Is a Busier Student, Better? Does a Busier Student Learn More?

My daughter and I conversed this morning. It came up that she has a belief that because she thinks that other homeschooled and public schooled kids her age are signed up for more classes, that they must be learning more than she is. This makes her conclude that she is “behind” her peers. When questioning further, I found out that she does not know that they are signed up for more classes than she is. She just thinks they are. Why? Because they seem busier.

It makes me sad, but I cannot be surprised, because here in the U.S. in our suburbian neighborhood, it is our culture (which we should not be proud of) to believe that the busier one is, the better a person they are. I am positive that this industrialized attitude is not a good one, having read “Don Quixote” and having lived in Chile during my LDS mission there.

Having read about Don Quixote striving to keep the culture of home production and knights guarding a lord’s township, as opposed to welcoming industrialization (the windmill), I believe our culture has gone into a negative cultural set of traditions, thinking they were a positive set. Having lived in Chile among a people who would never allow being busy to take away their time to relax and be happy among family and friends, I truly think our culture is a huge mess socially, mentally and emotionally to think that being busier is being better.

Can we please try to get over this lie our culture has fed us in the U.S.A.?

One reason that it is hard for me to stay a mother who is not worrying about earning money was said very well by my friend recently. She said 90% of the mothers she talks to regularly in her LDS ward are earning money by working a job of some sort. She said it is so hard for her because she keeps feeling a push to do what she got her education to do, and earn money doing it.  am almost always feeling pushed toward that, too. She said she is capable. She can do it. She would be good at it. I know she has the education and experience!

I am almost always feeling the same temptation. I know I am good at the money earning career of graphic design business owner. I am very good at it. I know our culture does not believe that a woman who homeschools her children instead of earning money in a career she is trained for, is a successful one. I know our society believes I am wasting my education. 

I also can see that this same culture is the very same that is teaching my daughter about its beliefs. They are leading her to believe that because her colleagues seem to be busier than she is, that they are ahead of her in life. It is so sad that she feels this way. I do not know how to help her to see. Oh, I have one idea, though. I really need to have a good, long talk with her and maybe even recommend some reading. I also need to help her experience cultures of less hurrying and scheduling. She also needs to see that even in cultures of less overscheduling and hurry, there is great success and happiness and some of the people are maybe even better and some even more educated, people.

Relaxing is wise. It is not foolish or a waste of time. It helps with happiness. Being scheduled every minute of every day is foolish. That culture of hurry and overscheduling is part of the reason people need drugs for depression and part of the reason so many people feel they need to sign up to do even more. They feel unsatisfied, which means they need more joy. More joy will only come if they let go of more things and have less on their schedule. 

I have another thing. This is the big one. 

When Jesus spoke to the woman of Samaria at the well to tell her about the living waters, why was he sitting there when she came? When was Jesus too busy to talk to someone? Did he have a schedule? He probably had a routine. He walked places. He sat and taught people. He taught people while walking. 

Now let us think on the disciples who had to leave their jobs to become His twelve apostles. Why did they have to leave their jobs first? Why did they have to stop doing what they were busy doing in order to learn from and serve alongside, the Savior? 

How is being busy so good, then, if Jesus could not have a busy person be His Apostle? 

Can LDS missionaries have a job while on their missions? Why would that not work? It would not work because they cannot be busy with other things. They must be busy serving the Lord. Their schedule must be open enough to find people and to teach those people the gospel.

Can a person really feel and hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost going from one scheduled event after another in a tight, inflexible schedule? Not really. How is there time for that?

These things bring me to the conclusion that being busier does not mean being a better disciple of Christ. I believe a better person is one who realizes they need forgiveness, so they need to drop everything and follow the Savior.

Now onto the next topic. My daughter believes that people who appear to be busier public schooled and homeschooled students, are learning more than she is and are ahead of her in life. Our first instinct is to want to compare one child’s learning to another’s. For this, we would most likely, in our day, turn to standardized testing. 

That is not what I will do here. If you believe standardized testing shows things clearly and accurately and tells the gruth about all of the important things, then in my opinion, you are messed up by our idiot U.S. culture, which is why you cannot see clearly.

