Monday, October 1, 2012

Teaching Without Lecturing

A couple of weeks ago during a church meeting, Elder Schwitzer who is a member of the quorum of the 70, gave a talk on how we can have effective teaching in the home, without lecturing. Many of the things I'd heard before, but still the spirit really spoke to me and I went home and did some things about it. One thing he talked about was the refrigerator door. Children are constantly going to the fridge(okay, so am I), opening and closing the door, and so this would be a great place to put something you want them to see. I went home and looked at our fridge door. It was fine, it had a picture of our family, a picture of the temple and a grocery list. I decided to add a short scripture with it's reference for all of us to memorize during the week. I wrote a different one on the back for next week. When the kids get their report cards, I'll put those on there as well since education is important.

A few days later I found this scripture posted on the fridge door. It was in Elisabeth's hand. Elisabeth had written two scriptures down from memory. One was Doctrine and Covenants 6:36 which was done perfectly('look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.), and the other was the scripture pictured below from Mosiah...which was a little bit off. I smiled when I read the part about 'in the service of thy fellow beans' instead of 'beings'. Apparently we need to go back through that scripture and make sure she understands the words and meaning.

Elder Schwitzer also talked about using the walls of our homes to teach our children. He said, "sometimes subtle things on walls become major things in the lives of children." He then asked us to go home and take inventory of not just our walls, but everything in our home, books, movies, cd's, music, magazines, and ask ourselves what kind of message we're sending to our children by having this in the home. So I did. I went through each room and asked myself that question.

 We have pictures of the temple and Christ up in each room.... well, besides the bathrooms.
Here are a couple pictures from Charlie's room. The caption on the one below says, "prayer changes things". He's also got a picture of Enos, with a bow and arrow on his back, on his knees praying and a picture of a professional baseball player, both of which I think are fine. The baseball player could portray that hard work and diligence pays off.

We have maps up of the world and our country in our kitchen which I really like because it's a great teaching tool and conversation piece during meals. The only room I walked through and thought, "hum, I'm not sure about the message I'm sending in this room", was in the room Annabelle and Jane share. They have princess wall stickers all over, plus a giant poster of Disney princesses and a big framed picture of these cute little 5-year-old girls with the caption, 'girls just wanna have fun'. Of course they also had two large pictures of Christ in there and a picture of the temple but I wasn't sure how I felt about that caption on the framed picture. When my girls are older and out with friends, do I want them subconsciously thinking, 'girls just wanna have fun' ? Nope. I don't. So down it went with a promise that I'd put up a new picture soon. And I will. In fact, this past weekend Scott and I went on a date and while we were walking down a shopping strip(We got to hold hands!!! I love dates!), we stopped in at Distribution Services and picked up these three Mormon Ad posters that were $2 a piece(pictured below). One is now up in our kitchen, and the other two will go up in the kids' rooms at Christmas. The one on the far right of Jesus that says, 'You are never alone' was one I had in my bedroom while in junior high. I put it on my ceiling right above my pillow and I'd look at it every night and it helped me to feel better on multiple occasions. School was hard. I grew up and went to school in Washington and I really struggled with making friends while trying to maintain certain standards; I didn't do so well for awhile. But then my smart mom had me apply to BYU. I LOVE that school and will forever have a special place in my heart for the roommates, professors and friends from BYU. Anyway, kids can be mean in school. Changing schools can be hard; meeting new people is hard; trying to fit in with people who don't have the same values is hard and this picture and it's words gave me comfort so many times. Maybe our children will one day draw comfort and/or wisdom from these subtle things on our walls.

* One other picture I remember seeing daily growing up was a large print of the Seattle Temple. It was perfectly located at the end of the main hallway. It was the only thing you could see as you walked down the hallway from the bathroom or bedrooms to the living room/kitchen area. Good positioning Mama!

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Angela Smith said...
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