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I believe firmly that every woman who is a mother is the PERFECT mother for her children. Can we each improve? Of course, but no other person can take your place.
I’m expecting my tenth child. I’ve had many difficult pregnancies during our homeschooling years…with health problems, lack of energy, moving our family, trials, etc. and through it all I kept striving for balance in teaching and sharing with my children and husband.
One of the first things I had to do was get rid of the image of standing in front of my little group to do the teaching. When ill I gather them in my room while I’m in the rocking chair or in bed. I was inspired to keep my favorite wing chair in our library so when I’m downstairs I sit in the chair and gather the kids around my feet for learning time.
Learning happens around the kitchen table, in the yard, in the car, in the garage, in the kitchen making a meal, gathered around the computer, at night as the kids are preparing for bed…teaching moments shouldn’t have to be contrived. Teaching and mentoring should come as inspired —-as you are inspired and as the child is inspired. Sometimes, we have to create an atmosphere that will inspire us and there are many ways to do this, but I will share two ways today that we do regularly that help us stay inspired.
Never miss a Learning Opportunity
I don’t know how many times I thought I’d share something or get around to teaching someone something or doing something in life that I desired to do and then forgot all about it because I put it off. I’m queen of procrastination by nature so I’ve learned to overcome by not putting anything off and having constant spontaneous teaching moments.
When I’m reading a book (a few recent ones: Be Fruitful and Multiply, Visions of Glory, The Core, or Restoring the Art of Storytelling in the Home) if I find some principles, examples, scriptures, or thoughts I want to share…I call everyone together and I share and we discuss. Oh, the meaningful teaching, learning, and sharing that goes on at those times.
We listen to many audio presentations daily. When I turn one on, my family naturally gathers around to listen and we pause it often to discuss. Here are some audios (aside from books on audio & classical music) that we listen to by topic:
Classes by Oliver DeMille such as:
How to Mentor
Current Events, Trends and Cycles of History
Podcasts by AFR which include…
Nothing But Truth by Crane Durham
Focal Point by Bryan Fischer
The Matt Friedeman Show
***Every now and then Alex Jones…but he goes off on too many tangents and I think he is quite harsh in his judgments.
Talks from the Salt Lake City Family Forum. We have years worth of audios.
Our favorite speakers are: Shauna Bird Dunn, the DeMilles, Dr. Brooks, Angela Baker, Janine Bolon, and Julie Earl, but they are all excellent.
Shakespeare and the Bible by Julie Earl
We really love the Vision Forum talks, especially by:
Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr.
Dr. SM Davis
Andrew Pudewa of the Institute of Excellence in Writing—love all of his talks
Presentations by Sheri Dew and John Bytheway
Self Improvement Talks:
Anything by Kurk Duncan
Stephen R. Covey
Talks on the computer:
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Emilie Buchwald
If you read my other writings you know how passionate I am about reading aloud to your family. The conversations, teachings, and closeness that comes during these times cannot be replaced in other activities.
When we’re reading a historical book the kids love to learn more about the geography, time period, etc so we go off and study more. If I get tempted to get bogged down by the “time it takes” I remind myself how short the time is for my little ones to be at home. Off we go…
When we’re reading a spiritual book, my children love to have a testimony meeting at the end of our reading time. So we gather in a circle and each share how the book/story changed our hearts and helped us to see life/the gospel/God in a different way. Even my six year old feels the spirit so strongly that she begs for this at the end of each reading time.
Your children will learn daily. It is human nature to learn everyday. Creating the right
environment….an environment conducive to mentoring moments is important. Dropping everything to learn is an important part of structuring the time…not the content. The content flows with the ideas and inspiration.
Because of my nature, I don’t do “mother intensive projects”. But, I allow the natural rhythm and flow of learning to happen as we live life and as God inspires me. I go to my Father in prayer daily to ask to be shown when and what my children need each day. He knows more than I how each child should be mentored and directed. I am so grateful for the wisdom of William Butler Yeats who said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” I’ve seen my children go from hate of learning and completely uninspired to passionate and excited to learn each day.