Sunday, August 03, 2014

Children from Hard Places

In the last post, you saw the penguin cupcakes we made. After that, we played the Protect the Egg game on pages 33-34.

Here are some pictures from it.
We weighed down the eggs with marbles.

Those are Kaleb's marbles on the floor. Good thing he's not really a penguin dad!



Each chapter has a theme. There is an opening story, a Bible family rebus story, a Bible verse puzzle, a craft and a family activity in each chapter. Chapter Two is called "Part of the Family" and talks about ways families help each other and that each family member is special. The Bible story is about Moses' family looking out for him. The animal information is about how Emperor penguins care for the eggs and the young. 

This chapter encourages families to talk about what each family member does to help in the family and what makes the family special. For children who have been adopted out of an orphanage, it's a chance to bring up how the orphanage was run, how it's different from being in a family. You can compare the roles of the nannies with the roles of family members. It might be a chance to talk about why their own families couldn't care for them and how they chose adoption so the children could be part of a family that could care for them.

For children from abusive situations or foster care it's a chance to talk about why they came into care or were adopted. And to point out, without criticizing the birth parents, things that made their homelife unsafe for them. 

Each chapter provides opportunities to instill family values in children from hard places who have no clue what families are supposed to be like. And of course every family is different, but some things (protection, nurturing etc) should be part of all families.

Some of the discussion questions or writing opportunities in the book are: (All of these are part of a story, game, activity etc. so they come up naturally)
List three ways your parents care for you.
How does the mother koala protect her baby? Can you think of two ways your parents protect you?
List three things each family member does to care for each other.
Can you think of two things you need that your family provides?
What is one job that you could do to help at home?
Can you think of a good choice you made this week? What happened?
Can you think of a bad choice you made this week? What happened?
Can you think of a time sibling rivalry happened at your house? 
What are two ways you can show kindness and compassion to your siblings today?
What is something you fight about with your brother or sister? How do you work it out?

If you read through the book, try just doing a section at a time and leaving time for questions. And if it's like here, be aware of children using it for manipulation or "game playing." But mostly they have responded well to the discussions, and I let them lead as far as what and how much we discuss. And they have gotten along beautifully while we read the book and do the activities. What more could you want?

If your child is reading through the book and doing the activities, just send me a photo of your child with the book or with the finished craft etc, and I'll send you one of these bags.

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