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September 12, 2012
Teaching Daughters the Lost Arts of Keeping a Home
Deborah Wuehler and family
Let's talk about daughters this week. They will be raising the next generation, having homes of their own, so we have the very important job of imparting to them the lost art of keeping a home.
Wonderful ideas abound on the "how-to's" of homemaking. There are all kinds of great curricula and books and blogs and reviews on making healthy meals, cleaning and organizing, sewing and crafting, hospitality, and more. And as moms, we sort of know what we are doing now in our own homes, and what we want to learn that we can hopefully pass along to our own girls.
I learned years ago a phrase that I have loved and tried to remember in many aspects of my life. It was from the book, The Successful Homeschool Handbook, by Raymond and Dorothy Moore: "Be prepared and keep it simple." Whatever it is you endeavor to do with your daughters or in your home, be prepared (research, gather, schedule, delegate, find teachers) and keep it simple (things do not need to be elaborate and/or time consuming). Whether you are instructing your girls in cooking, cleaning, crafting, be prepared and keep it simple.
What I'd really like to teach my girls is more about the home of their heart. Rather than making our home a showcase always ready for a visitor at all times; they would do much better to learn the lost art of keeping the home of their hearts tidy and ready for a visit with God at any and all times. An attitude of godliness with contentment is better than a super clean house with a frustrated and angry spirit. If the home of their hearts is right; all else in their life will be much easier to handle.
They also need to know that their house may be a wreck once in awhile because of the homeschooling and mothering and training they might be busy doing. And, if they are all about making and keeping everything perfect, they just might be rushing through the important things. We don't want to train them by our own example that important things are easily pushed aside, and relationships go on hold, all because of that all-important idol of trendy cleanliness. I think the "lost art" is teaching them to be clean before the Lord and to be daily washed in the water of the Word of God.
Sometimes we have to stop being Martha in order to train our daughters to be Mary. Martha was awesome--she chose to do good things that needed doing; Mary chose the better part. Mary chose Christ first. (Luke 10:38-42) We need to show our daughters how to sit with Christ first so that He can do the job of cleaning out the "cupboard" of our hearts. Then, when we are done, we can get up and show them how to clean our own kitchen cupboards with a joyful, content heart.
TOS Senior Editor
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Teaching Our Young Daughters Science
Gwen Fredette, Silver Lining Press
The shape of an alligator drifting across a pale blue sky. A grasshopper hiding between tall blades of grass. Crystals sparkling in a jagged rock.
The Beauty of God's Creation.
These are things I've rediscovered as I homeschooled my children. Children have a wonderful way of noticing little things in nature that we, as busy adults, often miss.
I love that.
I love that God has created us in such a way that there is joy in discovering, in experimenting, in seeing things in a new way, and in enthusiastically sharing those finds with those around us.
For these reasons I don't think science is a subject we should avoid teaching our children, particularly our daughters, during the younger years. Science, after all, is really just a term used to describe what children are born doing - discovering their world.
Like so many other gifts of God, the scientific mind, the desire to discover and explore this world, can be fostered and encouraged. Don't forget to do the following with your child:
- Take long walks
- Pick up an insect
- Listen for birds
- Gaze at the stars
What a blessing to take part in our child's discovery process! In His majesty God conceals much about our world, and yet with joy He gives us the freedom to search out His mysteries. I'm glad science can point my daughters to a God like that.
Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."
Gwen writes literature-based homeschool science curricula for grades K-3 and blogs for homeschoolers in Philadelphia, Pa. You can find out more about her curricula, The Glory of Kings, by clicking on the link to the Silver Lining Press website.
Silver Lining Press
Presents three outstanding science curricula:
The Glory of Kings
- Human Body
- Animal Classifications
The Glory of Kings II
The Glory of Kings III
- Simple Machines
Benefits of The Glory of Kings:
- Literature-Based- Bond with your children. Read and learn together.
- Popular Science Books--"Living Books" chosen are readily available through a local library or the internet.
- Bible-Connected - Each lesson connected to a Bible passage.
- Multiple Ages - For grades K-3.
- Simple Worksheets - Correspond with lessons.
- Fun - Projects, experiments, and educational games.
- Fantastic Price! - $10 per E-copy; $20 per hard copy
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries
*Disclaimer--This article is from a male's viewpoint and any mean letters you send to the editor . . . she can handle. Just don't send them to me.
From the world's perspective, h-o-m-e is a four-letter word, code for woman's prison. In fact, I think the secular world would like to do away with the home and have children raised by institutions so that no one has to stay home-especially not women. Actually, I heard a radio program about "wife-less marriages," unions where the husband and wife equally share the responsibility for the home. Women need to be free . . . just the same as men. Oh, yes! The world hates the home.
Want to know something more sobering? I'm not sure the Christian world likes it much better. Even with homeschooling, sometimes it seems as if we do everything in our power to get out of the home. We stay busy running here and there and view home more like an Indy-500 pit stop, a place to get in and out of, not a haven to rest in, serve in, and enjoy.
Not all that long ago, the phrase "a woman's place is in the kitchen" was considered an honor. No more . . . now it's demeaning . . . shackling . . . limiting . . . chauvinistic. Girls, whose only ambition is to be a mom and wife, are looked down upon . . . not only by the world but sadly by the church as well. Sometimes "we" even pressure girls to select a career so we aren't embarrassed by their lack of ambition.
Why is that? Because the church, like the world, elevates careers over homemaking.
So, is there hope for teaching daughters to love and keep their homes? Yep, but only by loving and keeping your home. It is the power of example.
Let the emails fly . . . to the editor . . . only to the editor.
PS. I'll be speaking at the Marion Homeschool Assistance Program in Marion, IA, this Friday the 14th. First one to mention this THM gets a free audio CD.
This week's free resource is a list of writing prompts for your elementary school student.. You'll find a wide variety of lessons, activities, and printable pages in SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
World Atlas is an educational resource for home school students
and teachers as it provides in-depth geography information, as well as free up-to-date maps of capital cities,continents, countries, landforms, provinces, states, and much, much more . . .
What an interesting topic we have this week (and next). The concept of "keeping a home" has obviously lost favor in today's culture, leaving families with less and less nurturing, beauty and comfort in their lives.
But before we start fixing all that by signing up to teach our daughters (and sons!) how to cook, clean, decorate, mend, etc., it might be beneficial to consider the actual foundations of creating and keeping a home.
What do you think?
Is it a home because meals are made from scratch?
No, it might be a caterer in the kitchen.
Is it a home because beds are made?
No, it might be a housekeeper at work.
Is it a home because candles are burning and music is playing softly?
No, it might be an upscale restaurant.
Is it a home because articles of clothing are handmade?
No, it might be a Fair Trade store.
Is it a home because there is artwork on the walls and flowers on the table?
No, it might be a florist shop.
So, what actually makes a house "home"? Isn't it the nature and quality of relationship between the people who live there?
Let's consider some of the essentials that go into "keeping a home":
Unconditional love. First and last, woven throughout every element of home is love so thick it is almost tangible. I Corinthians 13 provides us a detailed summary of what real love looks and acts like. To love in this way is beyond our limited human affections, but God invites us to pray, asking Him to help us love with His love, to fill us with His compassion. As we do so, we will be modeling and teaching our daughters and sons the first and greatest component of how to keep a home.
Sacrificial service. Vitally interwoven with love, sacrificially serving others means serving when it is not convenient, when it doesn't immediately benefit you, when it involves dying to one's own desires. Sacrificial service is the practical outworking and expression of loving others more than we love ourselves. It might look like choosing to play a game with your kids when you really wanted to catch up on Facebook. Or, refraining from frying oysters (YUM!) when your husband abhors the smell.
Generous hospitality. Another practical outworking of love--and a New Testament command--our homes can be a place of refuge in a time of storm, a place of comfort for the weary, a place of healing for the broken-hearted. As we open the doors of our home, our fridge, and our hearts to those in need, we model the heart of God to our children, showing them one of the key components to keeping a home.
Knowing that you are the book your children are reading on this subject, I encourage you to prayerfully open your Bibles and search for God's heart in this area. And then prepare yourself for the wild journey and deeper adventure of what He has in mind when it comes to creating and keeping a home.
Remember, stay relational!
