Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Giving the Gift of Art

Did you know children's artwork can make great gifts for family and friends? You can mat and frame it, or scan it and turn it into notecards, coffee mugs, or various other things.

Here are some past and present pieces of art that we have given as gifts:

My son won best of show at the county fair for this photo (see below). We matted it in lime green, and framed it in black, and it was given as a Christmas gift to his half-brother. (We found this little guy on our mailbox--he's sitting on my fingertip)

I won second place at the county fair with this photo. I matted it in maroon, then gave it to my grandmother for Christmas, who would sit and look at it for hours. It was so sweet!

After our first time attending Barry Stebbing's awesome 3-Day Art Class, we came home and painted this. My daughter was seven when she painted this with acrylic paints, blending all her own colors from the primaries, practicing some of the brush strokes and layering techniques.  See that "Best of Show" prize. That was for the entire paintings category--about 200 paintings. There was no children's category. She beat the adults.  This was given to my husband's mother as a Christmas gift, and it is hanging in her living room. My  version  and my son's version were also given as gifts... don't remember to whom. Seriously, folks. Watch for his art class in your area, and GO!

 Here are our three paintings:  Mine, my son who was 11 at the time, and my daughter who was 7 at the time:

My son took this photo while salmon fishing on Lake Michigan with his Dad and Grandpa. It won first place at the fair. It was framed and given to my grandmother. When she passed away, we "inherited" it back, and now it is hanging in my son's room (see below).

My daughter snapped this photo when she was eight years old. This is my husband's mother. We were at a museum, and she is standing in front of a lighted picture from the Hubble telescope.  This photo won first place at the fair.  We gave it to my husband's sister as a gift (since this is her mother, too!)
I took this on Daytona Beach in 2004. That is my daughter and her cousin, seeing the ocean for the first time. This was given to my brother as a gift (his daughter in the photo). It also won second place at the fair!

This is an acrylic painting of a blue whale, done by Oli last year when he was three (again, we mixed our own colors). We all did this painting. The one my 7yo did was framed and sent to my husband's father as a gift--he lives on the beach in Mexico. An appropriate place for a whale painting, don't you think?  Haven't found a home for this one, yet. Maybe a bathroom?
My daughter and I did this watercolor and acrylic painting last year. I made this one (above) for my dad and his wife for their anniversary. My daughter's version (below), is still waiting to be given to the right friend or relative.

We all did a set of these cute cat abstracts last year (5x7) in oil pastels.  These are mine... I'm thinking of scanning them to make notecards. My daughter's set were given to my stepmother for Christmas--they are hanging in her bedroom. My son's set (he was 3), were sent to an aunt.

This cute oil pastel abstract was my "teaching" work as my 3yo son followed along and made his own.  His turned out AWESOME--better than mine. It is framed and hanging at his grandpa and grandma's house.
Yesterday's art project--in anticipation of this Christmas. This was done by my 8yo. With oil pastels.

This one was done by the 4yo. I framed it to hang over our manger this year for Christmas, adding to our family Christmas decorations.

This is my daughter's more "delicate" version.

This was my "teaching" version... the one I created as the kids followed along.

This one was done by the 5yo.
I'm bummed I couldn't find the photo of my daughter's beautiful nativity painting, that now hangs in my dad's house. I'll snap a photo of it when we are visiting there for Thanksgiving next week!

We're not artists here--just your average homeschooling family. We don't have a special art area or even massive hoards of art supplies.  We have five colors of acrylic paint: Red, blue, yellow, white, and black; and one large cup of various sized paint brushes with different tips. We have one big set of 8 watercolor cakes. We have Prang colored pencils (just the basic 12 colors). And we have crayola markers. The little kids each have a set of Crayola Oil Pastels, and the older kids each have a set of Pentel oil pastel.

We make ALL of our art with that--blending the paints into custom colors, blending the colored pencils and markers.

We took Barry Stebbing's 3-Day Art class twice. It was amazing. It got us blending paints, and using different brush strokes. He also taught us how to blend using basic colors of colored pencils and markers.

We get our ideas by looking up paintings and artwork on the internet, or from an illustration we see in a book or on a card. We would never SELL these things--we're just artists appreciating good art, except we can't go to a famous museum to sit and paint. We find something pretty, then we just "go for it."  Oil pastels are so easy. We watched one tutorial on Youtube, and then realized we didn't really need more.  They color and blend beautifully. 

