Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Homeschooling Inspiration

My friend Susan invited me along with her to our first Homeschooling Convention. We have both played with the idea of the possiblity of homeschooling, and we just enjoy learning about education. We went to a few workshops and they had products galore to better assist with Homeschooling. It was a great experience and a gave wonderful insight to the Homeschooling Movement and the reasons and how to make it successful.

Even though I am not choosing Homeschooling now for my future Kindergardner, it has inspired me to make some changes at home. I don't believe it is all up to the teacher at school to teach everything to my child, and that I can supplement at home with what they are learning. I am putting faith in the school that we have chosen for him, and that I can still take responsibility to be part of teaching my kids very valuable lessons before and after school, that will strengthen them while during school.

So one of the workshops we went to was "7 steps to Sanity." (Yes, I think most stay at homes are seeking advice like this...) So I'm taking her advice and applying it to our day. So far no changes in behavior with my kids, but... I feel like I am making it more fulfilling with the time that I am putting aside for Scripture Study. I have been using the Primary Manual from church which came with pictures to use, so I have the lesson already mapped out, visuals, and scriptures to refer to. I also can apply it to our
"challenges" that have been testing my own sanity and hopefully it will help. So it's pretty much a mini Family Home Evening (F.H.E.) daily with just mom.

Here is her advice below:
1.First thing to do is pray: before rolling out of bed, say your prayers.
2. Serve others; Serve our family
3. Stay focused. She comments on the success of homeschooling... "The answer isn't homeschooling, It's Jesus Christ. Seek Him first in your day."
So before teaching ABC's, math, reading, whatever, start with teaching your children about Jesus, the gospel. Whatever you may call it... Daily Devotional, Scripture Study, Bible Study, do that first because that is what Homeschooling's main purpose is and should be our focus in our lives anyway.

A. Set limits: They are the Priority: no phones/texting/computer allowed
during their time.
B. Say No: Focus on your children, your family first. If someone needs
help, and you just can't do it, say no. Also, let others say no to. (Don't get
offended if someone turns you down when requesting help, remember they
are focusing on their family 1st also)

4. Start Slow: The Journey is part of it. Enjoy this stage. Foundational for everything.
5. Stay Home: Dealing with Characteristic Issues at Home. Kids are so busy nowadays and add stress, so just stay home.
6. Start Laughing.
7. Sleep Well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm Proud of Him

Today I had the chance to be interviewed by the background investigator for a job my husband is applying for, and it felt so good to be able to proudly answer all the questions about him and that all I had to say were good things.

I have always been impressed with him since I met him. He is funny, charismatic, has high morals, and patient. My list of course goes on and on, but I just had to put it out there that I am grateful to be best friends with him, to be his wife, to have him as the best father for our children, to have him forever. He has taught me to be myself, he understands my wierd, corny humor (and laughs), and knows how to quickly turn my temper into hysterical laughing with just a look or funny comment, He has the magic of calming down a bleeding kid and worried mom, he loves his friends and will go the extra mile, he can turn anything into something fun, and is a great support for what's best for his family. He lifts me up and always says good things and never complains about anything... he will tell the truth though when asked! He is such a unique, special person, and I am so happy (and lucky) that he chose me to marry and to be with him forever, and I love him with all my heart.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Free Summer Sports

A few months ago a friend and I were chatting about organizing a sports program, and after getting approved we were able to start a summer sports program for our ward and we are able to hold it indoors at our nearby church building. It has been great and everyone has pitched in to help run it.

My motivation for being involved stems from a few things. Sports and Exercise are high on my list especially with the obesity epidemic that our country is facing. Threats of cutting physical education programs and our country complaining and not doing anything to fix the problem. Another is availablity and money. I have always taken advantage of the programs the city has to offer and actually started Freeman when he was 6 months old in a mommy and me swim lesson. Next we went on to Soccer, Tennis, Flag Football and Gymnastics. Slowly some of those programs I was signing up for, the quality of coaching and the price I was paying for wasn't worth it. And maybe this is where kids lose out on the opportunity of being involved in sports. We shell out the money for something and then the quality isn't what we expected and we say to ourselves, "I could have taught that at home!" Well, I don't like to sit around and complain, I like to fix what I am complaining about. So instead of paying $50 a kid for 6 lessons for soccer, why not do it myself?

So, my friend Susan and I, combined our passion for sports and exercise, and are passing it on to our kids and to anyone that would join us. :) Everyone has been great with support and providing equipment for us to borrow and make this a free program for all those that participate. We have been able to teach T-Ball, Tumbling, and Soccer, which in the real world would have cost me about $300 for my 2 oldest kids. But instead I invested about $18 for 3 sports. I know I am not a professional, and I learn how to adjust my coaching each time I coach a class, and youtube has been a lifesaver, but there are so many resources out there that it is possible to make this happen.

I don't think sports and doing exercise should break the bank. I understand that it does cost money and I know that in the future it will cost money to have my kids join teams, but right now, if I don't think the quality is that great, that I could teach it to my kids and to others, well why not? I hope this experience this summer will start a new tradition and we can continue on throught out seasons. We are very lucky to have a church building to use in the Arizona heat, and wonderful parks that our close by for when it does cool down.

I am grateful for the motivation and ideas of others and learning that as a mom I am able to provide many opportunities and experiences to my children and not having enough money doesn't let them miss out. I do believe that it takes a village to raise a child and I am impressed with everyone who has stepped up to the plate to let this happen and to work together to provide this to all the children involved.