7 Signs You May Be Micromanaging Your Teens

May 31, 2014

happy familyFor most parents, raising children well is a high priority. We long to be the best parents possible, and we want to make the very best decisions regarding the particular children the Lord has entrusted to us. There is no one-size-fits-all way to parent, but is it possible to do too much for our children once they are old enough to do for themselves?

What used to be called helicopter parenting, the constant hovering of parents over their child, obsessing over both small and large details of the child’s daily life, is now called overparenting. Since doing my own research on parenting over the past eight years, I’ve come to use the term micromanaging to best describe what it is that we parents often end up doing, especially home-educating parents, when we do things for our teens that may be best left for them to work through on their own.

Often we fear that if we don’t do everything just right, if we don’t hover and observe our teenagers diligently, if we don’t ensure that they have multiple activities, the best curriculum, the best books, and the best of everything that money can buy, we are not doing enough, and we risk failing them.

If we insist on being meticulously involved in every aspect of our teens’ lives, we may actually be demotivating our kids and inadvertently causing them to be dependent on us when they should be flexing their muscles and growing more and more independent.

Don’t we want to raise strong and courageous young adults who shine their lights boldly?

Strength comes from personal exercise, courage from taking calculated risks, knowing God goes before AND walks alongside. Independence doesn’t come overnight; it is a process of letting go. For most of us moms, letting go doesn’t come naturally.

Have you ever been in a job where you were micromanaged? I worked in a customer service environment for several years, and even though my fellow employees and I proved to be intelligent and competent at our jobs, we still were monitored minute by minute by a little box on our desks. Lunch and break times, number of calls taken per hour, actual product sales, potty breaks, average daily handle time of calls—all of these things and many more were tracked and recorded. Middle management dictated how our conversations with customers should flow, down to the minutest of details.

The result of such micromanagement was a revolving door of quality employees because they were not trusted to use the skills and abilities for which they were hired to meet the needs of the customers who were calling in with problems. Employees were not given credit for being trustworthy without being overseen every second of their work day. The result was unnecessary stress, burnout, and high turnover.

Simply put, micromanagement kills motivation. Micromanagement eventually kills the motivation of even the most motivated! If you’ve ever been micromanaged as an adult, you know this well.

In the home education realm, micromanagement leads to burnout for both parents and students. Perhaps it’s time to become underwhelmed again! The first step is to realize there is a problem.

In the event that you think you may be a micromanager, here are 7 signs to look for:

1. You have to repeat yourself over and over. Teens will rise to meet our expectations. We are the parents; we get to set the expectations. I expect my teens to help keep the house clean and in order. I expect that we will talk kindly to each other. I expect that they will do their work—be it school work or work around the house—with excellence, and I expect them to do it without me telling them over and over.

These expectations were set when they were young children, but if you haven’t set standards in the past, you still have the right AND the authority to do so now. The catch is that we as parents have to model the behavior that we expect our children to exhibit. Yeah, I know. That is the hard part.

Oftentimes parents unconsciously set low expectations because they are afraid they will stress their children, or they are afraid that their children may not be capable of performing at a higher level. Sadly, some parents do not respect their position as parents and don’t feel they may rightfully expect their children to do what they are asked to do with a cheerful attitude.

Respectfully submit the expectations to your kids via a family meeting, preferably with Dad laying out the rules, emphasizing that you expect them to follow through without repeated reminders. Ask them what they think should happen if the expectations aren’t met. Get the kids’ input on setting consequences. Make sure the consequences are as clear as the expectations, and be sure to follow through with them. When the expectations are met, follow through with a sincere word of thanks! It may take a little bit of reminding at first, but gently ease back on those reminders. Eventually, no reminders should be necessary.

2. You help your teen without being asked. While it is always nice to do things for our teens, be careful of overdoing things for them. “Oh, Mom will do it if I don’t,” is the outcome of overdoing. Teens are growing into adulthood; they won’t wake up one day and suddenly be responsible adults. Having definite responsibilities in the home with the expectation of excellence is preparing them for responsible independence down the road. Helping with your student with her biology project by going out and finding leaves for her collection is a general no-no.

