Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Time4Learning mid month review

For the past two weeks, we've been signed up with Time4Learning.  Isaiah has only used the program twice because the first time he sat down at the laptop to play/learn, we were both frustrated.  Originally, I imagined independent learning for Isaiah.  I imagined him playing and learning off in the corner while I managed the other three children.  Instead, he kept needing me to come explain directions to him as they were often not read outloud during the lesson.   

The first time Isaiah played Time4Learning, I made him do one phonics lesson.  He hated it.  After that, in an attempt to trick encourage him into liking the program, I allowed him to choose the other lessons.  Isaiah gleefully obediently skipped phonics and reading lessons and headed the science games.  He enjoyed the science lessons, but I still had to be available to read some of the directions to him. 

Yesterday, he actually asked to do Time4Learning.  I was excited about that!  He wanted to learn!  Yea!!  We sat down together this time, to ward off the frustration of him trying to do it on his own.  And I insisted he try more phonics/reading lessons.  I walked Isaiah through clicking on the right icons and he began his lessons about the sounds m/ch/sh/ck. 

The second time around was much better than the first.  Having an adult right beside Isaiah helped tremendously.  He was also more familiar with the program and maneuvered through it with a bit more ease.  And he persevered for almost an hour, staying with phonics/reading the whole time!  Isaiah was reading their online books by the end of his session! 

At this point, I would recommend Time4Learning and I will probably sign up for atleast another month.  There are Also, I want Rose and Lela to use Time4Learning to see how well they do with the lessons. 

This is my half way review.  More to come in a few weeks.... 

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Plans Amuck

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."  Proverbs 16:9

I love to make plans.  I love schedules and routines.  I thrive on alphabetized lists.  I have an organized personality, very close to a control freak. 

But this does not always serve me well.  Plans fail.  Schedules run amuck.  Lists get lost.  And control freaks have four kids and fall apart.  Having four kids in the house reframes me and my organized self.  I cannot let my desire for a clean house drive me to insanity over the dirt and toys. 

"How do you do it?" is a common question thrown at me from awed individuals.  They look at me like I'm a saint with an only slightly tarnished halo.  How do I do it with four kids and another one on the way?  Um, my other option would be what?  Falling on the floor, curling up into the fetal position and crying all day long?  I do what I have to do, constantly running to the Lord for grace and mercy.   

 Lists and schedules have slowly become guidelines instead of attempts to control life.  Life will not be controlled.  Life is fast and changes every moment.  Priorities shift and I learn that I would rather read a book to my kids then sweep the dirt off the floor.  The dirt will always be here, but someday my kids will be grown and out the door.  I don't want to miss out on my one and only opportunity to pour into their lives. 

It's not that I don't still have lists and schedules, I do.  I am learning more and more how to allow God to direct my steps.  I want to be OK when He chuckles softly at my expectations, and gently realigns them.  God sees the big picture.  He knows that a week on the couch resting due to unexpected contractions will bring about growth in a certain momma.  He knows that canceling a four year old's birthday plans will grow our family closer.  I see just a tiny piece of life, but God sees eternity. 

So I continue to daily surrender to the God of the universe.  His ways are higher than my ways.  His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.  (Isaiah 55:9)  Today I look at my list and lay it at the feet of the Father.  "Lord, this is what I want to accomplish today, but you come and have your way."  Amen.

revolutionary love

I have experienced revolutionary love. Love with no strings attached. Jesus Christ loves me and made a way for me to have a relationship with the One True God. God desires a relationship with you, too. If you have yet to experience this revolutionary love, please email me at jandjkeys@hotmail.com so I can share this amazing experience with you. Blessings, -Jess