At this time of year, we are gearing up to begin a new home school year. In our home and on our little farm, we are learning all the time. But we like to work especially hard on academics during the Fall and Winter seasons. I thought I would share an article I wrote years ago as a handout for a home school support group. I like to review this from time to time, because I need encouragement and to remind myself of the goals for not just homeschooling but for life. If you read my blog posts you will know that perfection eludes us here at Fair Hills Farm, but I realize that there is joy and learning in the journey of life. And to repeat the words of Coach Nick Saban that I heard him say last year during the college football season, which are so applicable to everyone in all walks of life, “The season is a grind…embrace the grind.” Yes, let us embrace the grind!
NURTURING YOUR CHILDREN
From the book, Home Built Discipline, by Raymond and Dorothy Moore:
“In 1960 Horizon magazine published the Smithsonian Institution report on the development of genius, authored by North Carolina University psychologist, Harold McCurdy, who studied characteristics of great geniuses and leaders through the ages. The Smithsonian recipe for genius includes (1) “a high degree of attention focused upon the child by parents and other adults, expressed in intensive educational measures and, usually, abundant love;” (2)” isolation from other children, especially outside the family;” and (3) “free exploration under parental guidance (in the sand piles, in encyclopedias, in scientific experiments, in music,arts, history, social service) instead of slavery to adult imagination.* The parental example and response reign as constructive and preventive influences in family discipline.” (p.160)
*Harold G. McCurdy, “The Childhood Pattern of Genius,” Horizon 3 (May 1960): 33-8.
Other quotes taken from Home Built Discipline:
“Play is to children what work is to adults, and most often their play copies adults’ work.” (p.170)
“When you are building great character in your children, you might consider which house can better stand in a storm: one that was built deliberately with careful planning – on concrete that was dry, with wood that was well seasoned, and all finished out with loving care – or one that was built in a rush – on uncured concrete, with green, warping wood, by speculators in a hurry. It never pays to rush children.” (p.109)
“Parenting is a daily testing process. And this is good. It challenges you to be a better person, for you are under scrutiny. In a sense your children are testing you in one way or another every moment.” (p.133)
THINGS TO FOCUS ON AS WE LOVE AND NURTURE OUR CHILDREN
1. Seek the LORD first, and then bring to Him everything that concerns you and your family. Do this continually, on your own and with your family.
2. Meet your family’s needs by establishing order and discipline with heavy, heavy, heavy, doses of love and forgiveness. Work on establishing good habits! Don’t get discouraged! When you have disaster days or even disaster weeks, don’t give up and quit. Keep at it. This is how you become an over-comer and you learn to be patient and persevere.
3. Model kindness and service, and teach your child to do this, too, first with you and then on his/her own.
4. Feed your family the best food you possibly can. Watch over their health and pray over their health, too.
5. Enjoy being a wife, enjoy being a mom and enjoy homeschooling. The LORD wants us to be joyful! Deliberately choosing to rejoice and praise GOD when things are tough or you encounter trouble (even if you do it quietly to yourself), helps instantaneously.
6. Incorporate beauty into your life. When you put classical music on in the background and look at pictures of great works of art with your child, you are teaching music and art appreciation. Exposing your children to good literature by reading aloud teaches the habit of attention and fuels their own creative minds. When you expose children to beautiful, well-made things and works of art, you are helping them to appreciate excellence.
7. Cultivate encouragement. Appreciate your child and be complimentary of his/her efforts. Also be thankful for the efforts your child makes, even if there is much room for improvement.
NURTURING NUTRITION IDEAS:
1. If you have never eaten brown rice, try it. A rice cooker helps to make fluffier brown rice (but you can make it just as well in a pot with a lid on the stove). Add lots of butter and sea salt or other seasonings and you will like it!
2. Use butter, olive oil and coconut oil liberally. Also use whole milk and whole milk products. Children especially need good saturated fats, and contrary to popular opinion, saturated fat does not clog your arteries. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fat (which is usually rancid) and lots of refined carbohydrates and sugar does contribute to plaque and a host of diseases.
3. Eating whole grains like soaked beans, wheat and brown rice or whole grain pasta will give you many more vitamins and minerals and also fiber. Adding freshly-ground flax seed to muffins, breads and biscuits also greatly boosts the nutritional value and is good for digestion. Making your bread and bread products from scratch yourself may be a bit more time-consuming, but the results in more resilient health in your family is worth it. If you can afford a grain mill, it can be cheaper to mill your own flour and make your own bread products than it is to buy the same from a store.
4. The less additives, colorings, and chemical preservatives in food, the better. Sometimes people have hidden allergies to these things and it causes behavior problems and health problems. When they avoid these things, the problems go away or are greatly reduced. Also, buying organic or non-GMO foods are a good choice when you can. There is mounting evidence that consuming genetically-modified foods predispose people to cancers, chronic diseases, and allergies, and furthermore, they just are not necessary. GMO crops now need just as much pesticide and herbicide even though their DNA has been tampered with to supposedly not need those sprays.
5. Eat as much raw and cooked vegetables and fruits as you like. Some vegetables such as spinach are actually better when cooked with a little butter or other fat, because the minerals are better absorbed when we eat them.
6. Eat yogurt or take a probiotic (such as acidophilus) supplement if you have ever in your life had antibiotics. This helps to balance the good bacteria with the yeast in your body.
7. Consider a good multivitamin for yourself and your child. Many people develop vitamin or mineral deficiencies if they don’t eat enough nutrient-dense foods. Make sure it is a quality one with little or no other added fillers or chemicals, as cheap vitamins are worse than no vitamins, in my opinion. It is always better to get your vitamins and minerals through your food, but if you are under extra stress, ESPECIALLY IF you are pregnant or nursing a child, and don’t always eat well and get enough sleep, it is crucial to supplement with quality vitamins or herbal mixtures. Also consider giving cod liver oil to your child and take it yourself. It is rich in omega 3 oil, EPA and DHA, vitamins A and D. See resource listing at the end of this article.
8. Get exercise, fresh air and sunshine as often as possible.
9. Get plenty of sleep. Take time to relax, and try to take a Sabbath rest every week. It really helps!
And finally, dwell on these verses from Ephesians:
“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 14-21)
www.drrons.com (additive free supplements and superfoods)
www.vitacost.com (discount supplements, organic and non-gmo foods)
www.mountainroseherbs.com (herbs, dried and oils, etc.)
www.trimhealthymama.com (If you can only get one book on good eating with lots of recipes and explanations, get this one. There are many testimonies of weight loss and health regained from taking these ladies’ advice.)