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Monday Q&A | Tumblr, Extra-Curriculars, and Bible Study with Small Children

Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!

What do you think about Tumblr as a blog host? Too juvenile? I agree that Blogger is cumbersome, but I just haven’t ever committed to WordPress.


I haven’t personally used Tumblr for blogging, but my initial thought is that Tumblr is more helpful if you’re posting more photos than words (which sometimes is the case around here, I suppose!).

I think Tumblr looks nicer out of the box than Blogger does, though, so that’s an upside.

Just so you know, WordPress doesn’t have to be a big commitment. You can start a WordPress blog for free at!

If, down the road, you decide that you want more design flexibility and the freedom to run ads, you can always move your blog to a self-hosted WordPress blog. That’s what I did after a few months on and it wasn’t a hard process.

A lot of people who get serious with their blogs eventually move to WordPress, and if you start out on, the transition is a whole lot easier than if you start on Tumblr or Blogger. So, if you think there’s a chance you’re going to be in this blog thing for the long haul, get yourself over to and start a free blog there.

Do your kids participate in any extra activities (scouts, dance, sports, lessons)?


At this point, no, although we’re planning on starting them in a Kung Fu program soon. My mom gives the kids lessons in Latin, Spanish, and composition each week, but of course, that’s not a terribly formal situation. 😉 And the older three take piano lessons, but the teacher is yours truly, so that’s not exactly formal either.

We’re not opposed to extra-curricular activities, but Mr. FG and I are both very committed to avoiding an over-scheduled life for our kids because we think free playtime is really important for their health and well-being.

The girls have expressed interest in stringed instrument lessons in the future, and Zoe would like to learn how to dance, so down the road, we’ll probably have more extra activities on our plate than we do right now.

I had a question for you about how you did Bible study with your kids when they were younger. I have a 4 year old and a one year old and while we read their children’s Bible almost daily I am at sort of a loss for more activities to do with them to help them grow in their faith. If you don’t mind sharing I would love to know your approach.


Well, with younger children, I do like to keep it simple! As you know, four-year-olds and one-year-olds don’t have a very large attention span. 😉

We’ve always done family devotions with our kids, and that usually includes a short Bible reading, prayer, and sometimes singing. Every day, one of us is responsible for the prayer portion, so each kid gets a turn praying throughout the course of the week (kids the age of yours may need some help remembering things to pray for.).

You could have your children memorize Bible verses too…children are so great at that. Songs make this fun and easy, so we love the Seeds albums. They’re fun, catchy songs that will make verse stick in your head.

Aside from formal things like family devotions, there are lots of opportunities throughout the day to teach children about Jesus, so don’t miss those! For instance, when you see a lovely sunrise, you can talk about how we can thank God for the beauty of that. Or when your child wants to repay evil for evil, you can talk about how Jesus loved us when we were His enemies, and we should follow in His steps. And when your child does something wrong, there’s a great opportunity to talk about how we all do wrong things, and that’s why we all need Jesus (I make a point of explicitly including myself in that.)

If you’re like me, your faith isn’t just something you think about on Sunday mornings…it’s something that’s soaked into every day living. So, talk about your faith as you go about your days with your children. You’d be surprised how much they’re paying attention!

In a nutshell:

1. Keep the formal stuff simple.

2. Don’t miss all the informal instructional opportunities throughout the day.


Readers, feel free to add your advice to mine!


Today’s 365 post: Mulberries on the Beach

Joshua’s 365 post: Haunting

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Sunday 27th of May 2012

After years of a blogging hiatus....I decided it was time to return to the blogosphere. For kicks (in the experience of trying something new) and what I thought was ease, I decided to use Tumblr. Turns out I cannot readily let people comment! So much for a family blog if extended family cannot comment! And the salt to the wound was that I splurged on a premium theme, which I still love, but cannot return.


Tuesday 22nd of May 2012

Thanks so much for the seeds reference. Just what we're needing around here.


