Teaching Stewardship

Teaching Stewardship

“The generous will prosper, those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

A Heart of Service

I love the holidays because I love giving. I love considering what will bless people, and I love being able to give good things. Our family culture has always been one that recognizes that we have a responsibility to steward our time, treasures and talents. How do we encourage a heart of service in the lives of our kids?

Share Your Core Values

What drives your financial giving and volunteer hours? Talk to your kids about why you do what you. Have conversations about the values and passions in your life so that they connect your behavior with beliefs. They might not know that you tithe regularly to church. They might not know that you support a child in Africa financially. Include them in your giving.

Expose Your Kids to a Wider World

If you live in America, you are part of the blessed 5% in the world that has freedom, choice, and prosperity at your fingertips. The American Dream is just that; a dream, for a large percentage of the world’s population. Make sure that your kids don’t live in a bubble. Travel around the country and out of it- if you can. Talk to people wherever you go. Read extensively and study history. Donate to the food bank and serve at the shelter. The world is an amazing and beautiful place and while we should protect young minds and hearts from darkness, there is much good in going outside of our own neighborhood.

“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.” Kathy Calvin

Practicing Good Stewardship

Give your kids three jars to manage their money with: spend, save, and give. We have known millionaires who have lost everything overnight and seen the impoverished go on to make fortunes. Teach your kids that money may come and go but the values of stewardship can become part of their heart- regardless of circumstances.

Volunteer as a Family

Service organizations in your very city are seeking generous souls to serve, donate, gather, and teach. Our local hospital is always looking for kind souls to rock babies. In the far north, coat drives are an important way to ensure health. There are many places, from half-way houses to literacy programs, looking for teachers to teach basic life skills, phonics, and English as a second language.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anne Frank

Create Family Rituals of Giving

What can your family realistically manage year after year? Is it putting together a few shoeboxes or hygiene packs for the homeless each Thanksgiving, or serving at a food giveaway every quarter? Find something that you can all do together and then put it on the calendar. Plan on it. Teach your kids that serving others with your time, talents and treasure is an important part of life.

Serve as a Family

There are many service organizations around the world. Find one that speaks to your heart and serve as a family. We have friends who go to South America yearly for medical missions. Our family serves with an organization that raises support for the Persecuted Church; we’ve written letters, hosted speakers, raised money and gotten the word out about this important ministry. Find an organization that you believe in and invest as a family. Your kids will see you in a new context and realize that you are living what you value. This creates opportunities to talk about what’s important and what has spoken to your heart. This also gives them a new context in which to shine, allowing them to grow.

Join an Organization With a Strong Service Component

My daughter recently joined American Heritage Girls and she has already had several opportunities to serve others in her troop and beyond. Last month her unit served dinner at a half-way house for recovering addicts. While they served, they were blessed; by the many personal thanks they received, the laughter they shared and a wonderful conversation with the staff and residents about God and the importance of faith.

”We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

Donate Money to a Cause Where You Can Donate Your Time and Talents

Adam Pruzan, who teaches for our True North Homeschool Academy, recently spoke to our Orienteering course about money and investing. He strongly encouraged the kids to give generously of their money, but at the same time, to donate to a cause that would appreciate their time and talents. Investing oneself in an organization or project can often be just as important as giving money.

Encourage Empathy

Generosity starts with thinking about how others feel.  As our talented Spanish teacher, who is momma, to a beautiful, disabled daughter, told her class before Thanksgiving: “swallowing, eating on your own and the simplest movements are not a given for some people”. We should all be grateful for the freedom we have through health. This gave all the kids something to think about.

Praise Generous Deeds

Children naturally do kind and generous things for others. Praise and encourage this when you see it, promoting your values of living a life of generosity and service.

“Selfless giving is the art of living.” Frederick Lenz

How do you promote a generous heart in your kids? Is serving others part of your life curriculum? We would love to hear about it!

Join our True North Homeschool Tribe on FB and take part in the conversation! As I mentioned, we love to give- so go to the link here to download our FREE Winter Bucket List and while you are there, opt-in to get our weekly e-news. The Compass is full of homeschool inspiration and free resources that help your education go in the right direction!

