We're finally getting around to finishing up our unit on the moon and the letter Mm. Here's a pic of our rocket ship snack.
We read Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. In this book we say goodnight to all of the items detailed in the pictures.
Then the kids and I made our own Goodnight Moon books by cutting pictures out of magazines and gluing them to construction paper booklets. This is my son's book. He loves grandpas so he was totally digging this old man picture. He even titled his book Goodnight Happy Grandpa.
We also made a "bowl full of mush," which is one of the things we say goodnight to in Goodnight Moon. This is quinoa flakes with liquid stevia.
We read Moonbear by Frank Asch. In this story Moonbear makes a rocket ship and then falls asleep during his countdown, waking up again in the winter. When he awakes he sees snow thinks he is on the moon. He walks around, making pawprints in the snow, but when he comes upon his own tracks he thinks they may be the tracks of a terrible moon monster. Luckily, it snowed while doing this unit so we went outside and made our own tracks.
And we made a snowman too. :)
This is a letter sounds discrimination file folder game.
And this is a neat book titled Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book Problem Solving A to Z. It teaches counting, problem solving, symmetry, letter recognition, and addition.
We also did some worksheets; made a model of the sun, moon, and earth; made a rocket ship out of a cardboard box; dressed up in spacesuits (we own a Buzz Lightyear suit); and listened to Greg and Steve's "An Adventure in Space," which you can preview and buy here: http://www.amazon.com/An-Adventure-in-Space/dp/B002D4XCKQ. It's a really fun song.
Some other books we enjoyed were:
Moongame by Frank Asch
Happy Birthday Moon by Frank Asch
Eyewitness Books Space Exploration
When the Moon is High by Alice Schertle
If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty
First on the Moon by Barbara Hehner
“Aren’t you worried you’re going to push them away from God?”
“Don’t you think they might rebel when they get older?”
“Don’t you think they will resent the way they were raised?”
It seems that carefully tending to our children leads people to believe that our kids will one day rebel and resent us. My answer to all of those questions is “no.” I know that there are some people who were raised by strict, religious parents who were pushed away, did rebel, and do resent how they were raised. But I see difference between strict, religious parenting which focuses primarily on the child’s performance, and relational parenting, which focuses on developing the child’s relationship with God. Relational parents understand that when we primarily concentrate on our children’s relationship with their Heavenly Father, the desire to honor him will follow.
Religious Parenting vs. Relational Parenting
1. Religious parents associate evil with objects and have no reason as to why these objects are evil; they just are. These parents, for example, would tell their children that the TV is evil, or bikinis are sinful. Relational parents, on the other hand, understand that objects cannot be evil and they explain to their children that although TV is not evil, certain programming can lead to evil thoughts, dull their minds, or ignite fear, which is harmful to their spirit. They explain that while bikinis in and of themselves are not sinful, our focus shouldn’t be on drawing attention to our bodies, but on humbling ourselves and glorifying God. Children of religious parents often find themselves, as adults, still living with the ingrained belief that objects are evil. When questioned about it they begin to think, You know what? You’re right. My parents were overreacting. And this is when we see rebellion.
2. Religious parents don’t offer explanations. They often use the phrase “That’s just what you’re supposed
to do,” or “Because God said so.” For example, when children of religious parents ask why they have to go to church, their parents tell them, “Because Sunday is the Lord’s Day.” Now, I agree that Sunday is the Lord’s Day and that’s a perfectly fine statement. But the relational parent takes it a step farther and explains that when God made the world he rested on the seventh day, and we follow his example. This gives both our body and spirit strength for the upcoming week. Children need to understand that God didn’t just formulate a bunch of rules because he wanted to see us struggle, but that his commandments make sense and are given to us for our own well-being. Children who understand this will have the tools to think through situations to determine what is evil and what is good.