Thursday 24th of May 2012

Yes, I'm sure they will forever be warped because they never made dams! :) As best I can understand it, my kids were pretending they were beavers . . . and beavers build dams . . . so they scooped up sand from the sandbox (fortunately we have access to free sand but that's another story), plopped it in piles on the patio, stuck sticks and stones in the sand, and (ahem) used the water hose to flood the patio for a river. I heard the well pump running and went to investigate ... I told them I admired their creativity but they would have to use pretend water in the future. THIS is the sort of thing that happens when you limit extracurriculars so maybe I should rethink my stance on that ... what can I say, my kids are "think outside the box" little people.


Tuesday 22nd of May 2012

I just wanted to commend you for keeping your children's activities to a reasonable level. I am child-free by choice, but spent 16 years running a music school that offered music lessons to children (as well as adults). I ended up having very mixed feelings about the entire experience.

On the one hand, I loved being able to bring music into the lives of so many children, and really hoped that it would be as meaningful for some of them as it had been for me as a child. On the other hand, so many of the children who we saw were just over-scheduled beyond belief, and I couldn't escape the feeling that I was somehow contributing to their misery.

It just broke my heart to see these kids rattling off their schedules - many of them had 2-3 extracurricular activities each and every day! And it made me so sad to watch music, which was supposed to be a source of joy, turn into complete drudgery for so many of them.

And don't even get me started about the harried parents... it just seemed like everybody was running themselves ragged trying to make sure their children were "fulfilled," and all I could think was that maybe what their kids really needed was a little time to themselves, and parents who weren't completely exhausted!

BTW - if you do decide to enroll the kids in some sort of stringed instrument program, I highly recommend the Suzuki method in a group setting, if you can find a good teacher.


Tuesday 22nd of May 2012

Lili and EcoCatLady--wow . . . yes! Last week after my son's baseball game, I spoke with a teammates mom (her son is a kindergartener) asking how he was enjoying baseball. "Oh, he loves it--it's a great break from soccer!" She proceeded to tell me he is on not one, but 2 soccer teams, and one of those teams is in a town 30 miles south of us! My jaw dropped. Unfortunately, this is soooooooooo typical. Don't get me wrong--in moderation, I think extra activities for kids can be a good thing, but we live in a culture of "more more more" and we adults need to learn to say "enough"! There! That's my soapbox and I'm stickin' to it!


Monday 21st of May 2012

I agree, wordpress is a wonderful platform, and I personally find it to be less cumbersome than Blogger.

Thanks for the ideas on homeschooling. As a [future] homeschool "marm" if you will, I file these tidbits away for future use!


Monday 21st of May 2012

It is SO good to hear other moms who try to keep extracurricular activities at a manageable level! Lili, we have had a similar setup with our kids--I found local activities in the toddler/preschool years (partly so mom could talk with other adults) such as MOPS, a playgroup sponsored by our school, and reading time at Barnes and Noble/the library. Combined with Sunday School/Wednesday night church programs, that was enough activity for us. My general rule of thumb for elementary age kids has been one activity at a time (my son does cub scouts during the year--dad is a den leader, so lots of "daddy time" goes with that) and baseball in the spring. There is a little bit of overlap between the two activities but not much. Neither child has had any extra activities in kindergarten. Our district has full-day kindergarten and I feel that's enough activity for them! What I have found is that my kids do a LOT of imaginative play and reading. I am hoping we are teaching them the following skills: Time management (sometimes ya gotta say NO to additional "stuff") Cooperation with and appreciation of family (you don't have to learn to get along if you rarely see each other . . . ) Skills for marriage (again, you need time with your family to model these skills)

It's an ever-learning process for me--I love to hear what other families are doing. Of course, I am biased toward Kristen because I think she's right on!


Monday 21st of May 2012

Plus, when children have an excess of activities, I think there's a point where Mom is exhausted from all the driving around, dropping off, picking up. God didn't design families for Mom to serve her children until exhaustion. There's a balance that has to be maintained. So good to know other parents who feel the same.

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