Young woman's hands holding money and a quote that says make a change- Pinterest version with Bible Verse Proverbs 11 25

Unified Passion: Finding Fun

Unified Passion: Finding Fun

Finding Fun

This is a story of following and finding fun and flowing excitement through summer. Beings normally July is a month I often found I couldn’t make it through without tears and reassessing my purpose, there have been several factors to instead solidify my direction and bring passion into this season.  

I remember when I heard a father of five boys and girls express how when their family decided to go to a restaurant, often they approached the discussion with seven different opinions. With having three children, my tally of opinions equals five with my husband. Like me, perhaps there’s a variety of decisions you make, some with unity and some with diversity.

On and off, for the past several years, my husband and I have decided upon a theme we wanted to focus on as a growth area for the year.  It’s been finances, discipline, communication, and you get the idea. Perhaps because we ran out of ways to be developed (nah), or more likely the fact we needed to focus on joy – that the theme of excitement, and finding fun, was birthed. 

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With two daughters and one son ages 13-18, we started taking ideas from everyone on how they’d describe a day of excitement for the summer.  The results were to include a kickball game, a golf outing, horseback riding, trying a new restaurant and “to be determined.” I knew I had to schedule the kickball game (for my 13-year-old son) as quickly as possible so that we would get it done. I remembered being team captain and rather good at kickball as a child.  Good thing I did, because running made me substantially more tired than it had in fifth grade. Finding fun can leave one winded!

Kickball

You need to know how the kickball game turned out.  It was scheduled for the fourth of July, it was super humid, sticky hot, and fortunately my oldest had to go into work that day, so the game got cut short by two innings.  She was the all-time pitcher because we had uneven numbers, and she played it well. My other daughter kept us busy with her strong “kicking the ball into the outfield habit.” My husband was the most valuable player and was not on my team, but he shared the outfield with our kick-crazy daughter, her friend and his mother.  My team was my father-in-law, son and his friend. I chased down a few outfielders, found I was again afraid to catch a pop fly, and took a rare, lengthy nap following our win.

In exploring our families list of excitement, it is sharpening my ability to provide for the creative exploration in every person and beyond. There were several laughs through that kickball game, even through the fry pan sunshine and after listening to everyone whine for awhile. Sure, we could have rescheduled, but half of our lives are rescheduled already. From a famous internet sensation, “I ain’t got time for that.”

But the good news is, August is the perfect time to start squeezing in the memories of summer which fulfill its glory in showing us the fun. One July 31st, in mothering days past, where I proudly exclaimed, “I made it through July without any tears!” Only to land a downpour August first.  As we hear the phrase “dog days of summer,” the heat does have a way of depleting energy reserves and ability to truly seek out passion – or in everyday words, making the most of it.

Following Fun

My kickball queen, middle daughter Sierra, is the one who held out on us, saying her exciting moment is “to be determined.”  Perhaps we will have a spontaneous surprise for her, or maybe after the horseback ride and new restaurant she’ll get the idea that we will follow through on her idea. Whatever the case, it’ll be awesome to continue to see these days unfold.

Vision

In getting a picture of the zest I no longer want to be without, I hope you will have a renewed vision for the short season of summer remaining and dream some new experiences as a family together. Our family took a trip to Israel in February of 2018, and I had told a friend how I thought I may cry on the last day because of it having the potential to be the last time I would visit.  Instead, I knew I needed to connect with as many students as possible to give them an opportunity to explore the country from home and know their Christian spiritual roots.

In being a little rusty playing kickball, it has actually motivated me to practice catching pop flys with my husband in the yard. Following a diverse list of what brought excitement to different people amazingly brought a unified passion to bring us together. This translates to my hope in teaching for True North Homeschool Academy because in affecting students, and motivating them towards their own “ah ha” moments, I know they’ll share their discoveries with their families and perhaps many more. It will truly be a year of excitement. Finding fun can be foundin the midst of studying and pushing beyond what we know already!

Education has been a highlight of Jen Noble’s career with a special focus on writing and curriculum development. She is presently the English tutor for the University Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which covers coursework through the universities in South Dakota. She also teaches adult students through the SD Universities OLLI program. In publishing her own writing, she’s been included in local and national magazines as well as two Christian book compilations,”I’m Glad I’m a Mom,” and “God Still Meets Needs.” In addition to teaching, she covers South Dakota’s state civil court cases in her role as reporter for Courthouse News. Jen teaching Bible in the Context of Israel for True North Homeschool Academy