Here is an oil pastel done out of one of our favorite children's books, "Seals on Wheels."  This one was done by my 4yo in his art journal.  It would make a nice note card, or framed for a baby gift with a matching  blanket!

Anyone can be an artist!  I know it. Because if we can, you can!  Need some great gift ideas? Start painting! Or shooting. Or drawing. Or coloring.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Advent, Anyone? (Or at least some Christmas Spirit?)

Just how to celebrate Christmas has posed a problem to me for many years. I have never been able to follow mindless, meaningless traditions. Things have to MEAN something to me, you know?

Like the person who no longer eats hot dogs after seeing how they are made, once I learned about how the Christmas trees and greenery stemmed originally from a Greek celebration to the  god Saturnalia, I have not been able to decorate that way. Nope. No tree, no wreaths, no green and  red.

It's a personal thing. I've tried to get over it, but really, I can't.

A few years ago, my husband and son  built  a beautiful wooden  manger. We bring  that in for Christmas, and it holds our gifts, symbolizing the gift the manger once held for us.

I'm a stickler for accuracy.  Mindless inaccuracies in the different accounts of Christ's birth--they bug me. I mean, people say that He wasn't even born in December. And the wise men didn't come to the STABLE, right? The Bible says they came to a house.  So when did they  get  there? And my Bible doesn't mention a stable anywhere. It just says "manger." So people assume it's a stable?  But weren't animals often kept in an outer room of a house? So is that the house the wise men came to? Not to mention, the historical account called "The Gospel of the Birth of Mary" says it was a cave.

Truth  is important to me. Celebrating Christ's birth, to me, is worship, and worship must be done in Spirit and in TRUTH.

Advent is another area I have had a problem with. It is commercialized. Non-Christians all over the world play "Advent."  They purchase Advent calendars of every kind to help their children count down to the day they get to open presents.  Even our non-Christian relatives will buy my children an Advent calendar or game--but not to worship Christ. To count down to the goodies.

Grr. So, I've never given a thought to Advent--dismissed it like so many other mindless things I see people doing, without meaning, without worship, and without truth.

But, our Christmas worship and celebration has always been lacking. I pray every year for God to show us how to celebrate in a way that is pleasing to Him, and a testimony to others.

And this year, His shepherding and leading continues, faithfully, as always.

I have been reading a lot about church history lately, and I have been learning new and good things  about the history of the  birth of Christ, and gaining  some new insights on the old sacred Christian traditions behind the celebrations. I've been learning new tidbits of history  that make a difference for me, since historical accuracy is important.

And it seemed God was hinting to me that Advent was a great way to celebrate Christmas properly. I mean, REAL Advent. Every day, reading about  the birth of Christ, the prophecies leading up to it, and recounting the wonderful work He came to accomplish. What worship!

I give thanks to Elizabeth Foss and her lovely post on Advent that gave me a glimpse of what really celebrating Advent could be--meaningful, worshipful, Christ-centered, prayerful.

A lightbulb went on.  I asked God if it would be pleasing to Him, for me to lead the children through  Advent, celebrating  His birth in some way each day, reading about Him, doing an activity about HIM, praying.  Worship.   I thought, "Well, I guess I could look for a good Advent calendar, and see how it goes."

And yesterday, my 19yo son came to me and said, "Mom, I'm thinking of getting the boys an Advent calendar for Christmas. What do you think?"

I smiled wide and the angels sang.  And what Advent calendar did he want to purchase for his four little brothers?  Nothing could be more perfect:


So, we are ready to "launch," as you can see. I'm not planning  much more at this point. I've learned that God already has it all planned, and I don't need to worry.  I'm sure I will find a nice schedule of scripture reading, and be able to collect some nice storybooks, and we will be able to draw, and sing, and paint, and bake, and pray, and give thanks.

and Worship. Worship God, and the birth of His Son, and all that means for us.

For 24 days in a row.

Bring it on!

I think we're doing a good job of getting in the Christmas Spirit around here... and I'm feeling more than I have for a long time. Clouds of confusion are lifting away as I just submit to worship--which is what my heart really longs for after all.

But in case you need a little help... what better than Christmas music piano practice, a toddler temper tantrum, and some wild, running little boys getting ready to play the Wii?  Filmed this yesterday afternoon here in my "peaceful" living room.

