Help! I’m a Self-Learner, and I Can’t Figure This Out!

January 22, 2013

Questions curriculum questions picWith the advent of the Internet and search engines like Google, many of us have become self-learners simply because information is literally at the tips of our fingers.

It’s AWESOME, isn’t it?

Yes! It’s so awesome that my daughter Lilienne, who will be 11 on Saturday, deduced recently that school really wasn’t necessary once you learned to read because you can now look up everything you want to know on Google as you need to know it.

I concur with her….to a degree. Nowadays we have no excuse not to know the answer to a question (that actually has an answer) aside from lack of time to research or laziness or lack of motivation or something lame along those lines.

I’m not a Webhead, but I enjoy playing around with my websites and junk online. I can usually figure stuff out on my own with a little persistence, sometimes accompanied by tears and frustration. Recently I ran into a situation where I needed to figure out how to put an RSS feed both here and on my Author Page on Amazon.com.

Step one: I googled something about RSS feeds. Well, after going here and there ~ info specifically for wordpress blogs, etc. ~ I wasn’t getting it. (Perhaps a mental block because I was born about the time color television hit the American scene.) Google really wasn’t helpful. Not because I was lazy, but because I was kinda overwhelmed with the lingo.

What is a self-learner to do when stumped?

Step two: Ask someone else who might know the answer to the question at hand.

I asked my fabulous son-in-law, Brandon, but he couldn’t help me right that minute. I asked my daughter Lauren, who is a whiz at setting up Websites (www.beadboxbargains.com) but she had something else going on at the time, so she couldn’t help me either.

So I did what I do best: I moved onto another project and forgot all about it.

Until this week during a conference call with my publisher who asked me if I had put my RSS feed from this very blog up on my amazon.com author page. Heh heh. Oopsie. No, I hadn’t done that yet.

After the call, I mentioned to my husband that the RSS feed thing was driving me nuts, and I was fixin’ to cuss (not that I would actually ever DO that. no way. not me.)

Yesterday Tim came over to my desk (one of them, anyway. I have desks all over the house) and he told me how to add the widget and what to put in the URL. I knew how to do the widget thing, but the URL is what had stumped me.

Isn’t widget the cutest word EVER?

Tim had done a little research for me and figured out the missing piece to the whole thing! Wasn’t that nice of him? Yes. It was. Thank you, Tim. And now I will make him salisbury steak and smashed potatoes for dinner tonight. 🙂

So now I have an RSS feed!! AND I’m still a self-learner because I learned how to do the RSS feed thing. I know you think I’m not a self-learner because I had to ask around, right? I can read your doubting mind.

Self-learning simply requires knowing where to go to find out what it is that you don’t know.

I had to ask someone else ~ multiple people, in fact ~ before I found someone who was able to help me learn what I needed to learn. I now know how to set up an RSS feed.

Self-learners tend to think they shouldn’t ask for help; they should be able to figure things out on their own. That is not always true. Asking for assistance is a really good way to learn at times, although seeking out the answer yourself first is kind of the rule of thumb in our home school.

But if you’re stumped, don’t be too proud to ask for help.

______________________________________________

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.

Advertisements

Now This is a Graduation Speech!

January 12, 2013

female graduation portraitStressed for Success?

By David Brooks

(Joanne’s note: This high school graduation speech was NOT given to home-educated students, but I have kept this as encouragement, and I’ve put in bold those aspects of Mr. Brooks’ speech that speak to the beauty of home education.)

“Many of you high school seniors are in a panic at this time of year, coping with your college acceptance or rejection letters. Since the
admissions process has gone totally insane, it’s worth reminding yourself that this is not a particularly important moment in your life.

You are being judged according to criteria that you would never use to judge another person and which will never again be applied to you
once you leave higher ed.

For example, colleges are taking a hard look at your SAT scores. But if at any moment in your later life you so much as mention your SAT
scores in conversation, you will be considered a total jerk. If at age 40 you are still proud of your scores, you may want to contemplate a major
life makeover.

More than anything else, colleges are taking a hard look at your grades. To achieve that marvelous G.P.A., you will have had to demonstrate excellence across a broad range of subjects: math, science, English, languages etc.

This will never be necessary again. Once you reach adulthood, the key to success will not be demonstrating teacher-pleasing competence
across fields; it will be finding a few things you love, and then committing yourself passionately to them.

The traits you used getting good grades might actually hold you back. To get those high marks, while doing all the extracurricular activities colleges are also looking for, you were encouraged to develop a prudential attitude toward learning.

You had to calculate which reading was essential and which was not. You could not allow yourself to be obsessed by one subject because if you did, your marks in the other subjects would suffer. You could not take outrageous risks because you might fail.

You learned to study subjects that are intrinsically boring to you; slowly, you may have stopped thinking about which subjects are boring and which exciting. You just knew that each class was a hoop you must jump through on your way to a first-class university. You learned to thrive in adult-supervised settings.

