Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thoughts on going back to school....

Every year about this time I start getting the jitters... the back to school jitters.  There's just something about the smell of a 24 pack of Crayolas that gets me all nervous and excited at the same time.  This year the feeling is more intense as we are getting ready to send our oldest to Kindergarten.
Sadie's 1st day of Preschool
 I've been asked by multiple people over the last few months, "You mean, you're not homeschooling?"  Apparently I look to fit the mold of a homeschooler... and I will take that as a compliment because it takes a lot of motivation, enthusiasm and discipline to take on that role!  ;)

I am not opposed to homeschooling, especially if it is done well... and there may be a season of life God calls us to that, but for now, our family feels extremely called to and passionate about the Public School.  It's been a passion Eric and I have shared for a long time.  There are so many needs in our local schools.  Right now, our schedules allow us to be at the school, be a part of what is going on, and a help to meet the unique needs that are there.  I am so excited to see how God is going to use our whole family as we begin this adventure.

With anything new, there are adjustments that need made and things to think on before sending your kiddo to school.  I am no expert on this, but there have been things I have noted as a mom and a teacher that are helpful in getting your little ones (and you) ready for their first week at school. 
  • Take time during the summer to go up to the school and play on the playground.  Give them a chance to try out all the equipment and teach them how to use it correctly.  While you are there peek in the window to their classroom so they can get an idea of what it looks like.  It also gives them a chance to see that their teacher is getting ready for them!
  • Have your child draw a picture of how they will get to school.  Will they walk, ride their bike, ride the bus or will you take them?  Use this as an opportunity to talk about safety and appropriate behavior while walking, biking, bus riding etc.
  • Model what it looks like to be a good friend.  Teach them how to talk to kids they have never met before... for some kids this is very natural, for others it is very nerve racking.  Teach them how to introduce themselves to someone and ask them to play or be their partner for an activity.  While this seems very simple, we cannot assume that they already know how to do this.
  • Sadie recently shared that she is feeling a little nervous about going to school.  Instead of telling them not to be (which can tend to be our default because we don't want them to have uneasy feelings), let kids know that it's okay to feel nervous!   Sometimes it's good to know that it's okay to feel that way and once they are used to going, they will become more comfortable.  
  • Replace anxious thoughts with the truth.  When Sadie shared about being nervous, we found a Bible verse that would help her with that feeling.  We chose Psalm 56:3 - "When I'm afraid I will trust in God."  We have spent a lot of time over the last couple weeks reciting that and talking about what it means.  I'm trusting that God will bring that verse to her memory when she is away from me and is feeling anxious.  As the school year progresses, teach them verses that will deal more with their character - being a good friend (Proverbs 17:17) or doing all things without complaining or grumbling (Philippians 2:14).  We constantly need to be looking at our kids and thinking about what the deepest need of their heart may be and how we can help develop them and nurture them into what God desires them to be.
  • Buy and label school supplies together.  Talk about what they might do with each one.  Also talk about the supplies they are taking that will be for their personal use and what will be for the class to share.
  • Pray together for their new teacher and friends!
  • Share some of your favorite school memories with them.  We want our kids to love learning... they are going to be in school for at least 13 years (and will hopefully have the desire to be lifelong learners after that!)... talk positively about going to school and learning.
What other things can you think of to help get your kiddos ready for school?  We have about 3 more weeks to prep them!  The big day is coming soon!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feelin's get hurt

Tonight Cole was throwing a huge fit about getting in the bathtub.  That boy is particular.  He likes to do stuff how he wants, when he wants.  If it is not on his schedule, it turns into a super whine-fest.

As I was talking him through his wailing and coaching him on getting undressed to get into the tub he belts out, "Owwwwwwww!"

Thinking he had somehow hurt himself, I begin to sympathize, "Oh, Cole... are you okay?  What happened?"

He replied, "YOU hurt my feelin's."

Yes.  Feelings do sometimes hurt, little buddy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Back in May we planted these guys....
Garden in May.
 When you plant it's so difficult to envision those little plants growing into monsters.  But they do....
Garden in July.
More happy garden... last year's compost rocked the garden this year!
I think I need more space next year!  We have had so much fun this year keeping our eye out for new fruits.
Cole checking on the pumpkin.
I may or may not go out to check on my garden 2-3 times a day.  I mean, you never know what can pop up in a few hours... and it's to find something new!  And this guy....

I sleep outside at night protecting him from any melon thieves that may be in the area.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Memorizing James 3:17

I was getting ready to post my scripture memory for the next couple weeks and came across this post from the Girl Talk Blog on spending time with Jesus.  Good stuff... He, indeed, is our portion.  His Word will never come back void and will penetrate to our deepest parts.

James 3:17 ESV
"But wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere."