Monday, December 10, 2012


We had sooooo much fun this morning. We wrapped a gift for the rubbish truck driver and the boys colored in pictures for him. The man was soooooo happy!!! It is truly blessed to give then to receive. Share some kindness today!

RACKED Day 5-9

My best friend Tash has been soooooo good to us. She has made so much yummy food when I have been unable to with my precious Raphael. So we surprised her with a new kitchen appliances she needed.

We have a lovely elderly couple here in Toowoomba who have been through some difficulties the past couple of months, so we picked some flowers from our garden for them.


Our good friends 'The Thompsons' left today so we gave them some traveling gifts to make their 12 hour drive back home a little more enjoyable. We hope you liked it all!

RACKED day 3

The boys friend Johann spent the afternoon in emergency with a badly cut toe. So all the children made him special 'Get Well' cards (we hope you will come to visit again).

Monday, December 3, 2012

RACKed Day 2

We have been blessed with such lovely neighbours, so we took over a gift of caramel cookie slice to them.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness -Day 1

Our first day of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness was started by giving an arrangement of flowers to an elderly lady at church. How beautiful it was to see such a smile on her face.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

A drive down our street would tell you that Christmas is just around the corner. Lights are on every night and decorations are all over the houses, and I must say that it is a beautiful sight. Christmas brings back fond memories for me, and the one which stands out most is when Dad and us girls would go walking out in the bush to find the perfect pine tree to place in our lounge room for the festive season. It is memories like these that I want my children to have; memories that will last a life time.

December can get very busy for a lot of people and we tend to forget that 'Jesus is the reason for the season'.

So along with our family I encourage you to print out some RACKed cards here and start preparing with your family whose face you can bring a smile to.

Random acts of Kindness can be done to:
  • The postman (he delivers your personal mail all year long; hail or shine)
  • The Garbage collector (takes away your smelly rubbish every week)
  • Firemen
  • Police
  • Cleaners in the shopping centre
  • Checkout lady/man at the supermarket
  • Neighbour
  • Elderly
  • Family who is struggling financially or emotionally
  • The list goes on.......

 We can't wait to get started - I look forward to letting you know how it all went.

Let's make the end of 2012 incredible for all.

Blessings from our family to yours.

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Day Family Challenge - Week 1

Our children are LOVING family time!! They do not forget, and are always reminding us who is next to choose. So here are a few things we have been doing.

Playing 'Jenga' has been so funny and at the same time teaching the boys fine motor skills.

 We found an awesome Badminton and Volleyball set at Aldi and have had such fun with it. We just can't stop laughing at our mistakes.

 The park has been very popular too. Raphael even had his first swing there with me!

We found a bike training park which the boys just thought was great! Two way lanes with roundabouts, traffic lights, traffic signs - the whole lot!

Running in the park with Baba - they just love him.

Start the challenge and see the difference!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Day Challenge for FAMILY TIME

Time is slipping away and I feel as though we are not spending enough time together having FUN. So I announced yesterday that we were going to start 'Family Time' again and the boys were soooooo excited, especially Danny as he has fond memories from times before.

Speaking to other families, we have noticed across the board that the families that are close knit and enjoy each others company are the ones who have taken the effort to implement 'Family Time' each day.

So we have decided that November will be the month that we will instill the new habit of Family Time. There are all different ways of having this time together, but there are a few general guidelines that we stick to:
  • Set time of day for Family Time - It is 5pm for us
  • Length of Time - half an hour to an hour for us
  • Rotation of each family member having a turn to choose
  • Have lots of FUN and SMILE even if you don't want to :o)
 Marco (our 4 year old) chose our activity for today and he quickly ran to pull out the Lego box. We built emergency vehicles, a shop, a toilet block, a pyramid, etc.. we all had a great time.

So what have you done so far for 'Family Time'? Let us know below in the comment section.

Blessings from our home to yours.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Care in Handling Property

Have you ever gone to look for something and you cannot find it in the place where you left it? Then a couple of days later you find it in your childs bedroom or stashed away in some bizarre place. Well we have had that experience a few times with our boys and it is often with Imads tools, so we thought that it was time to explain the importance of not touching other peoples 'property' without permission. So it has become a household rule for all to not touch or use someone elses 'property' unless you have asked and they have given you permission. In 'Child Guidance' it states that a child will not be happier if allowed to touch what they like, but will in actual fact grow up unlovely and with destructive traits of character. How important is it for us to teach these simple lessons.

Putting things away where they belong after use is also very important. It is one thing that can really bother me when things are left lying around and not put away. Mandy, who is a close friend of mine sent me this fantastic idea. You can print the 'Uh Oh' paper here. Some of her children ended up in the box too :o)

Have a blessed week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Study Guide Update

As you know we have a beautiful baby boy 'Raphael' who is now 6 weeks old and such a joy to have in the home. With the blessing of an extra child comes extra work, and to be honest I have been BUSY adjusting to the new routine and trying to accomplish what has to be done each day.