3. Religious parents try to raise perfect children. They at least want them to appear that way to others. They brag about their children's accomplishments, like how many Bible verses they've memorized, or the fact that they're in the choir and go on mission trips. Christian parents, on the other hand, know that God does not focus on our works, but our heart. Of course if a child has a heart for God and loves to memorize scripture, sing in the choir, and go on mission trips, that’s great! The Bible says that faith without works is dead. But relational parents focus more on cultivating a strong understanding of and relationship with God so that they will want to serve him.
4. Religious parents are afraid to admit to their children that they are clueless about certain aspects of God. When their children ask them a question like, "Why didn't God answer my prayer," religious parents invent some silly answer like “He was probably busy answering another more needy child’s prayer.” Relational parents, on the other hand, instill in their children the understanding that God is so big and so awesome and so complex that our itty bitty brains can’t always comprehend why he does the things he does, but the more we seek him the better we can understand his ways. If we are honest with our children about our own understanding of God they will appreciate that when they are adults.
5. Religious parents use God and hell to scare their children into behaving. “You better be good cause God’s watching you.” “If you don’t get baptized you’ll go to hell.” “If you marry a Methodist (or whatever denomination) God won’t honor your marriage.” These parents so desperately try to control their children that they use scare tactics to do it. Does God use scare tactics to control us? Relational parents inform their children that while God does know our sins, and he does correct us, he’s not going to disown us, or strike us down dead and send us to hell because we made a mistake. God looks at our heart. And if we cultivate a love and passion for God in our children, they will want to keep his commandments. John 14:15 even says, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” As a child I tried very hard to live a life that glorified God. But this wasn’t because I was scared of God and thought he would be mad at me if I messed up. It was because I loved him so much that it was my sincere desire to bring gladness to my Heavenly Father. Similarly, I don’t give my children hugs and kisses and clothes and toys because I’m afraid they won’t like me. I do it because I love them so much that it is my sincere desire to bring gladness to my children.
You know the saying “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” Well, I see religious parenting as giving them a fish. You’ve given them a rule to follow, so they know what’s expected for that specific situation. But relational parenting is like teaching them to fish. You’ve taught them how to discern for themselves what is wise and what brings glory to God, which they can apply to many difficult situations they will encounter.
I leave you with a final verse:
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Recently, I had an MRI with gadolinium-based contrast dye. Gadolinium is a heavy metal and even a small amount is toxic to humans. Therefore, to use the gadolinium as contrast dye, it is bound to other molecules, which facilitate its travel through the bloodstream without causing harm (usually). The contrast dye has a black box warning label from the FDA, which is the strongest warning issued. This means that there is potential to cause serious harm. The majority of the gadolinium is removed from the body within the first 24 hours, mostly via the kidneys. It's important to drink as much water as you can during that first 24 hours, maybe even 48 hours, to eliminate the contrast dye from the kidneys quickly. My MRI was at 9:00 P.M. so I even set my alarm that night to wake me up every couple of hours to drink water and go to the bathroom. Some people who have severe kidney disease may be unable to eliminate the gadolinium quickly enough, leading to a debilitating disease called Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF), which causes severe swelling and tightening of the skin, connective tissues, muscles, and internal organs. Here is a picture of someone with NSF:
It's an extremely rare occasion that someone develops NSF, and it only happens in those with kidney disease. However, I recommend making sure that your doctor checks your kidney function (creatinine blood test) before you have an MRI with contrast dye. Any good doctor will. Even if your kidney function is fine and you have no adverse reactions after the MRI, still know that small amounts of gadolinium probably still remain in your body, and could cause health issues in the future. Remember, gadolinium is a heavy metal, and heavy metal toxicity in the brain is often associated with neurological diseases like Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's. I strive for a pure body so I'm doing everything I can to remove the Gadolinium from my body. My naturopath prescribed me EDTA, which is an oral chelating agent. I take it every other day for a month. After completing the course of EDTA I will take a different chelating agent for a week and then take a test to make sure I got most of it out.