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A Little Time, A New Attitude!

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, June 17, 2005

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 6 No 24 June 17, 2005
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Lynn Hogan. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like this newsletter, recommend it to a friend!



Notes from Lynn:
-- A Little Time, A New Attitude!
Helpful Hints
-- You Never Know Who's Watching
Question of the Week:
-- None This Week
Reader's Response
-- Trip to Washington


First a quick housekeeping note: On Friday and Saturday, I will
be in South Carolina at the SCHEA convention at USC Sumter. If
you are anywhere near USC, we would love for you to stop by and
say hello at the Unit Study Helps table. Let us know you are a
subscriber! Here's the web page to find out more about this
convention and workshops available (including one by me!)

Around this time of year, we are starting to clean out our
books (you ARE finished with one set of them, aren't you?)
and sell them at various different events. The exception to
this is when you have more children coming along. Then, of
course, you prayerfully hold on to the curriculum hoping
that you can use it with another child coming down the line.
Unfortunately, this does not always work, since each of
your children are so different from one another. I wonder
how I could have had two children so totally different.
It's amazing to me!

Anyway, I wanted to encourage you to take this time to take
a break and evaluate some things. Just as you are probably
cleaning off some bookshelves trying to make room for more
books, it's a good time to do some other cleaning in your
home. Nope, we KNOW that I am not going to talk to you
about dusting your bathrooms. I am NO Martha Stewart and my
house is FAR from perfect. I was thinking more along the
lines of cleaning up our attitudes. Sometimes we fall into
looking at our children a certain way and we "give up" on
working on some of the "little things" like tone and

When our students are away from us most of the day, it's
much easier to ignore the little things. When they are with
us every day, all day, those little things appear much
bigger. Have you ever been in a restaurant and heard a
child say something to his parent that just made you sit up
and bite your tongue? That didn't happen overnight. If your
student has been spending a good deal of time outside the
home in a more traditional school, you may find that he has
established some bad habits that you might not have noticed.
Generally we tend to let some of the little things slip
because it's too much trouble to deal with while we are
cooking dinner, checking homework, etc. We have only so
much time and energy in our lives to deal with everything.
MOST of us have this situation. BUT NOW is a great time to
start working on these kinds of issues. During the break
between units or school years (some of us do go year
round), is a wonderful time to re-evaluate and concentrate
on the little things we have let go.

The first attitude we must deal with is our own. If you
have had a tough year with your student, make sure you are
not asking for the impossible from him. I tend to need to
remind myself that each of my children are different and
have different giftings. When I try and make my one child
into myself, or my husband or my other child, I am dooming
us both to failure. This is my time to evaluate who my
child is in his own right. What better time than while we
are NOT doing academics to get to know my child better?

This leads to a natural progression of evaluating my
relationship with my child. If we have had a tough year
with respect issues (his respecting me OR my respecting
him), this is a great time to start over. I have found that
ignoring these issues or "hiding from them" to avoid
confrontation ALWAYS leads to my being angry and bitter and
that leads to one of us genuinely not LIKING one another.
Needless to say, this is not the ideal environment to be
teaching someone. This is a great time to learn how to
interact with your child in a way that makes him feel
affirmed, without allowing him to treat you with anything
but respect. You do need to be the parent in this issue,
however. Someone has to make the first move and it should
be you.

Over the years I have had to do this a number of times:
"Mary, I'm sorry. We got off on the wrong foot today. When
that happens I get angry and say things I shouldn't in a
tone I know I shouldn't use" or "Mary, I know you are
frustrated with your math, but you can't take it out on me.
I am here to help you, but cannot do so while you are
frustrated and saying things that make me angry" or "yes,
Mary, this is difficult, but your tone is making it hard
for me to want to help you". There is nothing wrong with
acknowledging the wrong in a positive manner and asking
yourself or your student to correct the behavior. It makes
it a little easier during the school year to do this, IF,
during the off season you have developed a habit of
correcting these issues throughout the day. For example:
"no Fred, you cannot throw that Nintendo controller across
the room because you are angry" or "Yes, I understand that
you are disappointed that your swim team did not win, but
you cannot take it out on your sister." These are all
things that happen, but your child needs to learn what is
and is NOT acceptable in your home. It's "easier" (note, I
did not say EASY) to deal with these issues when we aren't
dealing with academics at the same time.