I have decided to run things a little different with the blog and studies, only due to the fact that I just don't have the extra time at the moment. You will now find at the top of the 'Home Page' on the blog another tab titled 'Child Guidance Studies'. Once you click on the tab for the studies a new page will open with all the current studies available. From there you may download the study needed. I will still be putting up posts relating to the studies, but not one for each chapter due to the time constraints at present.

Please remember to continue putting in your comments - they are VERY helpful.

The exciting news is that we will be expanding the blog VERY soon. We will be looking at topics such as:
  • Homeschooling
  • Marriage
  • Family
  • Cooking
  • Hospitality, etc
So subscribe to the blog by putting your email address in the 'Follow by Email' box on the right hand side of the home page. This way you will always be up to date with what is happening.

Blessings from our family to yours.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Key to Happiness and Success - Chapter 10

"Unfaithfulness in that which is least will soon, if uncorrected, lead to transgression in that which is great"     Child Guidance Pg 80
How true is the above statement. I have at times with my boys overlooked 'small' issues and then over time they have become HUGE issues which have caused me and the rest of the family great pain. How true is the saying 'Nip it in the bud'.
Some people may think it untrue that a child would be much happier when they obey, but it is true, I have seen it from experience in our family. When our boys choose to obey, the end result is happiness all around. This obedience we must strive to have continually and promptly, and this issue has been a current one in our home. For example, yesterday afternoon I asked my eldest boy to come help me pick all the snowpeas off the vines before pulling out the plants, he promptly came and was very excited to do the job. When we got to the backyard his attention was drawn to the chooks and off he ran to them. I called him back and he answered that he was coming, but, he never came. I called again, and again he said that he was coming, but again, he never came. After having a talk to him and the making sure that he helped me with the gardening, I prayed about how I could teach him the lesson of promptness. So this morning I tried something a little different, while the boys were tidying their rooms I prepared breakfast for my husband and I, we prayed and started eating without them (something that we have never done before). The boys came out after tidying their room and asked where their breakfast was. I calmly stated that I would get it soon, but then kept on eating. They asked me a few more times and I answered with the same "I will, I will get up now and prepare it" but I never followed through. They then looked at me straight in the eyes and said "Why are you saying that you will get breakfast but you then don't go and get it for us?" Aha - my chance had finally come! After an explanation of how promptness and obedience is important and giving a few examples of when they have not followed through we shared a few laughs and enjoyed breakfast together. I hope the lesson worked!
Satan will try to convince us that Gods standard is to strict but do not listen to that. We know that strict obedience to Gods holy law will bring happiness to us, and in turn strict obedience of the children to us will bring happiness into the home. Remember, make it easy for your children to obey, wear a smile on your face and encourage them to do right.
May it be your prayer this week to keep your children true to the Lord.
May the Lord bless you.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Call for Self-Improvement - Chapter 9

You may be wondering while there has been no activity on the blog the last few weeks. Well our family has grown from 4 members to now 5! On July the 29th our beautiful son Raphael Imad Awde was born. So as you can imagine we have been VERY busy adjusting - so please forgive me for the lateness of these next few posts.

This chapter has been a real blessing for me personally. Now with 3 small children I really feel inadequate in my mothering. I really need God to work through me, because I just can't do it by myself. It is so true that we need to be continually advancing in our own life to that we can lead our children to higher attainments. We need to improve our "mind and...heart" (CG 72) and this only can be done when we spend time with our Saviour on a daily basis, this is why our own personal devotion time is SO important. Yes I know that it can be a struggle for us busy mothers to find the time and energy for personal devotion time but we MUST do our work with "wholeheartedness" and we need to bring the "gospel into the home life". At the moment I would really struggle through my day if I was to stay awake after an early morning feed for Raphael and have my quiet time, so instead, whenever I feed during the day (which is every 2.5 - 3hrs), I spend that time reading. This has proved to be a REAL blessing. With about 5-6 feeds during the day and each lasting about 40 minutes, I get about 3-4 hours of reading time a day!! The Lord is good - He provides a way in all situations to spend time with us.

We also need to make sure that we are spending time with our husbands and children. When it comes to spending time with our family, it isn't quantity but QUALITY. A couple of years ago, Imad and I got to a point where we were keeping ourselves so bogged down in work that we rarely spent quality time together. We decided to start 'Date Night' each Wednesday evening and this is how it worked. Imad would leave work at a set time, find some beautiful flowers for me (mostly from the bush; once it was an Australian native flower which was on a thick stalk and stood taller then Imad, I could hardly lift the thing!). In the time it took Imad to drive home I would wash, feed the boys and get them ready for bed. When Imad got home he would tuck the boys into bed and then we would have a 'special' candle-lit dinner. The rest of evening was spent talking and catching up, it was a highlight to our week. Even though life is even more busy at the moment, we find the time to sit together and enjoy each others company. We have truly become close friends, and this hasn't happened by chance but by a decided effort on both parts. So if you have let the flame in your marriage dwindle away, relight it by spending some quality time together. Think of the things you use to do together when you were getting to know each other and try to start doing them again. Make yourself a necessity to your husband. if you hear your husband mention how he needs to complete a certain job around the home, or he feels like eating a specific meal, do your best to help him and make the food that he desires. He will truly cherish you and see you as a necessity in his life.

