- Terri Camp Home school author and mother
- 2002 24 Aug
I love the concept of treasure hunts. I use them often in the education of our children. If I have a lot of work to do and it is a glorious day outside, I will send them with their Nature Notebooks on a treasure hunt of their world. My instructions will usually be quite simple. "Find ten items that God created and bring them to me."
Now, if I simply sent them to find ten items outside, and Im trying to get a lot of work done inside, you know as well as I do that they would go outside, pick a bouquet of grass and bring it to me proclaiming they have indeed found ten items. The treasure hunts I require are a little more complex. They must not actually pick anything; they must draw it in their notebook. Then when they return to the house they must search through our extensive library, finding the name of the items they found.
The children love treasure hunts so much; they will create different ones for each other. If you use your imagination you can come up with a lot of neat ways to use treasure hunts in the schooling of your kids as well. You could write on pieces of paper clue words that your child has recently learned. Perhaps your child can sound out the words "chair," "table," "cat box," etc. The first piece of paper would say, "chair." Your child (without you telling him what the word is) would run to a chair, finding the next clue, which says, "sink." Then he would find the words "cat box"; the next piece of paper might say, "Clean me!" What a fun way to tell your child he needs to clean the cat box!
Recently I felt a prompting from the Lord to go on my own Treasure Hunt. There are times that I can forget what special treasures my own children are. This Treasure Hunt was based on Psalm 127:3-5, "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of ones youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them."
My assignment was to search and find the treasure in my day-to-day life. Often I can miss the special blessing each of my children are to me. I began my search for Treasure in my children.
It was a bit of a struggle at first. I was trying to work on something, which required me to be alone. Being alone in a house with eight children isnt always easy. I often react to their interruptions with a bit more irritation than I would like. There was a knock on my door. Rolling my eyes, I grunted, "What do YOU want?"
"Never mind." Came the sad voice from behind my door.
Quickly my mind raced to, "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD." Stopping what I was doing, I tried to coax my child who was standing on the other side of my door, to tell me what she wanted to say. After the third, "never mind," I finally convinced her to come into the room. She was wearing moccasins, wearing a leather vest, and was carrying with her a quiver, bow, and arrows that she had made. "I just wanted to show you what I made." She said still with a bit of sadness in her voice.
Its so easy for us to wound our little ones with harshness in our voices.
I had found my first "treasure." Knowing that eventually I would be able to find the time to finish my project, I took the moment that God had given me to share with her the verse that says, "Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them." We talked at length about arrows and what God may have meant by telling us children are like arrows. We also talked about the difference between a hunter and a warrior, and how many arrows a hunter would need and how many a warrior would need. At the age of almost eight, she knew instantly that warriors would need far more arrows than a good hunter. It was a tender moment for us. It was my "treasure."
I discovered another treasure while talking to a friend on the phone. I dont like to be interrupted when Im on the phone, but often Mom is the only one with an answer so I do allow an occasional question. Even though he could see the look on my face was not of joy at his interruption, David still asked me, "Where is the iron?"
"The iron?" I thought to myself. "What does he need an iron for?" I figured he wanted to iron the armor onto his shirt that he was working on.
Asking him, he said, "I need to iron my shirt." Treasure moment number two!
Following him into the bathroom I saw that he had set up the ironing board and had placed his Boy Scout shirt on the board. "Do you have Boy Scouts tonight?" I asked.
"No," He said, "I just thought it would be a good time to iron my shirt." Then he added treasure number three to my hunt for the day, "Do you have anything you would like me to iron?"
Sometimes in the hunt for treasure we dont have to look too far. My eleven-year-old son wanting to iron his shirt wasnt too hard to see as a treasure. Some of the treasure I had to dig for though.
Finding hidden treasure in the midst of the mundane is now a continual journey for me. I dont want to just know that the Bible is real. I want to diligently search for the truth in its passages, because I know they are indeed a treasure!
Listen to Terri's weekly broadcast for home schoolers at www.thepathhome.com.
In addition to devoting herself to her husband and the eight children she home schools, Terri also enjoys writing and speaking to offer encouragement to women in an effervescent, humorous way. Visit her Website at www.ignitethefire.com or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.