3. You step in before your teen makes a mistake. When a young child is ready for the training wheels to come off his bike, chances are good he doesn’t think he is going to fall. Chances are good he will take a tumble or two as he learns to balance on two wheels. Allowing our children to make mistakes or take a tumble is necessary in order for them to learn how to strike a balance in their own lives. Natural consequences are sometimes the best teachers.

Of course we wouldn’t let our young child ride out into traffic, so use your judgment when making the decision of when to step in and when to allow natural consequences to teach your teen. Often we don’t want our teen to look bad or be embarrassed because we may look bad or be embarrassed, so we make sure a crisis is averted which means the behavior that caused the crisis is apt to be repeated.

4. You make excuses for your teen. When a young child doesn’t get a nap, he is likely to be grumpy, right? However, when a teenager is grumpy from not getting enough sleep, he has to learn what acceptable behavior is when one is grumpy, because in the real world, lack of sleep is going to be an issue from time to time.

“Well, James didn’t get enough rest, y’all,” is not the proper response from Mom when James has just been ugly to his siblings. If you have a tendency to make excuses for your young adult, he will be in for a rude awakening when out in the real world. Being honest with our teens about their crummy attitudes or behaviors is often easier than being honest with ourselves about our teen’s shortcomings. It’s our job to assist them in overcoming their weaknesses while at home, and making excuses just prolongs and feeds the behavior.

5. You run your teen’s daily schedule of activities. This is often fueled by a parent’s need for control. No surprise there. A 17 year old should be able to set his own schedule and order his day so that he accomplishes what needs to be accomplished; a 13 year old may need a little help to get started. School work is one of those things that teens should be able to accomplish independently. While some assistance may be needed from time to time, relying on Mom to tell him when to do what subject, or needing Mom to make him get his work done is an indicator of immaturity.

What happens when parents continue to schedule their teens’ lives for them is they inadvertently prohibit them from developing the skill sets necessary to foster problem-solving and self-confidence down the road. If a student is college bound, knowing how to prioritize study time and free time is an important skill!

Many students drop out of college due to the inability to function without someone telling them what to do. Home-schooled students should be experts in this area due to the practice they had at home organizing themselves on a daily basis during the high school years.

6. Your teen has no privacy. A teenager deserves some privacy. Respecting our teens’ privacy is imperative to a healthy relationship with our young adults. If we have a suspicion regarding something that may be happening that should not be happening, then asking questions and delving deeper is warranted, but enabling our teens to earn privacy as they demonstrate responsible behavior is part of growing up.

Once they are out on their own, they will have complete privacy whether we like it or not. As we observe them developing godly morals and values when they are young, we can trust them to carry those values over into their personal lives bit by bit without our direct supervision.

7. Your teen is afraid to make a decision without you. The key word here is afraid. Of course a healthy relationship with our young adults includes them seeking out our opinions before making some types of decisions. However, by the time a student is in high school, he is capable of making daily decisions especially where school work is concerned.

My high schoolers all know my expectations for their school work—to master each day’s material—and I give them as much control over it as I possibly can. My job is simply to monitor their progress on a semi-regular basis. They have a formula they use that dictates what they should be doing each day, and if they want to work ahead, I am cool with that.

If something comes up and they don’t complete something as planned, I don’t have to stress because the onus is on them to ultimately finish their work. They know they are working for themselves, not for me. I don’t need another high school diploma, so I’m not doing their work with them or for them. I’m there if needed, but they are calling the shots within the parameters of excellence.

The best way to demotivate our children educationally is to micromanage them.

I could write a book on this topic. Wait. I did. It’s called The Self-Propelled Advantage, and if you need some direction in the area of raising motivated kiddos who work independently in all areas of life, especially academics, you’ll find practical how-to’s within its pages.

