Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
- Heals must stay against the wall and flat on the floor.
- Legs must stay straight.
- If you fall, you have to start over.
- You can't hang on to anything.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
As my children get older, their struggles become more complicated and require more than just a Band-aid and a kiss. I am very grateful that no matter the situation, I can always find comforting words to share with my children. As I search and share these things with them, I learn and grow myself.
"Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies. 3 It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, “Give me thine honor.” 4
It has been said that envy is the one sin to which no one readily confesses, but just how widespread that tendency can be is suggested in the old Danish proverb, “If envy were a fever, all the world would be ill.” The parson in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales laments it because it is so far-reaching—it can resent anything, including any virtue and talent, and it can be offended by everything, including every goodness and joy. 5 As others seem to grow larger in our sight, we think we must therefore be smaller. So, unfortunately, we occasionally act that way.
How does this happen, especially when we wish so much that it would not? I think one of the reasons is that every day we see allurements of one kind or another that tell us what we have is not enough. Someone or something is forever telling us we need to be more handsome or more wealthy, more applauded or more admired than we see ourselves as being. We are told we haven’t collected enough possessions or gone to enough fun places. We are bombarded with the message that on theworld’s scale of things we have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. 6 Some days it is as if we have been locked in a cubicle of a great and spacious building where the only thing on the TV is a never-ending soap opera entitled Vain Imaginations. 7
But God does not work this way. The father in this story does not tantalize his children. He does not mercilessly measure them against their neighbors. He doesn’t even compare them with each other. His gestures of compassion toward one do not require a withdrawal or denial of love for the other. He is divinely generous to both of these sons. Toward both of his children he extends charity. I believe God is with us the way my precious wife, Pat, is with my singing. She is a gifted musician, something of a musical genius, but I couldn’t capture a musical note with Velcro. And yet I know she loves me in a very special way when I try to sing. I know that because I can see it in her eyes. They are the eyes of love.
Monday, April 5, 2010
- Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is-and it is-it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
- Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired skills necessary to do so successfully.
- If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp on both concepts.
- Don't assume that every homeschooler does so for the same reasons and in the same way as that homeschooler you know.
- We don't drill your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children to see if we're doing an adequate job of homeschooling.
- Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
- Stop assuming that since we are religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons. There are millions of Mormons who do not homeschool. Our church does not dictate how we educate our children. Our church does not dictate anything, for that matter. We all have our agency.
- We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing options, praying, experimenting and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to meet the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact that we homeschool as either an affront or a judgement about your own educational decisions.
- I do not have a degree in education. Nor have I completed a course in culinary arts. But my children learn every day and they eat every day.
- If my children are "behind" in a particular subject, it is no reflection on me or my ability to educate them. Every child has their unique challenges. I am keenly aware of those of my children. When my children surpass my current knowledge on a subject, I will either learn right along with them, or I will find an expert. Just like your child attends "gifted" classes.
- We do not have "school" eight hours a day. We are always learning, but our least favorite (and least effective) way is book work. If you were a fly on our wall, you would see us doing a whole lot of discussing, cooking, reading, experimenting, writing, painting, playing outside, going to the museum, laughing, building, playing games and dressing up.
- Stop saying "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's a compliment, it sounds like you think I'm crazy. Truth be known, anyone can homeschool if it is important to you.
- Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my kids' teacher as well as their parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically (and yes, sometimes my kids call me bossy) and bossing them around the way I do about everything else.
- Stop saying that my kids are shy, aggressive, outgoing, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because they are homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
- Quit assuming that my children must be some kind of prodigies because they are homeschooled. They are just normal kids.
- Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids. I am a Latter Day Saint, however (LDS). But that is just a reminder to me that I need to be more saintly. And sometimes homeschooling makes me feel anything but.