Another insinct our culture would have you go toward to know whether a busier student is a more educated one, is to performances and displays. These shows of talent are ever so popular in our day and in our culture. They do not mean that a person is more educated, either. One who believes that a person who can perform or display things, is well-educated, is also messed up by our culture.

What standards will I go by, then? Why, God’s. I know. Shocking, right? Why did God see a boy who kept sheep as the person to fight Goliath? I will answer that with another question. Why did David himself know he could fight Goliath and win? I am sure you know: He knew God would deliver him! That is a truly well-educated person as an example for you. From my point of view, a good education is one that gives a person faith and trust in, and dependence on, God and Jesus Christ. If everything else is know and understood, what good does it do if not on a foundation of faith in God and Jesus Christ. It is all like rotted organic matter turning into black dust. 

This is how I know my daughter is not behind:

  • She loves her family.
  • She loves God and Jesus Christ.
  • She listens to the Holy Ghost.
  • She prays to Heavenly Father and reads the scriptures with extreme intent on learning and understanding them.
  • She serves others with the love of Christ.
  • She works hard at housework and helping around the house and yard.
  • She works hard at academic learning and excels at learning whateter is put in front of her.
  • She is humble and teachable. 
  • She has extremely strong desires to always do what God leads her to do.

My daughter is not behind.

Another thing I have to say is this: What is “behind,” really? Even in academics, is there a way to compare one person to another for real? No. One person has a talent for mechanics and is awesome at fixing anything. Another has a talent for mountain climbing and can lead people up Mount Everest on a daily basis. Are these people ahead or behind a person who wins the worldwide contest for concert pianists? What of the mother who gives birth to her first child? Is she ahead or behind the person who just paplied for a patent on their first invention? 

These are things we cannot compare. These accomplishments cannot be compared and people cannot truly and accurately be compared. People were never meant to be compared and life is not a race to get to a finish line. Is death a finish line? Is an amount of money or an academic degree a finish line? No. None of these ae a finish line. If there is no finish line, then there is no “ahead” and there is no “behind.”

Therefore, my daughter cannot possibly be “behind.”

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Free General Conference Talk Printable to Use for May 2017 Visiting Teaching Visits

I have made a printable of a conference for your visiting teaching for April 2017, should you wish to use it. Since it is April and time to share a conference message

Great Resources for Teaching Children the Gospel“>May 2017 Visiting Teaching General Conference Message Printable

May 2017 VT message printable


Great Resources for Teaching Children the Gospel

Teaching the gospel in your homeschool

Considering Homeschooling?

Homeschool Advantages

Homeschool Academics

40 Year Old Utah Mormon Vegan Homeschool Mom with Large Family Trying to Get to a Healthy Weight

I have a large family. I have a large family for a Utah Mormon (not just for a city-dwelling New-York City resident or Hollywood movie star, because their definitino of a large family is not mine). I am vegan. I have been pregnant and breatfeeding for what feels like half of my life. I am 40. I wake up early, not to excercise, but to take my daughter to her early morning homeschool seminary class.

I try hard to eat right. I just barely skim the surface of having a habit of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner on time. I try to eat healthy foods, but it is tough to find time to prepare something healthy when our lives are so busy.

I try to find time to exercise. I just cannot find it. O.k., so I know where it is. It is right there when my husband gets home, gives me the chance to go to the gym, and I hear my preschooler bawling at the top of his lungs about his hunger, my husband says to ignore him, and I make him something to eat, following which my husband leaves and my was-gonna-be-tending-while-I-went-to-the-gym son throws a fit, begging me to let off on the homeschool assignments for the week so that he can play on the wii. The screaming, throwing things and bawling from the torture of the immensity of the assignments is so great that I do not go to the gym. I stay home and my husband gets back and tries go help us through the rough patch. Then I make a vegan dinner for only myself and am too exhausted (and it is too late at night) to go to the gym.

This is just one day in the life of the Utah Mormon Vegan Homeschool Mom with a Large Family who is trying to lose 30 lbs. and thus reach a healthy weight. I tell you, I am sick to death of all the blog posts and youtube videos I find with women who have 2 kids and send them to school during the day, then tell me how they lost all the baby weight in 6 weeks.  am also sick of all the “you need animal protein” lies out there, written by weight-loss gurus who are not vegan!