Attitude truly is everything, and when we are willing to let go and allow our teens freedom to succeed and yes—to occasionally fail—we give them the gift of a yes-I-can attitude. We help them develop confidence and independence. We raise young adults who are strong and courageous.

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About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her best-selling book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.

 

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Promises

November 16, 2013

???????There are so many voices out there today that offer parenting advice. When we are growing and developing as parents, how do we know who to listen to?

I don’t really know the answer to that question. That is kind of why I posed it, but I’d like to trace over some familiar words from Scripture that give us valuable parenting advice. Scripture is always a trusted source, and there is a ton of parenting advice found therein.

Proverbs 22: 6 advises parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

When you think about it, there is quite a distance between childhood and old age, right? A lot happens between those two points in life. I think there is a reason why we aren’t given a specific date and time in this passage.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and by the time he is married and has his own children, he will not depart from it.”

Ha. No, that’s not what it said, right? Proverbs gives even more of a time differential! Proverbs literally is saying when your young child is into the realm of old age, he will not venture from the basics he was taught as a child.

I think that means God in His grace gives us as human beings a lot of leeway. He knows we are but dust. Our human state means some of us will wander as some sheep wander, but as our Shepherd, He will find and care for roaming sheep.

As the father of prodigal kids, He awaits those who go off in their own wisdom, looking for success only to be batted around by a cruel, cold world. Our young-adult children will probably make some bad decisions apart from us! Did you make bad decisions apart from your parents?

As parents, we can rest in the knowledge that no matter how things look for our children once they leave home and are beyond our physical reach, the teaching we’ve given them while trying our best to instill in them skillful and godly Wisdom will pay off. In some instances, the payoff may not come until late in their lives; perhaps we won’t even be around to see it!

To me, this verse in Proverbs is a verse of promise, a verse of sweet rest for us as parents of teens and young adults. We do our best, then we can let go in the knowledge of three specific things:

1. God knows we are not perfect parents.
2. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect parents.
2. God loves our children even more than we do.
3. God keeps His promises.

Yeah, I know that was four. God is much more trustworthy than I. ❤


Real Parents Don’t Beg

January 30, 2013

spoiled boyRecently on Facebook, I asked folks what is up with the shootings in schools. Why do shootings happen so frequently? Here in our local school district, teachers may soon be licensed to pack heat in the classroom!

Then there is the whole national conversation we’re having about bullying. It’s an epidemic among school children today.

What happened to the apparently-bygone era of students getting spanked by the principal for hard core stuff like passing notes during class or running in the halls?

I remember in third grade being sent out to stand in the hallway facing the wall because I was laughing during music class. (I’ll never forget Mrs. Smith, the Autoharp-Playing Wonder, God rest her soul. She didn’t like happiness.)

I mean, kids used to be much better behaved, with all due respect to Gen X, Y, and Z.

Ah, but perhaps the problem is the PARENTS of said Gen X, Y, an Z.

Today on The Underwhelmed Mom Show I began a six-part series of episodes examining the first element of the Self-Propelled Advantage ~ Self-Mastery. Yep, six episodes totaling three hours of discussion, laying out how and why parents can teach self-mastery to their children. Self control and self-discipline are mandatory for success in life. So is learning how to respect family and friends. So is respecting authority.

But when and how is a parent to begin instilling morals and values into a young child? Here is the direct link to listen to the replay of the first episode on self-mastery, if you are interested: Episode 14: Self-Mastery.

From the CircleofMoms.com website comes some really, really interesting stuff. I recommend subscribing to their updates for interesting, informative, but often humanistic analysis of kids, parenting, and what ~ in general ~ makes children tick. Or sick. Or etc.

Think about this age of bullying, the age of “feel-good” parenting, and the lack of respect in both kids and grown-ups these days, as I list for you 10 Signs Your Child Could Be SPOILED, per CircleofMoms.com.

