Book of the Week

The Number Devil by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Interesting book.  I've been muddling through this one with the girls.  I think they may be a bit too young for it.  But then again, maybe it's just not their style.  My 7yo just breezed through it and loved it!  But he's always been fascinated with numbers.

If you have a number-guy (or girl) in the family, let 'em have it!

If you're trying to inspire math - - wait to introduce this until they're a bit older (middle school grades).

If you want to be inspired, read it.

OR if you want to take a new approach to math, use this one for sure.  Just read it slowly....like, 1 chapter a month for a year and really explore the concepts.


Living Holidays: An Easy Calendar

image from kellyskindergarten.com

Every year I go through my favorite holidays website, Brownielocks.com and put the dates I want to celebrate onto my calendar.  Pretty time consuming.  Well, today I found one that does it for me!

One of my favorite worksheet websites is TeacherVision.  This is an amazing resource for any teacher, homeschooler or mother who needs more ideas for their child's education.  So, browsing this site today I found out they have a free printable calendar with all sorts of cool dates on them.  Some I didn't even know existed!  Fresh meat.  :-)

So, go to the homepage of Teacher Vision, click on the "Calendar" tab and print.  A great resource for fun holidays to make learning that much more enjoyable!


Word of 2013

Last year my word was Laughter.  I wanted to practice laughing and playing more with my children.  I might have been semi-successful.  :-)

My Word for 2013


There is so much in our church about becoming self-reliant, which is good.  But self-reliant doesn't mean "completely independent from all others."  Maybe the worldly definition of self-reliant is closer to that in an "every man for himself" kind of a way.  Being independent is a strength, yes, but being too independent could be a great weakness.  And I think it's this that the Lord is trying to teach me this year.  Already.  Opportunities for relying on others have already arisen in my life this month and I think I need to wake up and pay attention!  :-)

As President Henry B. Eyring has said, "Each of you is in a unique place in your journey to eternal life. Some have years of experience, and others are early in their mortal discipleship. Each is unique in her personal history and her challenges. But all of you are sisters and beloved daughters of our Heavenly Father, who knows and watches over each of you.  What you have done remarkably well together is to cherish, watch over, and comfort each other. "


New Look at New Year's Goals

We had a great family night last week.  I wanted to impress upon my children the idea of creating goals in a different way.  Usually we come up with a few things we want to accomplish that year, write them down, probably lose the list within the first few months, or just forget about it and move on with our lives.

This year I took a different approach.  I was deeply impressed with President Eyring's talk from the Priesthood session of General Conference wherein he discussed the spiritual gifts given to each of his children and wanted to do something similar for my own children.

So last Monday I wrapped up tiny boxes and presented one to each child.  Inside was a type-written word (a gift I felt impressed each of them had) and a scripture to go along with it.  They each looked up their verse and read it aloud to the family.

I had also typed up each gift and scripture on a full sheet of paper.  Below the scripture was written two questions:

 1) How will I use my gift for good this year? 

 2) What is another gift I want to develop this year?   

I don't know if this will have any greater affect on them than the previous way of setting goals, but I know it helped me to look at things a bit differently.

"Now, I cannot tell every leader of youth the details what is best for you to do.  But I can promise you that you will bless them to help them recognize the spiritual gifts with which they were born.  Every person is different and has a different contribution to make.  No one is destined to fail.  [What] I have describes are only one way to help young people glimpse the grandeur God sees in them and their futures and the unique service He has prepared them to give.  He will help you see how to do it for your children or for other youth you lead." 
 - - President Henry B. Eyring - - 


Martin Luther King Jr. Day

I've worried somewhat in the past about what kind of history lessons my kids are getting.  I'm more hit and miss with that subject than I'd like to be in our little homeschool world.  Then I was thinking about all the holidays I "celebrate" with my children and just how many of them are historically based.  Today is one example.  Other historical days this month (which we may or may not have celebrated, but it's good to know):  George Washington Carver's birthday (science or history), Roe vs. Wade,  and Robert E. Lee day.

Last year I found what is now my very favorite Civil Rights book.  It's called, A Taste of Colored Water.  It's a beautiful story of two children wanting to go into town because they've heard about a "colored water" drinking fountain and imagine all the brilliant colors and tastes that would come from such a fountain.  Little do they know what those words truly mean and find themselves in the middle of a Civil Rights demonstration.  One of the most touching books of the time that I have read.  Seriously.

One thing I love to do on this day is, of course, listen to Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech, "I Have a Dream."  After discussing this with the kids I then have them create their own dream.  The younger children draw pictures.  This year I think I'll have the older kids present actual speeches at the dinner table tonight. 

Another thing I'd like to try this year is having the kids call their grandparents to ask what they remember of the events surrounding the Civil Rights movement.

I've been thinking a lot about this idea, actually, the idea of how things we see as "Set in stone" were not the case years ago.  Even in our parents' generation.  It's so easy to get comfortable and sometimes complacent about the issues of the day.  The world is changing.  Sometimes it's scary to think about.  But mostly it just makes me wonder,"Am I ready to fight for or against the changes?" 

Martin Luther King, Jr. saw that need and developed the strength to persevere through the challenges that came with what he knew he needed to do.   Would I be ready to do the same if called upon?  Will my children be ready to do likewise?  Deep thoughts on this Monday morning. 


Where Have I Been?

Going crazy!

Not really.

Okay, maybe a little bit.

It's just taking me a bit to get back into the swing of the New Year after Christmas break.   Remember the post about Juggling?  Well, this is my ball being dropped right now.

So, give me a few more days to pick it up and I'll be back into action...hopefully.  :-)

Happy New Year!!
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