A couple of years ago we were attending a family camp and the topic of discussion one afternoon was on 'Family Time'. When we arrived back home we decided to start our own 'Family Time' each afternoon. We asked Danny (our eldest boy, then 5) what he would like us to do together as a family. He chose to go bike riding, so off we started down the road. Before we were even 5 minutes from home, we saw Danny peddling as fast as he could in front of us and then he started to wobble, and before we knew it he was flying over the handlebars and skidding across the bitumen - ouch! After we cleaned up the tears and blood we were sure that Danny would not be so excited about 'Family Time' again. To our surprise, the next day both boys couldn't wait to have family time! We have continued this tradition in our home and the boys REALLY cherish this time. Yes there have been times where we have allowed work and worries overtake us and have neglected our 'Family Time', but it is our desire to continue it as we have seen rich blessings in our home when we have made the effort to make time. I would like to add an extra 2 words to a saying you may well know: "Families who pray and play together, stay together."

At the end of chapter 9 we read that it is important to meet together for counsel in regards to child-training. When I read this I  was very much encouraged as that is what we are doing at Toowoomba Central Church, and there may be other groups who are following along with us. What a blessing to be able to meet and share our experiences and to encourage each other with Gods Word and inspired writings. I would encourage you all to continue with the studies and to put in your feedback at the bottom of each post so that we may gain encouragement from each other.

May God bless you in your calling of being a Mother.

Please find the next study guide here

Friday, July 27, 2012

Preparation is Needed - Chapter 8

Us mothers are the first teachers of our children and the opportunity given to us is to mold their character for good or evil. Yes the task of parenting may overwhelm us, and it has every reason to if we keep God out of the picture. 'At times the heart may be ready to faint; but a living sense of the dangers threatening the present and future happiness of their loved ones should lead Christian parents to seek more earnestly for help from the source of strength and wisdom. it should make them more circumspect, more decided, more calm yet firm, while they watch for these souls, as they must give account.' CG 64. What can make our task easier is PRAYER, STUDY OF THE BIBLE and EARNEST ZEAL.
A very interesting part of the study this week was about the preparation needed before we have a child or care for one:
  • Laws of health and physical development
  • Physiology
  • Hygiene
  • Prenatal Influences
  • Laws of heredity
  • Sanitation
  • Dress
  • Exercise
  • Treatment of Disease
  • Functions of organs and how they relate and depend on one another and the healthy action of each

"To assume the responsibilities of parenthood without such preparation is a sin." CG 64
Wow - this is very strong and very important! When I first read this I was little taken back and overwhelmed at the thought. It is a university degree in itself. But we are so privileged to have the Bible and SOP as our reference guide on so many points, and we are also blessed to live in a day and age where literature is so ready available to us and for free. Your local library or Internet is full of information - we are living in the information age that is true. So do not be overwhelmed, take each subject of study at a time, and make it a double blessing and teach it to your children and you learn it yourself.

Our lifework should be to understand the will of God so that we can train our children in the right way so that it might be approved by God. The Bible should be our rule of life - it is full of instruction. The Bible also gives us instruction in terms of obedience. 'Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.' Col 3:20 So the question to be asked is - Should Gods rules of guidance be strictly obeyed? Should our children strictly obey our requirements? The answer is YES! In no way are we to indulge the child to a point where they feel that they can follow their own desires without consulting with the parents. All that is done in the home should be done in Gods perfect order. In home we expect our boys to ask before they go anywhere even if it's outside, and yes as soon as they could communicate. If we want our children in their teenage years to talk to us and communicate with us about their desires, we need to instill that at an early age.

Another point which really hit home for me was that if we see that our children are 'untaught, unmanaged and unrestrained' it concludes to the fact that WE are not spending enough time in the Word and thus we are not meeting Gods standard because we are not searching the scriptures to know what Gods standard is. The rule of our life must be 'What saith the scriptures?' and to know what the scriptures say we must spend time in it. I personally have found a real blessing in having my own quiet time with the Lord in the early hours of the morning before my children awake. Yes, this can be difficult depending on the age of your children and when I had infants I did not follow that practise but I found the time to read throughout the day, but as soon as they were sleeping through the night then I was able to regain that special time in the morning with our Lord. I would encourage you start your own quiet time. It may be difficult at first, but the Lord will help you through as it is His desire so spend time with you.

