7 Bad Things Good Moms Do

December 21, 2012

houseclean1Here is my short list of bad things good Moms tend to do. Check it twice and see if you see yourself in any of these blanket statements.

1. Moms don’t take time for themselves: no hobbies or interests besides family = bad.

2. Moms put themselves last. They feel guilty if they think of themselves at all, actually = bad.

3. Moms worry about everyone else and never think about their own health and sanity = bad.

4. Moms wear themselves down by doing good things for their kids that their kids should be doing for themselves = bad.

5. Moms think they are bad Moms if they go out with their husbands on a date regularly = bad. (Note: two bads don’t make a good.)

6. Moms don’t delegate = bad.

7. Moms think they are good Moms because they are so devoted to their children that they never take a break and get really, really burned out as a result = bad.

Bonus Bad Thing: Moms don’t exercise. Ever. = bad.

Now, of course I mean BAD in a whimsical way. You know, like I’m bad if I eat the entire bag of Hershey’s kisses myself.

That doesn’t make me bad; it makes me…well…one who makes bad choices. I make bad choices sometimes, but I’m getting better at valuing my health and my energy level the older I get.

But I let myself do all 8 of the above-listed bad things for too many seasons of my life! The results were not good; not good, I tell you.

Sometimes we as Moms need to be reminded to be GOOD TO OURSELVES, and by being good to ourselves, we are doing the best thing for our families as well.

Now, don’t go overboard.(Yeah, like THAT’S gonna happen…!)

But enjoy life with the ones around you, understanding that you are an important member of your family. Take time for yourself today.

Feel free to come back and share what you did for YOU. I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

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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.

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Pink on Motivation

November 24, 2012

The “discovery” of intrinsic motivation occurred about fifty years ago in the middle of the twentieth century. Since then, scientists have been experimenting with the causes and effects of this type of motivation, and what they have learned is fascinating.

Dan Pink recently wrote a book about motivation entitled simply, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. If you are interested in doing your own research on motivation, Pink’s book is a must-read. I was floored as I turned page after page and saw that his research concerning motivation and the business world closely matched my own research concerning motivation and the business of education.

He primarily discusses the flaws in our reward-and-punishment system in business, but his findings most certainly apply to the traditional reward-and-punishment system found in education as well.

One of the basic tenets of Drive is the fact that external-control systems, for the most part, don’t work. Scientific research has clearly demonstrated this, yet businesses and organizations still use the “carrots-and-sticks” method of motivation and “if-then” rewards. “Carrots and sticks” refers to dangling carrots as motivation and beating with sticks as punishment, not literally of course.

If-then rewards are various kinds of bonuses that are given when performance goals are met. Drive discusses these kinds of extrinsic rewards in great detail, concluding that rewards and punishments are less than effective in the twenty-first-century business world where creativity and thinking outside the box are becoming essential.[1]

On the other hand, Drive talks a lot about the types of rewards that are effective when used appropriately. In the realm of education, there are appropriate types of rewards for various ages and stages. The younger the child, the more extrinsic the motivation will be. It is okay to offer gummy bears to my second grader if she gets all of her math page correct the first time around. She is learning basic skills. She will benefit from a little motivation to get her checking her work.

However, my high school freshman should not be working extra hard on her algebra in order to get gummy bears. At this point, she should be intrinsically motivated.

Is extrinsic motivation a good thing? Pink has much more to say on this subject, but for our purposes here, we’ll conclude that extrinsic rewards can be a good thing if used in appropriate circumstances with the young child. Intrinsic rewards should gradually take the place of extrinsic ones as a child matures.

Feedback is the one type of extrinsic motivation that should remain: all students, no matter their ages, will benefit from positive, heartfelt feedback that is very specific. Young children should be offered plenty of praise as a reward for their hard work, and older students definitely need to see that we appreciate the way they do their work with excellence.

Telling our children what exactly they just did to make us proud or happy or satisfied is completely necessary. Positive feedback is a reward that costs us nothing except time, but it is invaluable to our children’s emotional well-being.

We’ll talk more about motivation tomorrow! I’m so motivated to talk about motivation, I could jump up and down! 🙂

[1] Daniel H. Pink, Drive, p.17.

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The Greatest Choice a Parent Will Make

November 16, 2012

The fact that we as parents have the ability to influence our children in every facet of their lives is something I’m sure you don’t take lightly.

As a parent, you have the ultimate control over your child. You make decisions every day based upon your philosophy of how children should be raised. Your philosophy is reflected in the choices you make for your kids in areas such as diet and exercise, for example, and in the not-so-basic choices such as how children should be put to bed at night.

One of the more complex choices you’ll make for your child is education: you are the one who has the authority to decide how your child will be educated.

The educational model that you choose for your child will affect the course of his or her entire life.

It is a fact that a child’s formal education does not need to be separated from his home life. This runs contrary to the classroom model of education, where the child leaves the home for the majority of his childhood years and consequently is outside of his parents’ sphere of influence for years and years.

Excellence in education does not require a child to leave home. A parent does not need to give up control over a child’s environment in order to educate him.

Incidentally, a parent doesn’t need superpowers in order to home educate. I am a home-educating mom, but I don’t have to know calculus. The self-propelled model of education doesn’t require a parent to be a member of Mensa.

If you have ever felt intimidated by the thought of home educating your child or children, may I assure you that you are already equipped by the fact that you know and love your child more than anyone else on the planet does? Teaching your child to read and write and perform the basic operations of mathematics is a privilege.

You don’t have to; home education means you get to.

In our society today, public and private schools are the primary vehicles used to deliver education to the populace. Both use the classroom model to teach groups of children together at one time. In my book, The Self-Propelled Advantage, I examine both the classroom model and the home-education model, and I provide parents of children in both the classroom and at home with strategies for raising their kids to be self-propelled.

But I have a bias toward home education for a couple of reasons, one of the basic ones being that it is the method that currently provides the best environment for becoming self-propelled. Home education incubates the self-propelled student, whereas classroom education holds him back in comparison.

I look forward to sharing more on this topic as we go along.

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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.


Pet Peeves of College Admissions Officers

November 6, 2012

Recently I happened upon a cool piece about what it is that irritates the fire out of college admissions officers. I can’t promise that this list will be exhaustive, nor can I promise that all AO’s everywhere share the exact same irritations, but if I was an AO, the list I’m about to share contains stuff that would absolutely get my proverbial goat.

Here is my revised and shortened list for college-bound students of what NOT to do.

When it comes to submitting college applications, DON’T:

1. Be someone you’re not.

2. Be rude on the phone.

3. Write about the wrong school while filling out an app. (bahahahaha!)

4. Provide vague recommendations.

5. Email or phone admissions officers with stupid questions you can figure out yourself from the website.

6. Be careless with social media.  (If it ain’t fit for your granny to see, don’t put it on facebook.)

7. Disrespect staff members in the admissions office.

8. Go overboard trying to curry favor with AO’s.  (Would really like to hear some of THOSE stories!)

9. Disregard directions.

10. Miss deadlines.

Got it? You may want to bookmark this post and refer to it while in college-application mode. 🙂

http://tinyurl.com/92jvceu

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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.


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