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    An Interview with Experience: Cindy of Ordo Amoris (Part III)

    August 18, 2010 by Brandy Vencel

    Yesterday, we heard some of Cindy’s tips on raising boys, and the day before that, we talked Circle Morning Time. Today, we’ll talk about being a home educating mommy. Well, I won’t say much. Cindy will talk about it. I’m with you all–I’m listening.

    Here is our final installment…

    • As a mother of young children, I wonder about daily Bible reading. What did you do with your young children? Read TO them every day? When did they become independent? Did you assign readings to them?

      I try to read the Bible to my children daily. This past year was not a good example of that because they can now all have their own personal devotions. I encourage that at the very youngest age. Even if all they do is get up in the morning and sit for 2 minutes looking at a Bible storybook. Sometimes I used a Bible story book for the little ones and sometimes, mostly, just the Bible. My friend, Linda, and I were just talking about how our children were better at Biblical concepts and theology than Bible stories. I probably erred on not systematically teaching Bible stories. My children usually had to wait to hear the WHOLE story and sometimes they didn’t come away with the Sunday school version. Sometimes in my zeal to read the real Word the children missed key things. Once when Emily was 5 she asked, “I wonder who the very first man was?” I practically yelled at her, “Emily, you KNOW who the first man was, ADAM.” She replied, “Never heard of him.” We were reading the Bible every day but missing the whole story angle. Even the children’s Bible books I tend to buy seem more keyed to theology than stories. The jury is still out because sometimes I think at least my kids can come to the stories fresh.

      As soon as they are reading the Bible regularly I encourage them to read through the whole Bible, but I try not to tell them what to do in their personal devotions a part from at least read one chapter building with age to 2. I want that to be their time with God and to get out of the way so that He can lead them.

      To sum up, I read the Bible to them in the mornings and they have their own personal devotions separate from that. I try to set the example by having my devotions every morning. I rarely assign a regular Bible curriculum during their school schedule although I do assign theological reading, church history books and biographies of Christians.

    • Warn us about something. What mistakes do you think young homeschooling moms are most likely to make?

      Homeschooling moms tend to be highly motivated, passionate women. Yeah!!! But There is a tendency to puff their children up which is a horrible danger. You do want to be FOR your children not against them but it is so painfully ugly to see a homeschooled child who is a big fish in a small pond. Modern women in general tend to feel they must cater to their children, sometimes in the most ridiculous ways. Don’t get me wrong, I slept with all my nursing babies. There is a middle ground called common sense. Modern moms tend to talk about needing time away or ‘me’ time. I think that might be because they aren’t really free or able to be themselves around their children. They have to get away to be themselves. I would say be yourself with your children and look at your children as human individuals. Catering to a child’s every whim makes some women feel like they are good moms, but it is bad road to be on for the mother and the child.

      And I would also warn against over-spiritualizing. I hate to even bring this up since it confuses people but think of the verse in Psalms where it says, “you thought that I was altogether like you.” You will harm your children’s faith if you make God in your own image or if you constantly turn everything into a spiritual issue. It will be as if you are immunizing your children against spiritual things.

    • Would you elaborate on prayer in the life of a mother? I know you have mentioned its importance. My mind just goes blank and I don’t know what to pray.

      I know what you mean. My mind goes blank also. God is just so kind to constantly reward prayer that it really becomes worth the work it takes to concentrate on it. My nephew makes a joke that he prays without ceasing so that stopping to pray is an interruption in his prayer life 🙂 but that can be true. We can cultivate our lives as a constant prayer. For moms that is sometimes the only way. There are some seasons where it doesn’t matter how early we get up someone is up before us. I think prayer must be tied to Bible reading and I would exhort every mother to read her Bible before absolutely everything in the morning, every morning. Pray while you are reading. You don’t have to read a lot. You don’t have to have a Bible reading program, just read your Bible every day and while you are reading talk to God about it. Talk to God about your children as you walk along the way. The beauty of Christian prayer is that it doesn’t have to be some mystical experience.

    • What do you say to the mother who wants to quit and send her children to the school down the road? She feels like nothing is going right, the toddler is undoing all her work, and one of the children will stop working if she turns her back. What ought she do?

      First of all, I would say that in some cases a mother needs to put her kids in school even for a season. I am not here to be a judge over anyone. But to the mother who just needs encouragement to finish the race, I would say to remember it is about the long haul. You can have whole years of frustration in homeschooling and still come out ahead in the end. Life is not about the big projects but the small moments. When you can, be faithful to use your time wisely and when you can’t, wait on the Lord. Second, I would make sure she was enjoying her children by disciplining them consistently. That is hard, hard work but it will pay off in a lifetime of rewards. You must be able to enjoy your children in order to homeschool. If you are not enjoying them then you must be more consistent in your discipline. If you can’t stand your children, do you think other people are going to like them?

      Another thought: If you send all your children to school, who will help you chase the toddler? I will be the first to admit that there is no real answer to the toddler question, except that this too shall pass. One particularly bad year I assigned an older child to watch the toddler at intervals throughout the whole day. Everyone seemed to enjoy that. The toddler loved it and the boys had fun getting out of school during the day.

    • What do you do with the child who is resisting his lessons? How do we balance not wanting to crush spirits with requiring work and effort?

      This is a good question and one I constantly ask and something I pray about frequently. How do I challenge this child while acknowledging his own weaknesses? It takes prayer. Most of us probably worry too much about crushing our children. A child will at the same time encourage you to go easy on him while resenting you for it. As a mother you MUST be strong. As a homeschooling mom you must be even stronger. This is a topic that I will probably blog about again.

    ***

    The End. I’d like to thank Cindy once again for being so accommodating. Remember, you can read more from Cindy at her blog, Ordo Amoris.

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    7 Comments

  • Reply Laura August 28, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Oh my goodness reading this 6 years after it was published and it is speaking directly to my heart!!! Thank you Brandy!!

  • Reply Hayley October 11, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Still relevant and meaningful to read, even these years later.

  • Reply Naomi August 23, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you so much for these posts! What a blessing to be able to ask these questions and have such good, thoughtful, solid answers. I hope you don’t mind me linking to it often 🙂

  • Reply Laura August 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Cindy has been such an encouragement and source of wisdom to me for several (7?) years now. She has been such a blessing to me in many ways. Thank you, Cindy and Brandy!

  • Reply Go quickly and tell August 19, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing these interviews, Brandy!

    I enjoyed all three and appreciated that you divided them into shorter segments.

  • Reply Gail August 19, 2010 at 5:23 am

    >>I think that might be because they aren’t really free or able to be themselves around their children. They have to get away to be themselves.<<

    Wow. Insightful, challenging thought. I think so many women are living this kind of lie.

  • Reply Roberta August 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Several of these questions apply to our own homeschooling and I appreciate you perspective Cindy. Thank you.
    I have a son who is learning not to take himself so seriously as well.
    Thank you Brandy for taking the time to interview and post this.

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