“Thou shalt not covet” the women who lose baby weight in under a year. Seriously, the toughest commandment out there. Arghhhhh!

I seriously cannot be the only one! I hate feeling alone. I do not expect to find someone just exactly in my situation, but a bunch of groupies close to it would be nice. A support group would help immensely. There have to be vegan homeschool moms out there with large families, and who also large bellies like mine that have not gone away when the baby is a preschooler!

If you are one and have found this post, please comment. I need a support network of women who know what I am going through! Advice about exercise would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Homeschooling is the Road Less Travelled By. How has our choice to homeschool our children “made all the difference?”

My child showed me a video about choices called “Leave the Party.” It is from an LDS General Conference Talk by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson called, “Be Valiant in Courage, Strength and Activity.” He talked about a choice made by a young man at a party in Japan. Then he said that the choices each of us make now will make a difference in what happens in our life, in who we become. Every choice helps to shape our lives. It is so true. I pondered it, and thought about our choice to homeschool our children years ago.

It also reminded me of this poem many of us love by Robert Frost called, “The Road Not Taken.” I have it in a book which has the poems illustrated with beautiful watercolor paintings. I really love these 3 lines the most:

“…. long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;”

     These lines are touching to me. I like to put it into my life and my soul. “Long I stood” in 2011, pondering, studying, consulting and deciding. Long I stood then, next to my husband, in 2011 and 2012, he travelling beside me on the path. Should we homeschool? And (in January 2012, we) looked down as far as (we) could, to where (the path of homeschooling) bent in the undergrowth (at that time, that point was, until the next school year started. We just wanted to try it for the rest of that academic year, and be ready to put the kids back in school in August of 2012).


Now to go over these famous lines:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

     For sure, Homeschooling is the Road Less Travelled By. How has our choice to homeschool our children “made all the difference?”


  • Homeschooling helped our children to be happier, get along better with each other, and has brought more of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into our home.
  • Homeschooling has helped others, who have followed us down this path, they seeing that someone they knew was tredding on that path.
  • Homeschooling has given me a more thorough education, as I get to review and teach the things my children must learn. I learn (or review) things along with them and prove my basic education, giving me a stronger foundational education.
  • Homeschooling has led me to learn more about the U.S. Constitution and what is going on in politics in my county, state and country. I had been involved in politics and in learning about the U.S. Constitution, but not as much as I am involved in it now.
  • Homeschooling has led me to meet people whom I never would have met had I not started down its path. These people have helped to shape my life.
  • Homeschooling has helped me to become closer to Heavenly Father because it is so tough and I cannot do it without His help. I have learned and relearned that lesson.
  • Homeschooling has helped me to learn more about the Old Testament because in Life School and in Discover the Old Testament, we have been studying the Old Testament.
  • Homeschooling has made me happier, personally an has improved my health.
  • Homeschooling forces me to improve, as I have children whom I have taught, constantly encouraging me to be a better example to them.
  • Homeschooling helps me know my children on a deeper level. Because I spend more time with them than I would if I sent them to public school, I know more about them. (They also know more about me than they would the other way).
  • Homeschooling has influenced my childrens’ lives immensely, as, for one, they are exposed to completely different learning than they would be were they sent to school. I am not only talking about academic learning, but social learning, also. 
  • Homeschooling gave me and my children more chances to know more about my Grandma Preece and my Uncle Steven, who have now passed into post-mortality. Much of the time we spent with them was during what would have been otherwise, time with them away at school.
  • I have had more time during the days, day after day, to teach my children life skills which they should not have to wait for adulthood and free daytime hours, to learn.
  • I believe my children are closer to Havenly Father and love the Bible and Book of Mormon more than they would otherwise.
  • I truly believe that the choices my children make are better choices than they would have been had they been sent to school all these years.