If you have done all these things and you are still an interesting person, congratulations, because the system has been trying to whittle you down into a bland, complacent achievement machine.

But in adulthood, you’ll find that a talent for regurgitating what superiors want to hear will take you only halfway up the ladder, and then you’ll stop there. The people who succeed most spectacularly, on the other hand, often had low grades. They are not prudential. They venture out and thrive where there is no supervision, where there are no preset requirements.

Those admissions officers may know what office you held in school government, but they can make only the vaguest surmises about what
matters, even to your worldly success: your perseverance, imagination, and trustworthiness. Odds are you don’t even know these things
about yourself yet, and you are around you a lot more.

Even if the admissions criteria are dubious, isn’t it still really important to get into a top school? I wonder. I spend a lot of time meeting with students on college campuses. If you put me in a room with 15 students from any of the top 100 schools in this country and asked me at the end of an hour whether these were Harvard kids or Penn State kids, I would not be able to tell you.

There are a lot of smart, lively young people in this country, and you will find them at whatever school you go to. The students at the really elite schools may have more social confidence, but students at less prestigious schools may learn not to let their lives be guided by other people’s status rules – a lesson that is worth the tuition all by itself.

As for the quality of education, that’s a matter of your actually wanting to learn and being fortunate enough to meet a professor who electrifies your interest in a subject. That can happen at any school because good teachers are spread around, too.

So remember, the letters you get over the next few weeks don’t determine anything. Picking a college is like picking a spouse. You don’t pick the “top ranked” one, because that has no meaning. You pick the one with the personality and character that complements your own.

You may have been preparing for these letters half your life. All I can say is welcome to adulthood, land of the anticlimaxes.”


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.


50 Words the SAT Loves

January 8, 2013

Stack of booksShortcuts. Who doesn’t love ’em?

Today I’m sharing 50 of the most common SAT words for your learning pleasure and that of your college-bound kids.

I have a feeling that most of my eight faithful readers will already know the majority–if not all–of these words listed below.

At breakfast, why not read some of ’em out loud to your kids, and see how many words they may already be acquainted with?

Toddlers exempted.

Ready? Go!

  1. abstract: not concrete
  2. aesthetic: having to do with the appreciation of beauty
  3. alleviate: to ease a pain or a burden
  4. ambivalent: simultaneously feeling opposing feelings; uncertain
  5. apathetic: feeling or showing little emotion
  6. auspicious: favorable; promising
  7. benevolent: well-meaning; generous
  8. candor: sincerity; openness
  9. cogent: convincing; reasonable
  10. comprehensive: broad or complete in scope or content
  11. contemporary: current, modern; from the same time
  12. conviction: a fixed or strong belief
  13. diligent: marked by painstaking effort; hard-working
  14. dubious: doubtful; of unlikely authenticity
  15. eclectic: made up of a variety of sources or styles
  16. egregious: conspicuously bad or offensive
  17. exculpate: to free from guilt or blame
  18. florid: flowery or elaborate in style
  19. gratuitous: given freely; unearned; unwarranted
  20. hackneyed: worn out through overuse; trite
  21. idealize: to consider perfect
  22. impartial: not in favor of one side or the other; unbiased
  23. imperious: arrogantly domineering or overbearing
  24. inherent: inborn; built-in
  25. innovative: introducing something new
  26. inveterate: long established; deep-rooted; habitual
  27. laudatory: giving praise
  28. maverick: one who resists adherence to a group
  29. mollify: to calm or soothe
  30. novel: strikingly new or unusual
  31. obdurate: stubborn; inflexible
  32. objectivity: judgment uninfluenced by emotion
  33. obstinate: stubbornly adhering to an opinion
  34. ornate: elaborately decorated
  35. ostentatious: describing a pretentious display
  36. paramount: of chief concern or importance
  37. penitent: expressing remorse for one’s misdeeds
  38. pervasive: dispersed throughout
  39. plausible: seemingly valid or acceptable; credible
  40. profound: having great depth or seriousness
  41. prosaic: unimaginative; dull; ordinary
  42. quandary: a state of uncertainty or perplexity
  43. rancorous: hateful; marked by deep-seated ill will
  44. spurious: not genuine; false; counterfeit
  45. stoic: indifferent to pleasure or pain; impassive
  46. superfluous: extra; unnecessary
  47. tenuous: having little substance or strength; unsure; weak
  48. timorous: timid; fearful
  49. transitory: short-lived; temporary
  50. vindicated: freed from blame

So how’d you do? If you knew every single word, you WIN! Comment below, and I’ll get your prize to you right away.

Meow. 🙂


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

______________________________________

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.


Says Who?

January 4, 2013

ImageThree of my girls take piano lessons. I am a pianist myself, but I do not enjoy teaching piano. In the busyness of my life, I’ve found that it is very hard to find time to do things about which you are not passionate. Sometimes something’s gotta give; you cannot do it all. Know what I mean? I know you know what I mean!

