Missing the Reindeer Run (December 2015)

So I saw the article in our local paper about our elementary school’s annual Reindeer Run. And I got teary-eyed. Silly, I know.

Ryan won the Reindeer Run last year. He took 2nd place the year before. It’s just a fun foot race held at Christmastime. And I wished my kids Reindeer Run champion 2013 and 2014could have participated.

Yes, I miss the Reindeer Run. Yes, I miss class parties and fun traditions at school. And, yes, sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision to educate my children at home.

And then I remember all the amazing spiritual and academic growth I see in them. And I remember that they were too tired and worn out after all the school-required to dos, for us to have quality experiences together daily. And I remember that the work we are doing at House Upon a Rock is of eternal consequence and value.

Those experiences at school are fun. But they aren’t of greatest import. So I remember good, better, best, wipe my tears and soldier on.

We are- and try to be- House Upon a Rock.

Hero Night at House Upon a Rock 2015

We held our first Hero Night at House Upon a Rock in February 2015. As we learn about great men and women, I ask my children to choose noble examples as their heroes, and determine how the lessons of their lives can be applied to our own. They research, write a paper, prepare illustrations, and develop a presentation in a format of their choice. My children amaze me with their insight and wisdom. They recognize eternal principles and work to live them. I love that they teach me.

We invite family and friends to participate in Hero Night, where the students give a presentation about their Hero and lead a discussion. We visit, teach, learn and are edified together. Of course, we also have treats. 🙂 I always feel uplifted, and call this an “Evening of Inspiration.”

Ryan’s Heroes of 2015:Ryan's hero: Captain Moroni

Captain Moroni

-Paul Revere

-the ancient prophet Elijah

Horatius at the Bridge

 

Rebecca’s Heroes of 2015:IMG_20150226_192231527

-the ancient prophet Nephi, son of Lehi

-George Washington

-Queen Esther

-Socrates

 

Later in the year, we started alternating Hero Night with Great Books Gathering, and will continue that going forward. It’s the same format as Hero Night, just choosing a book they consider great instead of a person from which to learn and apply eternal truths. We love the lively presentations and discussions!

So far:

Ryan: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Rebecca: Biography of Helen Keller

 

We are- and try to be- House Upon a Rock!

Why we teach our children at home

meme-perry-parenting-1549664-gallerySome parents do
an amazing job of finding (i.e. making) time amid all the crazy busy-ness of life to intentionally teach their children. I’m not one of them.

Last year, I felt frustrated that I wasn’t spending enough high-quality time with my children, intentionally teaching them. It seemed that there was too little time and energy left- for them and for me- after school, homework, and other activities every day. We had daily prayer and scripture study and weekly family home evening, but I’m not sure I was engaged in persistent, daily intentional parenting.

I absolutely have a testimony that the most important work I will ever do is with and for my family. So… we brought our children home and now my full-time, around-the-clock job is teaching them. It’s hard, really hard. But it’s amazingly rewarding.

Here’s why we at House Upon a Rock educate our children at home:righteous intentional parenting

  1. We are following the Lord’s direction for our family at this time.
  2. We believe our children have important work to do, that the Lord has sent them here “for such a time as this.” (That’s true for all of us, really.) So we have a responsibility to prepare them for that work, and we are entitled to the Lord’s help in teaching our children.
  3. In our home, we unite spiritual and temporal learning; we learn and teach by the spirit.
  4. Our family gets to be together- not just at the end of the day when everyone is tired, but in our high-energy hours as well. We are closer, more unified, and have flexibility in how and when and where to teach.
  5. We teach and learn what is needful and best, leaving out the rest.
  6. Personalized instruction (and spirit-led instruction!) allows our children to learn and progress at an accelerated pace. We also have the freedom and time for them to pursue individual interests and talents.

When in April 2015, then-Elder Nelson testified that, “No other work transcends that of righteous, intentional parenting,” I felt confirmation from the Spirit that we are doing what’s right for our family at this time. What a privilege…

We are- and try to be- House Upon a Rock!