Because we are mothers and our calling is so great, we need to spend time with God to be able to develop a "well balanced mind and pure character. Reflecting only the true, good and beautiful." CG 67 The reason why it is so important that our characters are reflecting Christs, is because it will be copied by our children. We need to show love to our family in 'gentle words and courteous deportment' for this will bring sunshine to our homes which will then reflect on others. Through submission to the will of God we will then be fitted to be the teachers God desires us to be to our children.
 You may look back over the months and years of your child training and fall into despair because you feel that you begun all the training wrong. But DO NOT DESPAIR! Be soundly converted to God, obey the Word of God and have true reformation of your practises. God is ever willing to help and give you the Righteousness of Christ. A beautiful practise to begin each year with is to look back over the past year and ask the Lord for 'spiritual discernment to discover the defects in the work of the past'. repent of your neglected work in the home and  make this your motto for every day:

"This is your day of trust, your day of responsibility and opportunity. Soon will come your day of reckoning. take up your work with earnest prayer and faithful endeavour." CG 69

Please find the next study guide here

Friday, July 20, 2012

Practical Lessons from Nature - Chapter 7

This chapter is just wonderful! So practical with such clear guidelines of how to teach our children in nature. I just love being in the outdoors, but I often find that I get myself so busy that i don't even step out of the house all day. It is physically and spiritually bad for me and it is especially wrong because I have children who need to be taught from the lessons of nature. I know that I need to prioritise my time in the things that are most important, and spending time with my children in the outdoors and drawing lessons from Gods 'Nature' textbook is just this.

The Sabbath day is given to our children for one main reason. It is to draw their minds up to God through the nature around them. Yes it requires much thought and energy on the parents part, but what blessings our children and ourselves will receive. We really enjoy going for a walk in nature on Sabbath afternoons with our boys, and it is the time they enjoy best. BUT, I must say that we have so much more to do in the regard of teaching from nature. Often we go for a walk but we don't learn any practical lessons which draw us closer to God. This week we started looking for objects in nature that reminded us of a story, lesson or God. It was amazing what the boys came up with! Once they chose an object, we continued with the theme and talked about it. We even did this activity in the car whilst driving! It was great fun.

GARDENING - there are so many lessons to learn from it. There are so many varieties of plants, so from each one we can learn practical and spiritual lessons:
  • Soil
  • Transplanting
  • Care of young plants
  • Pruning
  • Watering
  • Shielding from frost
  • Shielding from sun
  • Keeping out weeds
  • Controlling disease and insect pests
  • Training plants
  • Arranging plants

When our children start to work in their gardens, it cultivates in them carefulness, patience, attention to detail and obedience to law. All these things they see as necessary in the plants life so it has a convicting effect on them too. If you do not have a garden, I urge you to start one. Even if it is in pots to start out with. Your children will reap great rewards from it.

The parable in the Bible about the 'Sower and the Seed' can be made so practical for our children too:
  • The children can prepare the soil and sow the seed. Explain that our heart (garden) must be prepared for the good seed.
  • Our heart (soil) must be broken up by repentance
  • Explain that our heart is a garden and we can plant good or bad seed in it.
  • When you cast the seed down, explain how it can represent Christs death
  • When the seed springs forth a blade, explain the truth of the resurrection
  • As the plants grow, compare between the natural and spiritual.
  • The evil growth (weeds) that chokes the good must be uprooted
  • Just as our plants depend on on God for growth, so must we depend on God to do that which no human power can do.

"We are not merely to tell the child about these creatures of God's. The animals themselves are to be His teachers." CG 58, 59

There are so many lessons to learn from the animals. Here are a few from the chapter:
  • Ants - Patient industry, perseverance in surmounting obstacles, providence for the future, faithfulness.
  • Birds - Trust in God as He provides for them. They gather food, build nests and rear young whilst staying cheerful even though enemies are always seeking to destroy them.
  • Bee - Perfect order, no idleness.

Just imagine all the lessons you can teach from each different animal. AMAZING! We can never run out of resources from Gods great textbook. So this week your activity to start is easy and enjoyable. Get into nature each day with your children and pick a lesson to teach, either from the garden or greater outdoors or an animal. Let us know how you are going by commenting at the end of this blog. I really look forward to hearing about it all and sharing ideas.

God bless and please find the next lesson here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Book of Nature - Chapter 6

NATURE - all inspiring nature! It is our next lesson book after the Bible, and what precious lessons we can learn from it if we make the time. The fields and the hills should be the child's first classroom and we should encourage them to love it and recognise Gods hand in it all.

When Adam and Eve were in the garden they were taught by Jesus himself. The lessons were about:

  • The heavens
  • Planets
  • "Balancing of the Clouds"
  • Light and Sound
  • Day and night
These lessons we are to teach our children so that they can see the working of God in all that their eyes behold. There are lessons to be learnt due to the result of sin too. When our children see the decay, death, and the unpleasant sights in nature, explain to them the result of sin and what it has done. But even though there is decay in nature, there are representations of Gods goodness through it all - singing birds, flowers, sun, rain.

A great activity which we are going to start with our children is that whenever we go into nature we are to find an object that illustrates a lesson, story or description of Jesus. It's a great way to talk to you children about Bible truths when "thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deut 11:19

If you are not sure about the themes of study, take a pick from the list below as quoted in Child Guidance:
  • Leaf of the forest tree
  • Grass that covers the earth as a green velvet carpet
  • Plants and flowers
  • The stately trees
  • Lofty mountains
  • Rocks
  • Restless ocean
  • Light of night that makes the night beautiful
  • Exhaustless riches of sunlight
  • Solemn glories of the moon
  • Winters Cold
  • Summers heat
  • Seasons in perfect order and harmony
At home we have a great bible and nature curriculum which is put out by 'Sonlight'. The curriculum goes for 3 years and each quarter is focused on a different nature object (trees, rocks, plants...) They are VERY good and VERY biblical.

Jesus' education was gained by useful work, study of scripture, study of nature and life's experiences. You may ask 'Can our children gain the same education that Jesus did?' and to answer that "Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. As we try to become acquainted with our heavenly Father through His Word, angels will draw near, our minds will be strengthened, our characters will be elevated and refined." CG 51

When Jesus began to teach others he brought His hearers into contact with nature to teach them the lessons spoken of. The parables were always influenced by nature - birds, lilies, sower and the seed, shepherd and the sheep, the leaven, pearl, etc... We should in the same way teach our children.

  • Each day take your child into nature and see what lessons you can teach. Write down what you have done and the blessings you have all received.

  "...that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. "

Isaiah 61:3

Please find next weeks study here.

God Bless!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How to Download files

I have had a few questions on how to download the documents so I will try my best to explain. When you press on the link a page such as the one below appears in a new window

Click on the bottom left 'Download Now' button. The download will begin and you must wait for the countdown of seconds to finish (15 or 20 second timer) and then you can open the link.
Hope this helps and you have success with the download. Please let me know.

The Bible as a textbook - Chapter 5

The Bible should not only be the childs first textbook but ours also. Mothers need strength from God everyday to be able to do their task successfully and the Lord had provided such beautiful promises in His word for us. These are some of my favourites:

God will give you strength to care for your family
"Let Asher be blessed with children... and as they days, so shall thy strength be." Deuteronomy 33:24,25

God will help you with your young:
"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

God is watching over you and your family:
"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." Isaiah 49:16

God won't let you drown:
"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mineWhen thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." Isaiah 43:1,2

When you feel exhausted and discouraged
"I will not forget your work and labor of love." Hebrews 6:10
 "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9

When you are distracted by the world and are losing focus:
"And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?" Nehemiah 6:3

"Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee." Proverbs 4:25

For all those times when you need the Lords strength:
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phillipians 4:13 

The Lord has also filled His word with blessings for us.

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

When a mother is fulfilling her mission: "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." Proverbs 31:28 

A couple of years ago I was studying through a motherhood manual which had a wonderful suggestion. The suggestion was to go through the book of Proverbs and categorize each verse so that when your child needed guidance or reproof you had on hand a resource that would help greatly. I have laminated this resource and gone to it many times. It truly has been a blessing. Instead of my own words, I am now using Gods own words. You may download the resource here.

We have read in this chapter that the most important work that we do is to teach our children that the smiles of Jesus are of greater value then the praise of man. This is a VERY important work, and also a continual work. We naturally like to have the approval of others and friendship of all, but we need to fight this desire when it contradicts the law of God. We need to speak to our children of this often, and they must see us also live by the same principles.

One of my children are naturally timid, so I found the information on this subject wonderful. Yes it is very true that for a timid child they need to sense the nearness of Gods presence so that they feel secure. The story suggestions are wonderful and I look forward to reading them with my children. We will be claiming the promise: "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them." Psalm 34:7

We must keep in mind that our children will not always be with us so we need to prepare them for those times. We must teach our children the commandments in a practical way so that they will become "rule of their life" and will be a blessing to them throughout their lifetime.


  1. Find a promise and a blessing that is relevant and uplifting to you and claim it everyday.
  2. Talk to your child this week about the importance of receiving Jesus' smile on all the things we say and do.
Please find next weeks study guide here

Blessings from our home to yours.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Methods of Teaching - Chapter 4

"Wow! What an amazing chapter. So much to learn and unlearn. This weeks focus is on the 'Methods of Teaching', and there are so many crucial factors.

These are the main points/methods:
  • Prepare the way for your child to OBEY, cheerfully.
    • To prepare would mean to find the most suitable way to get them to do what you have asked. I have found that the easiest way to get them to obey is if I ask them with the right attitude and have a BIG smile on my face. At times I have made a game out of it and to see who can do the job the quickest or before mummy.
    • I really enjoyed reading about what we should get our children to pray for: 'Teach them to ask the Lord to help them in the little things of life; to be wide awake to see the small duties which need to be done; to be helpful in the home." What a wonderful thing to be able to teach our children.
  • Restful spirit and a loving heart
    • When we have a restful spirit and a loving heart it will "imbue them with pure aspirations, and cultivate in them a love for things honest and pure and holy." It is important that we learn the right methods and acquire tact when dealing with our children. It is also important to realise that all children are different and what may work for one family may not always work for yours. We must study the different methods and think if they will work in our circumstances and with the different temperaments that our children have. I know that what I deal with my eldest child will not work on my youngest - I have always had to vary the way I teach and discipline.
  • Quiet and gentle manner
    • This is important because it "tends to quiet the nerves of the little one." I especially noticed this in my first child. I was unsure of what I was doing and I was often in distress trying to figure out what to do. When I was uptight and emotional I saw it replicated in my infant. I still see it now. When I am stressed or not as pleasant as I should be, the boys just copy.
  • Song, prayer and lessons from scripture
    • "The Lord had directed that the children, even from babyhood, should be taught of His goodness and His greatness, especially as revealed in His law and shown in the history of Israel.". What better way to teach this then through song, prayer and lessons. Music and song is so influential. How many times does your child have to hear a Sabbath School song before he knows if off by heart? What a wonderful way for your child to memorize such wonderful things about God. Again I will mention the 'Thy Word Creation' song books, they are wonderful! It is a scripture passage done to music with a book to go along with it. My boys have been doing these books for quite some time and they have truly been a blessing. We are currently learning Isaiah 53 and looking forward to knowing it off by heart. We must also keep in mind how the wrong type of music and songs influence our children.
  • Teach with kindliness and affection
    • As parents we are to govern the house and the children are required to obey. 'The restless spirit naturally inclines to mischief' so we need to instruct them in the path they should go and give their active minds and hands something good to do. If we do not keep our children busy in good things and let them do as they please, they 'will give heed to that which Satan may suggest'. We are not to scold and belittle them, we need to win them with our kindliness and love for them and talk to them as you have confidence in them. We need to encourage them when they do good. Whenever I encourage and thank my children for something they have done, they want to do it more and MORE! Encouragement and thanks is a wonderful things which we all like to receive. Use it on your children.
  • Take time to reason 
    • As a child grows they like to ask 'why?' My eldest boy like to understand why things are being done a certain way. Not to answer back or be rude, but he genuinely likes to understand the reasoning behind some of our decisions. When we explain patiently he is happy, content and willing to do what we have asked. Yes, there are times when we need our children just to obey without demanding to know 'why?', but you can judge when that may be required.
  • Vary the manner of instruction
  • Outdoors
    • We are to teach lessons from nature to our children. It is very good for our children to cultivate the soil and look after their own gardens of produce and flowers. When our children are thus taught they are brought into direct contact with natures God. This type of education is in accordance to Gods plan. It is also very beneficial to a child who finds school work taxing and difficult. No matter where you live (even a unit or apartment) you can still have a little garden, even if it is in pots on a balcony.
  • Lessons to be short and interesting
    • Even as an adult I find it very difficult to concentrate if a lesson is long and not interesting, so we must be veen more careful when teaching our children. Say it Simply, say it often so that the children will not loath spiritual instruction.
  • Encourage independent thinking
    • We need to let our children to draw out lessons and truths for themselves. It is important to ask your child what they have learnt from a particular story or object lesson. Let them think it through and if they need help then give some main points to consider. Especially when you are outdoors ask them questions about why God made things the way He did.
  • Direct childhood activity
    • We shouldn't stop our children from being a child and playing and having fun but we should direct and guide their activity into 'something... that will advance them in physical and mental attainments.' I know this is important, and to be honest with you time consuming and difficult at times. I have 2 very active boys and to keep them busy all the time in doing good is a full time job on its own but it is well worth the effort. Yes it takes imagination, creativity and patience but God will provide it all if we rest our trust on Him. This is my work in progress at the moment and I REALLY need Gods help especially with baby boy number 3 due in a few weeks - pray for me please!
  • Teach helpfulness at an early age
    • When my youngest boy was just crawling around he just wanted to help (just as all little toddlers do), so I would give him a cloth and tell him to dust all the legs of the chairs and anything he could reach. How he loved to help mummy!! Yes it would of been easier just to ignore him and tell him to play with something, but what a blessing now. He loves to help and work! Yes, we are continually teaching him new things and it takes time and patience, but trust me, it will all be worth it one day. We need to teach them to put others happiness first and to look for opportunities to help family members and others in our community as this brings true joy. Remember that you are the best example.
  • Little attentions, often repeated.
    • Think of a GARDENER - he doesn't roughly pull out the weeds or violently dig the soil. He is gentle and often tends to his plants. We are to be like this with our child. We are not to be rough and demanding. These are Gods children, He has given them to us and we are accountable for how we bring them up. Let us learn to be 'gardeners' and our children 'plants'.
  • Give attention to little things
    • We need to teach our children to be faithful in the little jobs so that they will be given bigger and more important tasks in the future for which they will be qualified.
  • Talented children need greater care
    • Greater care is needed for those children who are talented and who possess personal attractions. How many times have we seen these things turned into a curse? This draws us to the next point:
  • Refrain from undue notice or flattery
    • We need to learn to not put our children on display or exhibition for their varied talents or personal attractions. We are to give them little notice in these things and not to flatter them. One reason that children are so bold and forward is because  they are 'noticed and praised too much, and their smart, sharp sayings repeated in their hearing.'
  • Read to your children
    • 'Take time to read to your children. . . . Form a home reading circle, in which every member of the family shall lay aside the busy cares of the day, and unite in study'. My boys favourite time of the day would be when we sit down together for worship or anytime during the day and read together the Bible stories or character building stories. Children love to have stories read to them.
  • Train not tell
    • Don't tell your children what to do without explaining first how to do it. Its like someone telling me to make a 3 tiered carob cake with a coconut icing without giving me a recipe. It would be difficult and frustrating.
  • Educate for self-control
    • This is difficult and takes time, it doesn't happen over night. It is with out consistent support and prayer that our children can obtain self-control. We want our children to do things because of a willing heart not from force. We want our children to make the right choices by themselves. I wish there was a simple and easy formula to follow even for us adults. All I know is that when we let Christ live through us it is much easier, and this is something that you are to patienly and consistenly teach your child and to talk about with them. Again, your example if the most important to them.
There is so much to consider and note in this chapter. I could spend a few months putting these things into practise and correcting the things I have not done well, and God willing I will start correcting those bad habits of mine and the children NOW!

