Monday, June 22, 2009

Principle vs. Method

I got away this weekend for a few hours to think. I went to Starbucks and had my Americano, one of my favorites. I thought since I planned to use my brain efficiently I had an oat fudge bar for fuel. :o) It was so yummy.

I am a list person. I find it so much easier to know what I am dealing with once it leaves my thinking and becomes tangible on paper (or computer screen). I also feel the relief of not having to remember...something I find more and more difficult as I get older. It's kind of a funny process. I have several sheets of paper each with a category at the top and I just dump all my thoughts on the appropriate paper. I have found this the quickest way for me to get the big picture. So, I dumped my thoughts and created a routine to try out and tweak this week...key words being try out.

This got me to thinking about how there are so many variables and ways to do just about anything. Depending on your personality, what season of life, location, financial means and the list goes on. As I share how I am working into our new rhythm and routine with a new job, another family member and the various other things that make this path my own...I want to be clear about something.

There is the principle and then there is the method. Many times in my life I have mixed the two up. I have heaped condemnation on others or myself because I couldn't see the clear difference between the two. The biblical calling to wife and mother are pretty clear in scripture. To love, care and train our kids, to help our husbands run the home are the principle. How we actually go about accomplishing that day to day in our homes is the method. I am one who loves to talk method because I am an idea person and always on the hunt to do what I do better. That said, I never want to have my method confused with the principle.

I think it is so easy as Christian women to compare ourselves and find we are coming up short. Also, we can never have an accurate picture of someones life from a few words on a computer screen. We are called to care for our particular children, to help and submit to one particular man and manage the home that we live in.

So as I begin to share I hope to glean ideas for others and to possibly provide some ideas of my own.....all with the clear understanding that method is not the priority but the principle.

1 comment:

momma's heart said...

I look forward to your posts on this. You're a smart woman!

I used the scheduling book "Manager's of Their Homes" by Terri Maxwell last fall, but when Anna was born and was colicky and needed a whole lot of rocking, it just went out the window--which is why we are schooling through the summer (just two hours/day).

Anna is teething right now, and trying to get any kind of a predictable nap schedule going is really hard. If she takes longer than I anticipate to go down, that moves everything else back for that day. But, Daniel needs a predictable routine to do his best, so I have to try to map out something. I feel like a robot when I'm on a schedule, and I need to pray about handling that better so I can meet the kids' needs and put them consistently before my own downtime needs.

How much fish oil is recommended? I'll have to look at the dosage on our capsules.

You had asked something about teaching modifications to help ADHD children. These are just general suggestions, since I don't know what your curriculum style is.

I always give Daniel a 30 to 45 minute break after two assignments have been completed. He gets to choose the order of the independent subjects (Explode the Code, math--unless it is a new concept and he needs help.)

If you put something in front of your son that has a lot of problems on it and he fusses, cut it in half instead--this will decrease his frustration level. Seeing too many problems at once justs sends these kids into a downward spiral.

If he is reading a long book, offer to read every other page, or every other sentence. Then just add another book later in day if you think he didn't get enough practice time.

Require one to three sentences at a time during journal or writing time to start the year, increasing to about five or so by January, and a full page and a half by the end of the year (first grade lined paper).

If he isn't ready to read quite yet, don't sweat it. Many kids really take off with their reading in about February of their first-grade year. Daniel started reading rather early but didn't make big leaps with fluency and sight words until Feb of this year. I was concerned that there were months it didn't seem like he grew in his reading, but sure enough, around February things took off. Part of it was that Mom was busy with a baby and a toddler and I couldn't sit with him for the amount of practice time he probably needed. So much of early reading has to do with maturity too.