I recently shared on MUMmedia about my husband's recent mission trip to the Philippines. Stories, photos and videos of his trip always challenge and inspire us as a family. Last year the lesson was about simplifying our lives but this year I felt it was the importance of teaching my children compassion and generosity.
I shared how a Filipino pastor and friend was given the opportunity to travel to Australia for the first time. As we welcomed him into our home I was overwhelmed when I saw my house through the eyes of someone from the developing world.I noticed things I don't usually notice. I have two fridges in my kitchen. I have a music room and office complete with two computers and three guitars. My children have a play/school room. I have photo frames and ornaments that probably cost more than a Filipino pastor earns in a month. I discussed poverty vs riches and the importance of teaching children compassion and how sometimes these experiences are the wake-up calls we need.
Our children are growing up in a culture that teaches them to be selfish and to value possessions and products before others. As parents we need to create a counter culture in our homes where we can teach our children the importance of compassion and generosity. Part two of my post was about how I've teaching my children about generosity.
The best lesson we can give our children in generosity is to be the
example. Let them see us being generous and doing good to others.
Showing my children photos of daddy (above) helping build a kitchen and distribute food at feeding programs hopefully plants a seed in their hearts!
“Give yourself entirely to those around
you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound
that only compassion can heal.”
― Steve Maraboli
It is so important we teach our kids to be generous in a world that
teaches them to see themselves as the center of the universe. We need
more kids growing up with an awareness of the developing world and the
understanding that they have a responsibility to help the poor not out
of guilt or obligation but out of genuine love and compassion.
As parents, we have to counteract cultural messages with a home that
teaches that love, compassion, kindness and generosity are more valuable
than wealth and success. What better way to do this than to homeschool and to be the teachers that our children need.
Let's not underestimate the power behind what we are doing for our children as we teach and influence them. Building their character is more important than academic success as t is their character that will define true success in their lives.
In conclusion, recent events have left me feeling more passionate about homeschooling than ever! This is about so much more than teaching our children their ABC's and I am so thankful for the wake-up call!
After reading the well trained mind I'm inspired! I'm finding myself drawn to a classical style of homeschooling with plenty of time for free-learning and creativity. I love the strong literature focus of the classical style so I decided to follow some of the recommendations which include the grammar workbooks called first language lessons and the introduction of history even for the younger kids.
The history curriculum is called the story of the world. Susan Wise Bauer explains that history is the most absorbing and enthralling story you can tell a young child because it's true!
I ordered volume 1: Ancient times which is designed as a child's first introduction to history. I bought the narrative and the workbook.
We completed the first lesson over two days this week. It was an introduction to the idea of history and activities centered around finding out their own history and the history of our family.
So...to teach the kids about their own history we got out their baby boxes...
DS5 loved looking at the photo's of when he lived in my tummy and learning more about where he was born. He also enjoyed looking at the cards.
We also discovered some interesting things...
This was the unfortunate cover of the newspaper the day that DS5 was born!
And this was the very creepy gift from my mother in law that went straight into that baby box!
DS6 loved reading the scrapbook I made of his first year of life. His brothers asked why they didn't have one and I had to explain that once I had more than one child I just didn't have time!
Both boys loved reading their cards and looking at the 'gross' photo's of when they were born!
The boys loved this exercise (so did I!) and it was a brilliant introduction to history.
At the moment they are so enthusiastic they want to do 'history' every day!