Thursday, June 03, 2010

Object Lesson: Paper Airplanes

I’ve been “teaching children’s church” for a while now. I put quotes around that, because up until recently I haven’t really been doing much teaching. The kids and I all just head out during the preaching time and draw or color, play Jenga or dominoes and talk. I have candies which I give to them, and I’ve gotten to know all their names. Quite honestly, I feel like that accomplishment has made our time worthwhile!

So, a few weeks ago I decided that since the kids are now willing to listen to me, and I know their names, I ought to do a Bible lesson each week. Yep, this sounds weird. You’d have to know my feelings about children’s church and Sunday school for it to make sense. I don’t really feel like going into it all right now. Suffice to say that I really enjoy working with the kids and we’re having a great time on Sundays.

I have a really cool picture book I’ve been using. It’s called Teaching Pictures: the Life of Christ. It’s especially cool, because it’s in Spanish and English both. This week the lesson was “Jesus is presented at the temple”. I was trying to find a neat craft project to do, but all I could come up with on the spot was paper airplanes. Call me narrow-minded, but I just couldn’t for the life of me come up with any sort of connection between Ana and Simeon in the temple and paper airplanes.

So, I asked the experts. Seth was the only one handy and after only a short time of thinking he said, “Hmm. Ana and Simeon waited for years for the Messiah to come and sometimes we have to wait for airplanes.” Bingo. Kudos to Seth. Not only was the lesson and craft a smashing success, the kids really listened and were able to repeat the lesson and application back to one of the adults who wandered past. He was looking questioningly at the brigade of airplanes on the table, so I asked the kids to tell him what we were doing.

Here’s the gang with their airplanes. On the count of 3, they let them loose…

And they did it over and over and over. Great way to tire the boys out, too!!! Added bonus!

This is Dulce. She is very quiet and seldom smiles, but when she does, the whole world lights up!!! Dulce in Spanish means sweet. Yes, she definitely is!!!

We still played dominoes and Jenga. I don’t think these kids will ever tire of playing those games!!!!

Here are Mabely and Odel. They are brother and sister and are the grandkids of Brother Tito. Neither of their parents attend church, but they come with Grandma and Grandpa. Next to them are Angel Gabriel and Daniel. They come to church with their grandparents, too.

In fact, the only child in my class whose parents are Christians is Kevin, the son of Joaquin and Luz (in the blue and orange shirt). Several of the kids just show up – no one in their home comes to church, but they know that we meet on Sundays, so they come. Grissel, Vidal and Ary are three of those kids. Children’s church is definitely an outreach opportunity!!!

Pray for these kids if you think about it during the week!

Homeschooling Highschool -- Validation!

I have officially handed the boys’ Spanish class over to Sarah. I love that. I love that she’s capable to put together the lessons, assign the homework, and manage the class. I love that she’s confident in her presentation, but doesn’t come across harsh or snotty with the boys. But, you know what I really love???

I love that she has the same struggle I’ve been having with a certain one or the other of the boys who doesn’t think that homework necessarily needs to be handed in on time nor does it need to be written legibly.

That is one of the greatest problems I’ve had with homeschooling high school. Not the late homework assignments nor the sloppy work, but rather the slightly accusing voice on my shoulder saying, “You’re just being too picky!” or “It’s really not that important in the larger scheme of things.”

Having Sarah say to one of the boys something like, “The next time you hand me a paper that looks like that, you’re doing it over!” makes me feel…what’s the word? Validated. Yes, that’s it. I can flick that little devil off my shoulder and confidently say, “It is TOO important! So there!”

Anyone else out there struggle with feeling outnumbered when teaching your kids (whether you home school or not!)? Are you tempted to cave a bit or to let some standards slip sometimes? I know that grace and mercy are important, but justice and righteousness (or in this case, neatness and punctuality) are important too, right?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The waiting is the hardest part

How many days to germination, did you say?