Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 9: Insights into parenthood from the Ensign

I have been uncomfortable with the school system providing our children with sex education. All they teach is how to do it and how to avoid getting pregnant, or so it seems. There are are no morals or standards attached. But that is not how sex education should be taught. It should be taught by parents, and they should teach the purpose and doctrine behind it. It's more than just a biological drive.

Many parents are uncomfortable talking with their children about sex. We see it in media all the time, we hint about it with friends, but no one dares actually teach the children. So we convey the idea that it is a nasty problem we all have that we avoid if possible. That's not what it should be.

But I have to admit, I don't know how we are supposed to teach this topic.

So I really appreciated this article in the Ensign by Matthew O. Richardson. It is called "Teaching Chastity and Virtue," and it is found in the October 2012 issue.

Brother Richardson offers six strategies to help us teach sex education:

1) Teaching and learning should begin early.
When? Rely on the Spirit to tell you when, how and what to teach. As Brother Richardson points out, our children are running into sexual topics at very young ages now, and we should be prepared to teach it early.

2) Teaching and learning should occur often.
Brother Richardson tells us that learning is a process, not an event. It is ineffective to think that learning happens all in one talk. So we have to be prepared emotionally, spiritually and mentally to teach frequently. Looking back on my experience as a child and teenager, I picked up little bits everywhere and put them together. Learning about sex was a process. It didn't happen all at once.

3) Effective teaching hinges on the relationship between the teacher and learner.
Interestingly enough, children want to talk with you about this topic. You need to help them feel safe talking about anything with you, even sex. Brother Richardson says to talk with, not at them, and don't be awkward or ruffled when you talk about it.

4) Teaching and learning are most effective when the subject is relevant and real.
Brother Richardson says that we need to pay attention to, listen to and observe our children to know what to teach. He also counsels to model chastity, modesty and virtue so your children can see it first hand. So don't watch bad movies and wear low-cut shirts! He has a great quote from Brigham Young:

"We should set [our children] an example that we wish them to imitate. Do we realize this? How often we see parents demand obedience, good behavior, kind words, pleasant looks, a sweet voice and a bright eye from a child or children when they themselves are full of bitterness and scolding! How inconsistent and unreasonable this is!’ Our children will notice such inconsistencies in us and perhaps find justification for acting in similar ways.”

5) Learners learn best when they understand what teachers are teaching.
Teach children using words they can understand. Ask for feedback to see if they get it.

6) Learners are converted when teachers connect the message with everlasting principles and standards.
Teach them the doctrine of families and the plan of salvation, and how intimacy is a part of that.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Week #8: Insights from General Conference

From last April's General Conference, I read Rosemary M. Wixom's talk, "The Words We Speak." I felt that this one applied the best to what I was trying to learn. This is something that I wish everyone would read.

Sister Wixom says that a child's belief in God and himself are formed early in life, and that we influence those beliefs by the words we speak. I can find examples of that in my personal life. I was always told that I was smart and beautiful, so I have never doubted it. But I did have a hard time as a teenager believing that I was likable because of comments that others made. In fact, it was so ingrained in my mind that I was grumpy and harsh that when my Dad said, within my hearing, "Alisa is really a very pleasant person to be around when she wants to be," I actually began to cry. When a college professor and my Grandma told me I had a pleasing personality, it turned my life around. Words ARE powerful.

Sister Wixom tells the story of Nephi and Lehi preaching to the Lamanites.When they were imprisoned, they were protected by God and their Lamanite captors heard the voice of the Lord. His voice was described as a voice of "perfect mildness." Sister Wixom pointed out that it was a voice that gave direction and hope, even while it was chastising.

That's the kind of voice that a parent should strive to have. I know that I have felt His voice before, and I know what Sister Wixom was talking about. But trying to do it myself is a little harder. Right now Little Pink Girl is pretty small and doesn't do anything bad intentionally, so it isn't hard to always be patient with her. She's about to learn to walk and talk and do all sorts of things. I'm sure it will only get more difficult, but I am going to strive to be that kind of a parent.

Sister Wixom tells us that children come to this earth ready to listen, and that to really speak to a child's heart, you need to know their needs. (This is probably why Heavenly Father can speak to our hearts at the right time and in the right way, always.) She suggests that we pray and seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost to know what our children really need. This reminds me of a quote from a letter to Joseph Smith to his wife, Emma:

"Be tender and kind to them; don't be fractious to them, but listen to their wants."