Every morning we have a new day. It's up to us whether or
not we want to open the baggage that we brought with us
from yesterday. Sometimes a new day is a great time to just
start over.



I was out picking up supplies at a craft store with 3 of my
children. I took advantage of the candy by the check out aisle
to quiz my 5 year old son on his name which was a name brand on
one of the candy bags, I was generally just using every
opportunity to teach. Unknown to me a older lady behind me had
been watching all of this going on and asked me if I was a
homeschool mom? I had not made any reference to homeschooling
at all, so I asked her how she knew. She said that I had an
educational mindset. Wow, it was amazing that she could pick
that up, so I asked her if she taught school, she said that she
was a retired public school teacher. But what really stuck out
in my mind was her next comment, "if I had to do it all over
again, I would homeschool my children!" I was taken aback. I
picked my chin up off my chest and told her that was a great
compliment to us. I was very delighted that I had that kind of
support from a public school teacher and it gave me the extra
push I needed that day. You never know who is watching! Teach
your children all the day and night, when you play and work and
when you ride in the car and when you shop and when you bake
cookies etc. You will see good works! - A Retired School Teacher


Next week I will be publishing the encouraging husband's
involvement responses. I received numerous and somewhat lengthy
replies. The following week I will be publishing responses to
the testing apathy question. I only received a couple responses
to that, should you choose to send a response to that question!


NOTE: my publication of these responses does not necessarily
mean that I endorse a product or an activity. You make your own
decisions about how these responses might work in YOUR school!


This summer my family and I are going on a mission trip with our
church to Washington DC I want to do a summer study around the
memorials we will be visiting so that the girls understand what
the meaning is behind what they are seeing. What do you suggest
as far as theme, books, videos, websites, etc

I recommend a text, The Christian Heritage of Our Nation by
Catherine Millard (c. 1998), which is a history workbook of 10
lessons based on 10 national memorials. It includes many
illustrations (b & w sketches of the memorial sites) and direct
quotes from the founding fathers. This curriculum is published
by Christian Heritage Ministries and distributed by Christian
Heritage Tours, Inc., 6597 Forest Dew Court, Springfield,
Virginia 22152. phone: 703-455-0333. - Lynn

We are fortunate to live only 45 minutes from the Nation's
Capitol. It will be a glorious visit! Wear VERY comfortable
walking shoes, don't carry a large purse, instead wear a
backpack. The memorials are spread very far apart from each
other. Some visitors are surprised by that and thought they
were all part of a large park area. While that is true in a
sense, the city planners wanted lots of green space in their
city. Already back then there was congestion among the town
areas and congressional buildings. So they spaced memorials
very far apart and put them in unique settings to show off
their own individual splendors. The Nation's memorials and
monuments are part of the National Park Service. Go to http:
//www.nps.gov/ and go to the search box at the bottom of the
page, then type in the memorial you want to know about. You'll
find history, facts and trivia about each memorial. Also, if
you have time, maybe request information to be sent to you
regarding each site you are interested in. There are also
pictures your kids can look at to study and make reviews about.
Maybe have them do a "What I think the Lincoln Memorial will be
like.." paragraph and after you return home, "What I discovered
about the Lincoln Memorial that I didn't know before..."
paragraph. I have done that with my boys and it really gets
their creative thinking going. While we are experiencing really
lower than normal temps in this part of the country(DC area),
the average temps for late June are in the 80's(heat index as
high as 90s). July - 90's with very high humidity and August
the heat index can get to be 105 and higher with very high
humidity. Also, expect long lines when entering places, such
as the Smithsonian buildings, etc. for bag and body searches.
- Angela

I would try using the National Park Service web site to see if
they have anything. The web site is www.nps.gov.

We are currently using for the Civil War. - Diane

Next - So NOW What??
Previous - A Reader Asks: How to Involve My Husband in Homeschooling?

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