Here we go.

1. She throws tantrums, often. Both in public and at home.

2. She isn’t ever satisfied with what she has. She wants what she sees someone else has.

3. He isn’t helpful.

4. He tries to control adults.

5. He frequently embarrasses you in public.

6. She won’t share.

7. You have to beg him to do what he’s asked to do.

8. He ignores you.

9. She won’t play alone.

10. You have to bribe him.

Okay. I’m going to go out on a parental limb here and say that if any of these behaviors are exhibited regularly by one of my children, my child is not SPOILED. Spoiled is way too pleasant of a word for any of the behaviors listed above with the possible exception of #2 and #6. Spoiled kids don’t share and are never satisfied.

The rest of the behaviors listed do not fall into the spoiled category. They fall into the disobedient and disrespectful category. What parent BEGS a child to do what’s asked of him? That isn’t parenting!

I’m sounding as though I’ve got my feet firmly planted on a soapbox here.

Teaching self-mastery means giving our children specific expectations for behavior and then reinforcing their behavior positively, or perhaps ~ gasp! ~with a bit of old-fashioned discipline when behavior purposely doesn’t meet standards and it IS A GOOD THING.

It is our responsibility as parents to be the ones in control, to set standards, and to enforce those standards on a daily basis until these behaviors become good habits formed in our children.

Real parents don’t beg.

Real parents model proper behavior themselves, and they expect their children to do the same.

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About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her best-selling book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.


Respect: It Ain’t Just a One-Way Street

January 28, 2013

PortraitParents can hurt their children unlike any other type of humankind on the planet can. Parents of adult children often don’t realize that their offspring never outgrow the need for respect from their parents. And vice versa. But the onus is on parents to be mindful of this truth in the first place.

I know I mess up with my kids and give them lots of reasons to feel less than respected at times. I hate when I do that!

So this post is written as a reminder to ME of how I should treat my still-at-home children as well as my grown-up children if I want to maintain a healthy and vibrant relationship with them.

Respect means:

1. Giving my full attention (by putting down hand-held devices such as smart phones, looking away from the blog post I’m typing and making eye contact, removing ear buds and turning off loud, rockin’ country music, opening eyes when I’m almost asleep…finally…after a long day, and etc.).

2. Did I mention making eye contact without ear buds in?

3. Respect means not interrupting unless it’s with interjections such as Wow! That’s Awesome! Woo-hoo!

Avoid interrupting by using interjections such as Hush! Wait a minute! Dude! Can’t you see I’m busy?

4. Respect means speaking to my kids like I’d speak to an adult. Three-year-old kids don’t need a sing-songy voice, and neither do teens. Neither does my 80-year-old Dad.

5. Respect means saying please and thank you even for stuff that is “expected” such as chores.

6. Respect means not deliberately embarrassing my kids in front of others, including siblings. In this day and age, it means asking permission before posting something concerning them on Instagram or Facebook. Or even in a blog post.

I would never deliberately embarrass my kids in front of anyone, just fyi. The thought makes me cringe, actually.

7. Respect means apologizing when I need to….like when I forget to ask permission before posting something concerning them on Instagram or Facebook. Or even in a blog post. Asking forgiveness, too, is essential.

8. Respect means knocking on a door before entering their rooms. (It also means not hiding behind the door to scare the life outta your poor mom. Just sayin’.)

9. Respect means not asking my kiddos to do something I’m not willing to do.

The exception would be asking my skinny little daughter to reach something that fell under my bed…like an earring that I shall never see again unless she slithers under there and kindly retrieves it for me. Heh heh.

10. Respect means communicating, not commanding.

The exception to this rule lies in safety-related issues. Sometimes there isn’t time to communicate why not to run out into the open field during a thunderstorm in order to retrieve a kite that’s stuck in a tree.

Fortunately, Benjamin Franklin’s mom failed at this particular safety command, and we now how electricity with which to power all these things we need to put aside when our dear children are communicating with us. So yeah, there are always exceptions to exceptions.

