Pruning, Bearing, Abiding

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”  John 15:1-3

For the past week, I’ve been reading and rereading the vine and branches passage in John.  I think we all need to do some pruning sometimes if we are to bear fruit– pruning in lots of things… our own lives and in the lives of those little olive shoots around our table.

I think it is already time to do some pruning in homeschool! 

As much as I hate to admit it, there are some things (things that I thought would be great) in our schedule that just aren’t working.  There is some work we are doing that I think, “Is this helping us?  Is this worth all of the energy used to complete it?”  After only a few weeks, I am looking at some of my choices and wondering if we have some branches that aren’t bearing much fruit, some branches that need pruning.

However, we do have some things that are going great! 

Here are a few:

Saxon Math ~  Love it!  The kids look forward to math every day.  There is something new each day… we move from pattern blocks to time to adding to ordinal numbers, etc.  There is not a telling time chapter or an addition chapter.  Each day is new and each day has practice on the previous lessons.  Also, the teacher’s manual is scripted and has everything laid out for me.

106 Days of Creation Studies ~  This is our science for this year.  The is one of the most enjoyable parts of our day, and the children are learning so much.  We spend several weeks working through each day of creation.  During our day 1 studies, we did lots of learning about light and shadows, made a sundial, etc.  Now we are on the 2nd day of creation.  We have done fun experiments with air pressure, and we are moving to water.  By the time we finish the course and move through each creation day, the children will have done studies on reptiles, birds, mammals, the solar system, the human body, etc.  Each time we study, the children record what we did and add a page to their Creation Studies Notebooks.  (The kids have been so proud of these notebooks, that I decided to google notebooking!  It has caused us to start notebooking in lots of subjects.) The best part– there are Bible passages to go along with most days.

Institute For Excellence In Writing ~ Wow!  What a great help for Mom!  These DVDs and teacher’s guide make teaching writing so easy!

Hymn and Psalm singing ~  What could be better than beginning our day with praise or hearing my 3 year olds sing hymns throughout the day?  🙂

Veritas History ~  While I am not crazy about the worksheets and lack of lesson plans, I like this.  We’ve had lots of time to dig deeper into these Bible stories – HIS -story.  I have had to study so that I can teach!  The song and cards are great for memorizing, and we enjoy all of the additional books suggested by Veritas.  I have loved hearing my children say,

“Wow.  Those clothes from skins that God made for Adam and Eve were like a sacrifice.”

“So, when Jesus made all things new, that’s like when the curtain ripped on the Holy of Holies.  Now we get to go there.”

“So when Seth’s descendants began to call on the Lord and Cain’s were wicked, then Seth’s family was Noah.  He was saved in the flood, and Cain’s children were destroyed.”

……………..

While our studies may be wrong or may be just right, or I may worry about how much stuff we learn, I know in the end that all of these decisions don’t really matter that much.  What matters is that I show my children our God and teach them the most important things- how to walk with Him, and honor Him, and bring Him glory.  The way we will all bear much fruit is to abide in our Lord Jesus.

“I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

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