Saturday, January 30, 2016

Winter Homeschool Convention

Once again, this week was an absolute whirlwind and it ended with the winter homeschool convention in Ogden today. I am so glad that I could go. The drive up was a bit harrowing as there was a pretty good snowstorm this morning. I went with my one homeschool friend Rebekah. I feel like I got a lot of valuable things from it.

I attended one class where she showed us how to do different kinds of lap books and journals that will really be a wonderful resource for my kids. I know that Eli and Harry will just love it. I am excited to start working on some of it with them. This was a practical class. But I also attended some inspirational classes. 

My first class was taught by a Fijian gentleman and I was surprised with how much I liked it. These are my notes from the class.

Clarity - How to Accomplish Goals

by Aisake Vuikadavu

“Innergy Mentor”

Common knowledge is not common action

1.  Rely on a Higher Power. Trust God. Pick one thing and just go for it. I will choose a path and start walking and if it is the wrong path, trust that God will tell me. God helps me when I am moving! Take any direction and God will give me guidance.

2. Focus on the process, not on the goal. Let the prize be the process, not just the end result. Once I get the reward, then it can all fall apart, but the process can be applied to anything in life. If I don’t have a process, it won’t have a lasting effect on my life. Make a plan, then put my head down and work. Even bigger goals may come up uninvited.

3. Keep the big goals quiet. When I share with others, it can feel like I have accomplished something, and then its over. Share with an accountability partner only. It protects me from negative feedback, apathy, and criticism.

4. Slow down to speed up. Take it nice and slow. Hold my space, be ok that I will mess up and be embarrassed, but be steady and allow myself grace. Be consistent and do it correctly. When I go slow, I go further.

There are ways to breakthrough the road blocks and filters: reputation, intensity, large body movements, and music, which is a back door into my mind.

I also liked what I heard from Gretchen Rubin in one of her podcasts. She said to just act the way you feel. If I want to feel energetic and productive, then just act that way and the feelings will soon follow. I think the simplicity of that statement is beautiful. 

I had circled a class on my schedule that looked pretty good but when I went to get a seat it was super full. I refused to sit on the ground so I went for another option and ended up in one of my favorite classes of the day.

12 Steps to Avoiding Homeschool Burnout

by Glenn Kimber

If you are not trying, you are not learning…

1.Receive a confirmation from the Holy Spirit that it is the right thing for you to home school. Then let the Spirit guide. The Spirit will not direct you to fail. Children were sent to you from Heavenly Father with a specific purpose here on Earth. You were selected to be their guides. YET - if you don’t understand something, just say I don’t understand it yet. The Spirit will not direct you to fail. People tend to behave according to what they believe. You will have confidence in what you are most familiar with. Familiar knowledge is the greatest blessing and the greatest enemy.

2. Do not take counsel from your fears. Know the difference between inspiration and desperation.

3. Avoid duplicating the public education system. If it was working for your family, you wouldn’t be inspired to seek something else. You tutor, but the Spirit teaches. Teach them to stand out, not fit in. Public schools destroy the need of a family.

4. Eliminate the stigma of “homeschooling” which is looked upon with negativity by many, and replace it with the concept of “home tutoring”. School means you look to a pattern that is failing. Tell people they are being privately tutored.

5.  Where to begin? Diagnostic testing! You will gain confidence when you discover the weaknesses and strengths of your children’s current knowledge and abilities. When you use PROPER testing, you will be able to discern their attitude towards life and learning through diagnostic testing. Test kids every 90 days, if not moving academically 1 year every 90 days, you need to change your approach. You are training leadership, not followship.

6. Make sure that ALL the curriculum you choose is based on God, family, and country, and select it according to student interest and level of learning - not age. You don’t have time for anything else. Children looked to mothers for guidance and to fathers for acceptance.

7. Use and encourage creativity and talents in all subjects. They can write it, teach it, perform it, record it, paint it, show it, memorize it. Then they’ll love it, and it will become part of their personality and character - not just their memory. If you want them to remember forever, put it into a poem, a picture, or music. Use it creatively and they will remember.

8. Remember that the greatest learning takes place in the mornings. To enhance better learning, everyone should be dressed and ready for school - not lounging in pjs (which unmotivates). Dress for success every school morning. Studies have shown one hour before noon is equivalent to two hours in the afternoon, and 3 hours after 4pm. Statistically it doesn’t work to do it late.  Get up and eat breakfast and then get to work. Heavenly Father’s favorite number is 3 and 12!

9. Focus on “LOVE of learning”. When frustration or negativity sets in, change the scenery, have a snack, sing a song, go for a walk, say a prayer. Then return to the task when ready. “Solutions never come from a negative frame of mind.” Regain the Spirit when it turns negative. The best way to the heart is through the stomach, but jumping down the throat is no short cut.

10. Create as many opportunities as possible for the children to give their knowledge away. This involves practicing to share their knowledge with others - any group, any individual, any relative. Knowledge is only theirs as they give it away. The more they give it away, the more it becomes theirs. Thank you notes are great.

11. Children look to mother for guidance, and they look to father for acceptance. This teamwork gels as mothers correct and guide, and fathers praise good efforts. Remember that RELATIONSHIP is more important than SCHOLARSHIP.

12. Follow the example the Lord uses to ISOLATE leaders, so they can be INSULATED against the world, and then go into the world as leaders, not followers. They are in the world, but not of it. Instead of our youth trying to “fit in” to the ways of the world, they will have strength and confidence to “stand out” as leaders - when they have been properly isolated and insulated, they will be sent out from the home to be leaders in the world. Keep them home until you have insulated them from the world.

As I was listening to this presentation I came to a realization that I need to reexamine Julia and her school situation. I have never really been super happy with her going to public school, even if it is a charter school. I don't want her to sharpen any of her edges. I know she needs to be around me as much as possible. So I am really going to pray and meditate on it and decide what to do for her next year. Plus, I honestly think it will be better for our family as it will simplify our family and not divide my loyalties at all. I will make the decision and I know that the Lord will provide a way for me to do it.

So, it was a good and productive day for me, a nice reset button, shot in the arm kind of day. Every homeschool mom needs those every so often.

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