Friday, October 28, 2011

The Attributes of God in Our Homeschool- Compassion

“And of some have compassion, making a difference.” Jude 22

If you have ever needed compassion and did not get it?
 Then you have a good understanding of how precious it is to be on the receiving end of compassion.

Compassion- noun  a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by as strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Not just a feeling bad for someone and the plight they find themselves in, but wanting to help end the suffering. And I imagine wanting to help enough that something is actually done. That is the kind of faith with works James talks about. Real. Effective.

Think of the ways this can be applied throughout a school day. 
The definition will give you clues as to what to watch for: sorrow, stricken, misfortune.

Spelling, math, science, reading, writing, grammar…..pick your poison.
What is easy for you might be a source of suffering for your child. Compassion.

While compassion may not seem like one of the more popular attributes of God that we tell our children about, it certainly is one of the most frequent we moms rely on for ourselves. We need it and we seem to claim it without a moments hesitation. Or much thought. And certainly without much appreciation.

Psalm 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Psalm 111:4b The Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
Psalm 112: 4 / Psalm 145:8

Today a certain frustration came between me and my son during school. He was struggling a bit and when he struggles, everything feels “off”. Tense. Anxious. It was within my power to diffuse the moment. I chose a moment of compassion- a gently hug, a light head/hair rub, a jocular moment, food (which always works with a teen son!). The issues were still there and needed to be addressed. But a moment of compassion did what an hour of teaching could have accomplished.

I am equally divided on which end of the compassion specter I like being on more: the giving or the receiving. I love being able to give that gift to my loved ones. Especially in school time.

As we are the primary representative of Christ in our children’s eyes for a limited amount of time, we need to be diligent to represent all of the Attributes of God to our children.

Hang the word COMPASSION up in key places around your home where you will be visibly reminded to represent this attribute to your kids. It is one of those things that can seem so small yet make such a wonderful difference in that swing moment between total frustration and suffering.


  • if a child is struggling in a particular subject, consider the curriculum. Should it be more tactile? Less colorful and distracting? Is the font size too small or hard to read? A look at the possibility of a curriculum change in that subject might set you back a few dollars, but alleviating the struggling shows compassion.
  • schedules and lesson plans are guides, not the law. If your child is exhausted or worn out from either a busy weekend or a growth spurt, show compassion in adjusting the schedule. They are more important that the lesson plans. 
  • if the struggle is spiritual, take the time to do devotions with the child. This requires more time and more accountability for you, but compassion here is shown by giving your time and effort instead of sending them to their room with a Bible and a list of verses.  

Related verses for further weekly study:
Matt. 9:36, 14:14, 15:32, 20:34, Hebrews 10:34, I Pet. 3:8


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Latin, Anyone?

Visual Latin, huh? I thought I'd give it try. We did a few Latin courses that were workbook based.
Once again, with this very peculiar child, I wasted my very hard earned money. He does the work, he just doesn't absorb the information and let it become a part of him. So what I am saying is- he doesn't learn. He just filled blanks and boxes. And he did it well. But there was no connection.

Visual Latin. I have the first 10 lessons. Let me share with you why this program is working for us:

1. The instructor is engaging. I think he is a bit corny/funny, but Jesse loves him. He speaks slowly and clearly. The visual part is good. Nice big chalkboard. Visually, there are no distractions for my easily distracted son.

2. Jesse is reading Latin. This was the biggest reason I wanted this program. Reading. Latin. This is huge in helping Jesse with his dyslexia. When Jesse gets to a big word his eyes don't recognize or for some reason scares him, he makes up something and passes over it like that was indeed the word. Sometimes it is quite hilarious and other times it is quite frustrating. But he has to be trained to slow down and break the word apart. It is SO much easier for him to do when he sees a bit of Latin in the word. His temptation to speed over it is gone. His ability to slow and take apart the word jumps in and no one is embarrassed. This is exactly what I was looking for. This is why I wanted him to learn Latin.

3. Affordable. $30 for the first 10 downloadable lessons. We do 1-2 lessons per week. That is one day of all three videos, three worksheets, and then two days of quick review of every lesson. Building. Reading. Speaking Latin. This is worth the money. Quality and effective. Not too many products like that.

4. Independent. I only sit next to him and watch because I want to. Not because I need to. All Jesse's subjects are about independent learning this year. This is not to free me. Heavens, NO. I am still feeling lost without my 4 sons around the table and teaching 25 subjects a day. This is for him, because he is the baby. And because he doesn't know how or like to do things alone. Except hunting. I did offer to go with him and he said he wanted to be alone. But I digress. This is a good program for independent learning. The other Latin products I had- not so much. They never even heard their voice.

In our homeschool we have studied Farci and Spanish. I regret that I didn't invest more into Latin with the others. Farci. Yeah, wise decision here in West Virginia.

This one is going to carry over into adulthood. And THAT is how I pretty much have learned to gauge everything we do now for school. Thank you, Visual Latin.

Check out Visual Latin here.