“The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

October 2016 General Conference Quote: Elder Robert D. Hales, Quorum of the 12 Apostles

This is great advice for all parents and grandparents. I think it is really great advice for this LDS homeschool mom! I know it is about teaching the gospel for most, but for me it is about all of the homeschool teaching I do all week, as well. No training manual is better than scriptures praying pondering and seeking the Holy Spirit. The calling to be a parent gives us the ability to teach in ways right for our family. Awesome. Sometimes I forget that. We must not forget or set aside as unimportant, Family Home Evening. Family Home Evening is not a lecture from mom and dad. (We are guilty of that). Have fun together in Family Home Evening? We need to work on the “fun” part. I must not lose my patience and raise my voice in anger at my kids when I am frustrated during a homeschool day. This will make the Holy Spirit leave. This ultimate advice at the end is great for me: don’t give up!

o-robert-d-hales-oct-2016-lds-conference-quote

Change of Plans in Homeschool

I love that I CAN have a change of plans in homeschool, either after much pondering, or on a whim and of a sudden. I have no need to contact a teacher, a principle, a common core standards creator or implementor or any government leader. Yesterday  was nauseous and vomiting. By mid-day, I was fairly sure it was a virus. By evening when my husband started vomiting, I knew for sure it was a virus. However, from 5 am until 10 am, I suspected it was because of anxiety over political things, things about the future of our nation and homeschooling. 

     One thing that came of it was a journal entry about how I need to make homeschooling easier on me and on the kids. The big thing I decided was that my child will not be taking any tests for college credit this year. Possibly, she will not next year, either. I am glad there are people who homeschool who can do that kind of thing and I am glad to know about the option t get college credit while a child is young. However, it is not for us right now. Still, we will learn the things about history because the DVDs and books about ancient world history I bought are great. The childrens’ fun “interactive notebook” (lapbook) and Power Point Presentations Bundle from a Teacher’s Pay Teachers store are also great. I will use them. The difference will be in my anxiety level and the anxiety level of my child. We will do it more slowly, more casually and more enjoyably! We will do it at our own pace with no pressure or worry. We will be enabled to enjoy the journey more.

     Another thing that came of it was a decision to write down one or just a few things, to focus on for each child in our homeschool. That is pretty much what we do at the beginning of the summer and I like it. I focus on their biggest needs and do not worry about anything else. They do a lot of teaching themselves based upon their interests, either intense or “on a whim.” I have come to see that the latter is how they learn more and learn more intensely.

     Recently, for example, my son learned Power Point from his cousin, so yesterday, he got on the computer and made something in Power Point. He really is doing things he could d better in Photoshop, so I need to teach him Photoshop! My daughters learned more about sculpture by making sculptures. She wanted to sell them on Etsy but I told her that making ten good sculptures and submitting slides to galleries will be a better way to go. She seemed upset, but I told her she could sell her sculptures for more that way. I also told her I did not learn that until I was thirty years old, so she is blessed to know it sooner. That is fodder not taught when you get a Bachelor of Art Degree in Visual Arts. It should be. One of my children has also been working much on learning to follow recipes and is having much learning happen there. Another really wants to learn many things but I have been too worried about other things to get to any of it nad help him. 

     I am still going to keep my rules for them, which rules regard television and technology, which I have listed in another post at length. I do not believe in having kids do whatever they want all day. I do believe in telling them they must be doing learning, housework, yardwork or doing something productive. I consider much play to be productive, too, which is crazy. I think they will understand Physics when we watch the physics DVDs and read the physics books I have on my amazon wish list, better after all of the playing they have done this past week. They learned much about gravity, acceleration and safety hazzards after their recent intense play as a group of siblings. I also taught them a lesson about wisdom and discussed with them how I was a child like them once and did learn by getting injured, just like them. I told them that people who have more years on them were always once children and that much of what they tell you, such as not to do this or that because they could get hurt, comes from learning that happened in their childhoods.

     I am eager today and tomorrow to learn, without throwing up, from the leaders, apostles and Prophet of God in the General Confence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I hope everyone is healthy today. I am grateful I am not throwing up!

Chapter 27: Learning by Study and by Faith

The modern day Prophet, President Brigham Young said, “Could we live to the age of Methuselah … and spend our lives in searching after the principles of eternal life, we would find, when one eternity had passed to us, that we had been but children thus far, babies just commencing to learn the things which pertain to the eternities of the Gods (DBY, 249).

“We might ask, when shall we cease to learn? I will give you my opinion about it: never, never (DBY, 249).

http://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-27?lang=eng