Well, it's peaceful to me!

And, one of my favorite child milestones is that moment when your little one realizes he can write whatever he likes. Yesterday, my 4yo wrote independently for the first time, and what do you know? He made his "Christmas list." Not of stuff he wanted. Of stuff he wanted to give to everyone else.  It is quite telling, though, what in his eyes are good gifts for his father and me (food-related).

Here is the interpretation, followed by the photo:

Spicy chips Dad (aka "Doritos")
Donis (donuts) Dad
Elon Niju Masc (ninja mask)
Mom salid mom (salad)
Mom tmads mom (tomatoes)
Aram ech and scech (Etch-a-Sketch) lagn Niju spinr (Lego Ninja Spinner)
caDe Mikko (candy)

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Memory Work Begins!

I love it when God leads and blesses in my homeschool--which as you know, is MORE than "school."  It's me shepherding these little souls that God has entrusted to my care.

We were already blessed this year by being inspired to start daily read-aloud time. No, other than children's books, I had not ever done a regular read-aloud time. I won't bore you with my list of reasons why.  But my new batch of "littles" (ages 2-8) were definitely ready for it, and we have all been so blessed by our read-aloud time!  I had "shelved" an English Workbook that my 8yo was struggling with, waiting to pull it out after he had grown a bit in his reading skills and wouldn't be so frustrated with it.  I pulled it out this week, and now it is too easy. The read-aloud gave him such a huge boost!  My 4yo picked up an adult book in the doctor's office and started sounding it out--every single word, much to the amazement of the others in the waiting room (and me!).

We started with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and now we are nearly done with Charlotte's Web.  Next on the list, by unanimous vote: Farmer Boy.

Read aloud!  Get on board!  Here's where I got my inspiration.

But the other big "hole" in our homeschooling is about to get filled in, too. Thanks to this inspiring post by Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things, I realized it is time to do memory work. I won't bore you with the reasons why I have not done this before, either.

But I read this post, and it clicked. I knew instantly in the bottom of my heart of hearts that this is what God wanted me to do with my boys.  We started today with The Lord's Prayer.

We will recite it every day until it is memorized, then put it in a notebook, then move on to the next piece for memorization. My next two will be Psalm 23 and the Apostle's Creed.

But, what a blessed lesson! The Holy Spirit was with me and my boys as I expounded on this prayer to them, explaining each phrase and all that it means. They loved it. They ate it up. It blessed our day, and our home.

Even the 2yo joined in!

Yes, they are wearing matching shirts. They all got these at "French Camp" this summer, and have since formed a musical group called "The Eiffel Tower Group." When I called them down for the lesson, they were rehearsing a "show." Watch out, Jonas Brothers! Right?

 Thank you, Lord!

Our Father
Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For Thine is the kingdom
And the power
And the glory
Forever and ever

A Classy Little Shirtdress

Saw this on Facebook today, shared from a page titled "Repurposed Recycled Reused Reclaimed Restored," 
and just had to share. I'm all for sewing projects like this:

Photo: Repurposing unwanted shirts. :) 

shared from Repurposed Recycled Reused Reclaimed Restored

I did a bit of searching on the internet to see what else I could find, and found this great tutorial on how to make a dress like this, plus a few others.

I need a girl!

needle and thREAD

And now 'm linking  this up to Elizabeth's weekly "Needle and thREAD" (note the "READ"), which means I will add what I'm reading to this post.

I'm a little slow... just now occurred to me that "READ" is part of this link-up (I have linked here three times now? I'm old and pregnant--my brain might return in a year or two). I just read Cari Donaldson's "Pope Awesome and Other Stories," the story of her conversion to the Catholic faith. It was a.mazing. And so heartwarming! And hilarious. With the best ending I've ever read in any book. I'm also reading, for history's sake, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Epistles of Ignatius and several other of the "gospel" accounts not included in the canon, as well as many other epistles-- all of these used for teaching in the first century church. The Gospel of the Birth of Mary was fascinating (her biography, supposedly written in the first century) After a long wait, I was finally able to order a list of goodies from www.Abebooks.com (my fave site for cheap, used books). 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Game is Afoot!

Yes, I am a big "Sherlock" fan (BBC). My daughter and I are waiting patiently for the release of Season 3, which thanks to this post from Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things, I have a link to a tutorial on how to possibly watch this when it is released in the BBC instead of waiting for it to be released in the U.S.

