Friday, March 13, 2009

Sometimes it's a drag....

The face you see before you is the face of my darling daughter, confronted once again, with her daily math assignment. It's a terrible, onerous thing, as you can see by the expression. It's all of 30 minutes of her day....
I don't know how she stands it. Sometimes I don't know how I stand it. I spend quite a of time devising new and exciting ways to approach topics. But, there always remains the fact that certain subjects just have to be done, like math and English. Sometimes I get a bit disheartened (or a lot disheartened) by the reaction I get to my plans. At that point I really have to remember that my desire to give my kids an excellent education really has very little to do with their feelings about it. Sure, it's great when everyone loves the project we're doing. But, if they don't, it still builds character to plug on and finish it. I am trying to do my work as unto the Lord, and if the kids don't like it, that's secondary.
We are working together on the concept of doing "all for the glory of God". It's a tough one to see in day to day things, I think, especially for an 11 year old who's faith is so new, and more even for someone who's 5 and really just getting a grasp on the basics of the Gospel. I know that both of my kids are getting the information they need, academically. That's the easy part. It's the character things that go along with the parenting/homeschooling package that make it tough.
Of all of the things I teach, the Christian worldview has to be the most important and the hardest, especially in our noisy culture. It has to be a constant, day by hour by minute thing. We can't shelter them from everything, and as Stella gets older, we allow more and more things to creep into her awareness, so that we can teach what the Bible says about "X " issue.
We definitely keep mainstream "tween" culture--TV, movies, clothes, bands, etc, out of our lives. That garbage is so highly sexualized and so shallowly based, there's just no reason for it. But big issues--abortion, war, the economy, etc--those topics are bit by bit entering our discussion. A friend at our homeschool group made a comment (it may have been a quote, but I don't know how to attribute it) that "Christianity isn't about what we are against--it is simply what we are about". God is the author of everything, He holds it all together and keeps it moving by His command, so all topics must come back to Him.
I've only been a Christian for 6 years or so, and my worldview has long been colored by the culture I was raised in, so it's very challenging for me to look at issues and try to view them through the lense of Scripture. Of course, the more I study the Word, the easier it gets.

So, anyway, the point is that although Stella abhors her math, I know that I am doing the right thing both by making her do it, and by explaining how even math is an example of the greatness of God. Math and science are actually some of the best examples, I think, of God's glory--the precision and perfection of the Universe, of the Earth, of our bodies, of a single cell, can be best explained through mathematical and scientific means. God is a God of mathematics and science and logic. Even if it's no fun teaching it to someone who doesn't yet appreciate it, God is good, and I have faith that it will work in the end. I just have to keep going.

1 comment:

Tina said...

I think you have to keep at it - kids will always try to get out of something that requires them to think hard, but once they learn something they will see that persistence pays off and it will be easier the next time they have something to learn. Teachers don't stop when kids whine.

Math can be scary though and I try to help my kids get comfortable with the new material by finding some free worksheets on the web. I especially like math word problems because it is like solving a mystery - you can ask the kids to figure out what is the best math technique to solving these problems? then they discover how addition, subtraction and multiplication and division work in the real world. I've put together a great list of resources for 4th and 5th grade math if you are interested.

I put them together in an online binder (like the ones on so my kids don't end up wandering the internet. All they have to do is click on the binder and work through the tabs I put together online.

just click on the link below and go through the tabs to see the different websites: