Friday, October 3, 2014

Nourish ~ Everyday Something Known

Welcome to Nourish: 31 Days of Family, Food, and Faith. This is Day 3. To see the beginning of the series click here!

When I was in first grade I was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. It seems first grade stressed me out. I loved my teacher, I was in an advanced reading group and was doing just fine “on paper”. After some investigation it was discovered that my desk, that little cube of space beneath the seat, was such a mess that I was completely unable to cope. 

My Man will woefully report that messes no longer seem to have any effect on me at all, but way back then it was a problem. My Mom took me to school early one morning and helped me clean out my desk and get it all neat and tidy but the ulcer still existed and had to be dealt with. I remember doses of Maalox or Mylanta and eating bland foods and I’m sure the change in diet helped. I remember a bit of a change in reading groups, but the real fix, if I remember correctly, was a ritual that my Mom began with me. 

Each morning before school we’d sit in a cozy corner of our kitchen beneath a window that faced the back yard and we’d have a cup of hot tea. That was it. I don’t remember what we talked about, I don’t remember how long the season of hot-tea-before-school lasted, I just remember tea and sitting across from my Mom. There is just something deeply restorative and calming about a standing appointment with the known

This year in our school we’ve scheduled a daily appointment with the known

Every school day we gather at the table and spend time as a class, if you can define class as grades 1 thru 10 learning together. Sounds like a train wreck doesn’t it? I thought so too but was fairly convinced by others who’ve gone before me that this was a good thing and was doable. 

First we read a story from The Jesus Storybook Bible, then we record prayer needs in our shared prayer journal and one of the five of us prays through the list which usually has 4-5 people listed. 

Then we sing a song together. 

Out loud.

Yes we do. 

I never thought it would work. 

I thought I’d have mutiny from the big kids at this point but it has become one of the favorite parts of our morning. Cole is in charge of finding the music on YouTube or on Spotify for us to sing along to and each with our own little homemade songbooks, we let’errip. 

After the singing we move on to some memory work, right now we are working on Romans 8 and some catechism questions and someday soon, the teacher will shed her reputation of being the absolute worst memorizer ever. One day when Molly was having a particularly difficult time with a verse, she said, “Oh man!! I’m doing as bad as Mom!”

After my brain has been sufficiently taxed, we head directly to the book we’ve been working on together. Today (Friday) we shall finish with our dear Chauntecleer from The Book of the Dun Cow which we have been reading since mid-August. 

After the day’s chapter is finished we dabble with a little geography which has been wildly enhanced by the addition of a 20 inch blow up globe. It is just a beach ball with the world printed on it. Early on it got batted and bounced around a lot. But now, RULES HAVE BEEN MADE so, fear not, the earth is once again safe. Sometimes we’ll look at a picture of a piece of art and talk about the artist, but sometimes there is too much wiggling and impatience to go any further and the kids get fidgety too ;-) so we stop for the day. 

The very last thing we do for morning time seemed very corny to the kids when I first attempted it, but it too has become ritual and those who first rolled their eyes, sit patiently and wait for me to say, “May the Lord be with you,” and they say back, “and also be with you.” I heard it on a podcast this summer and I thought it nice to send them off into the rest of their day with a blessing and so I do. Once Molly said, “Mom, may the Lord bless me now so I can go do my math?” 

Once a week we skip morning time because we gather with other homeschoolers in our area for a co-op first thing in the morning. The first day we missed morning time Molly prayed the night after that we’d be able to do it the next day and that it would be a "good morning time.". And we did. And it was. And we have continued and it has added a richer dimension to our days and has given this family with children whose ages span a decade things in common.  Songs in common, stories in common, Scripture in common.

That common thread being woven by our morning ritual has been nourishment to each of us, steady, expected, regular, anticipated, known nourishment. 

You can have that too!!!…You don’t have to have your own Academy or even your own homemade song books {but they really are lots of fun} or a bouncy beach ball globe {which is lots of fun too but …you know…RULES!!}

I know that ritual is good, so do you because I would guess that there are rituals that have a role in your day. I am simply suggesting that maybe a ritual that has a deeper meaning than your morning cup of coffee or even tea could provide some welcome comfort in your world. You probably have a few moments to:
  • read a portion of a book to a child or to your spouse before going to bed
  • read a Psalm or a Proverb while you drink your coffee 
  • tell a funny joke-a-day or a funny poem over breakfast to your kids 
  • say a quick prayer for your kids and their teachers {out loud}  just inside the door before you leave your home each day
  • tell your spouse something you appreciate about him or her via text midmorning
  • have tea in a cozy corner with a nervous student and tell her why she’s special
There are thousands of ways to build nourishing rituals into the life of your family. Sure, some are going to work better than others but the ones that work all have something in common: they happen regularly so don’t quit just because it might feel goofy at the start because the more these rituals happen the more they are expected and then the more they provide comfort and nourishment and don’t we all need some of that!

May the Lord be with you!!

No comments:

Share button


Related Posts with Thumbnails