Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Single Grain Of Rice

I grew up in a household with a traditional family, mother and father,
 who loved each other and who still to this day are committed to being with each other
 through the "good and bad, sickness and health, til' death do them part".

 I grew up in a happy home with a great sister sibling,
who I love very much,
and many friends.

 My mother is Filipino,
and as any person who has ever known a true Filipino knows,
 the food we ate growing up was divine!

There is nothing in the world like some white rice and good Filipino side dishes,
 like adobo, sinigang, and freshly fried lumpia (aka, the egg roll).
My friends always talked about my Moms cooking and through the years
 she has even had several people ask her to cater parties and other events.
 I mean this woman can cook!

If there is anything I miss about being minutes away my parents, it's Moms cooking.
And of course, their company. I miss my family!

Growing up we ate rice pretty much on a daily basis.
I remember getting tired of eating rice.
Now, as an adult, I love it.
It's a staple here in our home and my kids love to eat it too.

As a mother and wife who strongly believes family is the most important community
 along with the foundation of God, I am a strong supporter of home education.

My husband and I have discussed our options for educating our kids as a team, together.
And we re discuss the options as each new "school year" begins.
We have decided to homeschool again in the fall.

During this past school year, I ran a child care center right here in my own home,
 along with teaching my Kindergartner and all the preschoolers.
 But, as time went by, I realized that I wasn't able to fully accomplish my goals
 with my own children, as well as care for the others to the magnitude that I would like to have.
So with that acknowledgment, I resigned my day care business.

Since my resignation, I have been able to accomplish what I set out to do in the beginning.
Even though it's summer, I continue to teach the children in every aspect of life.
 From ABC's, 123's, place values, and proper grammar in every day life,
 to how to do laundry, take on leadership roles,
and how to get along with and effectively deal with others.
Every moment is an opportunity to learn something new.

For our family, the benefits of homeschooling have been vast and invaluable.
But this doesn't come without a price.
Then again, everything worth doing usually comes with a price.

The path we have chosen isn't a care free, easy lifestyle all the time.
In fact, we have had to learn to be fairly disciplined
with our time and certainly with our money.

Just as rice has become a staple in our home,
so has learning new things on a daily basis.

My 6 year old now knows that everything we need to know
can be found in a book or on the Internet. (Pretty much.)
Everything else can be learned along the way.

My goal has and always will be, to instill the love of learning inside of my kids.

Anytime the kids have a question about a strange new found insect
or a new vocabulary word they come running like a gazelle from a hungry tiger
 to the laptop, ready to escape wordlessness and enter the world of knowledge.

As parents, sometimes we can get tired of all the questions,
and "how do you"s, and constant "but why"s.
 But if we will but listen to the children and begin to understand
 their excitement and desires then we can begin to impart
 a sense of admiration for self learning and an eagerness for knowledge.

We used Sonlight Christian Homeschool Curriculum this past year
and among the wondrous, life saving materials for our K5 school year,
there was a book called A Grain Of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman.

It was one of our favorites for the whole year!

In this book, there is a humble farmer,
seeking the hand of a princess, who he is madly in love with,
but can not have.

Along the way, he earns the opportunity
 to have any wish granted to him that he can imagine.
Except the hand of the princess.

The young farmer wisely chooses a single grain of rice,
 doubled every day, for the next 100 days.

The less wise Emperor obliges his request.

By day forty, the simple farmer was granted
eight-hundred-and eighty-eight grains of rice.

In other words, he had become just as, if not more,
rich and powerful than the honorable Emperor himself.

Just as the single grain of rice revolutionized the poor, simple farmers life forever,
I also believe every single moment of life offers a new "spark" of knowledge
that has the ability to transform lives.

And as long as the heart is willing to believe,
and the mind is willing to learn,
our kids can make their dreams come true as well.

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