Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What do I Really Want My Kids to Learn?

The beautiful new baby that we got to visit. Oh how much we enjoy the babies!
   This past Thursday we had a pretty busy morning. Mara had an orthodontist appointment scheduled and we had also arranged to go and sing at the nursing home - I had finally gotten a time scheduled for our family after thinking about it for a year or so. Besides that we had decided that it would be fun to take meals (Chicken noodle soup, rolls and muffins) to a couple of families that we knew - one had just had a new baby and the other was dealing with sickness and winter blues.

   In the midst of that busyness I had really hoped to have each child knock out a Math lesson as well. We had started our morning with breakfast, Bible reading, grammar lesson and singing (which was a little longer than normal since we were practicing) and I was hoping to go on with Math lessons meanwhile trying to make homemade noodles and get the rolls in the oven (I am so thankful for my great helpers!) and then noticing that I needed to get Mara to the orthodontist 15 minutes earlier than I thought - I realized that it wasn't all going to work. There was no way that we could get all that done and still maintain our sanity.

  So I made a choice - were we going to go ahead with our plans of service or were we going to get the Math lessons done? Unless I have pre-planned the day with a realization that it will be a non-school day then I hate to miss the lessons. I have this thing about doing the whole book and also getting done early in the year if possible and it is hard for me to change those plans. But as this choice is quickly going through my mind as I rolled out noodles it starts to penetrate my brain - "What is really important?"

  "Is math important? Yes it is. Will we get it done this year even if we miss today? Yes - unless something else that is really major comes up. How does serving others compare with doing a math lesson? It is way more important!"

 When I look at the future of my children what would I rather see? Someone who is a whiz at algebra (questionably practical) or someone who has a heart for serving others? I'll choose seeing them serving others every time.

  How are they going to learn to serve others? By seeing the example of others serving and by getting the opportunities to do it themselves so they can get addicted to the fun that it is.

  So yes, the math lessons did get skipped that day. We did have fun taking meals to others and hopefully encouraging their day just a little.

   And we went to the nursing home. When I think of the fun that we had that day I just wonder over and over - why didn't I pick up the phone and call them sooner to set this up?  We were SO BLESSED! I just can't really describe the fun we had singing (something we love to do anyway) to the older people there who so obviously enjoyed it. It was so fun to visit a little with them, hear them ask about the kids, watch them sing along as we sang some of the old songs that we hoped they might know and then hear them ask if we could come again soon.

   I have arranged to go their every month- as we left the workers, the residents and my kids were asking if we could please go every week. I would dearly love to as well but know that this month is way filled up and I am trying to be careful not to over commit so no, not right now, but hopefully we can make it work sometime soon.

   Part of my reason for sharing this story is because I want to encourage you too- to give yourself some grace when it comes to a school day, to think about what will really matter in the long run and.... If you can, please try to take your kids to visit a nursing home. They love to see kids and they also love music (if you are able to share in that way with them- but even if you aren't comfortable with that they would still love to have you visit!) and life can get long and lonely for them. They are the people that have worked hard to make our communities what they are - lets honor them and give back to them in this little way!


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