Those of you who read my blog with scrutiny may have seen that "Learn the Fruits of the Spirit" was one of the items on our family's "Summer To-Do List."
"What is this all about?" you may have asked yourself.
Well, I'm glad you asked, O Scrutinous Blog Reader.
The idea came to me a few weeks ago when I was trying to describe to Bennett how we needed more peace in our home. He asked me, "What is peace Mama?" And while I was explaining it to him, this simple idea was born. I didn't want to overwhelm him or myself with tons of elaborate summer preschool curriculum like I used to. I though that focusing on a new "Fruit of the Spirit" each week could provide some opportunities for spiritual growth for the whole family as well as some arts&crafts, cutting, math and music along the way.
So here's what we did. First we made a big blank tree on butcher paper and hung it on the playroom door. (This is also what I do for my thankfulness tree in the fall.) I'm no artist, and my tree is proof of that, but the kids don't care.
Then, each week, we choose a fruit that begins with the same letter as the virtue we are learning. For instance, a lemon for love.
And a pineapple for peace. I also wrote a simple, easy-to-understand definition on each fruit that I keep repeating to my kids every day at breakfast. The kids get to paste the fruit up on the tree, and this helps us to continue reviewing all the fruits we've learned.
I also choose a Bible verse that corresponds to the Fruit O' the Week and post it on the chalkboard in our eating area. Here's the verse for love.
The verse for peace was "Live at peace with everyone." (Romans 12:18)
Again, those scrutiny-filled readers may notice that we skipped "Joy" on our tree. This is because I did "Peace" early... we've had a lot of fighting around here lately, and I thought we needed some peace ASAP! So I broke the order for the greater good.
And now we're doing Joy this week.
Our fruit for Joy is actually going to be "Jelly" because there are no fruits that begin with the letter J! Jelly counts as fruit in my book. Long live jelly!
And my kid-friendly definition for Joy is: Having a happy heart no matter what happens.
Joy's verse is: Proverbs 15: 13 "A happy heart makes the face cheerful."
Also: Throughout the week, I really try to phrase things using our 'Fruit O' the Week,' so the meaning will really sink in for the kids.
For instance, I use it to lovingly correct, as in, "Bennett, is that a good way to seek peace with your sister? Or are you stirring up fighting?" OR "Mallory, that wasn't a very joyful attitude." OR "Bennett, those weren't very loving words."
Or better yet, I use it when I'm praising the kids for great behavior. As in... "Bennett! I'm so proud of the way you handled that peacefully!" OR "Great job, Mallie! I love your joyful attitude!" You get the picture. This serves as a good reminder of what we are working on.
So there you have it... our Rooty Tooty Fresh -n-Fruity Summer Learning!