Here’s a quick organizing tip I found helpful when my children were growing up:
Most kids love to make (and save!) their ‘special’ papers or drawings and such; you know the ones- not something your child lovingly made for you for a birthday or Mother’s Day. (those are priceless, are they not?!) No, I’m talking about the ones that mom would rather throw in the trashcan to tidy up the house, yet they are of value to your child- whether it be from an art class, Sunday school, or just a quick creation from home.
But, these various and plentiful papers can add up quickly and turn a dresser or nightstand or an entire room into a mess of papers scattered or piled here and there and everywhere! Anyone else experience this?
This is a simple little game we would play to encourage our children to think on what is true, honest, right, lovely, and of good report as Philippians 4:8 instructs us. (Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Phil. 4:8)
Early on when my kids were little, I taught them how to do chores. With my family growing at a rapid rate ( I had a new baby approximately every 18 months- 2 years), my house was busy and got messy quickly. I realized there was no way I could do it all.
I constantly need to remind myself and you do too, that every negative character quality your kids demonstrate, is really just a positive character quality misused. God is directing you to show your kids in Scripture, what God’s Word has to say about it. For instance, if someone mistreats you, teases you ,etc. it’s perfectly natural to get angry. What your kids don’t understand is that if they cultivate anger in their lives and it becomes a pattern, they will end up like the angry man in Scripture. No one starts out wanting to be like the angry man. Instead, if you can lovingly guide them to see what God’s Words says and how His blessing is on the man who practices self-control, you’ll be guiding them in how to make a wise decision.
As my kids were growing up, I saw all these negative character qualities in their lives and I was driven to Scripture to see how to deal with them. I was encouraged to see that God’s Word has the answers. I began to study these negative and opposite corresponding positive character qualities. As I studied them myself , I would list Bible references and turn them into questions for my kids to look up. (this is now seen in Growing in Wisdom Bible Study)
There is something about digging it out yourself instead of having it lectured or spoon fed to you. When your kids see the consequences of bad choices and the consequences of wise choices, they realize theyhave a choice to make.
This is something I discovered in the process of teaching my own kids. We’ve been homeschooling for 37 years now. When I started, I , like most people purchased a curriculum and stuck by it. I just assumed that what the government schools taught was what everybody needed to know and that they taught those things when kids were developmentally ready to learn that information. I stuck doggedly by the books for the first few years, seeing that my kids finished every problem, completed every exercise just as it was written.
As time progressed, however, I realized that not all my children learned the same way. As a matter of fact, some learned VERY differently than their siblings had learned; techniques I’d used to teach many just didn’t work for all of them. I had to dare to think that perhaps there wasn’t one BEST way to teach all kids.
I remember one of the greatest joys was watching my kids develop an interest in certain areas. I came to watch them, study them,- their interests, their strengths, their weaknesses, what motivated them, what discouraged them, what made their eyes sparkle- and I took great delight in then supplying them with books, materials, supplies, so that they could pursue what interested them. I absolutely LOVED being the facilitator who carefully observed my children and then looked for “tools, books, etc”, to turn them loose on. I loved watching them become the person God had created them to be.
Sometimes it might feel overwhelming to think of spending individual special time with each of your kids, when your life is already buzzing with schedules, daily tasks, homeschooling, and so on; but it’s so worth making it a priority! We noticed as we were raising our 14 children that it was the loud ones who got more attention. We began to feel bad that the quiet ones seemed to get left out. Still, even the loud ones seemed to need time of their own.