Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 3rd Grade :)

Training for Victory

on August 30, 2016

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus. Hebrew 12:1

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. Hebrews 10:36

Winning a race requires dedication and discipline. At times we can be tempted to lose heart in this homeschool marathon when victory seems no where in sight. Let’s face it, there are days that can be grueling for homeschooling moms–the discipline we need in order to accomplish a day’s duty in dishes, laundry, child training, gardening, house cleaning, lessons, nature study, meal prep, planning, organizing, errands, etc. requires every ounce of our strength. What would we do without the Lord’s grace and mercy on our lives? Thank God that by the essential disciplines of prayer, Bible study, and worship, we can actually run our race, with stamina and vigor.

My family is going into our fifth year of homeschooling, and although I have always been excited about our calling, and still am, I sense that I now also need endurance to stay in the will of God, that we may receive what He has promised our family. I need to keep doing what I am doing and not become mentally tired. After all, my oldest is only the ripe old age of 7, and my youngest hasn’t even started school yet. Oh my, the lesson plans still to be written. I sigh to think of it, but I know they are the single greatest earthly factor of our homeschool successes each month, so I press on.

“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” –Bishop Carl Smith

Those words from my beloved former Pastor keep reminding me lately that the planning I do is important. Likewise, at church on Sunday Pastor Dave preached on perseverance (Striking Arrows), and again I was encouraged. As he spoke on 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul’s analogy of training like an athlete to win a prize, my mind went to the ‘next level training’ my husband and I have been discussing for the children this school year. I was encouraged by his message that the Lord’s vigorous training process for us will indeed feel hard and unpleasurable at times because training to win requires hard work, self denial, and even grueling preparation. I sure do want to be in it to win it.

“Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. I discipline my body (I beat my body) like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

As Christians called to win the race, and as Christians with the privilege of educating our own children in the race, we dear friends, have been called to a life that demands the very best of what we have to offer. With the right training and discipline, victory is ahead; without the right training and discipline, victory will always be out of reach.

Lord, train us to win.

Give us a whiff of the victory ahead, and the strength to sprint towards Your eternal prize.

As He directs our steps, the Lord will bring more purpose and clarity into our family lives, but with it, discipline will be required to succeed hour by hour in the daily marathon at home. In many areas, perseverance is simply all we need– to keep doing what we are already doing, and in other areas He may be prompting us to posture ourselves for stricter training.

Here are a few areas our Father is challenging our family to step up into the next level of training: our schedule, our Bible study, family club meetings, and our prayer life.

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Our Schedule

Here is a peek at our schedule for this school year. With the way I feel about schedules, keeping this schedule will be a lot like me “striking a blow at my body to make it my slave.” (1 Cor. 9:27 NIV)

 

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Discipline has been a weak area for me most of my life, so me and schedules don’t often groove. I freely admit that I love somewhat unstructured homeschool days where school starts at 10 or 11 in the morning. Me staying up too late at night, Olympian sized breakfasts, plenty of chores, and long devotions here make for late mornings. I remember structured school days that always started at 9 am when Tayler, our little next door neighbor girl, met with us for school back in Noah’s preschool days. So having a more structured schedule shouldn’t be impossible to have again!

I realize that in order to realistically spread a Charlotte Mason feast of broad and generous knowledge, we need to try to implement more schedule into our day, which is going to take some training on my part. My lack of structure this past year would sometimes result in paring down to the “basics” for lack of time, which makes for blander school days. However, when we carefully guard designated times for the more beautiful elements of an education–picture study, composer study, poetry study, nature study, and handicrafts–homeschool is a richer, more enjoyable experience for both teacher and students. Our schedule this school year includes my goal to start school early, while allowing time to make our mornings beautiful.

I really prioritize lengthy uninterrupted play times for my 7, 5, and 2 year old because I think play is as important as lessons are for children, so we intentionally stay home to play most afternoons. I notice the more my kids play, the more creative they are. I hate to see that drained away in children by over scheduling their lives. That being said, we find afternoon activities like exercise, tea with neighbors, time with friends, and handicrafts are also important, but they are a less regular part of our life than good old fashioned sibling playtime.

We also try to schedule time to be in nature and learning out and about at various places on Fun Fridays. Our untraditional school adventures are my lifeline; we all love Fun Fridays!

Family Bible Study

“Family Nights,” as shown on our schedule, happen every night here– its the time of day daddy is home to disciple our children. We desire for many of our children’s most meaningful spiritual experiences to occur at home, and for many to occur during the daily diet of a father led Family Bible Hour. In the context of special family discipleship relationships, and through a father regularly touching his children’s hearts with the gospel message, children grow in a faith that is not easily walked away from once grown up. The calling of a father is indispensable to our children’s training.

Since Noah was little we have been interested in training up our children into Christian manhood/womanhood by 12 or 13 years old with a rite of passage ceremony, and creating a list of training objectives to complete by the time of the ceremony. I remember being really amazed at the time Noah graduated preschool that we had 8 years of training time left …… and now we have 5 years!! The child training period may be shorter than we realize. It is important for us all to recognize the gravity of the moment with each new school year.

In light of these things, we plan to set Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights aside for Family Bible Study time, which will include Bible readings, 1 Verse Bible Studies, and a rotation through other supplemental activities such as prayer with our prayer wall, worship on my guitar, and reading character shaping books like YWAM’s Christian Hero’s Then and Now series.

