You guys are funny. I was going to say that I think you all underestimate your parenting abilities. And, you would be much happier if you do what I do: live in a state of denial about your short-comings. It's much nicer over here in la-la land. ;-)
Ju - I had forgotten completely that before Kenna was born we did Gospel study every morning as our first school activity (thanks for reminding me!) - where we each studied individually.
Andrea - when I did that I did read my scriptures, but it was more to set an example than to actually learn. I did serious study on my own when children were sleeping.
I'm currently doing something different. Since we do Gospel study while I'm nursing, I read aloud from the Gospel Principles book and we talk about what it means. I think it's helped mykids learn more about the gospel. We also practice one of the primary songs that they're learning this year, because those songs are GREAT gospel teachers.
My independent readers have Scripture Reading on their list of morning jobs (along with get dressed, brush teeth, etc). Josh reads to the family before he goes to work - so we get lots of gospel study in...when we do it all! :-)
We've done less than I want. We're going to do more family sports this summer. I'm going to do an exercise program with the older girls. I coach Brynne's soccer team - we both love that. But I've learned that even if all my kids just play one sport and do music and something else (be it Activity Days or 4H or whatever...) I start going crazy...because I have too many children going different directions! My parents did not let me play a team sport until I was in high school when I could get myself to and from all practices and games. And you know what...it was fine. I loved the sports I played and I actually did well. I'm not saying you shouldn't put your kids in classes. I have. But now I can't manage it with everybody unless I give up other things, which I'm not prepared to do. Circumstances change.
There is a book about physical fitness for homeschool families, if you're interested.
What can I say...chores, chores, chores! I don't teach work ethic through academics. I am totally on board with TJED in this area. If my kids don't do a chore well, they have to do it again.
It hasn't been until recently that my kids were interested in working to earn money. Money was not motivating to them. (Until Disneyland...that changed everything). Now it's making a difference. There is a great spot in "Farmer Boy" (Ingalls) where Almanzo's father teaches him the worth of a half-dollar. How it's plowing the field, planting the potatoes, and hoeing them. Gathering them, taking them to market, and selling them for a dollar a bushel. Almanzo can see how much work went into that half-dollar because he did it. I want my kids to get that concept.
We are doing the Adult Skills classes idea. My kids love them. They are invited to participate when they are at least 8. They have binders with lists of the classes. We check off what they've accomplished. They beg to do it. They don't usually beg to do math. But I'll tell you what - my 9 year old has been comfortable doing fraction conversions for quite sometime because cooking is fun for her. That's inspire, not require in action. That's what it means. The concept is learned through a way that she found interesting. It's the trickiest way to teach your kids - in the sense that you kind of trick them into learning, but especially because it is HARD for the parent/teacher to pull off.
Another link you guys might like is this BLOG written by moms who homeschool using TJED principles. They are all at various stages. I find it interesting and helpful. They post several times a week, usually.
Does anyone else feel like life is hard with babies? I had such a long gap - 4.5 years - between children 3 and 4. I think I got into some good rhythms and had a chance to really get going. But since then, and especially with the addition of #5, I feel like I can't quite keep on top of what I want to do. I'm tired! I'm tired of fun ideas getting interrupted or completely shelved because of little people. I am not good at managing it all. I admire people who have lots of children more and more and more.
I just want to say a little thing about reading.
Some people probably are not going to be huge readers. If it's not their passion...you can't force it to be. There is an amount of literature reading that everyone has to do, just like math or science or whatever - but it doesn't have to be their favorite hobby.
My baby sister hated reading. She had a hard time learning, to begin with, and that developed into a hate of reading. She really hated to read. We couldn't understand why she couldn't just love it like we all did. Except, that somewhere in her early high school years she was assigned the book "Ender's Game". She LOVED that book. Since then she has turned into a reader. Granted, she started out by mostly just reading "Harry Potter" and "Twilight", but she's starting to ask my mom and I for good books to read (mom is thrilled!!!) and she's actually reading them and enjoying them. It took that one book to make her love reading. And it took until she was a teenager. But wow! What a great experience.
That's my little thing. But I want to know...what did you guys read when you were kids. I don't know about you, but I sure wasn't reading only great fiction. I read The Black Stallion series, I read lots of fantasy, Anne of Green Gables and other good books - but I spent a lot of time on Sweet Valley High and the Babysitters Club (Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, etc). I read junk! I'm not ashamed to admit it. But I love to read and I read pretty darn good literature now. I hope my kids don't read as much junk as I did - but I think my big concern will be what is in that junk - as long as it's clean junk I think I'll be okay. :-) We have to have standards!! It's hard to know where to pick your battles. If I had a non-reader, I think I'd set my standards lower to begin with. But I don't know for sure, because I haven't actually done that route yet. Yet. I'm sure I'll have my turn. :-)
Surprise, I'm not going to comment because I think I'd pretty much echo everything already written. :-) Betcha didn't think I could do that - not give an opinion. My family would be shocked.
And last but not least - quite frankly Andrea, you say you're not, but I think you are a true-blue TJEDer whether you realize it or not. I think no matter what you do, your kids are going to get a leadership education (even if they go to...heaven forbid...public school!!!!) because that's just the kind of parent you are. Yay for you! You don't even have to try! :-)
And now that I've spent WAY too much time on the computer, I'll go clean something so that I look like a good homemaker.