Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'll Accept Psycho!

I once had a friend tell me, "Julia, we're all going to mess our kids up, parenting is just trying not to mess them up too much." It's TRUE! And the older my kids get, the more apparent it becomes to me! :-) So, yes, I'm a yeller. Yes, I have spanked my children (and hit them on the head, though not with my scriptures that I can recall!). Yes, I started out VERY authoritarian, now I'm more authoritative, and learning I can be quite permissive with some of my children (and depending on my mood I change styles!). So, I'm a ball of confusion for my kids!!!!

Now, onto the great topics we've been discussing!!

Answers to (more like thoughts on, because I don't have any answers) Andrea's questions:
How do you homeschool with a 2 year old? For me it's harder to homeschool with a baby than it is a two year old. I'm finally feeling like I can get stuff done again with Ethan turning two this summer. Now I can start involving him, letting him color while the others do their work, etc . . . Don't get me wrong, we do get lots of complaints when he accidentally (??) colors on the kids' work. :-) Eventually, the two year old gets bored and leaves us alone. I think when I try to tell him he CAN'T be with us, then he wants to be, so when I let him be with us until his interest runs out, it's easire. Secondly, we do A LOT of our stuff while he's napping! :-)

Age Limits: Technically speaking, there are no age limits. BUT TJED people suggest that the CORE Phase is 0-8; LOL is 8-12; and then the Scholar phase after that. But, not every child will follow that pattern. You may already have a love of learner and then have a scholar at age 10, or you may have a love of learner until they are 20! J. HATES these labels/age limits I so badly want to define (it's easier for me). He says that it's all supposed to just happen naturally and we as the parents are supposed to pick up on the transitions/changes and work with them according to our knowledge of the phases.

More Core Values: I know I wrote what was most important to me (scriptures, service, reading . . . ) but the core values are more so those traits you want you children to obtain. What kind of character do you want you children to be? I want my children to be hard working for sure! I don't want them to seek the easy way out, I want them to search for answers and have real questions and problems to solve. This is where chores come in (which is where I think Kami & Andrea are doing great!). I've been thinking about how I learned to be hard working and it was because we were helping Dad in the yard all the time! I don't remember doing much housework, but I'm th 4th of 5, so that could be an easy explanation! :-) My parents were not involved much in my education, they didn't push hard other than I knew they expected A's out of me, so I performed. A couple of my sisters would have benefited from a more inspire rather than require approach. So, that's something I'm watching for in my children - - which ones rebel when I expect and which ones don't? Other core values: honesty and gratitude! I loved Kami's mention of entitlement! There is so much of that in youth today it DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!! I don't want my kids to think they get just because they are them. :-)

I'm not sure these fit in with Core Values necessarily, but along with Kami I will also require YM/YW Awards and the boys will get their Eagle Scout. Serving a mission is also high up there. I want my kids to be comfortable with sharing their feelings about the gospel.

How do you get them to love scriptures? First of all, I haven't said that we're there, YET! But, that is my goal and that is my passion I hope to instill in them eventually. For now, we do devotional every morning. This year we've been learning about the lives and teaching of hte aposltes. They've loved that and it was great when they knew who the men were during Conference. We also have structured "Gospel Learning Time" into our day. So, every morning when we first wake up we must be doing something with regards to the gospel. I study my personal scriptures. The kids can choose from many things: church movies, the LDS Friend website, reading The Friend, we have books on all the prophets up to Eztra Taft Benson they can read or listen to (books on tape), they can even just color while listening to church music. So, I don't make it a "You have to read your scriptures" it's just a time for focussing on the gospel. Also, I am working on creating a file of "Scripture to be Memorized" (just a recipe box w/ index cards). My kids can earn money through memorization. So far I've just left the choosing up to then John comes back with "Sam begat, so & so . . . " (you know those scriptures) and I think, "What does that have to do with anything!?!?!" So, I'm working on making that more meaningful. Again, we're not to that LOVE yet from them, but I'm at least trying to make it a part of our normal lives so it's not foreign to them when they go to seminary! :-)

THANK YOU KAMI for your comments on reading. I am one of those mothers who struggles with getting her child to read more than just AtoZ Mysteries (2nd grade level stuff). He's going to be in 4th grade. I think he just likes to finish in a day. He loves Roald Dahl. He loves Calvin and Hobbes. But once all those books have been read, he really struggles finding something else that makes him just want to read. For instance, he is now in a youth book discussion group (which I LOVE) and for that he is reading My Side of the Mountain. Well, he read his required ten pages and then came to me and said, "Mom, I have nothing to read." I said, "Keep reading MSM." He didn't want to. I asked him, "Do you like it?" He said he was loving it. Well, if he's loving it why is he looking for something else to read just because he finished reading ten pages?! AGH!!! It's just funny to me. If you like what you're reading, then read!! Anyway, I'm not sure if he's just going through an independent stage or what, but that boy had GOT to be reading bigger books!!! I think he senses how it drives me crazy, too, and so he provokes that along as well. :-( Give me some thoughts here! :-)

More on Music My rule (more unspoken) is that once they learn to play the hymns (real Hymnal, not easy) then they can choose to stop piano. I also want them to be a part of a musical group: choir, band, orchestra, even acting. There is so much benefit in being part of a musical group, learning teamwork, etc.

Any thoughts on sports???? My kids love them so far, but with five kids I can't have them be in everything. I want them to choose their favorite and go with it.

Andrea's Husband on Deadlines: This is one J. struggles with as well. That is why he wants all of our kids to test for GATE just so they have the pressure of taking a test that really means something (even though it doesn't mean anything to them if they don't care if they get in or not!).
And it's true we homeschoolers really beat to our own drums. Having the kids go to school once a week has kind of helped with that. However, in my opinion, this deadline discipline comes in by structuring your TIME not your content (another TJED principle). For instance, our daily schedule goes something like this: Gospel Learning, clean bedrooms, breakfast/devotional, group cleaning time, group learning time, lunchtime, individual learning time, playtime, clean up, dinner, etc. . . . There are not exact times attached to these chunks of time, but we do them as a family so the kids learn "Oh, I need to do this fast so I can be with the family." That is one thing to me that teaches deadlines.
The other thing to think about with deadlines is the thought that WHO sets up the public school deadlines in the first place? Who determined long ago that addition was to be taught in 1st grade? Who determined you need to learn Modern History in 4th grade?
Another big thing TJED stresses, I think, is projects. If we work on projects together and have them done by a certain date,that is learning about deadlines. The Scouting program and YW program will teach deadlines. In other words, there are plenty of ways to learn this principle. And, your husband knowing YOU, Andrea, and that you won't just settle should be enough to give him comfort that you're not going to let your children fail. Although, these are very valid points to discuss and ponder when making the homeschooling choice! :-)

Okay, those are my very unprofessional and not the most experienced points on these fascinating topics! :-) Now, I'm going to watch movies, play games and do laundry with my kids because we've had a BUSY couple of days and it's cold and rainy and I'm not in the mood to think about school!


P.S. Ans, do you ever follow the TJED discussion group? I like this blog better, more personal, but it's fun to kind of see what other families have to say on such topics.

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