I had to look up the word fractious to know exactly what it meant. It means "easily irritated." Hmm. I know there are times when it is so easy to be irritated with our kids! But if we pay attention to their needs, we will be able to understand and reach them despite their behavior.

Something that Sister Wixom warned against was "benign neglect." She tells a story that is found in a Deseret News article, "Baby's development potentially harmed by parents texting." (It is definitely worth the read.) It talks about how parents' being distracted by social media might be the cause of an increase in developmental disorders. I know that I'm not the worst about this, but I do need to correct some problems.

Sister Wixom ends her talk by saying, "May the words we speak and writer reflect the love our Heavenly Father has" for our children. And I'd add that you should make sure your tone and facial expressions do the same thing, too!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 7: Book review

I really did finish this book quite a long time ago, but I haven't had a chance to write up the post for it. Little Pink Girl is getting to the age where she needs lots of entertaining, but she doesn't have any siblings to do that. So it's all me. Even when we arrange play dates, I still have to come along. But it's still a lot of fun.

For this book review I read School Education by Charlotte Mason. I was curious about her ideas for setting up a curriculum, so that was then next book I read. It was fantastic! And I gained a greater understanding of her philosophy.

Some highlights include:

  • The chapters on authority. I loved how she explained where authority comes from and what it means for parents and children. She also explains how we can't rely on man's reason as the ultimate authority. It was a fascinating chapter.
  • The explanation of masterly inactivity. We guide our children and provide opportunities for them, but we don't oversee everything they do, nag at them, hover over them, etc.
  • Why children should be schooled at home until they are older. The home and family are the best schools for life and society. 
  • Mason's declaration that "education is the science of relations." We should be helping children develop relations with everything around them. Their relationship with God is the foundation of their education. Then their relationships with people, past and present, is next most important and forms the greatest part of their education, and I think that is because people are God's greatest work and glory and should be ours, too. History, literature, art and science all help children connect with people. Experiential education and being part of the community is another part of connecting with people. Then, a child's relations with nature, his body and "material" comes next. I think that all those things help us connect with God, too, if we teach it properly.
  • The family unit helps a child understand the world he lives in. For example, the head of the home helps a child understand his relationship with God.
  • Teaching our children to take care of and develop their bodies is very important so that they are prepared to do whatever work God asks of them. I'd add, the same goes for our minds and emotional states.
  • Use books that inspire ideas, not that summarize information and facts.
  • Children need to be taught to act, not to be acted upon in education.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Just a side note ...

These are some quotes that were in an email I received for the Homeschooling ABCs Mini Class today:

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality. - Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain (1835-1910)

I thought these were rather interesting. I'm not saying that homeschooling is for everyone and you're nuts not to do it. But I do think that many school systems are lacking, and it's nice when famous people have realized it, too. It makes me feel validated. :)

If you're interested in taking the mini class, too, you can find it at

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book review: Last Child in the Woods

This was a fantastic book! In it Richard Louv writes about the "third frontier," where children are alienated from nature by well-intentioned environmentalists, technology reigns in education, children know lots of biology facts but don't understand the biology in their own backyard and raising food is unfamiliar. He calls this "nature-deficit disorder."

Louv cites many benefits of being in close contact (NOT digital contact) with nature every day: mental, physical and spiritual health; increased confidence and awareness of the environment; and increased creativity.

He gives lots of suggestions and ideas for getting a child out in nature more, such as gardening, fishing, hiking, keeping a nature journal, etc.

It's interesting how former generations realized the great need for children to be outside. In Understood Betsy and The Secret Garden and Heidi, nature and being outside were critical for health and healing. Charlotte Mason suggests in Home Education that children should be outside as many hours in a day as possible, even on cold and wet days. She makes a big deal about children being in nature and learning natural history. How did we lose that? Kids spend so much of their lives indoors at school, watching TV and playing computer games. How has our culture forgot how important nature is?

His description of how technology "narrows the senses" resonated with me. After reading The Well-Trained Mind and Last Child in the Woods, I am thoroughly convinced that limiting technology in our home and education is the best thing for my kids.

Louv is a proponent of experiential education. I have to say that a balance between experiential or place-based education and language-based or classical education (as described in The Well-Trained Mind) will probably the best thing for my children. I can see benefit in both.

I would highly recommend this book to all parents.

Book review: The Well-Trained Mind

So, after talking to my sister-in-law, I decided to look at Susan Wise Bauer and Jesse Wise's book, The Well-Trained Mind. I have to say that after reading this I felt like I just about had my curriculum figured out for me. The book covers educating your children from preschool through high school. It proclaims to be a guide to classical education.

In a lot of ways it is similar to Charlotte Mason's book. But instead of just being a philosophy, it's a whole program with suggested schedules and materials. They have some fantastic lists of resources.

I love how they divide history and science into four segments: Ancient times (5000 b.c.- a.d. 400), Medieval-Early Renaissance (400-1600), pre-Modern (1600-1850), and Modern (1850-present); and biology, earth science and astronomy, chemistry, and physics and computer science. Each of the four segments is covered in a year, and each segment has been covered three times when the student graduates from high school. Reading and science are correlated with history.

They divide a child's education into three main segments. The first four grades are called the "grammar" stage, where a student learns the "grammar," or basics, of each subject. Language is the main focus during those years. Grades 5-8 are called the "logic" stage. During this time a child's reasoning capacity is developing, and so it is time to teach them formal logic and critical thinking skills. The "rhetoric" stage is high school, and the main focus is teaching a student how to effectively express themselves in multiple ways, but particularly with language.

I highly agree with what they say about technology in education. It makes a lot of sense to me, and it really has helped solidify my opinion on childhood development and technology.

I can understand why some critics say this should be a reference book for every homeschooler. It really helps you develop a holistic plan for educating your child. It makes it seem quite doable to teach your child whatever he/she needs to know.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Book review: Charlotte Mason's Home Education

While many people pinpoint the start modern homeschooling movement in the 1960s and 70s, Christians call Charlotte Mason the founder of the modern homeschooling movement. She wrote Home Education, which describes education for kids from birth to age 9, in 1886. I'd say it was definitely a monumental work in education.

In fact, I can see a lot of current educational principles in her books. My favorite part is how she emphasizes children need to be outside in nature--and not just in a city park. She thinks they should be out in the country. She cites many health reasons for this, as well as the peace that a connection with nature produces. (Is this sounding familiar?) She encourages parents to get their kids out every day, if possible, for as long as possible.

I have decided that I want to incorporate her ideas in teaching first grade biology and second grade earth science and  astronomy. Kids should experience the world to learn about it. Mason describes games to help a kid pay attention and learn about their environment, like "sightseeing" and mental "picture painting." She suggests that kids keep a nature journal of things they see every day. She suggests bird watching and listening; choosing a few trees to keep track of all year; picking, pressing, mounting, researching and labeling flowers and plants; and having animals and insects, like ants or fish, in the house or schoolroom that the kids can observe.

Mason says that when kids become familiar with nature at a young age by experiencing it hands-on, it makes it easier for them to learn science principles when they are older and have developed the capacity to reason. I can relate to that. I used to garden all the time when I was a kid, and when I was a teenager I worked at a greenhouse. Not only did high school biology make more sense to me, but my college soil, ecology and botany classes were a breeze. I remember surprising my teachers more than once. But it all made sense to me because I was familiar with it.

I also like what Mason says about training children in habits--for the most part. I do believe that a child's will is strong when they want something. She thinks it is weak, so the child must be trained in habits until their will is strong. But establishing good habits at a young age is essential for success in work, school and relationships later in life.

Mason notes that if a child has good habits, they can direct themselves and don't have to be directed or nagged by you all the time. She suggests you work on one habit at a time, and be friendly and encouraging. You have to use tact and be consistent and persistent. She says to use natural consequences as much as possible to teach the child.

This is a fantastic read for any homeschool mom.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Update and explanation

So, a while ago both my husband's computer and my computer had some issues. Without a computer it's nearly impossible to blog. And silly me, the only copy of my study schedule was on my blog. But I have a whole list of books that I want to read, and when our computers were down, I went to the library and checked out a bunch of them. So I've not been idle. I wanted to finish them, so although my computer has been running, I have still been reading them. I will work on putting up a summary and what I learned for each book soon. Then I will finally get back to my study schedule ...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Week #6: Report on two children's books

A couple of weeks ago, someone we knew was giving away a whole bunch of books and let us look through them to see if there were any books we wanted. I pulled out Carry on, Mr. Bowditch because it sounded familiar to me. I decided to read it for this assignment.

The book is written by Jean Lee Latham. I really enjoyed the story, and the best part of all is that it is true! After getting about halfway through the book, I realized that the accomplishments of Nathaniel Bowditch, the book's main character, were a stretch to mix fiction with history, or this guy really did some things that impacted the U.S. I googled his name, and it turns out that he really lived and did the things in the book. I love stories like that!

The story starts in the middle of the American Revolution when Nathaniel, or Nat, was six years old, and follows him through his fifth voyage and his writing of the most accurate book on navigation up to that point. I love how the author portrays history so accurately throughout the story. And throughout the book, she uses people's explanations to the child Nat, or Nat's explanations as an adult, to teach about things in early American life. I learned so much reading that book!

Nat's family falls on some real tough times during the revolution and in the years following when the economy was so bad. Because they are struggling, Nat's father pulls him out of school and has him work in his cooperage. This is pretty discouraging to Nat. Then he ends up being indentured to a ship chandler. One fellow tells him that his life is over, that's he's been becalmed. A friend tells him that he doesn't have to be becalmed. He can sail by ash breeze. Naturally, Nat want's to know what that means.

The friend tells him, "When a ship is becalmed--the wind died down--she can't move--sometimes the sailors break out their oars. They'll row a boat ahead of the ship and tow her. Or they'll carry out anchors and heave them over, and the crew will lean on the capstan bars and drag the ship up to where the anchors are heaved over. Oars are made of ash--white ash. So--when you get ahead by your own get-up-and-get--that's when you sail by ash breeze."

The story of Nat's life is one of sailing by ash breeze. He educates himself and works very hard. He ends up being a scientist, mathematician, navigator, businessman and surveyor. He never stopped working and doing his best, even when times were tough and it didn't seem like he was getting anywhere.

The book won the Newbery medal, and for good reason. It's a fantastic story!

The original reason for this assignment was so that I could read the many children's books in my bookcase that I haven't looked at yet. I wanted to make sure that they were the best books I could get for my kids. One of those books that have sitting on a shelf unread was one called Understood Betsy, by Dorothy Cansfield Fisher.

The story starts with a young girl that's been raised to be a nervous, frightened, dependent child who lives with her aunts. The setting is around the turn of the 20th century. Certain circumstances occur that end up with her being sent to some other relatives who lived on a farm and whom she hasn't ever met. They don't coddle her at all, and they let her do things on her own, teach her to do chores, help her learn to laugh and to be independent. It's a great story!

There are two things that really made me enjoy reading the book. One was the sarcasm that the writer puts in. She has a fun way of telling the story from the viewpoint of a narrator and inserting fun comments. The other thing that I really loved was her imagery and specific details. They were so down-home and real. I grew up on a farm, and her descriptions, while short and to the point, were rich. It brought so many memories of my own childhood.

So, I highly recommend both books. They're fantastic!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Week #4: Interview a homeschool mom

I had a fantastic interview with my sister-in-law, Beth Wright! Originally I was going to post the recording of the interview because I had thought I had done that before. But looking back at some of my old blogs, I realized that all I had posted was video, and I couldn't figure out how to post something that was just audio. Between that and computer trouble, I am a few days late posting this.

So, instead, I'll have to give you some brief highlights. It's too bad you can't hear her tell it for herself because it would be much better that way.

Beth does a terrific job of teaching history. She has broken it up into four segments: ancient, medieval, early modern and modern. She teaches a segment for a year before moving onto the next one. By the time a child graduates from high school, they've gone through all four segments three times, a little more in depth each time. Beth uses Susan Wise Bauer's The Story of the World books for the first four grades, as well as children's encyclopedias and other reference books.

Even cooler, Beth has her kids read literature and study humanities lessons that compliment what their learning in history. She also incorporates the study of world religions, and uses the Bible and Book of Mormon as part of their ancient history unit. I love it!

Something else that I thought was absolutely awesome is their opening exercises every day. They sing, read some literature together, and do some hands-on projects, like painting or playing with clay. She says it gets the kids warmed up and excited for school.

Finally, I was really impressed that her favorite teaching resource was her own curiosity. She loves to continue to learn and research. As I've been learning, that's the best trait in a homeschool mom. She uses the internet and the local library a lot.

She had some great organizational ideas, but if I start writing down every cool thing she said, I might as well just transcribe the whole interview (which would take way too long). So I guess I have to stop.

Thanks for sharing your great ideas, Beth!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Heads up on schedule change

Just to meet my needs better I changed the schedule on the "About me" page. There aren't a ton of changes, but it is different now.

I look forward to sharing what I learn from another homeschool mom at the end of this week! :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Week #3: Book report

So I finally finished reading Teaching Students to Read Through Their Individual Learning Styles. It was a very interesting book! I learned a lot about why public schools do or don't do certain things, why some kids are successful in public school and why some aren't. I recognized many of the learning style patterns in myself and family members.

The authors divided learning style elements into five categories: environmental, emotional, sociological, physical and psychological. The elements are sound, light, temperature, design (formal or informal); motivation, persistence, responsibility and structure; learning with peers, alone, in pairs, in groups or with an authority figure; perceptual, intake, time and mobility; analytic/global, cerebral preference and reflective/impulsive.

The book identified several reading methods and explained how they complimented what learning style. The authors believe that perceptual strengths and global/analytic ways of thinking are the most important things to consider when selecting reading methods. It mentioned that most kids are global rather than analytic, and that at the age when kids usually learn to read their perceptual strengths are mostly tactile and kinesthetic. Good visual and auditory skills usually develop later.

The authors say that phonics are not a good match for most youngsters because it analytic and for auditory learners. I can see that, as in a public school setting where everyone must learn at the same rate, how that could be a problem. But I honestly believe that phonics and decoding types of reading methods are very important because of the skills you learn.

I am very strongly a visual learner, and I learned to read with phonics. Although I learned to read mostly by memorizing the things my mom taught me, I remembered the principles I was taught and later, it really made a difference for me. I have three siblings that are very tactile and kinesthetic. Two of them learned to read at seven years old, and one learned to read at nine. They all learned with phonics. They're all good readers. One brother recently graduated with his associates in the top 5% of his class from a prestigious school.

In a public school setting, that couldn't happen. Everyone has to learn the same things at the same rate, or they're "behind." That sounds negative. But it shouldn't be. In our society where tolerance is so important, why don't we let people learn how and when they need to?

I loved some of the ideas that the book described to teach reading. I really liked the learning circles, task cards and pic-a-holes. The electroboards are cool, but I wouldn't use them all the time. The book also described how to make programmed learning sequences (which, with current technology, I would make with PowerPoint instead of 3x5 cards), contract activity packages and multisensory instructional packages. The CAPs are really cool because they match most learning styles, can be done independently and encourage motivation, persistence and responsibility.

Overall, I learned a ton about people and learning from reading this book. And it's inspired me to to make a CAP for my personal application project in a few weeks.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Week #3: Book report

Hey, so I started reading this book called Teaching Students to Read Through Their Individual Learning Styles, and it's been taking me longer than I thought it would. I am about a third of the way through it. It is fascinating, but it reads like a scientific journal and is rather technical. I thought about just writing about what I have read so far, but since I'm in charge of my own learning, I decided to give myself another week. So look for the full book report next week!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Week #2: Current issue in society

While there are tons of issues facing the family these days, one that stood out to me this week as I read different articles was the definition of parental rights. How much can a parent choose for their kids? How much is turned over to other societal units?

While there are parents who abuse, neglect and practically destroy their children, most parents care deeply about them. Biologically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually they are connected with their children, whether they realize it or not. You can't hurt your child without ultimately hurting yourself.

But I do realize that there are parents that need help with parenting. I've run into a few. It's honestly one of the saddest things I've seen when a parent hurts a child that completely trusts them. And I think that situation is increasing in statistics. Why? Parents' lives are off-kilter.

I found an article originally published in the New York Times that addresses this issue. This article talked about how abusive parenting is causing mental illnesses, violence and a decline in the economy. He talked about an experiment in South Carolina that really made a difference. The experiment was educating parents on how to discipline children, then allowing them to make decisions.

This was something that crossed my mind before. We should educate and empower parents, not take their rights away. Parents get a ton of lip service in this society, but very little support.

I think that parents should be educated and given options and resources for educating their children. Then the parent should make the ultimate decision--whether to homeschool, utilize an online curriculum, attend a public or private school, or a little of everything. They shouldn't be forced into a one-size fits all model, like what happened to the Johanssens in Sweden. Doing so denies the fact that we are individuals in society, that we have a right to be ourselves.

If people are educated, they believe in family and doing what's best for them. Linda and Richard Eyre, in their column printed in the March 17, 2013 issue of the Deseret News, pointed that out. They cited a statistic that divided our nation into four groups: the faithfuls (religious conservatives), the engaged progressives (educated liberals whose core belief is tolerance and diversity), the disengaged (those who have dropped out of politics, community and church), and the American dreamers (who wait for society to rescue them).

Two of the groups, the faithfuls and the engaged progressives, were the ones who cared about family and children. They were committed to this core belief and made it a high priority. What do those two groups have in common? An education and an ideology.

