August 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
I tried this day boxes system, based on the system called, “work boxes,” which I did not like, as I am an Alfie Kohn fan, and it worked well. It works well as long as I have time to get the day boxes ready that morning early, or the night before.
I found that the kids like new and different things in there. They despise having very similar things, day after day. I found that even a toddler has to have things, because he wants to be like the others and have something made for him to do, so he can work, too. He did get bored fast, so I must have always had very boring things in there for him. I tried to get something from each subject we were doing that day. I also put the book they are currently reading for fun, in there.
I also put the ruler, the scissors, the glue stick, the markers, the pencil and the paper they needed for that day’s stuff, in their box. This makes it so nobody has to go look for something they need, giving them about a 100% chance of getting distracted and not coming back for quite some time!
They really liked them and they made my job much easier during the homeschool day! One thing I did not like was that the boxes took up so much space on the table that it does not give them much space to work. I solved that by getting out a card table, but then they fought over which table they wanted to sit at. Oh, my! That’s the way kids are!
April 20, 2015 § Leave a comment
What if your child is throwing things, breaking things, ruining things, on purpose? What if your child harms others badly, on purpose? What if your child yells loudly and angrily? What if your child verbally attacks you or others?
I have seen much about how you are the parent so you need to learn to control your child’s behavior, and about discipline and rewards and punishment. I do not like those. I am working on NOT using those strategies. In fact, I am working on ceasing to think in terms of “HOW TO CONTROL A CHILD’S BEHAVIOR,” because controlling my child can no longer be my goal. It does not ultimately work. Instead, helping my child to innately (with no reward or punishment) want to be a better person, who is kinder and does not have explosions, even when no authority figure is present, is my goal.
There could be many reasons why your child is having explosions. It is likely for a different reason every time. Getting to the bottom of it is important. How can you find a solution without knowing what the problem is? This is how I begin, every time (it is probably one of these). It is usually one of the first ines listed. Go in order. I have tried to put them in the most likely order.
1) Has the child has been eating too much fat, sugar, junk food, red 40 or other dyes, preservatives, additives or microwaved foods lately? Has the child had enough water lately? Has the child been eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables, fiber, whole grains, vitamins, minerals, protein, iron, calcium magnesium, and so forth, lately?
2) Has the child been getting enough sleep, rest and exercise lately?
3) Has this child been injured, in pain, sick, constipated, or other similar item? Is your child currently effected by this?
4) Have you or your spouse been giving the child daily or regular one on one time with just you or just his or her dad?
5) Is your child lacking in slow, unstructured outside-in-nature (nature exposure) time? Is your child overscheduled with lessons, workshops, classtime, homework, practices, games, church functions, etcetera? If you have gone trick-or-treating for 3 hours straight with a child who is 7 or under, that is too much structure. If your child has been sitting still for almost 6 hours straight at school that would be too much structured time. If your child comes home from school and goes to piano lessons, then soccer practice, then out to eat with you, that is too much structure time. If you are on a vacation in Disneyland and have been go, go, going for one week straight, that is WAY TOO MUCH STRUCTURE TIME, whether disguised as “fun” or not! Is it near APRIL and test-taking month for your child? That alone is way too much for kids, whether other adults prescribe it or not! If you are not opting out of the tests because you want to help the teacher or the school please consider putting your child’s needs first and the teacher’s and school’s 2nd and 3rd.
6) Has your child been witnessing confusion, chaos, messy house or stress? Is your child feeling pressure of stress about something? Is he or she having worry issues?
7) Has your child had too much media or technology time lately?
8) Is your child old enough that it could be something to do with puberty?
9) Who has your child been socializing with lately! What is their behavior like? (Even adults, like grandparents and parents have behavior issues). Has your child been having too much or too little social time lately? Social time with a person who is fun and has kind, positive, happy, moral and good behavior, is a plus!
10) I am sorry to have to ask this, but it’s out there. Has your child been physically, emotionally, socially or sexually abused, ever? Perhaps, discuss it, help it end, if it hasn’t! Even if you do not think this has happened, ask! Don’t assume it has never happened. If you don’t ask, they may never say anything!
11) Is your child addicted to anything (food, drugs, alcohol, pornography, social media, video games)? is anyone in your family? These affect everyone in the family, even if they aren’t aware.
12) Does your child have siblings? It could be sibling rivalry. Ask and observe. Be careful not to compare your child to his or her sibling(s), ever! Do not play favorites! Celebrate uniqueness and love them unconditionally.
13) Tell your child you love him or her. I hope you do! If not, that is the underlying issue, for sure! Ask your child what it is that is causing this behavior. Have a good long talk. Be the parent you dreamt of when you were a child.
14) If you passed all of the above, it is likely the behavior has stopped, because you have had to talk and ask some things. Usually that will trigger some good behavior replacing the bad behavior!
April 19, 2015 § Leave a comment
Public schooling is something our family has a history with, and it IS NOT EASIER THAN HOMESCHOOLING. IT IS ABOUT THE SAME in terms of stress on the mom and dad. The stress is from different aspects. Some stressors, you add or give up when your kids are in public school. Some, you add or give up when you homeschool.
MYTHS are rampant about this. The following are TRUTHS!
1- My kids (legally) do NOT TAKE TESTS, do not legally have to learn certain prescribed things, nor do they get the kind of stuff public school families call homework. They do get assignments and are given responsibilities. If they don’t do them, they have consequences which are individualized base on the child’s interests. Housework and gardening assignments are just as important in this area as the academic learning ones. I teach LDS DOCTRINE and values in homeschool. I teach with many different methods and I am not good at following a schedule.
2- We (legally) do not keep track of days of attendance, subjects taught or number of friends made.
