Leaf-ing a Legacy

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This start to the new school year has been so nice and calm, and very welcomed!  Even though I have moments of missing the relaxing summer days – and moments where I can’t believe it went so fast!! – it’s still nice to be able to get back into a stricter routine and learning and everything that comes with Fall ❤  I love all the seasons, but each year I still feel like this one is my favorite.

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Baby in a Cupboard

I love all the school supplies, too 😀  The new pencils, the erasers, the notebooks, the binders – it all actually gets me excited… as nerdy as that sounds!

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She thinks this is her “house!”

I also love this time of year, because it means I organize the early school preparation for our kids, and our second boy is old enough now to really get into practicing letters, numbers, counting, hand-writing, and learning about the world – for 3 years olds 😛  I have no idea why this makes me so happy – I didn’t train to be a teacher or anything, but somehow helping him learn and do his “classwork” is SO fulfilling and fun for me.  It was the same with our oldest, too.

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I like starting early with our kids, at age 3, which I know sounds super early, but I found it really helped our oldest be prepared for the scholastic environment of sitting for certain periods of time, doing work at a desk, and focusing for that long.  Especially for boys, it’s important they’re able to handle the environment to do well in school and beyond.  It was good that he was able to go into kindergarten already knowing how to write, spell some words, read 3-letter words, and do basic addition and subtraction.

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Our second son does his work while listening to classical piano music.  We’re musical eclectics in this house 😉 and depending on the time and mood, we listen to many different kinds of music 😀 .  With the timeless music flowing through the house, it feels so peaceful and just transcendental.  Both my parents played piano ❤ so there’s probably that element that makes me feel at home with it on as well.

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Homeschooling for toddlers is pretty easy.  I usually copy pages from 3-4 different books for kindergartners on writing the alphabet, numbers, shapes, matching exercises, and sometimes easy word “problems.”  I copy them so that our other children will be able to use those same books 🙂 .  Saves money, and allows for each child to have their own personal “notebook” of the work they did from 3-5 years old ❤ .

 

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Hopefully he’ll learn all his numbers and be able to write or recognize them by Christmas, that’s the plan for Fall.  And then in the Spring semester he’ll probably start on sounding out 3-letter words, copying short sentences for his writing class, and adding and subtracting as a primer for mathematics.

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We do art classes sometimes, too, nothing too big, but today we made things out of molding clay that my parents brought this past weekend.  He made a bowl with a textured design inside.  I’m actually really excited to see how it turns out once it dries and he can paint it!!  And our little one made a beautiful hand impression ❤  Love doing things like this!

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He’s using a real bowl lined with plastic to allow his pottery to dry in the bowl-like shape.

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Sometimes it feels like the days are endless streams of Groundhog Day 😀 but I try to trust the process that the little things we’re doing now will hopefully sink into their hearts forever.  They’re my legacy ❤ and I hope they’ll know they’re treasured.

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I’m in a book club this year for moms and we’re going through “The Mission of Motherhood,” by Sally Clarkson.  The book’s focus is on how to make our children feel cherished and loved, with a call to go back to biblical and traditional motherhood.  I haven’t read past the first chapter, but it sounds good so far, and encourages women to stay home to raise their children, at least when they’re young.

Seeing how fast our oldest has grown (**major tears**) makes me treasure the baby stages even more so!  I cannot believe how fast time flies by – it’s almost not fair in way, but of course they have to grow up and grow into adults.  I want them to know that home is ALWAYS here, and that they can always come back and feel loved and cherished and encouraged in their futures.

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It’s harder to find time to read online or write these days, but I love how the days are filled with SO much to do, and maybe the school year makes me feel more productive in that way.

Hope all you readers are having a wonderful start to the fall season!  Eat lots of seasonal foods and drink some delicious fall drinks, please!

Stephanie

 

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Kids Chaos & Mistakes

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I think having a child is one of the hardest things in life – knowing how to raise them, deal, in a good way, with their sometimes difficult behavior, and maintain a good relationship with them through to adulthood, sometimes seems impossible when you’re in the thick of it with toddlers or even pre-teens/teenagers.  Being a parent is hard, I was reminded of this fact these last few days – maybe the weather change, or maybe the excitement from knowing Christmas is closing in, had my 3-year-old upping his tantrum-mania anytime we went out.

Obviously, it’s best to stay calm in any situation, but it’s understandable when it’s been their 5th tantrum of the day, or when they try to hit you with their little plastic golf club, that you can make the mistake of losing it & screaming at them.  For me, I truly have to remind myself to stay calm, have clear expectations beforehand, and carry-out the discipline already decided in the calmest manner I can conjure.  This of course, doesn’t always happen, but it is our go-to for dealing with the normal tantrums & chaos that children are known to do.  I try to keep in mind the kind of man I’m raising, the character I want him to have.  Feeling like his success wholly depends on you, however, can also put too much pressure on your parenting needing to be “perfect,” leading you to feel massive amounts of anxiety that you’re failing your children, when in reality, they are just kids who sometimes behave difficult.

 If you do make a mistake, punish the wrong child for something they didn’t do, overreact and lose your temper, you need to admit your mistake to your child/children.  They will love you so much more knowing that you have the character to be able to do this.

I love Elaine St. James’ words on this topic,

Children need to see that it’s natural to make mistakes from time to time.  The last thing you want is a child who is unable to own up to the fact that she was wrong.  If you’re trying to teach your kids to be open-minded and responsible for their actions, you must demonstrate this behavior yourself.  How better to learn than from a parent?

Some parents believe their authority will be undermined or that it’s a sign of weakness if they allow themselves to be swayed or to admit they’ve been wrong.  With others it’s often a false notion of how a parent should behave, or simply bad judgement. Whatever the cause, you’re doing a disservice to our children by taking this position.