Which, by the way, as I hopped over there to get that link saw that she had another awesome giveaway posted today which you can enter here. But really, her blog in itself is a prize. Just wait until you see her beautiful photography and read her gifted writing that just oozes with her heart and love for God.

Back to the game being afoot. That's what I think of every time I see these precious pictures.  This is my son Elon (5), playing an intense game of "Battleship" with his fox, Ellie.  There's nothing like a game with a worthy and enjoyable opponent, right?

Did you notice Ellie is winning at this point? She got the first "hit."

He's not cheating, he's "helping' her, because fox paws aren't good with those little pegs, you know.

Quite the face-off, don't you think?

We're big on puzzles and games around here, as I try to build appetites for healthy activities for my children. My littles and I love to play Uno, Trouble, Spot It, Mouse Trap, Aggravation, Card War, Dominoes, Finders Keepers, Bingo.

The 8yo can add to that list Monopoly, Clue, Mastermind, Scrabble, Rummy-O, Bananagrams, Scrambled States of America, Farkle, and more. He almost can't be beat at Mastermind (I've only beat him once, I don't think anyone else has).  He can actually beat us all in Clue sometimes. And he's pretty hard to beat at Monopoly unless the die consistently roll in your favor. My little logic nut.

My daughter and I, sometimes for an afternoon break, make ourselves a homemade cafe mocha and sit with a game of Super Scrabble or Boggle--especially fun at the kitchen table in the winter when our wood stove is burning. Cozy!

The kids look forward to our Friday night Bible study night here at our home, when with the addition of some older kids they can get up a rousing game of Apples to Apples or Telestrations, and have a bit more competition on some of our other games, too.

What's your favorite family game?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Best Homeschool Strategies: SIESTA!

Part 3 in the series "My Best Homeschool Strategies."  Click here for Part 1 and/or Part 2.

3. A Siesta:  Nap time is for EVERYONE. Every. One.

I started doing this over seven years ago, when my 8yo was a baby and I just had three children.  I would send my older two to their rooms for quiet time (reading, drawing, Legos was okay but keep down the "swishing"), and I would take the baby for his nap.  The rules?

1. Absolute Silence.  I mean--literally, I want to be able to hear that pin drop. On carpet.

2. Solitude. No playing together.  I wanted this time, for my older ones, to grow into a habit of taking time for personal prayer, study, and reflection.

3. Phones off.

Oh! What sanity I discovered in this! This little break in the middle of the day is such an amazing "reset" button. When we would all come back together after our "siesta," it was like getting a second start to the day--a second morning! Refreshed, renewed, ready for round two!

Nobody else I knew did this, but I didn't care. It worked.  Beautifully. Let everyone else keep chugging away in their chaos, stress-filled days.  Not me.

But I was completely gratified when I went to a homeschool convention and heard a talk by Susan Wise Bauer on her top homeschooling tips, and this was one of them!  Glorious confirmation. (I think I stuck my tongue out at my friend--on this point, as well as her "no co-ops" point, which I will cover later).

Now, seven years and many children later, we still do this.  I put my newborns onto this schedule "right out of the gate." (haha).  I mean, newborns need snoozes all the time. I let them nap when they need it, but at our nap time (1:00), I always schedule a feeding just before and if they don't go to sleep, I have my swing ready to train them to relax at this time.

My friends and family know not to try to call.  If I answer the phone any time near 3:00, I usually hear first, "Did I wake you?" or "Is it nap time?"

When my littles outgrown their naps, they graduate to "movie nap." I let them build a little "nest" of their favorite pillows, blankets, bean bag, stuffed animals, and pick a favorite movie.  When they are about age 7, they are responsible enough for independent time--they can color, read, play Legos (no "swishing"), play Leap Frog.  But the rule is "silence." I don't even want to hear footsteps (old farmhouse--footsteps can disturb everyone).

The past 8 years, when I haven't been pregnant and/or nursing, I have been chronically ill.  A lot of these siestas, I nap, too. Like a dead person.  But some days I "snooze" or just lie still and breathe deep for about 15 minutes, then I read, pray, write a blog post, write a letter or email.

