Saturday, July 5, 2008

Saturday Accountability 5 July 08

One of my reasons for starting this blog was to make myself accountable, especially in my homeschooling efforts. With that in mind, I am reserving Saturdays for a sort of week-in-review.
Our homeschooling activities this week consisted of reading "Little Pilgrim's Progress" and "Winnie-The-Pooh", probably a total of about 5 hours, and about 10 hours of outdoor time at the beach and parks. I do consider time the kids spend playing outdoors as school time. Maybe not in a traditional sense, but I absolutely believe it is one of the best things they can be doing for the development of their minds. Charlotte Mason wrote about the importance of what she calls "outdoor life" for children, and a more modern book by Dr. Jane Healy called "Your Child's Growing Mind" emphasizes how important physical play, such as the kind that happens outdoors, is for the development of children's thinking abilities. One story she told (either in this book or another, I can't remember right now) involved a father she met who was concerned about his daughters' difficulties with math. After listening to a workshop for parents given by Dr. Healy in which she spoke of the importance of activities such as tree climbing for developing the understanding of spatial relationships necessary for mathematics he approached her and said something like "my daughters haven't climbed trees. I'm going to go out and buy them some trees!" The story was funny, but I think the point is well taken. We cannot expect children to think and reason abstractly when they have insufficient experience with our concrete, physical world. So video games and TV and even too much reading are out and time at the park, or better yet on the beach, in the mountains, in the fields and forests, is in. I'll probably write more on this topic another time, because it has been very influential in my view of what and how I should be teaching my young children.
There is another side to accountability that I would like to track on this blog, and that is accountability in my personal life. A dear friend told me recently of a challenge she participated in with some forty other people, with points being accumulated for the following daily activities (as best as I can recall): Sleeping at least 7 hours each night, participating in two thirty minute exercise sessions, fifteen minutes reading a spiritual text, eating two servings of fruit and three of vegetables, not eating sweets, and keeping a daily gratitude journal. She said many of the participants in this challenge claimed the experience was life-changing. I thought I would take up the challenge personally, and post my progress on here. Like a good diet, I have of course planned to start Next Week :-) however, I will try to record how I am doing currently doing on these factors, so I will have something to compare my progress to!
Sleep: this is a hard one to track. I think I will aim for having a more consistent bed time for my kids and myself and track that. Right now we all tend to make our way to bed around 9:30. I would like to see that no later than 8:30 for the children, and preferably 9:00 for myself. I like to get up early, and when I can I go running with a friend at 5:15, s early bedtime is critical.
Exercise: Well, this week was pretty good--I went on three 50 minute jogs, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. But I'm not sure I did much on other days.
Scripture Study: I have been trying to do this in the mornings, although I don't think I am doing 15 minutes. I'm guessing I did some scripture reading five days out of seven this week. I was recently impressed by a woman who said that she believed giving her first tenth to the Lord included doing her devotions first thing in the morning. I would like to make that my standard.
Fruits and Vegetables: I'm better at fruits than vegetables, but I haven't been keeping track.
Sweets: I've been eating them
Gratitude Journal: I haven't started.
So, I have my work cut out for me this week. My only concern with this program was that I don't really consider vigorous exercise to be an appropriate Sabbath activity; I have decided that walking, especially with my family, would be a good Sunday activity though.
So, there is my report for this week with lots of improvement next week. The format of these report may change as I refine things. If anyone else would like to take up the lifestyle challenge with me I'd love to have company!

1 comment:

Kelley said...

Hey, I'm all for lifestyle changes. I've done those seven things at various times with varying success. Perhaps I'll take up the challenge with you. I know I'd certainly like to be getting 7 hours of sleep a night. Right now it sounds like a pipe dream, though. :)