Thursday, October 2, 2008

More proof is in the pudding

*Originally posted on October 24, 2007

Caroline has had many “Ah-ha!” moments throughout these first few months… here are some of my favorites (most of my favorites are things she’s written or drawn that hopefully soon I’ll figure out how to scan and post on here):

When studying the Proverbs 31 Woman, I read aloud that “wisdom comes out of her mouth and kindness is on her tongue”. Caroline drew “literally” a face with an open mouth with the word “wisdom” coming out of it and drew a tongue hanging out with the word “kindness” on it. Her left brain makes her drawings of bible stories as literal as possible… it’s so cute. She’s a true “dispensationalist”. :) I’ve got to figure out how to attach some of her drawings and poems so that you can see what I’m talking about… hopefully I’ll figure out this blogging thing soon!

Caroline wrote out her characteristics of a “Loving Woman”, and here is what she wrote:
“If I love God, I will show it by: Self-Control, Obedience, Reading the Bible, Showing Love to Others and by Acting Godly”. WOW… that’s a great summary that I need to follow more!

Erich was leading Family Devotion one night and taught on Jesus’ Prayer from Matthew 5. Caroline literally RUNS to get paper and pen and asks energetically, “Can I please take notes?” Of course, Erich was thrilled at her initiative to learn. (I was thrilled that her note taking skills had progressed to evening time after school was over). When I came home that night from Choir, Caroline couldn’t wait to pray with me. She pulled out her notes and used them as a guide to help her prayer be more like Jesus’. It was such an awesome moment… God is putting such a desire in her heart to be more like Him!

Charlotte Mason stresses how important it is to read classical literature to your children. Not only will the children’s vocabulary increase to a higher level, but they will be inspired by the character’s trials and accomplishments as they face moral dilemmas in the story. Charlotte is so right on this point (that’s an understatement). Caroline has been using such mature words in her everyday vocabulary and she phrases her sentences like authors that we’ve been reading! When we read A Little Princess, little Sara Crewe does an amazing thing to help out a “beggar child”… and Caroline was so moved that she got tears in her eyes! What a touching moment… she was truly inspired by a sacrificial act in the story and kept on talking about it.

The best thing we ever did as a family (I have to give Erich credit for this one) was cancel T.V. service and remove the T.V. from our living room. We still have one in my bedroom and one upstairs in the game room… but the T.V. is not the center of our life. We occasionally watch DVD’s… most recently Caroline requests “Little House on the Prairie”. But, without the T.V. as the focal point, Caroline gets excited about things that are much more beneficial… like doing bible study, playing family games, reading good books, playing outside, etc. It’s easier to get Caroline to focus on her educational work without the distraction and “mind candy” that the T.V. has to offer. (can you really call it an “offer"?) It’s been such a joy to see God change her heart since we’ve started homeschooling.

Caroline is a very punctual child… obviously she gets it from me… ha-ha!!! (for those that don’t know me, “punctuality” is the antithesis of a word that describes me!) :) If we are not prepared to start school by 8:00am, Caroline is rushing around trying to help Ava or get out the books for the day, so that she can help us start on time. Sometimes, if I tell her, “It looks like we’re going to start a little later today,”… she will just start doing her Math, Spelling and Copy work on her own. I love how driven she is, but sometimes it causes me stress to try to keep up with her!

Caroline really enjoys playing the piano and Kurt, her piano teacher, says that she’s truly gifted. She is always sitting down to practice, which is a real treat that I don’t have to be “on her” about practicing. She is very driven and goal oriented, so Kurt told her that once she masters her Sonatina, he will teach her Fur Elise… so she is “gung ho” about perfecting the Sonatina. Because of our homeschool schedule, our lessons are from 1:00-2:00pm, which means we're not adding “one more thing” to our evening schedule. Family time is very precious to us, and even though we haven’t done everything we’ve wanted to do yet with our evenings, it still is a sigh of relief that we’re not “overbooked” with activities.

I can’t stress enough how incredible Charlotte Mason’s teachings have been for my girls… how helpful Ambleside Online is… and how incredible the Yahoo groups have been for ideas, support, links, advice, etc. I would NEVER have pictured myself homeschooling… NEVER thought my girls would thrive so much… NEVER thought that we all would love it as much as we do!!! Erich said that it seems like we have MORE time and MORE freedom to be a family, to serve God, and do things that matter ETERNALLY because of homeschool. Praise God that He convicted us to make this move and that He has provided the wisdom, peace and blessing that has made our homeschool so wonderful. May He continue to give us strength and patience as we continue to learn how to emulate Him in all we say and do. Have a blessed day!

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