In any case, talk about the anti-stress trick! This is amazing. It's like I live a life of two 6-hour days when the rest of the world lives one long 15 hour day.  Folks, 6-hour days are sooooo much more manageable.

And rested kids are happier kids (you know you know this). They are more focused. They learn better. They listen better.

Rested moms are happier, too.

Does any of this sound good?

My 19yo and 14yo still join in with us for this if they are home--and they have come to love the quiet time as much as I do.

Nap time forever. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Best Homeschool Strategies: DON'T ROB YOUR CHILD OF BLESSING and SUCCESS

Part 2 in the series, "My Best Homeschool Strategies." Click Here for Part 1.

2. Don't Rob Your Children of Blessing and Success


It's true. God gives children only one very direct and specific commandment, just for them. And with it comes a promise of amazing blessing if they keep that commandment.

Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Deuteronomy 5:16

And don't tell me "That's Old Testament!"  Because here is Paul teaching  it again in the New:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
HONOUR THY FATHER  AND MOTHER; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Ephesians 6:1-3

Now, before we go further, let's look up that Hebrew word, "Well," and see what it means that it will go "well" with our children  if they honor and obey their parentsHappy, sound, successful, thriving, prosperous, be accepted, benefit, be better, seem the best, cheerful, comely, content, diligent, dressed well, earnest, has favour, gives, is glad, does good, is good, makes good, is merry, kind, skillful, sure, sweet (as in riches or prosperity), thorough.

Oh, I want that for my children.

Do you teach them about this promise? This most important of God's wisdom and ways for children?  Do you explain to them how it protects them, and ensures their future--because God's promises are sure? Do you show them how it aligns with everything wise in Proverbs--the art of listening, inclining your heart to wisdom, accepting correction and counsel? It is the way of God.

I teach it.  I tell them that their father and I are not perfect, and that we are going to make mistakes, and we are going to disappoint them and hurt them at times. But if they love GOD, then they will believe this commandment and promise and obey it to choose GOD--not for my sake, but for the sake of learning the ways of God. And when I do mess up, I tell them I'm sorry and ask forgiveness. But at the same time... I encourage them always to claim this promise.

And now, oh how exciting to see my two oldest children REAPING this promise!  My son struggled with  a personality clash with his dad during the teen years. Polar opposites in personality. Completely unable to communicate. Lots of frustration on both parts. But I never once robbed my son of his promise. I never took my son's side over my husband's. I went to my son, and read to him of the commandment and promise, and appealed to his heart to choose. I encouraged him to forgive, and trust God, and keep his heart from anger and rebellion, choose wisdom, choose correction, choose humility, choose to listen.  

And he did.  And oh, it is starting to go well.  He graduated college at age 19--and was the top student in every class he took (and he's no academic whiz! He is WISE because he chooses God). He has gotten promoted at his first "real" job.  And I am able to tell him: You know why it is going well for you, don't you? Because you kept God's commandment and you are collecting on the promise.

My daughter is just starting to collect on the promise, too, as she is entering that  last phase into adulthood. At 14 years old, when she she  needed a job to help fund a planned choir tour to Spain, one dropped at her doorstep--literally. We live in the middle of nowhere, and she can't drive, and me driving her to a job would have been difficult. But the neighbors, who own a huge whitetail deer farm, called out of the blue and offered her a job to come help with fawning season. She could ride the 4-wheeler up to their farm! She made over $1,000 for her trip. And when that job ended (until fawning season next year!), she was pondering how she could ever find another job, when the phone rang, and she got a part-time "nanny" job that works perfectly with all our schedules and pays VERY well.  How did she get this job? Her older brother used to have these people as a lawn-care client. They knew him and his character--so they knew they certainly wanted to check out if his sister was cut from the same cloth. Another way she is thriving: she was offered a paid internship position as assistant director here at our local children's choir (she participated in it years ago before she auditioned for a more professional choir in the "big city"). Many college music students would compete for such an opportunity.  But here she is, fourteen years old, assistant director of an established and respected children's chorus organization, on their board, and paid.  And I am able to tell her: You know why it is going well for you, don't you? Because you are keeping God's commandment and you are starting to collect on His promise.

Another interesting observation occurred this week.  I had the opportunity to have a long talk with my oldest son on a long drive.  I asked him how work was going, and he vented some frustrations that the young men he works with, although they respect him, they sometimes say with  disgust, "You're the best at everything."  Yes, he has the fastest time on rescue drills, he gets the  top scores on safety/procedure tests, he beats them when they race, he wins fooz-ball, and air hockey, and when they play golf, they say, "Of course we can't beat you. You're the best at everything."

