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Making New Year's Resolutions with Your Children

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, December 31, 2009

                The Homeschooler's Notebook
     Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
   Vol. 10 No 92                          December 31, 2009
                      ISSN: 1536-2035                              
   Copyright (c) 2009 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

  Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

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  Guest Article
  -- Making Resolutions
  Helpful Tip
  -- Drawing/Writing Skills
  Winning Website
  -- Science Simulator
  Reader Question
  -- Animation Classes?
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Guest Article

  Making New Year's Resolutions with Your Children
    by Wendy Lindsey


  I wanted to share my opinion of the tradition of drafting up a
  list of things to do better in 2010.  Doing so could be a great
  homeschooling activity -- but it could also be a huge time waster!

  We all have those things we'd like to work on and goals we wish
  to achieve; goal setting *is* entirely healthy and should be
  praised!  I don't take issue with this in the slightest.  I think
  the problem I see with creating New Year's resolutions has more
  to do with how I see adults responding to their lists weeks into
  the new year.

  When we don't see our dreams realized -- fighting those cravings,
  surrendering to television over walking around the block, or
  finding writer's block day after day when trying to compose that
  masterpiece -- our usual reaction is to ditch that list and wait
  until next year!  What are we teaching ourselves?  What are we
  telling our kids?

  Promise me that if you're going to sit down with your kids and
  create a New Year's resolution list together that you'll follow
  the following guidelines:

  1. Set realistic goals... after all, you'll still be you when you
  flip that calendar page.

  2. Give yourself some wiggle room.  Again, you aren't likely going
  to change overnight.  When you've been dieting for 3 days and you
  crave a Twix bar, it might not be the end of your diet to have one.
  I mean, so long as it's just one.

  3. Don't beat yourself up if you find yourself a victim of old
  habits.  If I knew how to change into someone else overnight I
  would have done it a long time ago.  Seriously!  I've changed in
  huge ways over the last 20+ years and in some minor ways over the
  last 5 -- never overnight.

  4. Recruit a friend or an accountability partner to help you stay
  on track.  If you're doing this with your children, you already
  have one!

  5. Smile!  This is all positive.  You're wanting to take better
  care of yourself and those around you.  You should feel proud that
  you're healthy enough to set the goals, and yes... you can do it!

  6. If you hit a road block... DON'T WAIT UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2011 to
  pick yourself back up!  I can't tell you how many times I've seen
  people do that with diets.  Trust me, there's really nothing magical
  about January.  In fact, where I live it's pretty unremarkable to
  say the least. :-)

  Okay... are we clear?  Have fun with this!  If you're not feeling
  ready for battle, maybe set small goals like cleaning your bedroom
  closet and keeping it clean all year.  Hey, that's reasonable,
  isn't it?  Maybe you and your children could set a goal of making
  your beds everyday, tackling a difficult subject, or spending more
  time with the grandparents.  If you want to teach them to reach
  out to others, encourage them to save a bit of their allowance
  each week for Harvesters or for a toy drive in the fall.  Maybe
  you could all save and adopt a family for Christmas next year.
  Now you're thinking!

  Happy New Year!


  Wendy Lindsey is a Christian work-from-home mom to an 8 year old
  boy and a 7 year old girl.  She is married to an engineer and
  lives in a modest little home in Kansas. :-)

  Wendy's blog:  http://www.thehomeschoolingblog.com/
  Wendy's WAHM business:  https://www.sendoutcards.com/wendylindsey


  Do you have comments to share?  Please do!
  Send your emails to:  mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net


  Master The Upper Times Tables in Under an Hour!

  "Thank you for your wonderful Times Tales program. Before we
  received your program, my 10-year-old son knew less than half
  of the upper times tables -- and those he completed with
  frustration.  With Times Tales it took him only 30 minutes

  "Thank YOU for such a great product. It is amazing how well
  it works!" -- Jeannie Fulbright, author of Apologia Elementary
  Science Curriculum

  See the VIDEO that proves even VERY young children can master
  memorization of their upper level times tables!  Just visit
  this link for more info:



      Helpful Tip

  Drawing/Writing Skills for Young Ones

  "This is probably something some of you already do with your
  young children, but since I'm in the middle of it right now I
  thought I'd share this idea.

