Update on the Little People

Melanie —  January 24, 2009

Children are born “persons.”  This was one of the beliefs of Charlotte Mason, the 19th century educator that I appreciate a lot.  On first reading, it seems obvious, but I like the emphasis.  Our kids are people just like us, worthy of value and respect.  A friend told me once that her mom liked to call her younger siblings, the “little people,” cause they really are amazing people.  Anyway, I’ve had a good week with the little people – a “normal” week in a lot of ways.  It’s had its ups and downs, of course.  As usual, we did most of our formal school during Monday through Thursday and took Friday to finish up a few things and relax a bit too.  For most of the year so far, we’ve been studying ancient Egypt, and we came to the end of that unit this week.  We will start on ancient Greece on Monday.  A friend just gave us an awesome map that shows Moses’ journey from Egypt to Canaan which will be superb as we review Egypt a bit and help us as we start reading Exodus (we just came to Genesis 50 today).  The kids have been loving Genesis and usually beg us for more when we say it’s time to stop. (We started a couple months ago – not when the Daily Reader started, so we’ve been going at a slower pace.)  The girls are doing really well in their maths and language arts work and are usually really eager to work (this is a change from how things were a year or two ago!).  I feel so privileged to be able to spend my days with them and teach them.  Of course, we have our “days” when things aren’t so easy, but for the most part, teaching them is a delight!  Education is not just about bookwork though.  Since they are around here all day, many opportunities come up for character building and learning life skills.  Both Hannah and Aliyah are getting really into cooking lately.  I am excited that they are excited about it (I see budding cooks that will replace me someday!).  They are also loving listening to stories on tape and cd, some of which were mine when I was a little girl (the tapes of course!).  If you have good recommendations of titles, I’m all ears.

As I am typing this, Peter has been sitting here reading “Henry Huggins” aloud to the girls (by Beverly Cleary).  I think our times reading to the girls are some of our most cherished family times.  Mariah and Joel also eat up any book we will read to them.  You can often hear Joel saying, “Read it, Read it,” while clutching a book.  He is becoming very verbal and is also quite the little clown and loves to entertain people (he’s the 4th kid and only boy, so go figure!).  Mariah also keeps us laughing. . . she prayed this prayer recently, “Dear God I thank you for all the people going to the circus, that they would get their tickets and all the people on the train that they would get their tickets.” (This was totally random, not connected to anything we had talked about.) She ended it with, “And I thank you for the sad animals.”  (NOTE: She prefaces everything with “thank you.”) I asked her why she wanted to pray for the sad animals and she said very matter-of-factly, “Well, God can help them.” Duh, Mom.    All the girls are very excited about their birthdays coming up in a few weeks.  Today they had “dates” with Daddy, who took them out to buy each other birthday presents.  Very cute.  This year, we decided that instead of parties, we will take them each out individually for a special outing, just with mom and dad.  Aliyah’s going to the science museum, Mariah to a children’s farm and Hannah horseback riding (if I can get it organized).  Lest I paint a picture of a perfect family life, we want to ask for your prayers for all 4 of them.  We have been dealing with some lying/deceiving issues with the kids lately and it has been tough.  Pray for wisdom for us and for soft hearts for them.  We love our job as parents but press on with fear and trembling knowing that the Lord is the one who molds hearts.  Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it.