Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Julie's "5 Things"

I called my friend Julie last night.  She's the friend from church who loans us our Sonlight materials, and I had to share my really cool Monday morning surprise with her.  If you missed it on facebook, I'll share it here...

In this post from Sunday night, I talked about our box from Sonlight arriving and how excited the kids and I are to start school.  In my moment of amazement at how the Lord works and extreme gratitude at His provision and everything that He has done in mine and the kids lives, I sent an email off to Luke Holzmann (and everyone at Sonlight), thanking them for their incredible curriculum and their part in how far we have come.  I figured Sonlight, like every other incredible company, gets bombarded with emails every day.  The best I was hoping for was simply that my email would get read, by someone who cared about what I wrote.  On Monday morning, I received an email back informing me that my email had been posted as one of the blog posts on the Sonlight blog for Monday!!  I couldn't believe how cool that was.  :)  You can read my email/post on the Sonlight blog here.

The other reason I called Julie was that she had a "tip," from one mother to another, that she wanted to share with me.  It was so good, I had to share it here.  :)

I mentioned to Julie, in a brief conversation we had at church on Sunday, that I have really been working with my kids to teach them Love and Respect.  I want them to know that the way you treat others should always be with love and respect (we're focusing mostly on our siblings right now ;-), and I've been working with them to show them what that really means.  When they act out in anger and frustration, we discuss examples of loving and respectful responses instead of hitting or yelling or taking an object from their sibling.  It's been about a month of focusing on this lesson and they're starting to "get it."  More than once I've had one of them run to me and tell me how they acted or reacted with one of the behaviors we discussed, pride showing on their beautiful little face.  :)

Julie's tip, that she used with her own children when they were little, was to discuss 5 specific things every morning before they start their day.  By discussing them every morning, it put those 5 things fresh in their minds to refer to throughout the day.  She said they were also a good thing to go over before leaving the house, to remind them to behave with the same goals while out in public.

This list varies slightly from what Julie told me last night, but the beauty of it is that you can adjust it to fit your own family.

The 5 Things:

1.  We love God and respect God.  We obey Him and His Word, and we keep Him above all else in our lives.  We remember to start our day with prayer and bible time, and we pray (talk) to Him throughout the day.

2.  We love and respect our parents.

3.  We love and respect our siblings.

4.  We love and respect our family and our friends.

5.  We remember our manners all day.

You can expand on each item, especially in the beginning.  I expanded on the first one in my list.  You could discuss a few "manners" for them to remember, such as not interrupting adults, keeping "inside voices," etc.  Explain, more than once, what "love" and "respect" mean.  Give examples.  After time, they will remember what you've discussed.  But in the beginning, it's good to remind them.

I went over this list for the first time with my kids this morning.  We counted each item on our fingers, as a visual reference to help them remember over time.  Julie said that in moments when they needed a "reminder" she would put her hand up, fingers open, and ask, "who remembers the 5 things?"  Now that her children are older (aged 7+), she doesn't need to pull out the list of 5 things as much.  They are beyond familiar with it, and it has made a huge impact on how they treat each other.  She also said to remind them that their siblings are their best friends.  Some friends will come and go, but your siblings are your best friends.  Remember that in how you treat them.

After we went over the 5 things this morning, Andrew asked, "Can someone get me a piece of paper please?"  Amerie jumped up and said, "I will!"  When she handed it to him, he told her "thank you."

And then their faces lit up.  "Mommy!!!  I remembered the 5 things!!  I remembered my manners and love and respect!"

I'm sure it's not that easy, but it was so rewarding to see them "get it" right from the start.  And f we continue to discuss the 5 things every morning, they will start remembering throughout the day, as Julie's kids do.  The simple discussion of love and respect has already made an impact on their behavior.  I'm really excited about the 5 things.

And really, really grateful the Lord blessed my life with people like Julie.  :)

1 comment:

  1. I love getting emails about how God has blessed families through homeschooling with Sonlight. It's hard for me to express how much your email made my day. I'm grateful that we could post it and encourage you back [smile].

    And isn't it great to have friends who can encourage and give insights? Another huge blessing from the Lord!