Friday, June 21, 2013

Wisdom - what we did

making right choices every day.

Well its been a little over a month at we have been focused on the character trait of Wisdom.  With a couple of weeks holiday in the middle, I felt like we needed to cover it some more before moving on.  I had lots of fun exploring the different ways I could present the concept of wisdom to the boys (6, 4 & 2).  The main idea that I wanted to get across was that lots of little choices being made right would build up to a life of wisdom.  So here are some of the ways we did that.

Building Blocks.
I built a tower with single blocks going straight up, not very stable.  Then I built another one with a solid foundation and as I did it we talked about how each block was like a good choice.  They all lean on each other and make a strong tower.  We also tried pulling a few blocks out and making gaps and explained how these were like bad choices and it leaves the tower a little unstable.  We also talked about how we want God to be the foundation of our lives and we want to base our choices on what his ways.  The boys then made paper towers to remember this lesson.

Marbles Jars.
Another day I used an empty jar to symbolise our lives.  When we make good choice our wisdom gets filled up (and I put a few marbles in the jar).  Then we make more good choices and the jar get fuller, sometimes we make choice that aren't so good and marble come out of the jar.  We talked about wanting to fill our lives with good choices and then made our own marble jars with a drawing and pompoms.

God's word is where we can find out how he wants us to live.  We want to base our choices on what God says is right.  So we had a bible verse treasure hunt.  I wrote the bible reference on a white paper with a candle, rolled them up and hid them in the yard.  The boys took turns in finding them and then had to reveal the hidden message by painting with water based paint.  Then we found the verses in the bible together and talked about what each verse helped us with.

Wise Old Owl
We made paper bag owls and talked how owls make choices.

Crayon Wax Frame
Once again we talked about how many tiny choices work together to form a persons character.  I really wanted them to understand the importance of all those little choices we keep talking about in life.  I had grated a few old crayons - each small piece represented good choices.  By themselves they didn't look like much, but when we ironed it and they all melted together we had a beautiful 'stained glass' looking frame.  The boys loved this activity and it seemed to really help them understand how bringing all the choices together make a life of wisdom.

An arrow is a symbol for wisdom as it gives us direction and points the way, just like a compass shows us the way.  Guiding your way, wisdom will lead you through knowledge to understanding.  God's word is the arrow on our compass of life.  We each made simple a compass by rubbing a needle on a magnet and floating it in water on a piece of foam.  They had lots of fun with the magnet making the compass go all funny.  While they did that, I talked about how wrong choices can send us in the wrong direction away from what God wants for our lives, but we can always turn back to Him again.

God's Wisdom for Little Boys
We have a wonderful book called God's Wisdom for Little Boys by Jim & Elizabeth George.  We read one page most mornings after breakfast.  Each page addresses a different character trait with a poem, picture and verse from Proverbs.
God's Wisdom for Little Boys: Character-Building Fun from Proverbs

It looks like we did lots but when you spread it out over a month it works out at about two activities a week.   The boys seemed to really enjoyed it and so did I.  I feel like we've all learnt lots about making right choices everyday!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

This weeks real lesson

This week our lessons were interrupted by this.

The arrival of new puppies.  I'm thinking this was a better lesson anyway!! And so much fun.  We've enjoyed twice daily visits to see how big the puppies are now.

If you know anyone that wants a new puppy in about 8 weeks, let us know.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Nundle Woollen Mill

While on our way to the Hunter Valley, just north of Tamworth, I saw a sign that caught my FULL attention.  It read,
Wool Mill, 
Next turn left.

So turn left we did and discovered a beautiful village filled with country charm, surrounded by mountains with an amazing woollen mill.  
Now going to a wool mill with three young boys is interesting.  I could have spent hours touching all the beautiful hanks of wool, feeling the soft texture but small boys also want to touch, pick up and feel the wool.  However they aren't as focused on returning the wool to it original home!!  So I felt a few different ones, let them feel a few with nearby supervision.
The mill is well set up for visitors and tourists.  There is a store out the front with yarn, wool clothing and other wool products for sale and out the back is a platform above the mill so you can easily each stage of the process, along with more yarn.
There are large numbers on each machine with corresponding informations boards you can read and learn about each stage of the process.  The boys had fun finding each number and the board to go with it.  After being at our local historical woolshed work museum just the week before they now have a great understanding of what happens in the wool industry.
From the sheepdogs, shearing, pressing the bales, transporting with horse drawn wagons, opening the bales, carding the wool, spinning, plying, hanking, dying, coning and balling.  And then they see mum buying wool and knitting it into a scarf!!  I think I can safely say we have covered history and textiles this term in our schooling.

Unfortunately while we were there the mill wasn't running, much to my disappointment.  However, when I was purchasing (more) wool - I really couldn't help it - I asked how often they ran the mill.  The lady told me she would be starting it in an hour or so.  Oh, now what to do.  I so wanted to see it running but we also needed to be on the road so we would reach our destination for the day at a reasonable time.  The desire to see it run won out!! Now what to do with three young boys to keep them happy for the next hour.  I know - follow the sign that reads 'Park'.  What a great choice.  

This is not your ordinary park. It comes complete with sheep,  shearing shed and daily shearing recording board.  Once again due to our recent trip to the woolshed, our boys were 'shearing' giving me a full detailed explanation of what they were demonstrating.
When it started raining we headed back to the wool mill.  The hour wasn't up yet but I thought we should just go in and check to see if they had started.  And sure enough they had.  WooHoo.  We got to see the plying machine working.  It was so cool.  The boys sat mesmerised by it and wanted to stay and watch. 

 We will definitely be going back to the beautiful town of Nundle.  And next time, we'll be checking out some more of town because I have since heard there is a beautiful vintage kitchen shop in town too.