Here’s the song reference.
Mr. Man has recently started to join in our schoolwork time at the kitchen table in earnest, showing up while the girls are working on their math and English assignments and requesting work of his own. At the moment, I’m casually trying to teach him how to hold a pencil properly; as was the case with his sisters, he refuses to use fat pencils or triangular crayons. He also appears to be left-handed, which runs in both Manie and my families, so we have to be careful to teach him the correct grip without making him curl his hand around.
Also of late, our printer ran out of ink, and I’ve been disinclined to spend the money on a new cartridge. In all honesty, we have enough workbooks that I shouldn’t need to print as many things as I do, and not having pre-printed stuff gives me a good excuse to have Beanie and Bugaboo practice their penmanship, along with other fine motor skills involving their hands, by copying and tracing. It’s also a moment for me to stop and consider a stewardship question: how much paper and ink do we really need to use?
One delightful side effect of not making copies are that the ladybugs are producing some neat artwork these days, because instead of copying a picture for them to color, I tape a piece of white paper over the pattern in whatever book we’re using (okay, that really doesn’t reduce the amount of paper, I suppose), and have them trace the picture before coloring it in. Since the lines made by their pencils are lighter, they have had to learn to put less pressure on their crayons to produce lighter use, in order that the outlines may be more clearly seen. It’s also helpful for Mr. Man, who is at the tracing letters and numbers stage of learning to write, to see his sisters tracing, too; he delightedly explained to me yesterday morning, “I make writing and numbers and letters and pictures just like Bugaboo and Beanie!” The girls cheer him on, and he cheers them on, too, and it’s a beautiful thing to see them learning to encourage and uplift each other in what could be very drudging work.
If you are curious about how this looks, here’s a short video of yesterday morning. There are two others.
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for four little blessings who are learning to encourage one another, and so encourage me. On the days marked by defiance and disobedience, please help me remember they are still learning, and I will teach them either to build up or tear down by the example of my response to them. We are trying to instruct them, Lord, in the value of doing small things with great love, in taking pains to make even the smallest thing beautiful, to use the gifts you have given them to create and to think instead of relying on machines to do it for them, to use their eyes to perceive, appreciate, and render small details. Please draw my eyes to the small details, that I may show them how to honor You in the performance of tedious tasks, and please grant us days filled with joyful songs.