Friday, May 20, 2016

Called to Be a Mom!

This is the quote that God used to get my attention. I have been struggling lately with where my place is. I have been spending countless days praying, seeking where God wants to use me. His answer, 'be a mom.' 

In a world where stay-at-home moms tend to be looked down upon as lazy or someone who doesn't work, there are times when we moms can allow ourselves to feel less than what we are. I am finding that the reason the enemy attacks moms so hard is because our job is so important. We are responsible to mold these tiny people. We are to pour the love of Jesus into them through word and action. However, when we are worn-out, overwhelmed, and feeling less than valued, we begin to neglect ourselves. It is impossible for us to pour anything into our children if we fail to have it in ourselves. 

The reality of how important my role is struck me really hard this week. I knew that being their primary educator was important. I knew that loving them was important, but my children need more than that. They need a mom that they see seeking after Jesus. They need to hear me pray and cry out to God on the good days and the bad. 
They need to know that before anything else, I start my day by seeking His approval. I work for my Heavenly Father. He has employed me and entrusted these beautiful babies to me. I must seek to honor Him by being a good steward of what He has given me. I must raise them and love them the way He directs me to.
In order to do that I must take time to seek Him and His ways. I must spend time communicating with Him, reading His word, searching for His truth. 
The world may say that I am just a stay-at-home mom. They may think that what I do doesn't matter. The enemy will use their word to try and destroy my resolve, my motivation, and steal my joy. I have got to remember that He chose me! He loves me! He has placed me here 'for such a time as this!' In order for me to remember this and rest in this, I need to be reminded of this everyday! So, everyday I will seek Him and His will and direction for me and my family! 

I have been called by the Most High God to be a mom! This is not a job that I will take lightly anymore! I love this quote by Elisabeth Elliot. It is my declaration today:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Institute for Excellence in Writing- A TOS Review

Before last month I had never heard of Institute for Excellence in Writing. So, when given the opportunity to review Institute for Excellence in Writing's Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization, the only thing I had to go on was my love for poetry and the fact that I wanted to implement more memorization into our school days.  What I never expected was how much I was going to fall in love with this program!

Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization  IEW Review

We received the complete Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization. This includes:
*Teacher's Manual
         The front of this is so full of great stuff! 
                              -Prerequisites for Effective Communication
                              -Why Memorization?
                              -Why Poetry?
                              -Mastery Learning-What is it?
                              -How This Program is Set Up
                              -How to Teach the Program
* 5 CDs of level 1-5 poetry
* A DVD of Nurturing Competent Communicators
*7 mp3 downloads which include:
                              -Nuturing Competent Communicators
                              -Mastering Learning, Abiblity Developement,                                                                  and Individualized Education
                              -Ten Thousand Times and Then Begins                                                                                                     Understanding
                              -On Listening
                              -On Speaking
                              -On Reading
                              -On Writing  
*A pdf version of the Student Workbook

We also received a physical bound copy of the Student Workbook which is available seperately. The Cds and DVD were in a very nice leather bound case. I was so excited to get started. In fact, this is how you would have found me that very afternoon while the kiddos were having their quiet time. I was enjoying Mr. Andrew Pudewa as he taught on Nurturing Competent Communicators. To say that I enjoyed myself would be an understatement! His lessons became a very valuable part of my Mom School over the next few weeks!     

Here is just one of the lesson's notes that I took in my mom journal:

I learned so much from Mr. Pudewa! This review was a personal favorite. I felt like I learned as much if not more than my children. I know that the mp3's and the DVD will be listened to and watched again and again! They make me strive to be a better more attentive educator! My very favorite nugget of wisdom that I took from all of it was to read aloud to my kids a lot, even after they learn to read!!! I love to read to my kiddos, but I had found that, through the process of Popper learning to read independently, I had stopped reading to him. I was saddened by that fact. So, we now read every night before bed. Currently, we are enjoying Charlotte's Web. I hope this is something that I am able to continue until they leave home! 

After I watched the DVD and read the entire front of the Teacher's Manual, (really good stuff) we began the process of memorizing level 1 poems. I loved that they sent us a physical copy of the Student Workbook. I love even more that the pdf version is able to be printed for all of the kiddos in your family! I was able to print off each poem for the kiddos to color as they listened to Mr. Pudewa read it to them. The kiddos seem to do better when their hands are busy, this is another nugget of truth I found somewhere along the way of my reading or listening to this program.  

After listening to Mr. Pudewa say the poem several times, we began to break it down to start memorizing it. The first day, I was met with groans and moans about memorizing and poetry until they heard the first poem:

Ooey Gooey 
author: unknown

Ooey Gooey was a worm,
A mighty worm was he.
He stepped upon the railroad tracks,
The train he did not see!
Ooooey Goooey!

That was all it took! Giggles started and the memorization happened quickly! The kiddos love this poem so much. The other day, I overheard Sister as she was making her barbies recite their poetry. The all were lined up on the couch and she began,"Ooey Gooey..." I had to walk away, the giggles were now coming from me! 

In the back of the Teacher's Manual there are Lesson Enhancements. These give ideas of other subjects that go along with the poem, as well as elements of poetry that can be taught with the poem. We enjoyed some of these enhancements as we memorized. Ooey Gooey got us talking about worm and why they are good for our garden we are planting. Celery sparked conversation during dinner preparation about which vegetables could fit into the poem and it still ring true. 

We aren't moving as quickly as I had hoped, but we are memorizing and having fun in the process. It is exciting to hear them start to create their own poems and funny stories. I love where this has taken us! The kids actually ask now, "Mom, what poem are we learning next?"

Any age can really benefit from poetry memorization. Mine are 3, 5, and 7. The poems do get longer and more detailed as you progress through the levels. I am so excited to see that my children will be given the challenge to memorize some greats such as: The Gettysburg Address, and excerpts from The Declaration of Independence. I pray that this helps them have not only a love and appreciation for great poems and literature, but for history as well. This program, it makes me smile. 

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Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization  IEW Review