First, I just want to let you all know that this is our last post. The end of this school year also marks the end of our 2-year experiment with having the internet in the house and we’ve decided we can live without it. We also got permission from our landlord to move the T.V. into the attic! The condo we are renting came furnished and while everything else in it has been a huge money-saving blessing, the T.V. has not. Up until our move here we had never had one in our home and while it initially felt like a fun vacation-style perk we’ve been here long enough now that it’s time to get back our principles, so out it goes!
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
“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
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!
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.