  When each of my boys reached the stage of where they liked to
  'draw' pictures and could speak some, whenever they finished a
  picture I would talk about what they drew and write down on the
  picture what they said.

  Each of my children reached this stage at different times.  One
  child could write his name at 18 months, but another still wasn't
  speaking or writing at 4.  It's not something I pushed on them,
  but came with their natural progression.  If you give a child
  crayons and paper eventually they'll put them together (as opposed
  to putting them in their mouth!).

  This skill accomplishes many things.  One, it gives them wonderful
  narration practice and helps them learn to express themselves.
  Two, they see what you write and learn to recognize letters and
  words and their importance.  Three, it makes a great record of
  the child's thoughts and abilities and is a great keepsake to
  look back upon in the future.

  Lastly, it is hilarious to see what they say and provides a lot
  of enjoyment.  What looks like a scribble on the page turns into
  an elaborate scene of events with a variety of people and things.

  I provided each child with a binder (or several binders!).  After
  they are done with their pictures, we hole-punch them and stick
  each in the binder.  My 3-year-old loves to get his binder off
  the shelf and look at his pictures.  Plus, (this is always a plus)
  it reduces clutter and helps keep things organized."

  -- Melissa in Louisiana


  Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share?  Please write!
  Send to:  mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

      Winning Website

  Physics Simulations and More!


  In this orbit simulation above, you can build your own system of
  heavenly bodies and watch the gravitational ballet!  Set initial
  positions, velocities, and masses of 2, 3, or 4 bodies, and then
  see your creations orbit each other.

  There are many other cool science simulations at the PhET website,
  arranged by topic or by grade level.  Most you can run right on the
  website -- others you can download free to your computer.

      Last Issue's Reader Question

  "I have a child who loves animation.  He had a class in a program
  called Scratch and he fell in love ever since.  I was wondering if
  there were any animation classes on-line or out there that anyone
  could recommend.  Thanks." -- Renee

      Our Readers' Responses 

  "I don't have a class online for you, but MIT has a program he
  can mess around with called Scratch.  It's free and since he's
  creative anyway, he may not need a class as much as practice.

  The home page says 'Create and share your own interactive stories,
  games, music, and art.'


  That's what it is!  It's really cool... and free!" -- Terri


  "Hi, Renee -- My son also enjoys using Scratch.  He also recommends
  Alice, an animation program developed by Carnegie Mellon.

  Here are some links:


  Side note:  You may recall hearing about Randy Pausch (The Last
  Lecture).  He was a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer
  Interaction and Design at Carnegie Mellon, and also served as the
  Director of Carnegie Mellon's Alice research group, where he oversaw
  the development of Alice." -- LC


  "I haven't looked into it, but there is a program called 'I Can
  Animate' available from the Homeschool Buyers Co-op."

  -- Sue


  "Timberdoodle.com offers the following software: CoreFx and Stop
  Motion Animation.

  Academicsuperstore.com offers many programs.  On their website,
  search for 'Animation and Modeling' for a list of animation
  software." -- Chris

     Answer our NEW Question

  "I am having trouble keeping my oldest son, who is in 5th grade,
  motivated to do his school work.  I have tried everything.  He is
  not allowed any free time until his school is done, but he just
  dilly-dallies and does not care.  I do not want to punish because
  I do not want him to have negative associated with school; it
  should be fun.  Any help?"

  -- Stressed and discouraged in Florida


  Would you like to offer some help for our reader in distress?

  Please send your answer to:  mailto:HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

     Ask YOUR Question

  Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

  Send it to mailto:HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
  if we can help you out in a future issue!

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Next - BOYS -- Writing and Spelling Tears and Frustration
Previous - Getting Dad More Involved, Free DVD for Homeschools

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