MOVIES AS LITERATURE: Teach literary analysis using classic films. "Absolutely one of the BEST courses [we] have done yet! He is getting concepts he never has before." D. Foland. "Their powers of perception sharpened after only two sessions; their excitement in viewing old movies was incredibly palpable." R. Moore. www.designastudy.com
Raising Real Men
Hal & Melanie Young
Hope for the Homemaking Helpless
Our girls came very late in the parenting process, and with six boys in the house, we didn't have the luxury of letting the guys focus on yard work and car repair. That is, if we didn't want to live hungry in a hovel! Everybody here takes a turn in the kitchen, and some of them take to it naturally. Caleb, for example, learned to cook a perfect omelet before he turned ten, and went to the state 4-H competition to talk about egg cuisine.
But some of our guys found the kitchen a little alien, just as some girls do. Try as he might, our oldest son John couldn't seem to get the hang of cooking. He never burned water, but managed to burn nearly everything else. John's cooking was usually edible but it was a trial to him and not something the family looked forward to. His brothers dubbed him King Alfred, the infamous pancake scorcher. Then a remarkable transition occurred.
John's second year at college, he found a place with a kitchen. Halfway into the semester, he started telling us about friends coming over for dinner. We looked at each other quizzically. Dinner with King Alfred? Hmm. But we know how tiresome college food can be, and home-cooked anything can be a relief, so we just chalked it up to college-student appetites and moved on.
As the spring semester closed, Hal and our son Matthew drove up to move John out of his apartment. When lunch time rolled around, John said, "Well, let's see what's left in the fridge." Humming idly to himself, John gathered a handful of oddments out of the refrigerator, another load from the pantry, and with a snort of satisfaction, a half bag of shrimp in the freezer.
In the time it took to boil the rice, John was ladling out a perfect Thai curry into mismatched bowls.
Cautiously, Hal and Matthew tasted the food, then wolfed it down. Outstanding--and incredible. What happened to our King Alfred? This was good. Not like John's cooking we remembered.
What happened was that we taught him the skills of cooking at home, but he never became comfortable with them until he had to cook for himself every day, until it was all his responsibility, and his own consequences. What's more, when he saw a need for more Christian fellowship on campus, he took the bold step of inviting friends over, providing home-cooked food and a low-stress environment to relax and socialize. What was a weakness at home, became a tool for ministry on campus.
Sometimes you have a late bloomer in reading. Sometimes it's in the kitchen.
Hal & Melanie Young
PS. For more help in the kitchen, get our workshop, Sanity's in the Freezer.
Struggling with getting food on the table?
Do your budget and lack of time affect your families' meals?
Could you use some practical homemaking tips?
Join our Free Online Schoolhouse Expo on Thursday, September 27th, at 7 p.m. EDT!
(6 p.m. CDT, 5 p.m. MDT, 4 p.m. PDT)
Home Economics and Bulk Food Preparation
with Malia Russell and Molly Green.
Check out all the details at www.SchoolhouseExpo.com.
Reserve your FREE seat now---only 1000 available!
Need more hints on how to teach your kids how to cook?
In photos or viewed through a telescope, the moon appears to be a dry barren desert. So why do scientists believe there may be ice on the moon? Read the article "Could There Be Ice On the Moon?" to discover why and where there might be frozen water on the moon.
For the month of September 2012
Rainbow Sentences App from Mobile Education Store
Mobile Education Store designs apps to assist elementary-aged children build language skills. In the beginning, the company created apps to assist children with high functioning autism, but it became apparent that these apps could be used with any child building the foundations of language.
We were given Rainbow Sentences for iPad for review. Rainbow Sentences is useful for helping your student understand the Ws of writing--who, what, when, where, and why. Using color-coded visual cues, this app is useful for beginning readers and writing right up through mid-elementary-aged students. (. . .)
Three levels of play are offered, each one adding more parts of speech to the next. The way the app works is by presenting a picture, with a sentence describing what's happening in the picture. The scrambled words of the sentence are below the picture, with blanks to form the sentence above the picture. With a simple slide of the finger, your student moves the words in the word bank below up to the appropriate place in the sentence above. (. . .)
Read the rest of the review at this wonderful Schoolhouse Review Crew blog, Ben and Me.
You can win this App!
Email Deb (SeniorEditor@TheHomeschoolMagazine.com) with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Rainbow Sentences" for a chance to win* the App for your homeschool!