Weekend: We had a very full weekend with friends arriving Saturday morning to stay for the weekend. They parked their bus next to our shed and were fairly self-contained, though we spent all day Saturday talking. The kids played games for about 5 hours straight! After Church on Sunday, we met up with a few other families for a picnic beside the river, and the kids went biscuit-ing with one of our friends boats and played a bit of soccer. There were 18 young adults/teens together for the afternoon – it was a pretty unique situation for our kids – they had a ball! The family staying with us, and one other family are up here to pick mangoes for the next week or two, as a fundraising effort for various missions. We came home and crashed in front of a DVD and leftovers. Our friends moved onto a property closer to the mangoes – they’ll be visiting us again next week when they are done.
Monday: The kids spent the first part of their study time working on their Christmas gift list. I asked them to finalise their giving list and write up a shopping list – divided by what needs to be bought online, and what can be bought in town. They then worked on what was the most important subject for them. Daniel then spent time on a stop-motion animation, and Naomi painted – she is trying to paint without copying an image. For Naomi’s Duke of Ed Award skill she has challenged herself to continue to learn new things with art – to try new mediums and new techniques. In the evening Naomi had piano lesson and Daniel went to Taekwondo training.
Tuesday: A lovely early morning shower – though the rest of the day will be hot and muggy! My priority for the day was to prepare for a potluck – we’ve invited locals and the mango-picking team to share dinner together, and for the team to share a short dvd on one of the missions they are supporting. The kids studied in the morning. Daniel: Bible, Math, Writing, Spanish, Taekwondo terminology, Geography, Science. Once he was done he mowed the lawn and worked on his stop-motion animation. Naomi slept in as she was up late painting last night, but once she wakes she gets started on her studies as well: Bible (audio), Math, Writing, and History (audio). Nomi came into town with me to help with the grocery shopping and then she went to the girls bible study. The boys helped me set up the potluck. We set up outside, then decided it was too muggy so moved everything inside, and once people started to arrive we decided it was going to be too cramped and noisy and it wasn’t so bad outside afterall, so we moved back outside. It ended up a great evening of catching up with friends, and we watched a short video on a hospice in India.
Wednesday: After a fairly slow start (which is becoming the norm!) we cleaned up the last bit from our party last night and then started studies. At the moment we are working on study till 12.30 and then doing a few different projects after lunch. Today’s project was to finish writing a ‘wish’ list for Christmas (something I’ve started to do now that they are older, but never did when they were young) and a shopping list for their gift giving – we’ll be shopping tomorrow. Daniel has drawn up some plans of something he wants to make so he had to work with his design and measurements to work out how much material to buy. Daniel spent the afternoon with his stop-motion-animation researching how to fix a problem he had come up against, and Nomi finished her painting and did some online shopping for me. Our Wednesday evenings are very sketchy as Jess works (she works for a few hours a week for a local businessman as he is on an extended holiday), and the boys are at Taekwondo.
Thursday: We started our day looking at a math together. I rarely teach a whole lesson these days, but am often needed to explain something more fully than the textbook. Even though it was Daniel’s problem, I knew Naomi would benefit from it as well – so we did it together. Then Daniel needed me to explain his writing assignment. He wants to convert this assignment to a blog post which will take longer than his allotted 30 minutes writing time, so he decided to do his writing lesson last so he can complete his other studies first. Naomi had a doctors appointment in the afternoon so she spent some time in the morning thinking through what she needed to talk about. Though I’ll go to the doctor with her, she needs to be doing most of the talking. It is important to transition our kids to taking responsibility with these types of appointments: doctors, hairdressers, shoe fittings etc. We finished study time early so we could have an early lunch and head into town to start on our Christmas shopping. Our main purpose was to shop for supplies for the gifts we want to make. Then Daniel went to the library while we went to the doctors appointment. He then walked onto the boys bible study.
Friday: We headed into town for an early appointments (don’t appointments take up a lot of time!!). Daniel helped me with the grocery shop while Nomi finished getting her hair done. Then we visited with a friend – the kids did their study while we visited. I left Daniel there to download some tutorials for his animation programme, and took Nomi to help me finish the grocery shop, and buy her some ‘work’ clothes. Once home, Daniel worked out in the yard (his usual Friday morning activity), and Naomi had some rest time. In the evening Daniel went to Taekwondo and Naomi went to help one of the art galleries in town set up for an exhibition.
Something I’ve been thinking about: It is much harder to see skills for my older children to learn through everyday life than it was when they were little, and yet, I know they are still being stretched and learning from the things that happen in our lifestyle. Having a bunch of teenagers hanging around has been a good thing; it is great to see positive peer pressure – encouraging each other to do the right thing. I have noticed teenagers (mine and others) being inclusive and welcoming to new people, helpful, courteous and fun. I have seen them care for younger kids and relate to older people with delight. I guess I share this because I think it is important when you have little children to be encouraged, the teen years do not have to be something to be anxious about. Sure, there’ll be challenges (but there are challenges with toddlers too) but overall, when you have a relationship with your teen, and they have been taught to think morally (value the other person) you can enjoy these years with them.
Resources we’ve used:
It’s time to be thinking Christmas in terms of lessons and decorations.
- Christmas thoughts on my website
- Christmas lessons for Highschool Students
- Avoid the Christmas Present Frenzie
- Our Favourite Christmas DVDs
- And lots of ideas to use with younger kids from my friend Angela
What I’ve been Reading (online or as a book)
- How does your daughter grow up to be your very best friend
- Minecraft for Moms
- 10 things more important than discipline
Conversations I’ve had with my kids:
Often our conversations are around the dinner table and involve all members of the family. Life at the moment is very random, people doing all sorts of things, and we are finding our feet in what does family time look like, and how can we make family meal times happen. I was interested to reflect back on the things we’ve been talking about – and we haven’t had many whole family conversations lately. Time to make sure a family meal happens soon. A lot of talking to my kids, as older teens / young adults, is about growing in their innerself and knowing themselves (intrapersonal skills)
- Though your body language talks, using words is better! I had thought the phrase ‘use your words please’ was a toddler thing – but it’s not!
- How to communicate when you are in an appointment (doctors, hairdressers etc)
- How they deal with changing plans
- How working from a list, instead of trying to remember everything will help with feeling overwhelmed
and one of my favourite conversations this week, was Jessica taking me aside and helping me gain perspective when I was feeling overwhelmed. The joys of having your adult children as friends speak into your life!
I hope this post encourages you to live life with your kids,
to see learning opportunity in the everyday happenings.
Also sharing and linking with others:
Throughout the week I share with one, or more of these blogs listed on my Link Parties page – but I share wrap up posts with: