Monday, September 8, 2008

Why in the World Are You Homschooling?!

Ever hear that question? If you are homeschooling your children, or just thinking about it, you have probably heard this question at least once, if not many times. I used to feel tongue tied, stuttering over myself as I tried to explain our reasons. Then I realized that I needed to have my reasons clearly thought out so that when someone asked, I would have a ready, intelligent answer. After all, I don't need to add to their fuel by acting like a bumbling idiot whenever the question is posed. I am supposed to be the teacher after all.

So here are our clearly defined reasons for teaching our children at home:

First & foremost this is what we feel God calling us to do. In every aspect of our lives we try to do God's will, so this is no exception. Deuteronomy 11:19 states that we should teach our children, telling them about God & His ways when "you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." This is what we are attempting to do.

We can teach to our child's style of learning - some children are visual learners, some auditory, some kinesthetic. Trying to read aloud to a kinesthetic learning while having them sit still with hands on their desk is not going to work! These kids need to move & experience learning, something they are not going to get a lot of in a traditional school. We are working on finding out just what helps things "click" with our children so we can reach them with the best method for them.

We can teach at our child's level - whether traditional school would think they are ahead or behind. My oldest loves math & is ahead of his grade level in that area. I don't have to hold him back so he doesn't get ahead of the others as would be done in a classroom. While math is his thing, reading has stumped him a bit until this year. He isn't made to feel that he is "remedial" in this area because it hasn't quite clicked with him yet. We work along at his pace, knowing that with the proper tools he will eventually succeed.

We are free to teach the values that we deem important - We don't have the government telling us to teach evolution or anything else we don't agree with. More importantly, we can spend much time on learning the life lessons that will make them great citizens some day, things like kindness, giving, business sense, how to handle money, and acceptance of people for who they are, not what they have or can do for you. While I never want to neglect the fundamentals of school learning, these life lessons can be of far greater significance throughout their life, & I'm so glad that I have a hand in conveying these to my children.

We chose to home school for the socialization - Just the other day I had someone ask me when we were going to put our child in school so he could be socialized. Humm, is putting him in a room with 25 other kids his age & one adult really the best way for him to learn how to act socially? Since when did it become in the best interest of our kids for other kids to be teaching them how to treat the "misfits", how to use their manners, how to treat adults, etc. I think my husband & I will handle these lessons for now. They learn lessons in socialization at home, visiting places (zoo, grocery store, library), and interacting with others at events (church, kids clubs & home school outings). I found this cute comic strip about homeschooling & socialization today. Check it out...

Those are our top reasons for homeschooling. If you home school, I hope that you have your reasons clearly defined so when someone asks you "the question" you will have a ready, intelligent answer. If not, why don't you sit down right now & write out your reasons. Having these reasons clear in your mind will not only help you when someone asks for your reasons, but they will also keep you going when times get tough (and they will sometimes).

If you haven't made the decision to home school yet, but are on the fence why not also make out your list. It might just help you make up your mind once & for all that homeschooling is the right choice for you.

I'd love you to leave me a comment & share your reasons for schooling your children at home & let me know what working on this list has done for you.

Monday, August 25, 2008

How can Michael Phelps help your business - 5 keys

Did you ever have really good intentions only to fall flat? It can happen to the best of us - at least that's what I tell myself when it happens to me. Why has it taken me so long to post a second blog? I could tell you that I've been busier than normal, that I've been sick or that the kids broke the computer throwing a football through the house (duck!). While any of that could be true, the real reason is that I just let myself get side-tracked.

The Olympics have been a big (& sometimes good) diversion! I'm a sucker for the heartwarming stories about the athletes, rooting for the under-dog (or the obvious favorite) & even watching when things don't go the way that the athletes have planned for the last four years (US track relay). Despite being pulled away from some important things in my life, I've also learned so much from these amazing individuals who put so much of themselves into what they do. While there are many athletes that are outstanding, I'm going to focus on Michael Phelps & what I've learned watching him do something that no one else has done.

  1. Challenges are not an excuse - Michael's Dad left the family, he had ADHD & he has indicated that kids picked on him sometimes. All of that could have been used as an excuse - "It's too hard; I can't do it; It's not worth the effort". Are you letting excuses hold you back from your potential?
  2. Focus, focus, focus - How much focus do you need to become an Olympian? Years of swimming, hours of practice every day. You don't decide mid-way that you want to try something else. It's not always easy, but it's worth it. "It's been nothing but an upwards roller-coaster and it's been nothing but fun," Phelps said. Your business won't always run along smoothly, but use that focus to keep you going - you will be so glad that you pushed through!
  3. Use negativity to fuel your success - Many people thought Phelps couldn't do what he set out to do. The French team even said they were going to "smash" Phelps & the US team. Much was said about Phelps putting those quote in the back of his locker, looking at them every day & determining to prove them wrong. You will have people that don't believe in you & your business. Sometimes they feel it is their duty to tell you that you will not make it (isn't that kind). If it works for you, use it as fuel to propel your business. If that doesn't work for you, ignore them completely. Limit your time around negative people!
  4. Put forth the extra effort even when you're not sure it will matter - The seventh gold for Phelps will surely be remembered as among the "most memorable moments" of the games. Coming from behind, thinking that he wasn't going to get the gold, Phelps decided to give it all he had & add another half stroke. While his competition coasted into the wall Phelps' extra effort won him the gold by .01 seconds. Are you doing more than your competition? Are putting in that extra effort that is needed to push your business forward to success like you've never thought possible?
  5. Remember your teammates in success - "Without the help of my teammates this isn't possible," Phelps was quoted as saying after one of their many wins. Three of the eight golds that he won were relays with his teammates. Never forget to thank your teammates & those that help in your business. Sincere thanks & giving will always come back to bless you.

The Olympics are over & it's back to normal life again. But I'm going to keep these five keys before me, spurring me on to my gold-medal success. I hope to see you at the top!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back to school - my longing to be home is even greater

The kids have been at Grandma's this week so Dad & I have been using this time to get the house in order & get our school supplies/curriculum pulled together.

I've also been using this time to think about changes that I want to make in my life & how to get there. The main point being - I've been saying since my eldest was born that I wanted to stay home with him. He's 8 yrs old now, so my question for myself this week has been - "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR"!! Ok, can you tell I really needed a kick in the tail?!

So, what am I doing about it? Besides my full time job in an office four days a week I'm an Independent Consultant with The Pampered Chef to bring in some more income. I chose this because I love the products & love telling people about them. You will soon realize that when I find something I like, I love to share it with others. Working for The Pampered Chef lets me get paid to share something I love. How awesome is that?!

Another thing that I've been doing is learning from others. I love to find articles to read online, listen to teleseminars, read books from the library, etc. Now it's time to put it all into action. That is what I want this space to be about, the action that I'm taking to get to my goal.

I listened yesterday to Carrie Wilkerson give a talk on "What is Your Why". Your "why" is something that will motivate you above all else. My "why" is definitely being able to stay at home with my children. This is something that I wanted even before I was ever married - to nurture & teach the children that God gave me. There is nothing more that I want in the world than to be able to watch my kids grow up, to show them how important they are to me & to help them learn both academically & spiritually. My heart hurts when I have to leave when they are sick. It puts my stomach in knots when my youngest cries & begs me not to go to work. I feel so guilty when some days I miss seeing them entirely because I go in early & leave late. This is my "why" that I'm focusing on. I'm taking action to make a difference in my life.

What about you? What is it that gets you all choked up & ready to succeed at all costs? Discover what it is, focus on it intensely & let's succeed together!