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Six Things I Won't Say to My Children

Added by Heather Idoni

Monday, October 14, 2013
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Vol. 14 No. 7, October 14, 2013, ISSN: 1536-2035
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(c) 2013, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net
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Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you enjoy this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend! 

http://www.familyclassroom.net

=================
IN THIS ISSUE:
=================
Notes from Heather
-- Life Updates & News!
Guest Article
-- Things I Won't Say to My Kids
Winning Website
-- Online Color Challenge
Helpful Tip
-- Art Card Swap!
Reader Question
-- Middle School Years
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

====================
Notes from Heather
====================

Some Life Updates... and Newsletter News!

My dear, dear readers! I'm sure some of you are wondering where I've been... since you haven't seen a new issue of our newsletter in quite awhile. Well, I can tell you I've been VERY busy lately. :-)

Our adoption journey has been going very well so far and most of the loads of paperwork and proceedings on our side of the planet are nearly complete and almost ready to be sent over to Ukraine. Then the wait begins! If all goes well -- and we've been amazingly blessed so far -- then we should be traveling to Eastern Ukraine in early 2014. Our hearts are entwined with our 3 sons-to-be who are still so far away. But we are confident in God's plan for us and have had so much confirmation that we are following His leading that the journey has become a very joyful one indeed. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us... we have already experienced several of what I call "mini-miracles"! :-)

As you've probably figured out, my neglect of the newsletter is directly tied to our family's new focus. However I have great news on that front! One of our most beloved readers and contributors has graciously agreed to assist me with future issues. She will continue to gather together the fresh and helpful content you've come to expect from our Homeschooler's Notebook over the years. This dear friend is one I've had in mind since I took over the editorship in 2005 for the possibility of collaborating together. Her contributions, especially in the form of hundreds of thoughtful answers to reader questions, have always been spot-on full of wisdom, discernment, compassion and practical encouragement. If you've been reading our Notebook for years, you probably have guessed by now exactly who I'm writing about!

I will continue to work behind the scenes, and I will also pop in from time to time, but the new "face" of our Homeschooler's Notebook will be a fresh one. Just to leave you in suspense, I'm going to wait and let her introduce herself in her very first issue in November...

Thank you all for caring and being a part of my life since 2005. I have truly enjoyed creating the newsletter, but I'm ready to take a back seat and give our Homeschooler's Notebook a chance to truly thrive again. I'm so excited! :-)

-- Heather

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Guest Article
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6 Things I Won't Say to My Children... and Why
  by Allison Lee

I remember many words that my parents spoke to me as a child -- both hurtful and helpful. There was the time Daddy said, "Allison, you've got it all -- looks and brains." It made my heart swell. Once Mama said to me, as she measured me for a dress, when I asked her if I was fat: "You're pleasantly plump". It crushed me.

With my own children, I desire to speak intentional words, consciously chosen phrases to build up my two boys -- whether I'm encouraging them or correcting them. I get it wrong so often, but there are a handful of sentences I've committed NOT to say to my sons.

1. Be good. We all want our children to behave -- and to behave well. It helps our wee ones more when we give them some clear and specific instructions, such as, "When we go outside, you need to play in the grass and not go past the trees, OK?" Sometimes "be good" is our parting shot when we say good-bye to our children -- such as "be good for Grandma", or "be good for the babysitter". But what are we really expecting them to do when we say "be good"? Our children will know what we expect of them when we communicate it in simple, concrete terms they can understand.

2. I told you so. Nobody wants to hear this, children or adults. If we give our children the choice of whether to bring a jacket when the weather feels chilly, and then they leave the jacket at home, we could choose to respond with, "I told you so". But we can let the consequence of the choice be the teacher (that helps our kiddos learn responsibility) and just sympathize with what they feel. For example: "It's too bad you didn't bring your jacket. I know you're cold; it will feel good to warm up when we get home, won't it?"

