September 9, 2010

Queen of the Castle: Week 36

For those of you playing along...(if you've just joined us you can get caught up a bit here) we are on week 36 of the book Queen of the Castle: 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker.

This week is titled "The Party's Over: School Days".  Lynne's children attend a private Christian school, so I can not relate in the way they go off to school.  I can, however, relate to the newness of each school year.  Each parent, whether their children are in public, private or home school should feel a hint of sadness as they grow up and learn new means they are one step closer to leaving the nest.  I am saddened when I am at the grocery to hear various moms and dads chatting with friends to be excited...not for the new experiences their children will have but to be excited to get rid of them because they don't want to be around them.  Lynn reflects on the sadness she feels when they head out the door to catch the bus on that first day.  I can sympathize.  I've never experienced sending them off to school, but I do feel a tinge of sadness as they return to their dance class for the year or enter into a new Sunday School class or Wednesday night group.  It marks another year of growth and learning...and a year closer to leaving the nest.

Like all families who's children have to fit into a school routine, homeschool families do, too.  We are sleepy the first week of school.  Who wouldn't be?  After regular nights of staying up late to enjoy popcorn and a movie, getting up earlier can be a drag!  Lynn suggests a morning checklist, easy breakfast food that the family enjoys, and having things ready the night before.  We get things ready the night before our crazy Wednesday mornings that we have piano and library time.  Using a timer in the morning is another suggestion.  We live by the timer at our house!  To get the slowpokes moving with their morning chores I'll set the timer for 10 minutes.  That gets them going!

Lynn also suggests the book Raising Musical Kids:  Great Ideas to Help Your Child Develop a Love for Music, by Patrick Kavanaugh.  It contains ideas for getting kids to practice their instruments, as well as an appendix listing classical music that appeals to kids.  Our homeschooling family starts the day with school work and when they are done they must first practice piano and violin (we have two on violin) before they get time to play on the computer.  I also play classical and instrumental music on (free!) for the kids to listen to while helps tame the savage beasties!  Sometimes we kick it up a notch by listening to Allison Krauss or some bluegrass!  O.K....a lot of times. : )

Lynn suggests some quick lunchbox ideas that I also use in our home:
*Cut sandwiches in shapes with cookie cutters...our youngest two enjoy this, anyway.
*Peel and core an apple, serve with peanut butter (or Sunbutter if you have a peanut allergy).
*Include an occasional note, riddle, comic strip, Bible verse  in their lunch box.  We'll go around the table ala Dinner Time Quiz Show style.

Raising our family is a privilege.  Pray for protection and wise choices.  Pray for them to love the Lord and serve Him above all else!
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"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 4:6-7

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