3- Sometimes for fun and experiment, the kids and mom use alarm clocks. Mostly, they are toys in our house.
4- We TRY TO shower, eat breakfast and get dressed before noon.
5- Some learning is done on WEEKENDS, some LATE AT NIGHT and some IN THE SUMMERTIME. I used to track when the kids were learning something I wanted them to learn, until I figured out that other homeschool families had it right– EVERYONE IS ALWAYS LEARNING. I do my best to be a better person so my kids can learn only good things from me. WE DO GO ON FIELD TRIPS a lot more than any public schooling families and a lot less than most homeschooling families. We no longer keep track of number of field trips.
6- YES, WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS ALL THE WAY THROUGH SCHOOL. I can legally issue them a homeschool diploma. They are likely going to go to a University and hopefully, I will be good at helping the ones interested in getting done with their Associates degrees early, to do so via CLEP, DSST and AP tests so that we can have a lack of need for a High School Diploma. Kids of mine who do choose this have a mom who has read up on this and knows much about how to teach early college test prep from home. None of my kids will be going to classes at a community college, college or University while they are children, but they will be able to get their Associates Degrees by going on campus to take the tests, should they so choose.
7- The original reason our family started homeschooling and the reasons we have now are very different.
8- I do not think people who public school are less than me or not as good as me. I am surprised at how often I hear from people, that they think I am looking down my nose at everyone around me. NOPE! I am far from perfect. I know that. There is a beam in my eye. Before I help you get the mote out of your eye, I will try to remember to first to remove the beam from my eye.
9- I love teaching my kids, coaching them to learn, our homeschooling friendships, homeschooling, etcetera. I really do. It has its hard things, but public schooling has them, too.
10- I do not believe that any child or adult is smarter than any other. I simply believe that everyone has different kinds of “Smart” or intelligence. If you have not found one in someone yet, that does not mean it does not exist. Just keep searching and one day, you will find it. It is likely an intelligence the world does not find important. I guarantee you, these are likely the MOST IMPORTANT and valuable ones in existence! Heavenly Father knows this!
April 14, 2015 § Leave a comment
Mosiah 8:18 “And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;”
A homeschool mom has had a very difficult days, weeks, months and years. She has had ups and downs just like you have. The difference between a homeschool mom and other women, though, is that when other women say their lives are difficult, people do not usually tell them to quit whatever it is they are doing because what they are doing is futile or too difficult.
For a homeschool mom, taking the risk of telling you that homeschooling is very hard, is a risk. That risk is a big deal. She has heard from many, that she should stop homeschooling if it is so hard. She wants you to be a listening ear or a sounding board. She is testing the waters with you. She will test the waters with many, until she finds someone who will allow her to have frailties, to not have to pretend she is someone she is not. She does not want to stop being a homeschool mom because she feels overwhelmed, just like mothers do not want to stop being mothers when they feel overwhelmed.
Next time you feel like saying to a homeschool mom, that because what she does is too hard, she should quit, remember that she could have been a dear friend. This homeschool mom may not risk being truthful with you again. She may add you to the bottom of her extremely long list of people to whom she cannot vent.
Is it the duty of a homeschool mom to bear this life without complaint? Must she live life telling everyone homeschool is going perfectly, even if it is not, because of potential passing of judgement about her incompetencies? Does the homeschool mom not get your part of “bear one another’s burdens that they may be light,” because she has chosen a path of which you do not approve?
Please do not be a person she knows she cannot vent to, or dares not try venting to for the first time. She needs to vent. It is a healthy thing all women must do to keep their sanity. She who homeschools is not extra-human. She is NOT more amazing than other women. She does not think she is. She is humble and does not think she is better than you because she has chosen this different path. No, she is not judging you, so please allow her the same courtesy. She is a normal, everyday woman, as unique and complicated as any other woman, who needs listening and caring from other women, just like all other women. Just like all other women, she needs a sounding board. Please do not tell her to quit telling you the truth by telling her that if homeschooling is so hard, she should quit.
Instead, support her as a friend supports a friend. This is what we homeschool moms crave. We need badly, people who listen and empathize, but do not tell us to quit homeschooling. So, please, whether you understand the homeschool thing or not; Whether or not you support it or agree with it, Support the woman. She is a child of God, and she has burdens that she would like to tell you about. Just listen. All she needs is a listener. Be that person for her!
Perhaps instead of telling her to quit, you can say,”Oh, that must be hard.” Then you can tell her you also have troubles, and she will listen to you, too. She will then say to you, “Oh, that also must be hard.” You do not have to have the exact same life to be friends. Friends are just people who support one another. They listen to one another. They are there for each other. Just be that for a homeschool mom! She will be so relieved to have finally found someone.
April 12, 2015 § Leave a comment
Based on LDS Living Article: “7 Mistakes LDS Parents Make and How to Avoid Them”
10 mistakes LDS parents make and how to avoid them: Preparing Your Kids to Serve Missions.”
1) Sending them to a public or charter school.
2) Trying to Control your kids and make them do what you want them to do.
3) Forcing them to go to church, read their scriptures, do church activities, etcetera.
4) Using body language and facial expressions like the ones this woman in the photo Facebook Shows with the Link to the LDS Living Article:
5) Expecting your child to learn the gospel by concept and memorization in church, instead of by daily life and by your example.
6) Not putting love first in your relationship with your child. Putting love and the relationship last.
7) Avoiding family home evening and, if married, weekly dates with your spouse to keep the family strong.
8) Not giving your child what he or she needs in the relationship with you, when it is needed.
9) Not listening and caring about your child’s desires and decisions, therefore killing your child’s ability to make them on his or her own.
10) Telling your kid how it is and to face it, rather than letting your kid grow up naturally and gradually, helping choose his or her life, learn about life on his or her own, etcetera.