"Beam-ectomy should precede all mote micro-surgery. Just saying." Ginger Conrad paraphrasing Jesus Christ.

Paradigm Shift

“The list of health problems I think it would very hard to live with is SO much longer than the list of foods I previously thought I couldn’t live without,” Merrill Alley.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

lessons they taught me

Matthew 22:15–22

Article of Faith 1:12

The ideas for this lesson sound like lots of fun. We are to begin by making farm animals from play dough. After discussing what would happen to the animals without a fence. I am supposed to put a fence around the animals. For my class, this might work better with little plastic farm animals. I'll have to check out the cost of each at the store. Anyway...the idea is to help the children see that fences keep the animals safe. Even cattle out on the range have fences to keep them off the road.

Next we'll discuss the rules of a simple game, family, home, school, and primary class. A few months ago, we had a lesson like this but only specific to our primary class. Some of my children seemed to know no boundaries. After that lesson, they are much more thoughtful and like the order we have in our class.

Next, I'll tell a story about a city boy, who took his dog out without his leash. Because he ignored the law, the dog was hit by a car and severely injured. After he and his mother returned from the vet, they had a discussion about law. Most laws are created for protection. If he had followed the leash law, his dog would not be hurt. Then we'll discuss laws that the children know about. As an advocate for bicycle helmets, I'll bring up a law that applies directly to them as children. King county law requires helmets for all bicyclists. Other laws we might talk about, which they can understand include: Stop at all stop signs. Don’t be cruel to animals. Do not steal. Do not litter.

To introduce the scripture story, I'll explain a bit about taxes. Since the father of one child in our class is an EMT, telling the children that taxes pay for EMTs, police officers, firefighters, roads, libraries, and schools will be interesting to them. I'll ask that particular child what it would be like not to have EMTs. This will lead nicely into the scripture story in Matthew 22, where the leaders tried to trick Jesus with their questions about taxes. Using a coin, Jesus told the people that they should obey their country’s laws and Heavenly Father’s laws. Jesus taught the people that it was important to obey the laws of their country.

Finally, I'll end with our favorite activity of drawing a specific idea about the lesson. I will ask them to draw themselves obeying a law. Maybe I'll demonstrate drawing a chick, since farm animals within fences was part of the lesson. They like drawing lessons. During this time, I softly play primary music from an app on my phone. They also talk a great deal.

After my first week with them, I didn't want anything to do with teaching them. I've raised my children and didn't have the desire to take on a bunch of wild animals. After ranting about it to my husband and briefly praying about it, I knew my time with them would help me as much as it would help them.

My goal with these children became getting them to a point where they could listen instead of talking out/throwing tantrums/screaming and participate appropriately and happily. For the most part, we have gotten to this point. They are nice children who respond very well to respect and love. The idea of listening first to be understand then seeking to be understood has worked wonders with them. Because they know I love/respect them and they will have a chance to share important things about their lives, they are more willing to listen during listening time, sing during singing time, and participate during participation time.

Each week at the beginning of our class, we have a little tradition. Using a bean bag (it's actually a lavender filled bag-I also use lavender essential oil on days when they are overly active), we follow the idea of the talking stick. Whomever has the talking bag is the only one who is allowed to talk besides the chief (me.) If anyone forgets, I immediately remind them to be respectful of their friend's turn. This has taught them to listen patiently as well as to speak confidently. Near the end of class, I take out our poster, which is a picture of Jesus and a CTR symbol. I present scenarios, make choices after asking themselves, "What would Jesus want me to do?" They love this game.

When I leave at the end of my mission, they will be fine. Probably, they won't give me a second thought, but I will always remember them and the lessons they taught me.