorities as you raise your sweet boys to become godly young men. Maybe we will have the privilege of seeing you again when we visit Kona in September!

  2. I wish I had found your blog earlier! (I hope you will be leaving this blog up. I’m looking forward to reading it as we go through our Birds course this year! God bless you as you continue to make decisions based on His Will for your family.

      1. Yup. We finished up Botany a little while ago, and are just starting Birds. Both with Apologia.

      2. We did botany several years ago but not with Apologia. Now that we’ve discovered their “Exploring Creation” series I want to go back and do botany again! We did Apologia astronomy last year and I thought “Flying Creatures” would be kind of a downer after that but it wasn’t at all! There was just more and more to be amazed about every time we picked the book up! Next year will be studying “Land Animals” and I can’t wait to get started!

    1. I switched my following account for frolicking flamingo to email so I can still read your blog even though I won’t be using wordpress anymore. There is free internet at the pool here so I can check emails there. Now I’ll have an audience whenever I’m laughing myself silly at your family’s antics.

  3. I wish my teachers in those same early years had been as understanding as you, Julie. I could have used a good dose of “delight” back then. When my teachers wanted “apples,” I managed to produce only a few prunes, much to their chagrin. Anyway, I’ll miss reading your blogs.


    1. Don’t worry, Opa, we’ll find some other way to keep you posted. Oh and I wish all your mean old teachers could see what you turned into in spite of them!

  4. I am sad, but I know this isn’t goodbye. :). I have learned so much from you and your boys! I get so caught up in looking for the apples, that I often miss the beautiful bananas. As always, thank you you for the encouragement, my friend. Hugs from Arkansas! 🙂

  5. Way to go super-homeschooling mom! It has been amazing to read and watch what you all are doing each week. I’m tempted to pack mine up and ship them to you to homeschool. 🙂 But I have to trust that God gave them me as their mother for whatever reason, so they should survive. 🙂 Can’t wait to see you all back on the mainland soon!

    1. Ooohhh! Wouldn’t that be fun? All of yours here with mine part time and then all of mine their with yours part time? It’d be just like in “Little Men” and then they’d all be perfectly well rounded and you and I would both get some time off! With our two powers combined we could rock their little worlds!

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