Truth is, he's an average kid. A good kid. But yes, there is a difference.

First of all, look at that definition  of the word "well."  Did you notice the words "be better, " or "seem the best?"  The evidence of this promise is clear in my son's life.

But it makes sense.  He grew up choosing  to respect authority, LISTEN, learn, "incline his ear" and his heart to wisdom.  Many kids grow up not caring. They don't learn to listen. They don't habitually obey authorities, or even recognize authority. They don't respect.  Is it any surprise, then, that the one who has the habit of honoring, listening, watching,  and learning is the one who will "be the best" at something?  Why does he play golf better? Probably because whenever he was around someone who played golf, he listened, watched, paid attention. Why does he win a 1/4 mile race? Because he has inclined his ear to wisdom, and obeyed his parents when we told him to curb his appetite for some things, so instead of being an out-of-shape video-game/TV/computer addict who eats poorly and drinks/does drugs, he chooses good activities, works to help other people (yard work, firewood, help mending fences, building  barns, painting, etc.).

Teach your children this commandment and promise. Teach them God's Word!  Tell them of the goodness of God. Explain to them that it's not about you, but about God, and His plan for their best life. Teach them how it is all about learning to be like Jesus--learning to obey, serve, be humble, and accomplish the will of the Father. Pray each night with them that they will love and obey God, and honor and obey their father and mother.  During the day, say sweetly to your little ones when you ask them to do things, "Let's obey God, and you remember how important it is to obey mommy!"

This is God's plan. He designed families for this. Your child's fleshly nature will make it seem like your child is uncontrollable, unmanageable, rebellious, crazy, undicsciplined, but your child's heart is hungry for God and His ways.  That uncontrollable child, deep down, really is just seeking for that boundary that God designed for him to need. Give it to him--the boundary of your loving authority, and your child will be at peace.

I get accused, of course, of "brainwashing" my children. I know I'm not.  I'm giving them what they long for. God, and His ways. God, and all He designed for them. Peace, prosperity, success, happiness. And how can it be called "brainwashing" if I'm doing  what  God commands me to do--teach my children diligently the  ways of God, all through  the  day while we're doing everything?

I knew a family once, whose little girl grew to a teen and she fell to the wayside. They took her to church (where the kids in the youth group helped her further down the path of destruction). They took her to hours of counseling.  But God's ways are simple. Easy to understand. Children can understand God's commandments to them.  The only counsel that should have been given this girl is that the ONLY way to get back on the right path to life was to start honoring and obeying her parents, in faith, in obedience to God.  Honor her parents. Obey her parents. Very simple. Everything would have been fixed. It would have corrected the attitude of rebellion, which was the root of the  problem. It is the root of all failure.

Why? Rebellion is the root of sin, and our loving God will chastise those who rebel--because He longs for them to return to Him and the goodness of His perfect ways.

I am able to point out examples to my children--sometimes ambiguous (like the "bad guy" in a movie, such as "Syndrome" from "The Incredibles), sometimes more personal, someone in a newspaper story (like a bank robber), or someone we know, whose life is not going well.  With confidence, I can tell my children, "That person did not love God and obey God when they were a child--they did not honor and obey their parents." "They did not listen, they did not choose wisdom."

My 4yo and 5yo, their eyes will grow big, and round, and serious, and they will nod their head gravely.  Their spirit discerns. God designed them to know and understand wisdom.

But sadly, too many children don't get offered it. They are left to their sin nature.

Oh... if you had to choose what was most important to teach your children, doesn't it make sense to teach what GOD says is most important to teach your children.

Until you are teaching this, put away everything else. Seriously. Or you will be just spinning your wheels, wasting your time, until your child is old enough to leave home and go be foolish on his own.

And an extra note to mamas:  Your attitude towards your husband can rob your children of this. I'm not just talking about you bad-mouthing or criticizing daddy to your kids. I'm talking about even your tone of voice and facial expressions that your children will see when you talk to your husband. If you don't respect him, will they? And if they don't... they are robbed of this promise.

Don't leave this out of your homeschooling. Ever.

If you want your children to grow up and prosper, anyway.