But instead of educating and helping parents, society aims at taking over their role. I read three articles in the Deseret News that illustrate that. Culture of Can't describes how school administrators use policies to be unresponsive to parents' concerns.

This article tells how a bill to provide at-home sex education curriculum failed to pass in the House because they say that parents have plenty of resources online to help them. Unfortunately, that isn't the point. The point is that parents expect schools to do it for them like they've been doing for the past few decades, and they need to be encouraged to teach their children at home about those things.

And in this article, Celia Baker describes the dilemma that schools face with special education. Instead of schools trying to decide if all special students should be integrated into the regular classroom or not, the parents, along with therapists and trained professionals that they trust, should decide what is best for the child.

If parents want to continue to hold onto their rights, they need to look for options and resources themselves. But without the support of society, that's very hard. We need to be encouraging support, resources and options for parents. Otherwise, the basic unit of society, the family, will fail, because the front-line defenders were undermined and ignored. If that happens, our society will turn to chaos.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Week #1: Insights from the scriptures

It's a commandment to teach our kids and to raise them up in light and truth (D&C 93:40). In D&C 93:38-39 tells us that children are born innocent, and that Satan takes away light and truth through disobedience or through being misled by people that they trust.

That is why it is so important for us to teach our children to come to Christ. Christ is the source of light and truth, and when they come to Him, they regain the light that they have lost. They also learn to trust Him, become like Him and serve His children. So it is really important to lead our children to Him.

Correction is part of teaching. I think correction can be one of the most misunderstood parts of teaching, especially within Christianity. "He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (Proverbs 13:24)." Using a rod is a figure of speech. It doesn't mean we beat our kids when we love them!

But correction does show love. How? It teaches obedience and leads us on the road to perfection, like when the Lord chastised the brother of Jared for 3 hours. The brother of Jared repented and became one of the greatest prophets of all time (Ether 2:14, 3:13). "Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law (Psalms 94:12)."

But we have to "chasten" appropriately, otherwise we fail in our purpose. We can create hard feelings in our children or make the feel like failures. In D&C 121:43-44, the Lord describes the right way to correct: "Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death." The key is to reprove when moved upon by the Spirit, and then show greater love afterwards. Let them know you love them despite mistakes!

Missionary work has many parallels to teaching children. They both have the same goal: to bring souls to Christ. In D&C 100, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon are going on a mission to Canada, and the Lord gives them some instruction: " shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things. And I give unto you a promise, that inasmuch as ye do this, the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say (D&C 100:7-8)."

At another time, the Lord told the prophet and others, "Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit ... (D&C 63:64)."

I recognized this in my own life. When I have been corrected harshly or in the wrong spirit, I resent it or ignore it. But when the Holy Ghost accompanies the correction, it sinks into my heart. I remember it. I can't ignore it. It is so important that our children feel the Holy Ghost in their learning, including in correction. But that's a topic big enough to fill another blog post.

While thinking about my study topic this week, I came up with a list of appropriate ways to teach and lead our children that I have read in the past:
  • point out real life, familiar examples and sources of counsel and encouragement in people they know, like Alma the Younger did (Alma 39:10)
  • use relevant object lessons from their experience, like Lehi did for Laman and Lemuel (1 Nephi 2:8-10)
  • teach them about righteous ancestors and prophets that have gone before, like Helaman did for Lehi and Nephi (Helaman 5:6-7)
  • take them with you as you work and serve, like Alma the Younger did (Alma 31:7)
  • pray for and about them, like Alma the Elder did (Mosiah 27:14)
  • support them in their work and callings, like Joseph Smith, Sen., did for his son (Joseph Smith-History 1:49-50)
  • teach and correct them individually, one-on-one, like Alma the Younger did (Alma 36-42)
  • teach them the scriptures and the gospel, like King Benjamin did (Mosiah 1:2-3)

Monday, March 18, 2013


I'm excited to go on my quest for knowledge!
Welcome to my new blog! If you want to know what it's about, please click on the "About Me" tab. This is the first week that I am starting this project. I am really excited about it, and I invite anyone who wants to join me to comment or contact me with the insights and things that they learn. But this isn't a commercial blog in any way, and I'm not trying to attract followers. This will be strictly a record of what I'm learning in preparation to be a homeschooling parent.

I will be posting my first report at then end of this week. The topic this week is insights into parenting from the scriptures. I'm also planning on beginning to read the book that I'll be reporting on for Week #3. I'm excited to begin this venture!