One day last week, while I observed our 4-year-old son sound out words, I reflected on the first time I used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to teach our eldest born daughter to read. Now I wish I had known what I knew now, it would have been much easier.
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – was the first curriculum I used and I used it as it was written and taught our daughter to read in 6 months – just before she turned 4 years old. She learned it fast and well, but it was not without much struggle, mostly mine because I did not understand how she learned only what I wanted her to learn.
The second time I used it for our second born daughter, I made flash cards for every word after lesson 10. I had our daughter spend one day a week reviewing the words and I was more relaxed on her learning to write. This approach took about 9 months.
The third time I used it, was with our third born daughter while I was pregnant with our 5th child. We spent a lot time re-doing the lessons until I felt she was confident in reading them. Again, I relaxed more and stressed less on handwriting. This approach took about a year, with very few tears.
The fourth time I used it, was with our fourth child and first son. We had a lot going on so we did lessons only three times a week. I found some worksheets on-line for the handwriting part and he picked that up well. This was very easy and took about a year as well, very few frustrations.
Now, the fifth time I am using it with our 5th child and 2nd son. I have changed quite a bit. 1) I have each word on a card and he reviews new words every few days; 2) I bought some magnetic letters and he finds the letters to the words first and then sounds them out; 3) I don’t give him daily treats to make him do the lesson, if he is having one of those days or if I know that I am short on time (because sometimes life happens), we will just do review; 4) as for handwriting, he’ll get it soon enough!
Our second son, had picked up reading so well that I have not had to re-do lessons. He is smiling and happy at the end of our time. He jumps out of his chair and dashes to legos!!!
For all of our children, we had a reading party for them when they finished. I found this reading chart, which they marked off daily and when they finished (or will finish) lesson 100, they received a small party-balloons, streamers, party favors and a favorite food.
By the Hand of a Woman – Yahudith Lessons to Learn
I encourage you to read the story for yourself because there are parts that I left out however here are some things that we as women who believe in YAHUAH can learn from Yahudith:
- We should be women of prayer and set aside times to pray to YAHUAH. We don’t know what her life was like before her husband died, but it seems reasonable to say that she more than likely had a lifestyle of prayer and fasting and was connected to YAHUAH. She knew who He was and what He would do. She knew that YAHUAH would hear her prayer.
- We should trust YAHUAH. Because of her relationship with YAHUAH she trusted that He would respond the way He chose to and not according to peoples limited sight.
“For if He will not help us within these five days, He has the power to defend us when He chooses, even every day, or to destroy us before our enemies. Do not bind the counsels of YAHUAH our Elohim: for Elohim is not as man, that He may be threatened; neither is He as the son of man, that He should be wavering.”
- We are to honor YAHUAH in all that we do. She could have chosen to keep the bounty from the war but she gave it as an offering to YAHUAH. Yahudith gave the esteem to YAHUAH every time she spoke.
“Praise, praise YAHUAH, praise YAHUAH, I say, for He has not taken away His mercy from the house of Yisra’el, but hath destroyed our enemies by my hands this night.”
“Begin unto my YAHUAH with timbrels, sing unto my Elohim with cymbals: tune unto Him a new psalm: exalt Him and call upon His Name.” Chapter 16:2
- The Assyrians weren’t just attacking any nation of people. They were attacking YAHUAH’s set-apart people, thus it was really a battle directed at Him.
“And make my speech and deceit to be their wound and stripe, who have purposed cruel things against Your covenant, and Your set-apart house, and against the top of Tsion and against the house of the possession of Your children.”
- We must know who protects us. Yahudith knew and was confident that YAHUAH protected Yisra’el.
“And make every nation and tribe to acknowledge that You are Elohim with all power and might and that there is none that protects the people of Yisra’el but You.”
- What is our history? Is it that of being a wise woman? Or that of being foolish, having an attitude, full of pride, full or rage, full of contention?
Yahudith had a history of being a wise woman and others knew this so they listened to her. They knew she was not trying to get a few minutes of fame! The way that we choose to live our lives matters to YAHUAH and other people are watching. People knew she was a wise woman by how she lived and what she said (and didn’t say).
“All that you have spoken you spoke with a good heart and there is none that may say anything against your words. For this is not the first time when your wisdom has been shown; but from the beginning of your days all the people have known your understanding because of the disposition of your heart is good.”
- We can get our points across without an attitude or belittling others, especially men. She could have told the leaders how stupid they were and that now she was going to take control of the situation but she didn’t. She did tell them that they were wrong but she believed that YAHUAH was in control and He would do what He wanted
- Keep your integrity! We don’t have to sin to win! Yes she used her beauty to allure the men, but, she did not become a harlot just to win.
- We need to use our words wisely. When people heard her speak, they knew she had spoken with wisdom, not being haughty nor prideful.
“There is not such a woman from one end of the earth to the other, both for beauty of face and wisdom of words.” Yahudith 11:21
- In learning how to be modest, sometimes if feels as if being a woman of beauty is wrong. As if it is a woman’s fault that she is beautiful. But YAHUAH created us to be beautiful and we should not be ashamed of that. Yahudith’s beauty was not only outwardly but inwardly by her words, her choices, her kindness, and her praise.
- She knew who she was (I am a Hebrew) and whose she was. Who are you? Most importantly, whose are you?
