Hey you. Yea, you. Come a little closer, and I’ll tell you a secret…
A little bit of math, a little ELA, a little Bible, history, science, language, and a LOT of reading keep the mind from dropping the precious morsels of learning gained throughout the school year. And seriously, there is so much amazingness in this great wide world to know! How many “aha” moments and “Oh my goodnesses” would we miss if we abandoned the mind’s exploration of the world around us, in books, and museums all summer!…positively criminal I say.
If this sounds awful to you, then someone has done a grave injustice by you at some point in your life and made you think that learning is confined to a pen and paper, desk, and upright chair (comfortable to no tush might I add).
Learning is fun and amazing and exhilarating and breath-taking and downright addicting. All it takes is one hit of discovery, one glimpse of the coffers of knowledge out there available to all who will but pursue them to leave anyone with an unquenchable fire in their belly that drives learning and discovery day and night.
I am a dealer, knowledge is my drug.
I am a dealer, knowledge is my drug. My goal is hopeless addiction. So I offer the hits. I shine the light just right to make the treasure in the coffers gleam. I make it feel as though they are getting something for nothing. I don’t push, I coyly lure until I know they are desperately hooked. And then I stop just short of satisfaction…Psychology has shown us that we convince ourselves that, that which we must beg for is of higher value…so I make. them. beg. And I act indifferent. Then I step out-of-the-way and watch them run wild without me. I have taught them to sleuth to get their fix, to leave no stone unturned, no subject unexplored. The chase is on. They run...a fire has started…
I am going to let you in on my dealer’s secret for this summer. They swallowed it hook line and sinker immediately, and I began to see the fruit of success within 24 hours!
I ran across these little flip books in Wal-Mart in the first part of May. And I knew I had struck gold.
*Dealer’s Secret: Things that you can flash and then walk away from as if they are of little value to you are insanely powerful!
I bought 4, one for each of my addicts in training. Then I began thinking about what I wanted them to learn this summer. What fire did I want to stoke in their little bellies and leave to consume their thoughts and time and falling asleep conversations…there were a few, but I decided the fire I really wanted to flame was scripture.
“Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.” ~ Psalm 119:11
I keep a running list of verses I want my children to learn. After praying, I decided I wanted a mixture of scriptures they could pray, scriptures that reveal the nature of God, ways to be like Jesus, scriptures on how to treat others, and practical wisdom. Crazy, not long after that we were challenged in church by Hamp Greene to read through the book of John. Guess what! Many of the scriptures ended up coming from John! I love dealing with God as my lead man!!
For practical wisdom, I added James…a lot of James…like all of chapter 1 and I’m still adding. (big, cheesy, and slightly sheepish grin) I LOVE James. It is my personal addiction.
We went to visit my Granddaddy for our first week out of school, and the day we left, I threw my shiny lure out on the water. I included Granddaddy in the conversation (that he had no prior knowledge to…Thanks for always being a sport) for added sparkle and skip to attract my prey.
Me: “Hey guys! I want to show y’all something. Come here Granddaddy. I have our summer challenge. Here it is. For every five verses you memorize, I will get you a treat. Now, this is cumulative, I want learning, not memorizing; so the first time you quote five, then those five with an additional five, so forth and so on. If you manage to memorize them all…Granddaddy and I will come up with something awesome!”
Kids: “What?! What are the prizes?!”
Me: I will reveal them one at a time. Number one is a Freeze from Taco Bell. We will go get it the day you quote your first 5. No stumbling. No help.”
Kids: “What?! Seriously?! Awesome!! What is the prize if we learn them all?”
Me: “We haven’t even talked about that yet. Not sure you can do it.”
Kids: “We can! What is it?!”
Me: “If you start getting close, I’ll call him and we will figure something out.”
The conversation ended. I laid the cards on the table. Everyone went back to the pool. (Not sure it has taken…act cool. Just act cool.)
When we got ready to go, I went to get my cards…they were gone. (sly grin)<7:00 pm>
They worked on their verses the whole way home, and they took turns helping Bethany learn hers. (She only has to learn 2 at a time.)<10:30 pm>
The next day, everyone said their first 5 verses perfectly…except Bethany who can’t say “glory” right. (Laughs all around at her adorable sweetness.) No prodding or pleading or begging from me.
It is Monday, and I have already awarded two #2 prizes and have two more to pick up in the morning. (Prize #2 was a McDonald’s sausage biscuit for breakfast.)
Guys, my bigs have memorized 10 new scriptures! When I wake up, they already have the cards out. When they are taking turns on the computer, they have the cards out. Riding in the car, the cards are out. The talk in both rooms every night has been scripture. The fire is growing. Not addicted yet…but on the right track.
And can I just add right here…don’t you DARE tell them this! I have already had my big prize up front. I can’t even begin to tell you of all the giddy excitement I feel as I overhear this. Heart palpatations, stifled squeals, sore cheeks from all of the smiling…it is my constant right now. If they don’t learn them all (that would really be an insane feat) I am pleased as punch.
An added bonus!!!! They keep coming to me and asking:
“Mom, what does this scripture mean?”
“Mom, who is talking in this scripture and who are they talking to?”
“How can I use this scripture in my life?”
“Mom, I think this scripture means this, but he thinks it means that. Who is right?”
“Then those whose lives honored God got together and talked it over. God saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God’s presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the God-fearers written down…” ~Malachi 3:16
They are declaring scripture in their rooms and everywhere they go. They are reading scripture and asking questions. They are learning to study the Word without even knowing it. And all day, as I hear their little voices, my mind’s eye sees and my Spirit feels the ear of Elohim drawing near to my home, listening close to hear these conversations being had, and writing their names in The Book of Remembrance…of which few of them even know of yet.
“…He Bends down to listen…” ~Psalm 116:2
…may it consume them.