11. Allowing my kids to have their own opinions without telling them why they are freakishly wrong is another way I can show respect.

This is especially relevant when you have adult children. Not that my adult children have opinions that I think are freakishly wrong….well…there is that one particular offspring….! JUST kidding.

12. Listen well. Listening is always respectful. So is nodding and otherwise acting interested. “Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-huh…” gets awfully annoying after a very short while.

Uh-huh.

Okay. I see you have a call coming in, so I’ll bow out now. Respectfully.

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About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her best-selling book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.


Are You Quick Smart or Multiple Thought Impaired?

January 11, 2013

There’s beensafe to come out peer through Blinds so much talk about ADD and ADHD over the past couple of decades. I’ve done my own research and read books written by the “experts,” mostly doctors and clinicians.

Then I found Steve Plog’s Website. I read his stuff about ten years ago, and I wrote to him for permission to reprint a portion of his work in my first book, I’m the Mom; I Don’t Have to Know Calculus. He merrily agreed.

Steve Plog is a fabulous genius. He also is ADD.  I have a feeling you will enjoy his take on ADHD and ADD so much that you’ll be begging for more. What follows is just a little slice of Steve.

Let’s take a look at some people whose biographies or life history indicate strong ADD or ADHD behaviors. Famous people who appear to have ADD or ADHD behaviors:

George Bernard Shaw     Isaac Newton     Albert Einstein     Babe Ruth     Kirk Douglas      Malcolm Forbes     Harry Belafonte     Zsa Zsa Gabor    Andrew Carnegie     Sylvester Stallone     Louis Pasteur     Bruce Jenner     Cher     Henry Winkler     Edgar Allan Poe     Michael Jordan     Ernest Hemingway      Marilyn Monroe     Eleanor Roosevelt     Abraham Lincoln     Tom Cruise     Ann Bancroft     Charles Schwab     Steve McQueen    Leonardo da Vinci     Alexander Graham Bell     Tom Smothers     Napoleon Bonaparte     John Lennon     Danny Glover     Winston Churchill     James Stewart     Mozart     Dustin Hoffman     The Wright Brothers     Lindsay Wagner     Pablo Picasso     Robert Kennedy     Dwight D. Eisenhower     Jim Carrey     Jerry Lewis     Charlie  Chaplin     Diamond  Dallas Page     Terry  Bradshaw     Ray  Robbins     Webmaster Bob     Steve Plog     Walt Disney    Agatha Christie     Jackie Stewart     Nostradamus     Henry Ford     Stephen Hawkings     Vincent van Gogh     Gen. George Patton     Galileo     Eddie Rickenbacker      Robin Williams     John D. Rockefeller     Whoopi Goldberg     Bill Cosby     Stevie Wonder          Pete Rose     Randolph Hearst     Thomas Edison     Beethoven     Anwar Sadat    “Magic” Johnson    F. Scott Fitzgerald     George Burns     George C. Scott     John F. Kennedy     Benjamin Franklin     Prince Charles     Steven Spielberg

It sounds to me that if someone says that you have ADD, you should consider it a compliment.

In fact, looking at this very small list of possibilities, it looks like without people with ADD, nothing would get done.

Now let’s take some of these famous people and see what they would be like in today’s world if they were in school or trying to “fit in” at a job.

Let’s take the first guy on the list: Albert Einstein. He didn’t even speak until he was 4 years old, so today they would have put him on Ritalin and locked him in a room with the learning disabled kids. That’s right…He could do calculus in his head, but he flunked plain old math.  So  into the dummy class he goes, and he is given a lifetime of prescription drugs.

How about  Bill  Cosby?  Instead of becoming a comedian, he gets a job sitting in a tollbooth all day by himself. Day in and out, he just gives change. The problem is that he can’t concentrate on the mundane, and he keeps losing money. So they fire him and tell anyone who asks them for a recommendation, “He’s so slow, he can’t count to 50!”