Please download the next study guide for chapter 5. Blessings!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

When to begin the childs training - Chapter 3

"True education embraces physical, mental, and moral training, in order that all the powers shall be fitted for the best development, to do service for God, and to work for the uplifting of humanity." {CSA 65.2}

A true education is much more then I ever thought it to mean. Most people would say that an education is a course of study, true, but we are wanting a TRUE education. One that will fit us for our heavenly home above and also fit us for service here on earth. Our main responsibility to our children is to mold and fashion their CHARACTER.

"Character does not come by chance. It is not determined by one outburst of temper, one step in the wrong direction. It is the repetition of the act that causes it to become habit, and molds the character either for good or for evil. Right characters can be formed only by persevering, untiring effort, by improving every entrusted talent and capability to the glory of God."  {CG 164.1} 

So when should the childs 'true education' begin? When the infant is in the mothers arms and is able to form it's own idea. So when is that you may ask? I have seen in my children that it has been very early on in their babyhood, even in the first few months. It is amazing how a baby can even learn how to get something it wants by screaming and demanding attention. Yes, babies cry as a form of communication, I completely recognize that, but there is a difference between a need and a demanding want. So why should the education and training of a child commence at babyhood? "The work of education and training should commence with the babyhood of the child; for then the mind is the most impressible, and the lessons given are remembered."  {CG 26.3}  

As a parents, we must be first trained and disciplined ourselves before we can train our children. Our children are God's property and they have been bought with a price, the price of Christs blood at Calvary. Parents - these children are not yours, they are Christs and need to be treated in a Christlike manner. Are you doing your best? I pray for forgiveness in my many mistakes, but God is merciful and He is working with us all.

This statement I found had great impact on me:  
"The first child especially should be trained with great care, for he will educate the rest."  {CG 27.4} 
How I have found this to be true. Younger siblings love to copy and follow in the footsteps of their older brother/sister, they want to be just like them. It also works in the same way with the older sibling; they want to be like their parents and will copy what they do. It is a chain reaction that starts off with us! Are we giving the right example that we want passed down through all of our generations? We definetly have something to consider here. Let us prayerfully and with earnest endeavour do our part.

God Bless!

Please find next weeks study here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The First Teachers - Chapter 2

Dear fathers and mothers. What a solemn responsibility we have as the first teachers of our child. Our Heavenly Father has entrusted us to take care of the children we are given and to educate them for the family above. So when does the education of the child begin and what is 'true' education?

You may find it startling to read that the preparation for the training of the child is to begin before birth. How can this be? Please read this:
  • If before the birth of her child she is self-indulgent, if she is selfish, impatient, and exacting, these traits will be reflected in the disposition of the child. Thus many children have received as a birthright almost unconquerable tendencies to evil. But if the mother unswervingly adheres to right principles, if she is temperate and self-denying, if she is kind, gentle, and unselfish, she may give her child these same precious traits of character. {AH 256.2}
  • Every woman about to become a mother, whatever may be her surroundings, should encourage constantly a happy, cheerful, contented disposition, knowing that for all her efforts in this direction she will be repaid tenfold in the physical, as well as the moral, character of her offspring. {AH 258.4} 
What a responsibility rests on us mothers to the well being and character of our child!! I feel so inadequate on this point as I am currently pregnant and this past year has been such a hard one for our family. A pray that the Lord will have mercy on me and will wink at my lack and that I may still have a child that will reflect His character. What a solemn responsibility!

Today while I was driving to the markets, I passed the University hear and started thinking of how I would like to take up some course of study. My mind started wandering in all directions of what I could study. When I came home and started going over my Child Guidance (CG) study I again came across 'They should employ much time in careful study of the laws which regulate our being. They should make it their first object to become intelligent in regard to the proper manner of dealing with their children, that they may secure to them sound minds in sound bodies. . . .' {CG 21.5}  Well no time for uni study - I have a clear direction of what I should be studying now! Please have a look at this statement:  'Health is a great blessing, and can be secured only in obedience to natural law. Good health is necessary for the enjoyment of life. A calm, clear brain, and steady nerve, are dependent upon a well-balanced circulation of the blood. In order to have good blood, we must breathe well.  Mothers are accountable, in a great degree, for the health and lives of their children, and should become intelligent in regard to laws upon which life and health depend. Their work does not end here. They should carefully educate their children upon this subject, that they may, by obedience to nature's laws, avoid disease, and secure health and happiness. It is not necessary that all mothers should teach their children all the details of physiology and anatomy. But they should avail themselves of all the means within their reach to give their children instruction relative to the simple principles of hygiene.'  {HR, November 1, 1871 par. 2}

