August 07, 2009

Summer School

One of the characteristics of homeschooling is that learning is a part of everyday life. We have not really found "our groove" yet, but one thing we have discovered in homeschooling is: just because summer rolls around and workbooks rarely come out - the learning never ends.
We have even learned that we don't always get to choose the curriculum. Some of the lessons going on at The Santos Times are:

Math, I think, is the most versatile subject. There are so many many ways to study it. Since it is such a part of everyday life, it seems that would be the best way to learn it - in everyday life. The kitchen is a great place for learning numbers and math. "Sophia, cut the loaf into 12 equal parts." or "Naomi, how many cookies does each person get if there are 15 left?" This Summer, we have been playing lots of games - mostly cards and Monopoly. We have fun haggling and bargaining over properties or rents. Because we always make Sophia the banker and mortgagor, she has really gotten good at adding numbers and understanding money and change.
But boy - it takes a lot of time. A game of Monopoly easily lasts a couple of hours and it's very convenient to say "I don't have time to play right now." Well, at those times we get out the cards. Cards are good because all the kids can play - and they can also play without mom and dad. (wink) With each game the children brush up on sorting, adding, subtracting and critical thinking skills.

Mr. Santos is taking a class called "Interpersonal Communication." How interesting. Our eyes have really been opened to different types of ineffective listening and their labels.
Some of them are: Psuedolistening - this is when you nod and smile on the outside but on the inside you are thinking of a myriad of other things - maybe even how you can stop listening to whomever is talking to you. Stage-hogging is when you listen only long enough to figure out how to turn the conversation to yourself. An example would be - "You think your house is a mess? Have you seen my hall closet? Let me just tell you, blah blah blah."
There are many other types and just discussing some of them has been like going to marriage counseling - a little intense, a little revealing, and a little healing.

The Bible says that man makes his plans but the Lord directs his steps. How true. Another class Mr. Santos is taking is called "Human Relations". The team he works with at school has been studying motivation in the workplace. However, Mr. Santos and I have been able to apply some of this new knowledge to The Santos Times.
It would be nice if we could do our best all of the time, but a little motivation can go a long way. Somehow, (is it pride or high expectations?) we fail to provide that little "light at the end of the tunnel" for our loved ones. Children need motivation to get their chores done, even to obey. Wives need motivation to do the same mundane things over and over (and over) again. Husbands need motivation to step out of their comfort zones. These summertime courses have not been easy, but they have been so good in stretching Mr. Santos and me. Stretching is good - it allows you to be more flexible, to do things you never thought you could do.

Love suffers long. Love is patient. Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:4 I guess we can take courage in this verse - that our Merciful God is making us perfect when we are in "long-suffering" situations. But isn't it tough? I'm not talking about enduring long lines or traffic. That kind of patience is for babies. I'm talking about being patient with the child who refuses to obey and being consistent day in and day out. It's the spouse that checks out and you are still to love her or respect him. It's when there really is no 'motivation' to go on - yet you do. That's the tough trying of our patience. I heard one person say they couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel because Jesus was blocking the view. They were walking so close to Him that they could not see the end of their suffering. That is how it should be.
Elisabeth Elliot defined suffering as "Having what we don't want and wanting what we don't have."
We have a big green plastic bin of blocks, legos and lincoln logs. This summer we have been getting them out and building different things. A farm, a carnival, a train station. When it comes to building, we do it brick by brick. When it comes to tearing it down, a kick, a swoosh of the arm or a KABAM! (if you are Noah) will do.
Through wisdom is an house built; and by understanding it is established: Proverbs 24:3
Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish plucks it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1
This is how we build our homes too. Word upon word, precept upon precept, line upon line. SIGH. I think the lessons in building are much easier if you have blueprints. What kind of home would we have if we just placed a brick randomly here and there? Thank God, we have His word to teach us.
So there you have it - Summer school at The Santos Times. Don't you wish we were taking enrollments? LOL.


  1. I love playing monopoly. I can't wait to play with the kids the next time I see them! I would enroll in your school - especially if you taught cooking.

  2. I could only teach you how to cook a few things as that is all I know. Are you sure you want to enroll? Did you notice the required course called Long-Suffering? I don't teach that one, God does and it's a tough one. :)

  3. I'm tough - count me in. love you.


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