One more: Walt Disney. He gets a job working in an office cubicle and spends his time daydreaming on what I refer to as “Mental HBO.” Soon his boss comes by for the 10th time that day and says, “Walt, pay attention, stop daydreaming, start concentrating, and get to work before I fire you!”

Wait! I know I said only one more but I am on a roll! Babe Ruth gets a job as a CPA, and his boss comes by his desk and asks, “Where’s Ruth?” to which his fellow employees say that Mr. Ruth is not back from lunch yet, and it’s 1:15.

“Tell Mister Ruth when he gets back to clean out his desk. We don’t want anyone working here who can’t tell time!”

You see, if you evaluate extreme right-brained people only in left-brain environments, you get the wrong picture.

Let’s reverse it. Let’s take some left-brained people and see how they would fit into the ADD creative world. Okay?

Hold on a minute. I just hit writer’s block because I’m trying to think of some boring, timely, regimental, stick-in-the-mud, left-brained people with good memories who are famous. Can some someone give me a hint just to get me started? There must be someone…….

OK, let’s take someone whom we know is smart, like a college professor—how about the professor from the Gilligan’s Island TV show. So you remember his name? I don’t. He was a nice guy, just not very exciting.

Okay, so let’s say that Walt Disney lost his mind and  put  in  old  what’s-his-name  (I  still  can’t  remember  his  name!)  in charge  of his creative department for new products at the studio. What would the outcome be? Regular Duck, Mundane Mouse, Snow Beige and the seven height-impaired people!

Who wants to go see the movie? Come on, let’s see those hands. Anyone, anyone at all? Why is everyone staring out the windows? Are you all daydreaming?

Hey, we have a hand up! No, wait…that person said his name is Bill Gates, and when I said “windows,” he said it gave him an idea.

Yes we daydream.

That’s how creative people come up with ideas like figuring out how to harness electricity after watching a thunderstorm.

You will find we have a low threshold of boredom. We go into what I call that “Mental HBO.” Not only can I daydream while you talk to me, I can daydream while I talk to you. As a matter of fact I’m doing it right now while I’m typing because I can think of more than one thing at a time. My thoughts are multi-faceted, while the left-brained people are what I would diagnose as Multiple Thought Impaired!

I’m ADD and you’re Multiple Thought Impaired. Someone should start a charity for you. I can see the ads now: “Send in your donation for those who have never had an original thought in their lives!”

Someone get me Jerry Lewis’s phone number!

Will he listen to me? Yes, of course, and I’ll give you three guesses why. Watch one of his old movies, and picture him at the tollbooth.

~ Steven V. Plog of The Results Project. Used with Permission.


25 MORE Fabulous Parenting & Education Quotes!

January 5, 2013

Family and dogA couple days ago, I gave you a list of my absolute favorite quotes in the areas of parenting and education. To me, parenting and education naturally go hand in hand. One begets the other. But I digress.

Here are the next 25 on my list of fabulous quotes. I hope you might be inspired by one or two or more of ’em.

26. Education is Man’s going forward from cocksure ignorance to thoughtful uncertainty.  ~ Kenneth G. Johnson

27. Education is [A process] which makes one rogue cleverer than another. ~ Oscar Wilde (1856-1900) British poet and dramatist.

 28. Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the ignorant by the incompetent.  ~ Josiah Stamp

29. Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.  ~ Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer.

30. Education is what remains when we have forgotten all that we have been taught.  ~ George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633-1695) English statesman and author.

31. Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance. ~ Will Durant (1885-1981) U.S. author and historian.

32. The chief wonder of education is that it does not ruin everybody concerned in it, teachers and taught. ~ Henry Brooks Adams (1828-1918) U.S. historian and writer: The Education of Henry Adams.

33. Public schools are the nurseries of all vice and immorality. ~ Henry Fielding (1707-1754) English novelist, dramatist.

