With my preteens (4th and 5th grade kids), I went off script. I realized these kids had grown up in church with knowing all the words but not usually getting the meaning behind them. So dig deep and find out if they really get it or just the lingo. So I took the tiny word “joy” and did a search and we explored that word in the old teatament, in worship of Psalms, in wisdom of Proverbs, in the Holy Spirit and the new testament. And the kids had fun and learned so much! And now when people throw out the “joy” word, they gets its true meaning and that is priceless. To see actual joy in preteens is something very precious!😄 Don’t be afraid to go off script with preteens. They love it.❤
My Sunday School 4th and 5th grade class more than doubled this week. We talked about heaven. And here is what I have discovered in working with tweens, and I hope it helps you and grows your class also or just help you with tweens/preteens.
1. Do not major on the minors. They already do that on their own. Little comments, ignore unless you want more of them. Pass them by and keep talking. They are listening. They get it and read between your lines. They are uncertain often, rude now and then, disruptive maybe often, but always they are aware of everything and are listening. If they are doodling, they are still listening. If they tap on the table, they are still listening. This is a misconception that they don’t listen. The truth is they listen to genuine truth, conviction, what you know and are passionate about. They will ignore anything you are passive or insecure about. They are insecure enough to deal with your insecurity. Don’t open your mouth unless you know what you are talking about.
2. The rules are the rules but minimize that. I have a few rules everyone has to abide by but very few. The main one is that no one can insult or disrespect anyone. And that one, I will call out. Otherwise, let’s talk. You are free to be loved and supported here, free to learn and express, ask questions. That is the focus. If you want perfect quiet citizens with no problems or doubts, get away from tweens. Loosen up. Yes, with the few rules that really matter, adhere to everyone the same, but let other things slide for the purpose of encouragement and training.
3. Treat them like young adults because they are. Do not dumb down the truth or the lessons. Be practical and assume they know more than they should about the world and life. They get it. They see far too much and need truth for navigating it all. Involve them in the discussion. Treat them with respect.
4. Be real. Tweens can see though a fake in a hot honey running second. Clean up your act before trying to teach a tween truth. They will pick up on fake and reject it. In many ways, they need presentations of genuine truth. They are learning whether to accept or reject the truth now and need that genuine truth presented. Always be genuine.
5. Show love. Tweens are often unlovable. They change moods with their tidal hormone shifts and range from amazingly cuddly to revolting in the same hour! But they always, always, always need love. Love them. Do not withhold love ever. See past the stupid and see them as Jesus sees them, needing love. Love them.❤
And….. here we go again. Year seven of homeschooling (the third year with two students) begins and one extremely exciting development. I now have two readers! All the hard work paid off and my daughter is also now an avid reader and loves it as much as my son used to. I hope he gets that back. But anyway, they both read now! This should make schooling a bit smoother with independent study on easy topics a bit easier while I work with the other. And tomorrow is teacher planning day so I will not be in my element but will work it out with God’s help as per usual. And when the excruciating planning and loose organization is complete and materials placed in their designated areas, we will get started on a great year and have some learning fun. So, happy studies to all to whom it applies and may God bless our school year. Praise be to God!❤
So today was our last day of school for the summer. They each have one subject they have to continue during the summer, but one subject takes much less time and effort than 7, so we’re good. Still vacation from most of it. And I am pleased as punch to be able to catch up on spring cleaning and yard work and moving the sheds (oy) and rearranging storage in the house and washing the windows and paint my mom’s house and so on. So many maintenance things I have put off because of the busyness of life during school. And now that Kathleen can read (yay!), she can be a bit more independent so maybe I will not get so far behind again. I hope not. We will be very busy, but at least after a day’s work, we can swim. Yay!! God is so good!😄❤
Today started off pretty cold so in normal fashion, not many kids showed up for homeschool PE. (Bunch of babies) I had all of 3 in my class. And it is hard to come up with something for 3 kids to do that is organized sports. But there is always a way and I am the coach so I had to come up with one. And this is what we did. We did our normal stretches and calisthenics and .70 mile walk/run. Then we played half court one on one soccer with the only female and least aggressive kid as goalie. We modified it so it would be more exercise that if another kid kicked it, they had to take it back to the center line before attempting a goal. They had a blast. All of them enjoyed it and got a great work out and experience. Then we played “Mr. Fox” for the last few minutes and stretched out. It was wonderful and we did not miss the other kids. As a bonus, it warmed up quite nicely as the morning went on. Never cop out and always dwell and make the most of what you have to work with. It is worth it and kids deserve and need that from those in authority over them.❤
I am a teacher, most of you know. I homeschool our 2 kids. I am also a doctor, mostly retired now, doing private consulting work also. And my teaching experience last year was the first time I had two different grades, officially, and now that it is 1st grade and 5th/6th grade, my greatest preparation is not.booms and supplies, I have those, but it is quite different. During school, I am a servant of God, of my children and their knowledge and growth, still of my husband. There is none of serving me to be had there, no room for it, no need for it. So my preparation is in finishing our story quilt, in decluttering my mind, in preparing my heart and soul for service, in growing spiritually and maintaining my relationship with God who strengthens me. And we will go full steam ahead, in deep worship of obedience to the Lord and humbling of my heart. And that, my friends, is incredibly beautiful!!!! Bring it on! ❤❤❤
As a family project, we put up a shed and a fence and started a sidewalk (still working on that one). As many of my regular readers know, we homeschool our kids. And we took off a week of “regular” schooling to do these family projects of shed and fence. And we planned and measured and mixed and leveled and built and so on all together as a team/ a family. It was an amazing experience and I thought how wonderful it was for all of us to learn together and create and build. My kids learned so much more than a book can teach and they need to feel useful and nd learn these skills. So for your next family project, even if you keep it simple like changing a light bulb or fixing a leaky sink (we also had to do), involve your kids and show them how. You want them calling you to their home in the future at 3pm to bail them out? No way, you want them to be able to plan and think and do it themselves. This is how they learn. Plus it unites the family and brings a greater value to each member and the family team as a whole. 🙂