By Gabriella Smith
“I have a lot of money!” My 5-year-old brother exclaimed, as he excitedly dumped out his piggy bank earlier today. Turns out he only had about $3.65. It makes me laugh, thinking of how people’s perceptions of money change as they get older.
Back in my early days, money had two purposes: you spent it or you saved it (or tried to save it and usually ended up spending it on something smaller). I remember the time I had the grand idea that my younger sister would get a watch that came in a cereal box while we “jointly” saved to buy me a new watch. I had forgotten about it by the next day, which, I think, was a good thing. Now that I’m not 7 any more, I see the unfairness of such an economic endeavor.
When I was 7 or 8, I would buy small things as soon as I got my hands on any money. Then, as I got older, my interests changed but not my spending philosophy, as you’ll soon see. I started to be a bit smarter with my money around the age of 12, learning about a whole new element of spending.
My parents have always taught me and modeled for me the importance of good money management—things such as being generous, choosing purchases wisely, and saving my money. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I seriously started to manage my money. Continue reading
By Jennifer Smeltser
I never in my life planned to homeschool. When I first learned about homeschooling, which was years before I was married and had children, it sounded like some type of weird and extremist way of raising kids. Coming from a traditional public school background, I knew that was the route I would take, when, and, if I had children. My elementary school years were some of the best, and I believe it is during that time a seed was planted that would later lead me to welcome the challenge, and the opportunity, to homeschool.
It was my sixth grade year and my teacher, “Hoff,” took school outdoors one day. He placed us all under a tree, opened a book, and began to read. I felt rebellious, because school belonged inside a classroom, but I listened. I felt relaxed, but remained engaged. I was not sitting at a desk surrounded by four walls, but I was outside, under a tree, enjoying God’s surroundings—and I was learning,
Even before that moment, I had always enjoyed being outdoors. Without discounting the value of learning at home with family as we do, I also realize we are not limited to learning only at home. There is so much to learn outside of our four walls. Learning could be as close as walking out to your backyard or as far as traveling the world. I must admit that it is my nature (pardon the pun) to be outdoors.
Fortunately, my children have adopted my perspective on learning wherever we are and have been willing participants as we learn together. Continue reading
By Marcia Washburn
Music is one of those subjects we all feel guilty about.
“I really ought to expose my children to great music,” we tell ourselves. We know that music gives us opportunities to express our emotions and draws us together socially. And we remember the Scriptural commands to make music.1 Martin Luther wrote, “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”2
Music touches us in every area of our lives—body, soul, mind, and spirit. Nothing has quite the same power over us, other than the Holy Spirit Himself. It is a gift that we can take to Heaven with us.
But that niggling little voice inside reminds us, “But you don’t know anything about music,” or “We just don’t have the money to buy a bunch of CDs,” or “My kids won’t like classical music anyway, so why bother?” And of course there is the time objection: “I have so many other subjects to teach—how can I fit in music, too?”
What if you could use the Internet to teach music? No expensive CDs or concert tickets to buy—just your trusty computer and the world of classical music is opened to you. Below is a sample lesson for you and your family to enjoy. Continue reading