3. Don't make me angry. Sometimes our children, family, friends, and co-workers will make us angry -- and sometimes we'll do the same with them. It's just the reality of life and relationships. I don't want my children to feel responsible for my emotional well-being. If we use "don't make me angry" as some vague form of instruction when we feel on the verge of exploding, it may help to try another tactic -- such as giving clear, positive instructions. (I try to tell my children what they are allowed to do instead of what they aren't allowed to do whenever it seems appropriate.) If you need a moment away, have them play outside or in another part of the house while you take a moment to breathe -- or just to go to the bathroom by yourself.

4. Good boy. If you have daughters, substitute "good girl". I shy away from saying this to my sons because I do not want them to feel good behavior determines my approval, acceptance, or love for them. I fear they might think, "Oh, I did something good. That makes me a good boy". The converse -- "I did something bad; that makes me a bad boy" -- is not what I want my children to believe about themselves, either. I want them to believe that they can do nothing to make me love them more OR to make me love them less. Alternatives to "good boy", in order to give your children encouragement instead of praise: "You did that all by yourself!" or "You helped me so much today" or "You sure are an artist!" And my favorite kind of praise to give them: "It must feel so good to learn to ride your bike without training wheels" (or whatever the feat they've just achieved).

5. If you don't [fill in the blank], you'll be sorry. This simply sounds like a threat to me, and my husband and I make every effort not to communicate with threats to our children. Not only is it a threat, but it's a vague one -- how will I be sorry? our children may think. That plus the fact that this kind of speech doesn't show our children what they should be doing in any kind of positive way means that this is not actually discipline (which I like to think of as loving correction). Instead of "If you don't clean your room, you'll be sorry," we can try "If you want to go swimming this afternoon, your room needs to be cleaned up first."

6. Because I said so. We've probably heard this so many times growing up that it lost any meaning to us. Yet I've often heard that God, our loving Heavenly Father, gives us commands at times in the Bible without fully explaining why. I suppose many parents see this as a justification of the "because I said so" rationale. Be that as it may, when I reflect on His commands in Scripture, I usually think of them like this -- that every command has a promise and a provision. In relationship with our Father, we learn to trust His heart -- so that we can trust His promise and provision that come through obedience to His commands. We can build relationship with our children as we help them to understand that we are all (parents and children alike) under God's authority (as 19th-century educator Charlotte Mason stated), and that we want to provide for and protect them just as God wants to provide for and protect us. Instead of "because I said so", try "Because it's important to me that you stay safe" or "Because I want what's best for you". If they still ask "why?" I just make like a broken record. Or a video on youtube where you can hit 'replay' over and over and over...

For parenting to "work", I think maintaining relationship with our children is key, and I believe that speaking well-chosen (instead of reactionary) words safeguards our relationships with them.

What phrases have YOU erased from your parenting vocabulary?

---

Allison Lee and her husband serve with Campus Crusade for Christ while writing, homeschooling, volunteering, and living a crunchy life in the 'burbs of Orlando, Florida. She is thankful for midwives, sweet tea, pickled okra, the free haircuts her husband gives her, the healing love of Jesus, and this site that helps answer all kinds of questions our hearts long to ask -- Who Is Jesus... Really?

---

Your feedback is always welcome! Just send your email to heather(at)familyclassroom.net

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Winning Website
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Online Color Challenge

How well do you discern different hues within ranges of colors? This is a fun challenge to take online! My artist husband and one of my older sons (who is more artistically inclined) did decidedly better than I did. In fact, my son scored a perfect zero. (The lower your score, the better your discernment.) Try it! Just drag and drop the colors to put them in order on each row and then see how well you score!



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Helpful Tip
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Here is a great opportunity for some artistic fun! :-)

Meet the Masters Artist Trading Cards

"The Artist for this month is Henri Matisse. For those of you who are new to the swap, here's how it works:

Below you will find a schedule of the artists we will study from now until the end of June 2014. Each month, we will explore one artist. Those children participating in the swap should create 3 artist trading cards, following the artist for each month. Your child can either recreate a masterpiece from the artist of the month, or use their art medium to create their own masterpiece (i.e. if the artist is a water colorist, the child should paint in watercolor).

