Sunday, February 15, 2009

Something to Do...

Continuing with the theme of raising kids and encouraging them and making the most of your time with them, today I will talk about Something [worthwhile] to Do. To read the blog about Something to Love, please go here and for the beginning of this topic you can go here; Real Moms, Shepherding your Flock .

You can best serve your children by teaching them service. They can be taught to do chores that help the family. I truly believe doing chores helps build self esteem.

Children should be taught Magnanimity- Generosity or nobility of mind or greatness of spirit. Brought about by high thinking and lowly living. The child learns to think great thoughts, but is also generous to overlook insult or injury. He is not too good to do lowly chores.

Practically, this can be taught by:
  • Learning to share when it is hard
  • Teaching about Jesus--serving and humility
In addition to teaching magnanimity, children are born with a natural curiosity. They need to be fed with ideas so they have worthwhile things to think about. Some ideas along this line:
  • acting out historical events
  • pretending to be historical characters
  • draw and collect things having to do with nature: rocks, leaves, bugs, etc.
  • learn to identify birds, flowers, weeds and so forth [a bird feeder and a field guide can be a lot of help]--I like the Peterson series.
  • listen to great music and learn to identify composers and/or instruments
  • learn to identify great art works
  • do some gardening
  • making doll clothes
  • woodworking
  • make and perform a play or puppet show
  • helping younger sibling to get dressed, put away toys
  • have picnics
  • teach child to make a simple lunch
  • sweep floors
  • raise children to appreciate God's creation
  • have child plan and carry out a tea party
  • have child making something for the family such as a wooden door stop, or pot holder
  • keep the porch swept and clean
  • Playing marbles or hop scotch--games that require thinking and coordination and cooperation
  • and so on and so on...
I think you get the idea. Get away from the TV and the video games--give the child real things to do-real things to imitate. Have them learn great things like art and music and nature study-yet be willing to do humble things like helping a younger

[Kari weaving on a popcycle loom]
sibling, cleaning the toilet, etc. Keep the idea of magnanimity in mind and you can't go wrong. Something important to do-isn't that what we all want? To do something important?

Some books I recommend for young children for art and music appreciation...

Child Nature Book I Like
Animals in Art
Enjoying Art with Children
Bernstein Favorites [music appreciation]
Childs Book of Art

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