There was a great deal of complaining last year. Math was too difficult. We had too much work. The dreaded ‘B’ word was bandied about. You know, as in, This is (gasp) boring.
After addressing each subject separately, I began to gain some clarity: the problem did not lie with the challenging subject matter, nor the words my kids – one of them in particular, let’s be honest- chose to use. It didn’t even primarily pertain to the unwanted behaviors. It was a deeper, yet simpler problem. A problem of the heart.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
I have often wondered why David mentions his words before his thoughts. Jesus calls out his would-be followers, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks,” and “where your treasure is, there the heart will be also.”
My children needed to change their thinking. Controlling my heart, my tongue, and my thoughts are not easy for me as an adult. How much more difficult will it be for my children? They need to see me model a desire to do so, however.
Our first week of school has passed slowly, with low expectations, incrementally adding topics and subjects. We have read, journaled, watched the news, completed some map work, and generally re-introduced the habit of sitting down to work again (as well as introduced what it will look like in our new house. We moved in less than two weeks ago.)
Charlotte Mason’s motto has helped us in approaching this new school year with positive guidelines.
I am.. I can… I ought… I will…
I am hoping to instill in my children a proprietary sense of their education and spiritual life. You can read here for more information about Charlotte Mason’s motto and educational philosophy.
Each day we have added to our understanding of the motto with the Bible verses suggested here.
I am….a child of God. I am a person of great value because God made me.
Ephesians 2:8-10 “…For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I can…do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I am capable of accomplishing all I need to do.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
I ought…. to obey God, my parents and all those who are in authority over me.
Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
I will…decide to keep watch over my thoughts and tongue and choose what is right even if it is not what I want.
Psalm 119:30 “I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.”
We have discussed the significance of each of these points and used the verses as copywork. We are slowly incorporating them as memory work as well. The heavy responsibilities and expectations of the school year lighten when we are reminded how loved we are, along with an encouraging reminder that we are, indeed, capable.