Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blessing this Mommy's heart...

Hana has gone around singing our "Days of the Week" and "Months of the Year" song for several days. She is singing "My Father's World" all the time. She also LOVES to recite her memory verse for this month! video of this coming soon!

I could just sit and cry every time I hear her doing those things. She is learning. She is learning from home school. She is learning at home school from ME! She loves it. I could not have asked for more. I am so blessed. Thank you LORD!!! We praise YOU!!! Because I could not do this by myself. You have given my baby girl a desire to learn, like nothing I have seen before now. I am so amazed and excited and humbled! WOW!!!

Oh and one more thing. Hana has never really wanted me to read books to her. I would say in the last 5 years of her life I have read less than 20 books to her. She wants to look at them alone, but does not want them read to her. Besides Bible stories at bed time, she's never asked for stories. Now, all of the sudden (I know you did this Lord) she wants to read books all day! We read at least two or three at the end of home school and then 3 or 4 more before bed at night. Plus a chapter a day in "The Boxcar Children" which is a chapter book meant for 7 years and up! She is LOVING it! I am so thankful!

I am just beyond overjoyed, can you tell? I never dreamed it would go this well. Have I mentioned she is also wanting to write her letters!? WOW!

But I just can not tell you what a joy it is to hear my daughter speaking God's Word and singing praise songs to Him! Amazing stuff!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I am reading a great book right now. It is called The Survivors Guide to Home Schooling. It has been encouraging, given me lots of ideas, and also given me a realistic outlook on some things that I have yet to face but know I will.

One chapter I read tonight though, was awesome. And interestingly enough it was mostly not about home schooling. It was especially refreshing for me because Kai just turned 8 months old and we are beginning to repeat all of the training that started with Hana at about this age. He is currently into EVERYTHING. And he is not responding to "NO!" as obediently as Hana did. I am seeing first hand that there is a lot less serotonin in that little boy body than in a little girl! LOL (serontonin is a hormone that is believed to cause girls make more rational decisions and be less daring and less wreckless)!

This chapter in the books starts out talking about situations where the parents have major problems home schooling because they haven't disciplined their children according to the Bible! The portion of the chapter that simply talks about what the Bible says about discipline and how/why to discipline your children, is one of the most concise, well thought out echoes of my own beliefs I have ever read. A few quotes...

"Children need to be taken from parent control, to self-control, to God control. This is the big picture that a parent needs to keep in mind."

"Obedience involves doing the will of another who has authority in your life. It means doing what you are told to do instead of what you wanted to do. It is our job to make them obey us (parent control) until they learn to choose to obey us (self-control) and then learn to choose to obey the Lord (God control)."

"An adult who has never learned to obey an authority in his life has a very difficult time learning to obey the Lord. Knowing that obedience to the will of God is what produces real peace and fulfillment, we see how important it is to teach our children to be obedient."

TOO many parents including Christian parents, have fallen into the trap of listening to a purely humanistic philosophy of child raising. It is very appealing because it SEEMS so gentle and loving. I am living in a country right now where these humanistic philosophies of child raising are universally the norm. Some of it is because they purposefully set out to raise their children this way. For others, it is just because it is all they have seen or they are too lazy to discipline or don't even realize they should. Almost no one raises their children with character training and strict discipline here. And overwhelmingly this way of raising kids is a HUGE failure! It just doesn't work. That is the bottom line.

Interestingly enough it is directly and totally the opposite of what the Bible teaches.

It says... Children are born totally innocent and sinless and left to choose they will do what is right.
The Bible says... Children are born with a sinful nature (Jer. 17:9) In the book she makes a profound statement "We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners." So true!

Humanism says... Children are incredibly open, selfless and pure.
The Bible says... Children are foolish and self centered. (Prov. 22:15)
We have some friends, who were raising their child on the humanism philosophy and they believed he knew what was best for hiimself better than they the parents did (because he was without sin and even closer to God than they, the sinful parents were). The last time we were around them a lot, I saw a very self centered, stubborn child who controlled his parents and they could not control him.

Humanism says... While it is true that a parent must protect his/her child from danger, there is some question as to whether one human being has the right to enforce his will upon another. Especially since the child is pure and good and the parent is not.
The Bible says... It is the parents' God-given responsibility to train up their children. (Prov. 29:17, Prov. 22:6, Deut. 6:6,7)

and the list goes on and on.

I see so many parents around me struggling with their children. They are following the humanistic way of thinking in raising their kids or simply not disciplining them at all because they don't know how to or want to. They are miserable and their children are miserable.

I also see older people who were raised this way struggling so much with life. Earlier I wrote how the author talked about children who can't respect authority growing up to struggle with being obedient to God. I have seen this in many people but right now am thinking specifically of a close up experience with a certain person in my life. I have watched this person try to the best of his/her ability to obey God but be totally incapable of doing it. And then run from God, fully aware that they would be happier if they would obey. Then come back and then run again. And the cycle continues.

It is sometimes comical to see the looks on Japanese peoples' faces when Hana obeys us immediately when we tell her to do something. It is expected here that your child won't obey you, and a shock when they do. On occasion a parent will want to know how we got Hana to obey and we will tell them. They smile and nod like, "How nice for you, but that would never work for me." They don't even want to TRY.

It breaks my heart to see so much difficulty that could be prevented. So much heartache that could have been avoided.

I wish I could write like the author of this book I am reading. I wish I could somehow present a different possibility in a way that would motivate even some parents to think differently and put forth some effort. But if there is anything I have learned as a missionary it is that I can't do anything. Only God works in hearts and changes people.

But since we are asked so often about our child raising philosophies, I thought I might share some of it on my blog. I am NOT a perfect parent. BY far, I still have a lot to learn and I still have a lot of progress to make in applying (and applying well) these philosophies I believe in. I am not writing this because I think I have it all together as a Mom. I am writing it because I feel we've formed our philosophies on the ONE true Father who IS perfect and knows exactly how it should be done. And as I learn and understand along the way, I thought I would share some. I am being reminded of so much as we start from scratch with Kai.

Training my children, I feel is the third most important thing I will do on this earth. #1 is serving my God and #2 is being a mate to my Sugarpie!

And so I will pray and maybe sometimes write a little...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Having a good time...

We are having a great time homeschooling! Really, we are! We had a challenging day. I know these are a part of the whole package. I am going to learn as much in this whole process as Hana is. I'm learning so much about being a Mommy! SOOOO much!

But mostly it is all fun. She is almost done with a 10 day unit on creation. I gave her a Bible that I bought for her several years ago in the states. She loves it! We have made a book that she and I illustrated showing each day of creation (you know pictures of that will be coming soon) and she is becoming motivated to try to write. I have not been able to get her to try until now!

Today was especially fun. Each day we have been reviewing the names of upper-case and lower-case letters. I wanted to try to mix it up a little and make it more interesting (it was getting boring even for me), so I lined up the lower case letters on one side of the room and we sat on the other side of the room. I handed her one upper-case card, made her name the letter and then sent her to run and get the lower-case of that same letter as quickly as she could. She LOVED it!

I think if the weather is nice on Saturday we are going to side walk chalk the letters on the street or wall in front of our house and then "erase" them with a paint roller that is soaked in water! Should be lots of fun!

loving this!!!

This first pic is her new Bible!

Looking up that day's scripture reference for me! She can find Genesis 1 now. When I told her today again that we were reading from Genesis 1 she said, "AGAAAAAAAAIN????" LOL, I think she wants to see a different page!

Working hard!

This is the look I get when she can't answer a question and it usually comes with the statement "I forgot." Which in Hananese means I don't know. She has never used the phrase I don't know, it is always I forgot, even if it information she can't possibly have already know! LOL

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Lord, I'm listening...

After a particularly difficult morning with Hana before taking her to preschool, this was waiting in my inbox when I sat down at my desk.

Parenting Tip
September 7, 2009
The Value of Training
Every day you're training your children to become healthy responsible adults. Is it okay to get up and walk away in the middle of a meal? Is it acceptable to leave the table without helping to clean it up? Is it all right to eat without saying thank you to the one who prepared the meal? How will kids learn what's appropriate if you don't train them?

Unfortunately, as parents we get upset when our children need lots of correction or when they can't seem to change right away. It is true that some problems our children have take longer to overcome than others. Our response as parents is important, though. Our exasperation can damage the relationship. Firmness is important but the harshness can do more harm than good.

Kids make mistakes. Whether the errors are deliberate or accidental, children need a godly way to think in order to get back on track. Identify an issue you wish would change in one of your children. It might be arguing whenever you give an instruction or complaining when life doesn't go just right. Break the problem down and think of the alternatives you wish your child could do or think.

Talk about healthy alternatives and look for positive ways to motivate your child to maturity. You may have to use consequences to motivate change but don't neglect the potential of teaching new patterns of thinking, developing new skills, and giving children a vision for doing what's right.

Most of all, be patient. Training takes time and implies lots of work. You're a coach and your children are in training. Give your kids a vision for living life on a different level and they will grow into some great relating patterns.

This idea was taken from the book, Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

If this tip was sent to you by a friend and you'd like to continue to receive tips yourself, you can sign up at www.biblicalparenting.org.

Thank you for that gentle correction Lord, I needed it!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I am a home schooling Mom!

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." Eph 1:18-19

This is my verse for our home school! Every time I have read this verse over the years I have prayed it for our children. YEARS ago, I marked it in my Bible and wrote "for my children" beside it. Long before I knew who they would be, long before I would hold them or look into their eyes. But that this is my prayer for them hasn't changed, in all these years!

We started today. This is a day I have thought about, prayed about, talked about, doubted about, wondered about, prayed about, doubted about (did I already say that!) and asked a million questions about for the past few years. This day finally arrived. And what did I learn today?

That God totally knows what He is doing! This is going to be sooooooo fun. I thoroughly enjoyed all the preparation leading up to this day and almost wish I still had more prep to do, it has been so fun. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed teaching today. And Hana LOVED it too! She didn't want to stop. She was begging for more. and to think I had doubts as to whether she would want to learn from me?! To think I wondered how our personalities would mesh in the classroom?

I realize that this was only the first day. I know it isn't all smooth sailing. I realize that there will be bumps and turns in the road. I just can't describe the peace that fills my heart today were this is concerned. I pray that continues. It feels so awesome.

Our memory verse right now... Psalm 136:1 "Praise the Lord He is good. God's love never fails" amen, amen and AMEN!!!!!!!

This is going to be sooooooooooo fun (did I already say that?)!!!!!!!!!!!