- I believe that she truly loved her husband and we would do well to love our husbands, children and others too, as YAHUSHA told us. She knew that the decisions they made would affect others:
“Now therefore, O brothers, let us show an example to our brothers, because their hearts depend on us…” Yahudith 8:24
- We should be wise over the finances and things that YAHUAH has given us. When we met Yahudith she had been a widow for over three years and she was still a wealthy woman. She could have spent all that her husband had left her on foolish things but she did not. Before she died she properly distributed the inheritance from her husband to others. What will happen to your wealth? Do you have a will?
Finally Thoughts up tomorrow and watch for the Yahudith Challenge!
By the Hand of a Woman – Yahudith Part 4
Goes to his bed and cuts off his head, puts it in her bag where she kept her meat and leaves with her servant as if she were just going to prayer!
When she arrives in Yerushalyim she tells the gatekeepers to open the gate, and then all the leaders and other people come to see what she has done. She says to them:
Then she pulls the head of Holofernes out of the bag!
So she didn’t lay down and play the whore to get what she needed!!!!!
When it is discovered that Holofernes is dead by the hand of a Hebrew Woman, the Assyrians get scared and scattered in all directions! Remember what Archoir said:
Speaking of Achior, what happened to him was awesome:
“And when Achior had seen all that the Elohim of Yisra’el had done, he believed in Yahuah greatly, and circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, and was joined unto the house of Yisra’el until this day.”
So what we do, can cause others to believe in Yahuah! Achior, a Captain of all the sons of Ammon is part of Yisra’el.
Yahudith always praised and pointed the esteem to YAHUAH:
Her story ends like this:
“And many desired her, but none knew her all the days of her life, after that Manasses her husband was dead, and was gathered to his people. But she increased more and more in honour, and waxed old in her husband’s house, being a hundred and five years old, and made her maid go free; so she died in Bethulia: and they buried her in the cave of her husband Manasses. And the house of Yisra’el lamented her seven days: and before she died she did distribute her good to all them that were nearest of kindred to Manasses her husband, and to them that were the nearest of her kindred. And there was none that made the children of Yisra’el any more afraid in the days of Yahudith, nor a long time after her death.” Yahudith 16:25
Today, I must also acknowledge Yahudith’s waiting woman/servant who was with her throughout most of her life. We do not have a name for her but she was Yahudith’s right hand. She was there to help Yahudith before Mannasse died and I am sure she helped Yahudith while she was grieving. She laid out Yahudith’s clothes and prepared her food. She was a slave but she was more than likely treated well. But I wonder what her life was like while she was a slave? Did she have family of her own? How old was she? How long was she a slave? What did she do when she was free? Where did she go?
Part 5 up next – Lessons Learned and watch for the Yahudith Challenge!
By the Hand of a Woman – Yahudith Part 3
They leave and then she falls on her face, putting ashes on her head, uncovers the sackcloth where she was clothed and at the time when incense was being offered she cried out to YAHUAH with a loud voice. Here is part of her prayer:
“Behold their pride, and send your wrath upon their heads: give into my hand, which I am a widow, the power that I have conceived. Smite by the deceit of my lips the servant with the prince and the prince with the servant: break down their stateliness by the hand of a woman.
And make my speech and deceit to be their wound and stripe, who have purposed cruel things against Your covenant, and Your set-apart house, and against the top of Tsion and against the house of the possession of Your children.
Try praying that prayer when people are against you because of your belief in YAHUAH?
So okay moving on to Chapter 10 after she stopped praying she called her maid and went down into the house, took off her sackcloth and widows garments. Washed and anointed herself. Braided her hair and put a “tire” on her head (some type of cover or wrap) and then put on her garments of gladness that she used to wear before her husband died. Then she decked herself in some nice sandals, added some jewelry…to allure the eyes of men. Then she and her maid gathered some food and wine and left for their mission.
When the people who were standing at the gate saw her, they were surprised because she was no longer looking like a widow but a beautiful woman! Then they blessed her by asking that YAHUAH give her favor to do whatever she was going to do.
So Yahudith and her maid walked directly into the valley where the Assyrians were waiting. When they saw her, they took her and asked her who she was and what she was doing. She said:
Now when the men heard this they were surprised and wondered why such a beautiful woman would do this. They told her that she had chosen well and that Holofernes would treat her nicely.
So she comes before Holofernes and he says to her that he would have not done anything to her people but because they set their “light against him” that he had to act on them. She then basically tells him that he will not win a war against them unless the people sin because YAHUAH is with them. However since the water has been shut off, that there will be a famine, the people will start to sin by eating things YAHUAH said that are unclean which will be a sin and the people would be punished. She said that she will remain with him and that at night she will go out and pray to YAHUAH, He will show her when Yisra’el sins and that she would then come and tell him.
They said to her:
Holofernes agrees with his servants and agrees to go with her plan. He has a tent made ready for her and then allows Yahudith and her servant to go out to the valley to pray at night. So for days this goes on and by the fourth day Holofernes says he wants to have a feast but only his servants are welcome to come. Then he sends his eunuch Bagoas to ask the “Hebrew woman” to come and join them. His plan was to get her drunk and lay with her. So she agrees to come but only eats and drinks what is prepared by her servant.
Holofernes on the other hand desires her so much that he drinks more in that day than ever before in his life! Eventually, the servants leave and Holofernes falls soundly asleep on his bed. Yahudith sends her maid away and then tells Bagoas that she will soon go to prayer as she had done every night, then he leaves.
Part 4 up tomorrow and watch for the Yahudith Challenge!