Artist trading cards are a great opportunity try new art techniques, without committing to an overwhelming project. They also serve as inspiration to the recipient to learn more about a new artist. All artist trading cards should be postmarked by the first of the month. Cards will be sorted and resent by the 10th of each month.

2013-2014 Master Artists (please make note of the due dates)

November 1 - Henri Matisse
December 1 - Katsushika Hokusai
January 1 - Joan Miro
February 1 - Paul Gaugin
March 1 - M.C. Escher
April 1 - Paul Klee
May 1 - Paul Cezanne
June 1 - Gustav Klimt

Here's what to do for these trades:

*First* - email me your child's name and age

*Second* - Have your child(ren) make 3 trading cards. Be sure the cards measure 2.5" x 3.5". The trading card should be created using the art form that the artist of the month would have used. Be sure the card is covered with clear contact paper, laminated, or put into a trading card sleeve (to protect their works of art). You can get the plastic sleeves from just about any craft store, or from Amazon, to protect the cards. If you are familiar with Flickr or Pinterest, you will find great inspiration there. You may also find inspiration by looking up information on the artist in your local library or using the internet.

Be sure that your artist (child) includes his/her name of the back of the card. Also, please have them include the name of the artist being studied that month.

*Third* - Mail your cards and a self addressed stamp envelope to us at the address below by the 1st of each month.

Meet The Masters ATC
c/o Marchese Family
124 Hermitage Boulevard
Berryville, VA 22611

We will redistribute cards and mail back out (using your self addressed envelope) by the 10th of each month

*Please note: While we do our very best to match up exchange partners by both age and skill level, this is not always possible. If your child is not okay with potentially receiving a trading card from a younger/older, less skilled participant, please do not participate in this exchange.

Lastly, we received several trading cards after the due date in October, which was after we had sorted and resent the trading cards for the last round. For those of you who missed the deadline, your cards have been returned to you, as I marked your envelopes return to sender.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at x2boyznmom(at)aol.com."

-- Bette Marchese

Matisse - The Lagoon

 

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New Reader Question...
========================

"My oldest is heading into the junior high years this school year. What do I need to know for these years -- especially in light of him potentially going to college or doing College Plus some day? Do I just press on as I did through the elementary years or do I need to start recording what I'm doing in preparation for making out a transcript at some point? At what age is it recommended to begin dual credit and how do I go about doing that? HELP (please)! :)"

-- Christina from Houston

---

Do you have some thoughts for Christina? Please send your email to hn-answers(at)familyclassroom.net

 

====================
Ask YOUR Question
====================

Our 13,000+ readers have a wealth of experience and wisdom. Would you like to have YOUR question featured in an upcoming issue? Please ask it! :-)

Send your email to: hn-questions(at)familyclassroom.net

 

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=====================
ADDITIONAL NOTES
=====================

All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to questions may be reprinted. [Occasionally your contribution may have to be edited for space.]

Feel free to send any contributions to: HN-ideas(at)familyclassroom.net.

Our main website is:
http://www.familyclassroom.net

 

===========================
REPRINT INFORMATION
===========================

No part of this newsletter (except subscription information below) may be copied and/or displayed in digital format online (for instance, on a website or blog) without EXPRESS permission from the editor. Individuals may, however, forward the newsletter IN ITS ENTIRETY to friends or groups via email. For reprints in paper publications (homeschool support group newsletters, etc.) please direct your request to: Heather(at)FamilyClassroom.net.

 

=====================
ADDITIONAL NOTES
=====================

All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to questions may be reprinted. [Occasionally your contribution may have to be edited for space.]

Feel free to send any contributions to: HN-ideas(at)familyclassroom.net.

Our main website is:
http://www.familyclassroom.net

 

===========================
REPRINT INFORMATION
===========================

No part of this newsletter (except subscription information below) may be copied and/or displayed in digital format online (for instance, on a website or blog) without EXPRESS permission from the editor. Individuals may, however, forward the newsletter IN ITS ENTIRETY to friends or groups via email. For reprints in paper publications (homeschool support group newsletters, etc.) please direct your request to: Heather(at)FamilyClassroom.net.

 



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