Yesterday, Adrienne asked me to take a look at one of her assigned piano pieces. It was in 2/4 time, and the right hand was on the off beats in this syncopated piece of classical music. As I played through the piece for her, I flashed back to when I actually learned to play this piece as a child. I also remembered my teacher, who happened to be my mom, fuss at me because I didn’t always pay attention to the fingerings. And it didn’t only happen with that particular piece either.

There was a good reason why I didn’t always follow the suggested fingerings: I have a genetic thing where my pinky finger is smaller than the average person’s pinky finger. So what? Well, playing octaves is certainly a challenge. If you don’t have short-pinkyitis, don’t judge me. LOL Here’s a pic to prove my disability:

Notice how my poor little pinky only comes up to about the middle knuckle? Now look at your hand. I bet your pinky comes up to about the first joint on your ring finger, right? Because of this issue, I had to make some adjustments in the fingerings of music I played. I had to compensate for the stuff I couldn’t physically pull off.

I discovered that whoever wrote in the fingerings in my piano books wasn’t always correct. At least the fingerings didn’t always work for me. I had fun convincing my mom of this since I didn’t get the genetic issue from her side of the family. She would point out when I used the “wrong” fingers, but to me I was using the “right” fingers. Who said you have to follow fingering notations anyway? I doubt Mozart or Chopin included them in their original manuscripts.

Certainly fingerings in piano lesson books are there to help the budding musician adopt the easiest approach to playing any given piece. The fact was that just because it was easy for everyone else didn’t mean it was possible for me, so I adjusted the fingerings so that I could play more easily. I think my mom eventually gave up trying to enforce the fingering rules. I failed to conform because in many cases I just couldn’t due to the fact that my young hands were small, and they just couldn’t stretch like everyone else’s.

How does a tiny pinky relate to education?

Not all children are alike. Guidelines that work for one child may not work for the next child. In my teaching days, I was not always able to tailor a lesson to the needs of individual students due to time constraints. In fact, it was more like throwing all the information out there to the class and hoping some of it would stick with a high percentage of the children. I’d tell the class what I was going to tell them, then we’d go over the information together, and then I would tell them what we just “learned,” followed, of course, by some sort of quiz or test to see if they learned what we’d discussed.

Not all the children in my classroom were ready to understand the “ph” sound when I presented it. Not all children had the mental maturity to understand fractions just because the math book said it was time to learn fractions. In a classroom, it is difficult for a teacher to monitor each student to ensure that he/she has mastered each subject each day before moving on to the next lesson. The child either succeeds, partially succeeds, or fails. Or figures out a way to work around what they can’t do that everyone else can do.

In some cases, this involves self-protection devices where the child just gives up and accepts failure because he gets used to it, hoping that he’ll “get” the next thing that is presented in the sequence of the school year. Just as I totally disregarded the fingerings because so often I had to find my own way through the piece, children will find a way to work around what it is they cannot do. Or they will give up.

Had my mom insisted that I conform to the fingerings, I would have hated piano and felt a definite sense of failure. Instead, she let me find my own way through.

As a teacher of my own young children, I have learned not to be a slave to our curriculum. If my child is not understanding basic phonics skills that we’re doing together, perhaps I need to back off for a season. Who says every 6-year-old child is ready for phonics just by virtue of the fact that the curriculum says he should be?

Failure is not an option in my home school.

If a student isn’t “getting” something, I’m looking to see why. I’m looking at the possible reasons why he or she is struggling. Very rarely is it laziness on the student’s part. More often it is just a concept that needs to be presented in a fresh manner. (Reteaching, so to speak.) Or perhaps I need to set aside the consonant digraphs until the child is ready to understand blends.

The most important part of teaching children is understanding how their young brains work and not expecting them to conform to a curriculum in the elementary and middle school years especially.

What a great benefit of home schooling! The students move on when they are READY to move on. They don’t fail at a lesson and then just move ahead because we don’t have time to make sure they know everything to an A level. Of course we have time! But do we have the patience and stick-to-it-tiveness to identify the issue and then help the child find another way to understand the material?

If you get to a point in your child’s educational path where he is really struggling with something that is being presented, find out *why*he is struggling instead of moving on to the next day’s work, and help the student find a work-around.

Sometimes that may mean allowing them to do something a little unconventional like not forcing their little hands to conform to the fingering markings because they aren’t physically capable of playing that way. Or are they being lazy? Hmmm….as the parent, I should be able to discern the answer to that question. A teacher, on the other hand, may not be able to uncover the source of the issue because she does not know the child as she would know her own child. Conformity is the issue in a school classroom. Conformity is not always possible.

Says who? Says me, the parent of my children. Says you, the parent of your children. Don’t force conformity to curriculum without a good reason.

(Note: This is a re-posting of a blog post I did about a year ago that I thought was worth pulling out of the hat once again. I hope you’ve enjoyed the blast from the past.)

____________________________________________

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.)

________________________________________________

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

Happy New Year, Y’all! 🙂


%d bloggers like this: