Next Sunday will be my last to teach 'the girls' for a season. Olivia is in training and she will be their new teacher. At our church we put the boys upstairs and the girls are downstairs for one class on Sunday mornings. The ages are in the classes are ages 2-12. I have found it a fun challenge to keep that many different ages of children interested in what I was teaching.
Quite a few years back I developed nodules in my throat from 'over' singing. I cannot sing or read out loud easily. I am limited in what I can do....it has also been hard to teach sometimes, but I enjoyed doing it, so I didn't want to stop. I can't carry a tune, but the girls have always been very forgiving. When I squeak, we laugh, and just go on! These past few months I have had trouble on top of trouble with my throat, so I thought it a good idea to stop teaching while I still HAD a voice.
It is a sad thing for me to quit. I love all the girls in my class, they are the daughters the women I love. We do not have a class for the girls because we are worried that they are not learning the Bible in their own homes, we just do it for something special. I do not do flannelgraph and we stopped using crayons a long time ago! I have made up my own lessons for many years and I was always on the look-out for something to teach the girls that would help them in some way. I hope I have done that for them.
I get a lump in my throat when I think about this, but I'm going to write it up anyway. Here are some things I've done with the 'girls' in the past years:
I find poems about aprons, snowflakes or sheep and put them to a tune. I also have lots of verses, mainly out of Psalms and Proverbs that I put a little piano tune to that the girls have learned. It has been a really neat thing to hear them hum the tunes that I have made up! I read the verse in Matthew about Solomon not being arrayed......then we sing: Never grow a wishbone daughter, where your backbone ought to be....and why take ye thought for your raiment? consider the lilies of the field........... I also put a tune to this: A home-keeper am I, this is my task, to make one little spot, all snug and warm, where those so bruised, and beaten by the day, may find a refuge, from the night and storm, from the night and storm. I think the all time favorite is singing......Go to the ant though sluggard.....well, maybe Olivia will sing on key with them and they will all sound like little birds!
I loved pictures of bees, beavers and ants because I would tell the girls to be busy like them.
I have a whole tea-party in a file and I show the girls pictures about how they are to act when they visit others. Just take ONE chocolate and only ask for water and don't chase the chickens if the hostess takes you to her back yard.
OH! It's hippity hop to bed! I'd rather stay up instead! BUT, when father says MUST, there's nothing but JUST, go hippity hop to bed. We talked lots about getting into the fridge without permission, too.
Also, if mother is busy and you need a drink, pull up a chair, next to the sink.
Leave mother alone,,,,,when she's on the phone! I've got pictures of clocks and watches and ask the girls, "what time is it?" Time to be nice, to be helpful, to be kind, to be humble? !!! We talked lots about being a delightful daughter.....I made up a song to the tune of " I'm A Little Teapot" that talks about a delightful daughter never letting sass come out of her spout! We talked about modesty, gardens, creation, God Never Sleeps Or Slumbers, missionaries, being thankful every day of the week and did Psalm 23. I had a great picture of a baby that was just crying its eyes out and I would show it to the girls once in a while and tell them to not act like that. I made up a little booklet about respecting your elders..this would mean to never sit on a chair if an older person is standing up...always let them go in the door first. I found wonderful pictures of things 'keepers at home' can do!!!! I had lots of little booklets about jobs and staying busy. I loved to teach lessons on being idle! I would bring a bag of goodies from the house and let each girl hold something as I taught them about staying busy as a wife and mother......AND daughter. I would put embroidery hoops, measuring spoons, diaper pins, quilt patterns and paintbruses in the bag. THEN, I would show pictures of things that happen when we ARE idle.
I cut pictures out of old Bible books I find and put them on construction paper. Then I would go to the Bible and write down exactly what happened and teach the girls that way. I have a picture of a man fishing an ax head out of the water!!! I have lists of "S" things in the Bible........and then we would have a quiz. I read Wee Lambs from Rod and Staff to the girls, they loved them. We talked about putting kitties down when mom says it's time to go and sticking tongues out. I have a picture of a clean fountain, a dirty fountain and we talked about our mouth and our words and our hearts. We sang songs about having a merry heart and and and and. Well, it's over with for a while for me. I'm going to miss them on Sunday mornings. Oh, I will still see them all the time, but it won't be the same. I remember one morning....all 6 of the girls had on white socks and the exact same kind of shoes. I took a picture of it!
I can't wait to see them grow up and be keepers at home and love their husbands and LOVE to clean their bathrooms and grow zinnias and make quilts and fancy bread and have lots of their own babies! And maybe even hang diapers on a clothes line.