1 Verse Bible Study is a new idea birthed this summer as God is growing us into using basic Bible study methods. It should help us and our children learn to meditate on scripture, listen in to the Holy Spirit’s voice, apply scripture to our personal lives, and remember what we’ve learned. Its easy enough for a 2nd grader and kindergardener to do, but also really effective for receiving revelation from the Lord for all ages.

Its quite simple and quick. Someone picks a verse and reads it aloud several times, we all highlight it in our Bibles, then we quietly think about it and pray it. We may journal our thoughts and pictures in our prayer journals if we wish. We encourage the kids to ask God and themselves questions about the verse as they meditate. Then we have a discussion in which we each take a turn to share out what the Holy Spirit showed us. Each person shares at least one idea or one question, and everyone can help shed light on the questions that come up. I love that everyone gets to participate, and we are having some of our best Bible related discussions this way. Plus, learning to hear the Holy Spirit through the Word is a skill that our children can take into adulthood for their personal Bible study and for leading Bible studies.

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When we meditate quietly, we may close our eyes and try to visualize the verse in order to receive revelation, as I did with Psalm 119:105 – my 1 verse Bible Study with the kids the other day:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Family Club Meetings

Besides Bible Study, we desire to hold Club Meetings ever so often on Family Nights, for fun and for training our children to maturity. We found the Keepers/Contenders of the Faith program handbooks will help us achieve a family club where Moms can teach daughters, fathers can teach sons, and we can foster close relationships between us all as we learn fun skills together. We plan to hold Family Club Meetings in our living room every other Monday night. It is a brand new program for us this year, but we hope Keepers and Contenders will serve as a family scouting experience for us, and a fun way to earn badges for all kinds of handicrafts and a host of other wonderful skills. We have the Contenders of the Faith handbook for boys and the Keepers of the Faith handbook for girls to help guide our badge work. This amazingly thorough list of life skills from Keepers/Contenders can help prepare our children to someday manage a home, lead a family, and be a Christian witness–while helping to build a special family unity here in the few short years we have them. Our meeting agendas will be something simple such as:

  1. Prayer
  2. Song or HymnImage result for contenders of the faith club
  3. Words of Encouragement Image result for keeper of the faith club
  4. Pledge of Allegiance
  5. Recite Memory Work
  6. Game
  7. Check on Badge Work Progress; Discuss Badge Work Goals to Accomplish Before our Next Meeting
  8. Badge Work

 

 

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Our Prayer Wall

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I am pleased to have finished our “Prayer Wall” this summer, to support us in moving progressively towards a stronger understanding of prayer and prayer strategy (while still remaining Spirit led of course). We use our prayer wall during morning devotions and also at night once we start up Family Bible Study with daddy this fall. PRAYER is our little makeshift acronym to remind us how to pray, as we grow in understanding…….Praise God for who He is, Really thank Him, Ask for forgiveness, Your needs, Everyone else’s needs, Release seed. Seed is the Word of God, and we are learning to plant scriptures related to our needs, and others, whenever we pray so that there may be a harvest in due time (a good little devotional for teaching this principle pictured below).

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Image result for over the edge devotional

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The top chalkboard on our Prayer Wall lists current short term needs, and the cups contain long term prayer focuses for Our Family, Loved ones, and the World. We have stood on God’s promises for our children and ourselves for many years, but they were scattered in different journals and binders and Bibles. Now the scriptures are organized in one place and easily accessible by all! Praise the Lord! The ‘Family’ cup has slips of paper with a topic such as ‘Godly Friendships’ or ‘Health’ on one side and our corresponding promise from the Word on the other. The ‘World’ cup has slips of paper with people groups, nations, and general world needs (natural disasters, government, missions, churches, etc.). The kids can use the map to locate the nation named on their slip of paper. They can also use our Window on the World book to get prayer points and background on a nation or people group. The ‘Loved Ones’ cup has slips of paper with the names of all the family and friends our kids could think of (they sounded out and wrote the names themselves).

 

God is growing all of us in different ways according to our needs! How is He challenging you to run your race well this year?

With our vision written plain, our running shoes on, and our faces set like a flint, we will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and we will press on to receive all that he has promised. Thank you for praying for our family, let me know how we can be praying for yours.

Victory is ours!

Our Sweet Summer Memories

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Breakfast at the Cravalhos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith found a frog in our backyard!

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Now we have two!

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We started doing The Lord’s Table this summer as a family

a camper?

Is it a camper?

Noah's first batch of pancakes--with his own touch on top

Noah’s first batch of pancakes–with his own touch on top

Constant fort building

Constant fort building all summer

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Shine Worship Festival 2016 at The Lord’s Land (1 Verse Bible Study spawned from this trip)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hiking at Mitchell Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BF’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Noah dreamed big this summer, one dream was to paint a train backdrop for our 4th of July Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faithy’s playhouse decorated for the 4th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The most adorable 4th of July Show ever

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We were pleased with the finished backdrop for the stage

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Cousins stayed over for a few days

 

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Clean up training for little Daniel has been rough

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All Cozy for Family Movie Night

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Little Mommy

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A fun Ride in a Really Big Dump truck at Daddy’s Work

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Happy Father’s Day Daddy–just what you always wanted!

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Hiking to the falls at Sunol Regional Wilderness

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Thankful for inspiration to capture precious moments (right before she lost her two front teeth)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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