What’s in a Word: Discipline

What’s in a Word: Discipline

One way we must use our words daily, is when disciplining our children.

Discipline is a difficult process for both the person disciplining and the person being disciplined.

Having to decide on and set clear expectations, and then come up with reasonable consequences for when those expectations are not met, is no easy task.

Add to that the relentless need to remind children of what is expected, remembering to enforce the consequences, and balancing it all with making sure the child still knows they are loved, and the whole thing can be very mentally and emotionally demanding.

Then there is the look on a child’s face when you have to take away enjoyable things from them (treats, toys, TV, etc) – it is painful for the child, but it is also painful for the parent.

We want our children to be happy. Enforcing a consequence that you can visibly see is causing them unhappiness (at least in the short term) is painful. It can make you question yourself, and feel a strange mix of guilt and frustration.

Reassuringly though, this painful experience is actually talked about in the Bible.

Hebrews 12:11 says this;

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.“

Yes, it is painful. But we must keep at it, if we want to see results.

A harvest does not appear as soon as you plant a seed. Nor does a seed grow into anything worthwhile, without careful maintenance. Plants need watering, feeding and pruning to produce a plentiful crop.

Neither will the fruit of our discipline necessarily appear right away. However, if we keep at it, lovingly and diligently, we will find that it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace in the lives of our children.

China Theme Day

After a week of what felt like relentless discipline, I thought we all needed an injection of fun in our routine – so I decided it was time for another theme day!

We had been learning about China in our curriculum, both the medieval dynasties and modern day geography and culture, so China was our chosen theme.

We started with decorating our home. These lanterns were gifted to us by the children’s Auntie.

The zodiac mobile was something we made using a printout in the Layers of Learning curriculum we are following. The girls made a mobile, while two of the boys made a game of snap. Our eldest boy decided to research the years and character traits ascribed to each of the 12 animals, and include these on his cards.

He used this book to help him, as well as researching on his tablet.

We also read the story of the great race and found some you tube videos to watch too.

With the house decorated (and once we had put the chicken carcass on to boil for lunch), it was time for face paint.

Some children chose their zodiac animals, but a couple went for theatrical face paint, after spotting the painted faces of actors, in our Kubla Kahn book. It is a great book, which took us nicely from learning about the medieval history of Mongolia, to the history of China.

While I was painting faces, the children were producing their own works of art.

It is amazing the different paths their interests took them. From the Great Wall of China, to a Chinese temple, to China’s cutest animals.

A couple of the children wanted to have a go at brush painting too, after having read a traditional Chinese tale, about a boy with a magic brush.

This book of Asian folktales has been fantastic while we have been looking at different parts of Asia in our curriculum. The pictures are beautiful and the tales are well written.

Then, while the paints were still out, the children had a go at replicating Chinese characters, using these helpful printouts.

Next, I recruited help for cracking eggs and slicing spring onions, while we finished making our lunch of chicken and sweetcorn soup, using this recipe.

Straight after lunch, we had to start making the dough for our bao buns, so they would have time to prove and be ready for dinner.

Once the dough was prepped, we started to learn about the invention and development of gunpowder. We watched this helpful video on you tube, and looked briefly at the chemical composition for it, from the earliest ancient Chinese transcript, to a modern day print out.


The children wrote narrations in their history journals, and then thought it would be fitting to have a nerf gun battle in the garden – to reinforce their learning of course!

To incorporate a bit of math, we also had a go at a traditional Chinese puzzle – a tangram. I used this print out. There is also this great printout on twinkl, which we printed and laminated.

We also made these fans, which come in handy in the heat!

The children then sliced up lots of salad for our homemade spring rolls, to accompany dinner. We used this recipe, and all the children had fun choosing, mixing and rolling up their ingredients.

Next, it was time for a movie, they watched Kung Fu Panda 3, although occasionally had to pause it, to help shape the bao buns.

Finally, we all sat down for our Chinese feast of spring rolls, pulled pork bao buns, beef in black bean sauce, steamed rice and curly kale crisps (an easy alternative to crispy seaweed – just spread on a baking tray and bake with olive oil and salt for 10 minutes at 170C). Yum!

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4 Replies to “What’s in a Word: Discipline”

  1. How absolutely and utterly pheomenal!!!! Rebecca, what grace and beauty you bring into this world while coping with all its stresses and strains! May God bless you and bring to you an awareness and appreciation of the majesty you create. Much love, Dad.

  2. Wow I wish I’d been in your class today, Id have loved to learn all about Chinese culture and do the crafts too!
    The passage of Bible teaching resonated with me as I had a difficult situation at work, but unmistakeably the evening that it happened God showed me repeatedly through various channels, something I was to learn from it. It wasn’t a nice experience but still a blessing was intended, and reflecting now, I felt closer to God, knowing he was teaching me. Discipline is a sign of God’s interest and attention. Keep up the efforts I think that you are doing a great job with the children.

    1. Thank you Jo, and thank you for sharing a bit about how God has been working in your life through challenging situations. That’s really encouraging to hear ❤️

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