Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Song I am working on

This is the newest addition to my collection of songs geared to the youth. This song came to me a line at a time as I sang it into a recorder. It may not be finished yet, but here is a start.

You have this mountain in your life that
you wish you had the faith to move.
You're praying all night long for
the strength of his word to prove to you.

He will, He can and He will, He will,
move a mountain in your life He will, He will

Like Moses parting the sea when
it seemed like their progress would end.
He waits for us to have faith that
he knows what we need and he can fullfill.

 He will, He can and He will, He will,
move a mountain in your life He will, He will

Keep searching and pondering, knowing that his power is real
Keep trying and praying, align your heart and goals with his word, and He will.

With faith so small you can't see it,
that mustard seed inside you will grow.
And that mountain that is standing
immovable before you will move, it will move.

He will, He can and He will, He will,
move a mountain in your life, He will He will, He will

Boys Hand Weaving

It all started with a crochet hook and an inquisitive boy.

  My 9 year old boy found a crochet hook and asked if I knew how to use it. I told him I did, so he of course asked for a lesson. I found him some yarn and showed him a 2 minute lesson on how to make a simple chain. It was confusing, and his boy hands were having a hard time. I went back to vacuuming thinking that it would be the last lesson he would ask me for as I did not do a very good job. I was so wrong. About 1/2 hour later I moved the vacuum down to the Family Room and was met with a very excited 9 year old. He had crocheted a chain twice his height and he was beaming! :)
Fast forward a few hours to when Aunt Mindy comes for a visit and unveils the mysteries of hand weaving. I remember hours of hand weaving when I was young so I was very excited about it, which no doubt fueled the ensuing hand weaving extravaganza. We got out the bin of yarn and ever since,my  9,8, and 5 year old boys have done almost nothing else. We are sitting at the table eating lunch ; they are weaving. They are out feeding the chickens, dogs, and cats; they are weaving at the same time! Funny boys! You can imagine the smiles they brought me as they went about their chores and goals for the day with their weaving in progress.

  My silly 8 year old put a skein of yarn in the back of his pants so he can take it wherever he goes. We joked about him being a spider weaving a web. So fun! I love it.

  The lesson I keep being taught over and over is that my boys will learn best when they are interested in something and once they get going, it would take something major to get them to stop. I also keep learning that everything they learn does not need to come from me. They will get enthusiastic about things all on their own. It is up to me to provide the means whereby they can exercise their new found passions.  These passions are changing about every week with my 9 and under set of kids so I use the library and inexpensive ways to help them along. The 12 and older set of kiddos have more or less settled on the things that they are passionate about, so I can invest more of our education budget on them. Yarn is pretty cheap, but recording software requires an investment. :)

As I type, my 5, 8 and 9 year olds are weaving while they practice a magic trick they just learned. :)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Every once on a while I go through a short stage of being apprehensive about the boys educations. Am I doing this right? Are we doing enough?

I should know better than to even subject myself to this worry because it is always quelled. I suppose worrying once in a while brings a renewed sense of purpose and direction. I always end up feeling great about what we are doing, and this time is no different.

The 3 young boys in my house did a lot of playing his last week, and did not meet all of their goals. I was worrying and wondering if I needed to change things. I had a talk with my husband who helped me see things in a new light: a paradigm shift.

We recently instilled a new goal system in our house to match the system being used at the commonwealth school we attend on Thursdays. At the Commonwealth the adults are studying the 7 Habits books and we have been inspired to make changes at home and at school.  I set up a system of earning stickers towards something the boys want. When they reach a goal they get stickers and when they get enough stickers, they get a reward. I also give out stickers for work well done and extra work. I thought it would take off like wild fire but it didn't. That was when I saw lots of playing and not a lot of working towards goals. For one thing I was not trusting the process and remembering that my 3 youngest kids are in Core and Love of Learning stages and my Scholar kids were doing great on heir goals. Second, as my husband reminded me, Rome wasn't built in a day, so I shouldn't expect a new system to work it's magic so quickly.

Well, fast forward to today when I am sitting with a happy smile on my relaxed face because things are going great with my kids' learning. All day my kids have been actively engaged in great work ethic and goal achieving. At this very moment there are 5 boys self directing themselves in learning. Science presentations are  being prepared, music being practiced, books being studied for pertinent information, writing skills being pursued and literature being enjoyed. Phew. It is working. They are educating themselves and loving every minute of it. I needn't have been worried.  :)

Paradigm Shift

The boys and I are reading from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Every morning we read around two pages from the book and discuss it. Usually the discussions are short but through the day the new vocabulary is used and the new concepts tried.
Today the conversation was longer and interspersed with laughter! We read about the paradigm (pear-uh-dime) shift of a lady at an airport. She bought a drink and a package of cookies, then sat down at a vacant table. She was reading her newspaper when she heard some rustling. She looked up and saw a man eating her cookies! She madly took some of the cookies and a bit later he man took some more. She reached out and took some too. Back and forth they each ate the cookies until there was only one left. The man took the last cookie, broke it in half and gave her one of the halves. He then left. The woman was in a huff, angry at the man for what he had done. She got ready to go, opening her purse in the process, and was met with her package of cookies in her purse!
The boys and I had a great conversation about how we see things one way, but even a small amount of new information can change how we see it, dramatically.