34. Education has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading. ~ G. M. Trevelyan (1876-1962) British historian.

35. They say that we are better educated than our parents’ generation. What they mean is that we go to school longer. They are not the same thing. ~ Douglas Yates

36. Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education. ~ Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English philosopher, mathematician and writer.

37. It is little short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not already completely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry. I believe that one could even deprive a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness if one could force it with a whip to eat continuously whether it were hungry or not.  ~ Albert Einstein (1879-1955) U.S. physicist.

38. The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher.  ~ Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American author, editor and printer.

39. I’m sure the reason such young nitwits are produced in our schools is because they have no contact with anything of any use in everyday life. ~ Petronius (d. circa 66 AD) The Satyricon.

40. True education makes for inequality; the inequality of individuality, the inequality of success, the glorious inequality of talent, of genius. ~ Felix E. Schelling (1858-1945) American educator.

41. He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on. ~ Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, author, scientist, inventor and philosopher.

42. A college degree does not lessen the length of your ears; it only conceals it. ~ Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American author, editor and printer.

43. I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. (Sound familiar?) ~ Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer.

44. The primary purpose of a liberal education is to make one’s mind a pleasant place in which to spend one’s time. ~ Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986) American journalist.

45. Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire. ~ William B. Yeats, poet

46. You can lade a man up to th’ university, but ye can’t make him think. ~ Finley Peter Dunne

47. Education: Being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t. It’s knowing where to go to find out what you need to know; and it’s knowing how to use the information once you get it. ~ William Feather

48. An educated man is one who can entertain a new idea, entertain another person, and entertain himself. ~ Sydney Wood

…And, for all us homeschool moms who never learned all the classical composers and great artists and a gazillion other things, but knew enough to instill a love of them in our children, there’s this one:

49. Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master. ~ Leonardo da Vinci.

50. You are what you teach, and you teach what you are. ~ Joanne Calderwood

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About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.


My Family Spills the Beans on the Best Moments of 2012

December 31, 2012

Okay. Right this moment I’m sitting in the family room at 8:22 PM on New Year’s Eve surrounded by my children and my husband. So I thought I would ask them to take turns telling me their favorite memories from 2012, and perhaps give a peek into an aspiration or two for 2013.

I think I will start with volunteers. There are no volunteers. This is going to be harder than I thought.

Lilienne (almost 11): My favorite memory of 2012 is meeting country artist Hunter Hayes, and I aspire to play on a private school’s volleyball team in 2013.

Lydia Hope (13): “My favorite memory is learning French, and I aspire to learn geography and be able to map the world.”

Adrienne (14): “My favorite memory is driving without a license, and in 2013 I aspire to work in a mirror factory; that’s a job I can see myself doing.” 🙂

Olivia (17): “My favorite memory is our family trip to Six Flags, and I aspire to not plan ahead.

Franklin (19): “My favorite memory of 2012 is my first career win (as UT Ice Vol’s goalie), and in 2013 I want to build a tower that reaches to the heavens thereby creating a bunch of new languages.”

Taylor (21): “My favorite memory is playing soccer with Hispanic children at school, and in 2013 I want to focus less on work and take a more happiness-oriented approach to living in the now.”

Lauren (22): “My favorite memory is my wedding day, and in 2013 I want to find more time for writing.”

Nick (23): “My favorite memory of 2012 is meeting the woman of my dreams, and in 2013 I want to give more money to charity.”

And I cannot let my husband escape the questioning:

Tim says that his favorite memory is having lost over 50 pounds this year, and in 2013 he wants to write a whole lot more.

(Author’s note: If you know Nick, I obviously have had to edit his comments to be suitable for publication. Actually, I’ve had to edit a whole, whole lot of what was actually said during this session. We’ve had a heck of a time LAUGHING OUT LOUD. Ahem.)

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Takeaway: It is much easier to write my OWN blog posts vs. asking for input from the family. Wow.

Happy New Year, Y’all! 🙂


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