“In the life of Christ, His childhood and youth, there is a lesson for the youth of today. Christ is our example, and in youth we should contemplate God in nature,—study His character in the work of His hands. The mind is strengthened by becoming acquainted with God, by reading His attributes in the things which He has made. As we behold the beauty and grandeur in the works of nature, our affections go out after God; and … our souls are invigorated by coming in contact with the Infinite through His marvelous works.”
The Youth’s Instructor, July 13, 1893.
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“He was not willing to be defective, even in the handling of tools. He was perfect as a workman, as He was perfect in character. By His own example He taught that it is our duty to be industrious, that our work should be performed with exactness and thoroughness, and that such labor is honorable. The exercise that teaches the hands to be useful and trains the young to bear their share of life’s burdens gives physical strength, and develops every faculty…. God appointed work as a blessing, and only the diligent worker finds the true glory and joy of life.”
The Desire of Ages, 72.
It is the duty and privilege of every child to follow in the footsteps of Jesus…. It will please the Lord Jesus to have the children ask Him for every spiritual grace, to bring all their perplexities and trials to the Saviour; for He knows how to help the children and youth, because He was a child Himself, and was once subject to all the trials, disappointments, and perplexities to which children and youth are subject. God’s promise is given as much to children and youth as to those of more mature age. Whenever God has given a promise, let the children and youth turn it into a petition, and beg the Lord to do those things for them in their experience, that He did for Jesus, His only begotten Son, when in human necessity He looked to God, asking for the things which He needed. Every blessing the Father has provided for those of more mature experience, has been provided for children and youth through Jesus Christ.
The Youth’s Instructor, August 23, 1894.
In the Kindergarten thru 2nd grade years, I prefer to keep academic work fairly relaxed and informal. So instead using a math textbook, my 6y.o. son and I have created a math journal. It’s just a simple, inexpensive composition book that we use to record our math experiences.
This is working out especially well for us because my math goals for my son are fairly simple, but technically span more than one grade level. I can cover these simple goals without purchasing multiple math textbooks.
One nice thing about a math journal is that it is easy to make use of fun printables and thematic materials. I keep an eye out for seasonal printables or fun math activities that fit the theme or goal we working on. Printables are easily trimmed and pasted into our journal. If we have been learning about rocks or seeds or planets, we can include that in some fashion in our math journal. I feel like this has truly personalized our math learning and reinforced the idea that math is all around us.
What do we put in the math journal? Anything and everything math-related. Once my son found a tall weed in the yard and he wondered out loud how ‘long’ it was. Wow, a perfect math journal activity! An opportunity to practice non-standard measurement with linking cubes. Or time to learn to use a ruler. We could survey the family on their estimates before we take the measurements and graph their answers. All of this can be recorded in our journal with pictures and drawings and notes.
Magazine pictures that show math concepts, silly math games that we have made up, grids/graphs to use with pattern blocks or other math manipulatives, and dictations/narrations that reflect our math thoughts. Any kind of math thinking goes in the journal.
My original plan was to spend only one year using a math journal, but I think we will continue on for another year. Even as we eventually transition into using a math textbook, a journal can still be used as a supplement to add variety and keep interest high.