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Monday, January 31, 2011

change is in the air…


So this morning my kids were pretty annoyed with me.  What a great way to start a Monday.  They were upset because I had  a list on the table waiting for them when they got up.  They came to the table and started reading it, not saying anything to me.  By their expressions I could tell they were not happy with my list.  But I said nothing.  I decided to allow the list to sink in for a while they had breakfast. 

This is the list that they met at the table today:

Up daily at 8:00am, unless told otherwise. (IF I have to get you out of bed, you will be required to go to bed at 9pm, lights off with no music or electronics (ie... ipods) in your room and miss out on any forms of entertainment for the evening.)

Be productive from 8am until after supper and evening chores are completed.

(No gaming, YouTube watching, or other forms of being entertained).

    • meals

    • animal care

    • personal hygiene (shower, teeth, hair, trimming nails, shaving, etc)


      • 2 hours assigned reading

      • 2 hours writing (spelling, vocabulary, communication books, miscellaneous)

      • 1 hour math (assigned books, flash cards, math projects, etc)

    • employment (ask dad if he needs you for any ranch work OR ask dad if there are any ranch related tasks you can do to earn some spending cash.)

    • volunteer

    • exercise (go for a walk, ride your bike, your ideas)

    • house work

    • meal preparation

    • pleasure reading

    • letters to friends and family

    • projects / hobbies

    • do at least one thing (more is better) to benefit someone else each day

    • see a need, fill a need

Leisure time will be after supper and evening chores are completed, and only if there are no other family plans (check in with mom and dad).

“Do what you have to so you can do what you want to.” from the movie The Great Debaters


After breakfast they still hadn’t said anything but Deanna had a perma-scowl on her face.  So I closed my laptop and asked them if they had any thoughts about what they had read.  More silence from them.  Then finally Jordan spoke up and asked why the change?  I then poured out my heart and my thoughts and my frustrations that have been building for quite some time now.   I shared that our trial run of having an assignment list to complete did not work for our family because things are constantly popping up that take over our days.  And they got very stressed by schedule changes and not being able to complete the list.  I shared how I see that I am doing them a disservice by allowing them a life of leisure and how that is not typical in North America.  Leisure is a small part of the day, not all day or whenever you want it.

I explained I was frustrated and exhausted by always having to be on their case, pushing them into what they should be doing.  I want them to be competent young adults, and with having me pushing them all the time, this would not develop them into competent adults only dependent ones.  They need to be aware and on the look out for what needs to be done, doing it of their own accord, not waiting to be told to do things. 

A few times I was almost in tears because I am so exhausted by having to push.  And when I do push, I get eyes rolling, or the victim attitude, or whatever.  I am so done with it all. 

I think the kids heard and saw my hurt.  Maybe they could see that I am a person too, and that I don’t harp on them for my pleasure.   That they are contributors to this home, this family and to their own life.  At least I hope they did.

The rest of the day went pretty good.  They stayed busy.  We had more discussions about how to proceed with our new ideas/routine.  They started new files with their ON YOUR OWN computer simulation.  They took care of their animals.  They did things I asked them to do without complaining (mostly… there was a slight relapse by Deanna after supper).  Change is hard for anyone.  And I am hoping we can make changes that benefit our family, us as individuals, and our community. 

I asked the kids if they managed to do one thing today that benefited someone else.  Both of them had.  YAY!

After supper we worked together doing some evening chores.  Then they showered and now are enjoying some leisure time.  SO what started out as a bad day has ended on a good note.  Yay. 

I am off to watch Lie to Me and 19 Kids and Counting.   Goodnight.


1.  I read some books by the Nearings many years ago.  I was reminded about them in a newsletter I received today.   I always did like their methodology for time management:

“Helen and Scott were devoted to a lifestyle giving importance to work, on the one hand, and contemplation or play, on the other. Ideally, they aimed at a norm that divided most of a day's waking hours into three blocks of four hours: "bread labor" (work directed toward meeting requirements of food, shelter, clothing, needed tools, and such); civic work (doing something of value for their community); and professional pursuits or recreation (for Scott this was frequently economics research, for Helen it was often music - but they both liked to ski, also). They clearly honored manual work, and viewed it as one aspect of the self-development process that they felt life should be.”


2.  Can you motivate your child to achieve greatness? -- 


Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior - Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids? And what happens when they fight back?  --


3.   book to read –>  The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

Product Description

From one of the world's leading thinkers and speakers on creativity and self-fulfillment, a breakthrough book about talent, passion, and achievement
The element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels. The Element draws on the stories of a wide range of people, from ex-Beatle Paul McCartney to Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons; from Meg Ryan to Gillian Lynne, who choreographed the Broadway productions of Cats and The Phantom of the Opera; and from writer Arianna Huffington to renowned physicist Richard Feynman and others, including business leaders and athletes. It explores the components of this new paradigm: The diversity of intelligence, the power of imagination and creativity, and the importance of commitment to our own capabilities.
With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the element and those that stifle that possibility. He shows that age and occupation are no barrier, and that once we have found our path we can help others to do so as well. The Element shows the vital need to enhance creativity and innovation by thinking differently about human resources and imagination. It is also an essential strategy for transforming education, business, and communities to meet the challenges of living and succeeding in the twenty-first century.

skills needed in the 21st Century


Monticello College has a list of skills needed in the 21st century.  I think it is a good list.

skills needed in the 21st Century*:

  • The ability to define problems without a guide.
  • The ability to ask hard questions which challenge prevailing assumptions.
  • The ability to quickly assimilate needed data from masses of irrelevant information.
  • The ability to work in teams without a guide.
  • The ability to work absolutely alone.
  • The ability to persuade others that your course is the right one.
  • The ability to conceptualize and reorganize information into new patterns.
  • The ability to discuss ideas with an eye toward application.
  • The ability to think inductively, deductively and dialectically.
  • The ability to think, speak, and write clearly.
  • The ability to judge what it means to understand something thoroughly.
  • Familiarity with different modes of thought (including quantitative, historical, scientific, and aesthetic).
  • Depth of knowledge in a particular field and how it relates to other fields.
  • The ability to pursue life-long learning.
  • The ability to understand human nature and lead accordingly.
  • The ability to identify needed personal traits and turn them into habits.

        *As outlined in A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille pages 118-123


So how do we develop these skills in our young adults at home?



Brrrrrr!  It is cold outside.  My outdoor thermometer says –32C.  Good thing I don’t have anything I have to do outside today.  But maybe we will try this…


2.  “All things being equal we generally resist change until the pain of making a switch becomes less than the pain of remaining in our current situation.” - Chris Guillebeau


3.  Why Young Entrepreneurs Should Hold Down a Job After College --->


4.  I love all the pizza ideas in the comments section --


5.  I watched this video last night …..

so now it has me pondering the old versus the new covenant.  A friend of mine says it is not the new covenant but the renewed covenant…. but then why is it called a new covenant in scripture?

I found this website that is comparing the two…

Still more reading to be done.


6.  catalogue for personalized gifts --


7.  20 Science Questions

Did you pay attention in elementary school? If so, you should do fine on this science quiz, which uses 20 multiple choice questions to test your knowledge of general science. Kids contributed questions and the selection of incorrect answers for this quiz. Can you make the grade?... Try the quiz


****  time to go annoy my kids some more… they don’t seem to like me lately.  Oh well.

“The Physics of The Quest”


“…I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” – a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself….then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”
- Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love.