Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Making Use of Mottos

Over the last few years I have begun to make use of "mottos" in our homeschooling. A motto is a phrase chosen as a guiding principle. Nearly every morning we recite these mottos together as we begin our day. Because we do this so often they roll right off the tip of everyone's tongue. Do my children think about what they are saying? Probably not, most of the time. Sometimes we stop to discuss a phrase or remind ourselves of the meaning of what we are saying. My goal with these mottos is to fasten them so securely in the children's memories that later, when it is important, these phrases will come back to haunt them (in a good and helpful way). 

When the kids grow up and wonder who they are I want them to know they are beloved children of the one true King, they are servants of others, they are responsible to be diligent keepers of the earth. 

I want the children to question in their minds: who can I love and how can I show that love? Do they ask these questions now? I'm sure they don't. But sometimes when I see them serving others or offering a kindness I point out that they are fulfilling this motto.
As with many things in homeschooling I often feel that I am benefitting the most from what we are doing. I'm quite sure I benefit more than the kids do at this point from reciting these sayings every day. The idea of victor/victim is a concept that will take a long time to communicate but life is going to be full of situations that will tempt my children (me) to feel sorry for myself and take on a victim mentality. It takes courage to trust God in bad situations.

It's best to learn this lesson young that life is hard but our comfort in that hardness is the presence of Christ. 

 I wanted to focus on gratefulness this year thus I added this motto. We have gratefulness journals which we write in most mornings and I chose psalms for singing that echoed this theme. Whether or not we are making progress? I think it's baby step after baby step. Progress is not usually seen day-to-day but more over great quantities of time.

So that's how I make use of mottos in our home and pray that my kids will grasp these truths and benefit from them in years to come.


Catherine said...

I like your mottos! I was thinking about this recently when I saw a post on another blog about using mottos with kids. I have some mottos in a frame on my desk, and I do use them with the kids, but not in an organized way. But mine are not as...what word am I looking for...literary? yours are. Our mottos are things like "don't hug the cactus" and "ride Icelandic ponies" and "throw candy" and "fence the table." I'm thinking about ways to use them differently. Thanks for your post!

Jody Lee Collins said...

Teacher talk ahead:Piaget said good teaching is "repetition with variation." Brilliant strategy Heather, I'm sure you'll see things stick :-)

Pom Pom said...

A wonderful way to make meaning for your sweet students.