It is a fact (and a sad one) that parents are neglecting their home duties in regards to forming their children's characters. It seems as though everywhere you turn these days you are faced with children and youth who are disrespectful, impatient, rude... the list goes on. I in no ways am saying that my children have got the right characters - BUT it is definitely something that we are CONTINUALLY working on. You just have to set a bad example ONCE, and you have sown seeds that take time to pull out. Beside US setting the right example, there are some fabulous resources out there to help us along the way. With our boys we have used the 'Ladder of Life' series which you can purchase through the ABC shop. It is a set of Character building books and with it comes a teacher manual and songbook with additional activities and songs that will help instill in the child's mind the lessons learnt. As they grow older there are more resources such as the 'Character First' binders (primary school level) or the 'Character Sketches' books (high school level). There are also so many free christian resources on the Internet so please have a look.

I REALLY don't think we are praying and doing enough for our children so that they may not yield to temptation. We seem to think that we have time on our side and it will all work out fine in the long run. You are mistaken!! I remember thinking that when Danny (my eldest) was just toddling around. I was a little lax at times and thought that I could fix all the problems when he was a little older and easier to reason with - what a mistake! Trust me - before you know it they will be 6 and then 10, a teen and then an adult, do what you must do NOW! There is no time to waste, and there is precious time to regain. God cannot do His part if we are not doing ours. We need to 'bravely and cheerfully' take up our work with 'unwearying endeavour'. Yes you may feel tired, exhausted and see no results for a time, but have FAITH! God will work with our efforts and you will see results!

Let's sit back and think about the possibilities of what Zacharias and Elizabeth could of done when they knew that they were to miraculously have a son and he would have a special work to do for the Lord.
  • They could of reasoned that God will take care of him as he had a special work to do
  • They could of half hearted trained John. Sometimes correcting but also ignoring and turning a blind eye to the character faults of John
  • They could of pleaded with God for His help and done their part faithfully in bringing John up for the Lord
So what did they do? They moved to a quiet place in the country where John would not be exposed to the temptations of a city life or 'induced to depart from counsel and instruction of his parents'. They acted their part in developing his character. I look at this scenario and I wonder 'What are we doing for our children to make the path easier for them? Are we putting them in situations where they are tempted to go opposite to their parents instruction or to see bad examples set before them?' We need to understand that our children have been entrusted to us by God and we have a responsibility to raise them up for the family above. 

We must remember that there is someone else who is ready to train your children if you are not. Do you know who it is? Satan! He is ready to sow his seeds into their hearts, but we are not to allow this. We are to teach our little ones about Christ and to lead them to him. In our chapter this week we read of the ways that this can be done and the disciplines they need.
  1. Industry - From infancy children should be trained to do those things which are appropriate for their age and ability. Parents should now encourage their children to become more independent. Serious troubles are soon to be seen upon the earth, and children should be trained in such a way as to be able to meet them. Teach your children to be useful, to bear burdens according to their years; then the habit of laboring will become second nature to them, and useful work will never seem like drudgery. Parents cannot commit a greater sin than to neglect their God-given responsibilities in leaving their children with nothing to do; for these children will soon learn to love idleness and grow up to be shiftless, useless men and women. {CG 122.5} 
  2. Neatness and Order - These are great points, but keep in mind that if we want our children to be neat and tidy we must set the perfect example. 
    • As the guardian and teacher of your children, you are in duty bound to do every little thing in the home with nicety and in order. Teach your children the invaluable lesson of keeping their clothing tidy. Keep your own clothing clean and sweet and respectable. . . . {CG 110.2}   
    • Begin early to teach the little ones to take care of their clothing. Let them have a place to lay their things away and be taught to fold every article neatly and put it in its place.{CG 111.2} 
    • If the children have a room which they know is their own, and if they are taught how to keep it tidy and make it pleasant, they will have a sense of ownership--they will feel that they have within the home a home of their own, and will have a satisfaction in keeping it neat and nice. The mother will necessarily have to inspect their work and make suggestions and give instruction. This is the mother's work.  {CG 111.3 
It would be of great value to have a schedule. The children would then know what is expected of them and they would have their duties to fulfill.

It is true that the mother is to stand preeminent in the work of training the children, but father and mother should be closely united in this work. They are to always be tender and very guarded in their speech. They should always be courteous and kind to each other and never differ in the presence of their children. Parents, if you are to take these things to heart and do them, your home will have a pleasant and wholesome atmosphere. Isn't it worth it?!

I am not sure about you, but we have had days in our home (Lord forgive) where I have woken up on 'the wrong side of the bed' as they say it. And you know what? The children have too! Do you know why? Because my 'bad' attitude has brought an 'unwholesome' atmosphere in the home and they have just followed my leading. Then there are the times in our home where we have made a conscious and prayerful effort to bring sunshine into our homes, and guess what?! The children always respond in the same way and the home is the most beautiful place to be in, a place where angels love to dwell.

"The standard which every parents must raise is given 'They shall keep the way of the Lord' ".

Is this your prayer for the week? It is surely mine.

God Bless.

Please click here for next weeks study.