Archive for September, 2007


Monk Junkies

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

My family has been on a Monk binge, lately.  We have been getting the seasons sent to us on DVD through Blockbuster on-line.  We are on Disc 4 of season 3.  Each season has 4 discs.  We really like the show Monk.  We also really like the theme song for Monk.  We all sing it at the top of our lungs while those of us who feel like it dance crazy.  Alena and Losahina are our main “Monk dancers” as we like to call them.  Tevita likes to sing along, and everytime he sees a picture of Monk he likes to point to it excitedly and call out “Monk, Monk!”  It’s pretty funny.  Did I mention we like the show?  I highly recommend it.

Stand for Something.

Summit

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Friday and Saturday were the annual Knights of Freedom Summit that is put on by AYLI.  All I can say is WOW!!!!!  OK, so I can say more.  My friend Emily is the Knights of Freedom Liaison, and therefore was in charge of this amazing and grand event.  She did a wonderful job.  Her husband was great, too.  I volunteered as a camp matron this year.  Sione volunteered as a squire.  We all had costumes to wear (Emily’s queen outfit was beautiful!) and the storyline was really great.  It was well organized, and the master knights (young adult boys) did a fabulous job with these 85 boys ages 8-12.  We got Sione a foam sword and a vinyl shield so he can spar with Collin here at home.  The boys made their own shield and satchel, went to virtue workshops, had a tournament based on the rules of combat, and went on a quest.  Then it all culminated in a big battle with the evil villains.   Watching this group of 85 boys and about 30 men (with a couple of moms thrown in) battle it out with swords and shields (the villains didn’t actually get any shields) was fabulous!  Everywhere you looked you saw grins as big as I’ve ever seen.  Young and old alike.  These beautiful 2 days included an array of emotions.  Reverence, excitement, frustration, dissapointment, fun, exhaustion, and more for all involved.  I am excited to be there again next year!

Stand for Something.

Secure, Not Stressed

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

The 8th and final key of the 8 keys of Quality Education is Secure, not Stressed.  This key is about knowing if you and those who are in your home/class are supposed to have a leadership education.  Search it out.  Pray about it.  If the answer for you is “yes” then do it.  Don’t stress about it.  Don’t second guess it and put yourself through the ringer.  Listen for the answer and follow it.  If you aren’t supposed to do it – don’t!  If you are – do!  If you are stressed and constantly vascilating you are only making your job harder.  Become secure in your answer and know that it is the right answer for you.  That makes the difference.

Stand for Something.

YOU, Not Them

Friday, September 21st, 2007

If we really want to inspire our children to do the hard work to get a world class education, we need to show them we value getting one ourselves.  If we get caught up in what they need to learn we will miss what we need to learn.  My children are not the only people in this house who have missions to fulfill in the course of their lives.  My husband and I have missions, too.  I don’t fully know what my life’s missions include.  I do know that being a mother is the one that shouts at me right now.  Being the mother for my children that I have been inspired to be.  I’m not there yet, but I am working on it.  I know that my children will grow up and say “Wow!  Mom really messed up when she….” I know they will say that, because I am not perfect.  But I try to show them an example of someone who is continually trying to stretch, grow, and improve.  I am trying to be the example for them of the person I want them to become.  And as I grow and climb my mountains, I will bring them along for the ride.  Then maybe they won’t have as far to go to reach the top.

Stand for Something.

Simplicity, Not Complexity

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Keeping it simple really is important when it comes to curriculum.  The more complex the curriculum is, the more the student (and the teacher/mentor) relies on experts, and the more likely they will be to get caught up in requirement and conformity.  Leadership education is about learning how to think, not what to think.  The best way to do this is to study the greatest minds and characters of history in every field, then write about it, discuss it, and apply it.  Simple.

Stand for Something.

Quality, Not Conformity

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

This key is more for Scholar Phase and beyond.  Once the student is inspired to get a world class education, and doing the work to achieve it, the mentor’s job is to expect and encourage quality.  That means no grading on the curve…in fact no grading.  Instead the mentor coaches the student on how to improve and is expected to work on ‘it’ over and over until ‘it’ is excellent.  At George Wythe College they have two grades – “A” and “DA” which stand for Acceptable and Do it Again.  As Mr. Incredible laments; we are too caught up in celebrating mediocrity.  We need to change that. We need to be promoting excellence and quality, not looking at what is the least that needs to be done to accomplish the job.  We need to be shooting for higher than the bare minimum.

Stand for Something.

Structure Time, Not Content

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

The 4th Key to Quality Education is Structure Time, not Content.  This goes hand in hand with Inspire, not Require.  You work with them to set a schedule of study time, but don’t micromanage what they study.  Inspire them.  They will choose to study those things they are inspired to study.  And it will stick a lot more effectively because they wanted to study it.  During Core Phase they will have less scheduled study time.  It will gradually become more until in Scholar Phase they will want to put in the hard work to study for 6-8 hours a day.  Even in Scholar Phase, though, you Structure the Time, not the Content.

Stand for Something.

Inspire, Not Require

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Inspire, not Require is often misunderstood to be Ignore, not Require.  This is not the case.  Inspiring means work.  It means setting the example yourself, and also keeping your eyes and mind open to opportunities that will get the student/mentee excited and inspired to learn about something.  I have some Disney Princess workbooks for Alena to use when she is ready for them.  She loves to pull them out and look at them as she asks me if she is ready for them yet.  I explain that she needs to read before we can use them, and although she is learning, she isn’t quite there yet.  Is she inspired to read so that the Disney Princesses can be part of her school time?  Yes!  I had a hard time figuring out how to inspire Tarina to read.  I knew that she knew the mechanics of it, but she didn’t have a desire for it.  Every once in a while I would try to get a book in her hands about a new subject to see what would draw her in.  That took some gentle digging with her, since she really likes to respond to questions with a nod or shake of her head.  Eventually she found Nancy Drew, and she just took off.  Collin has done the same with Spiderman and other comic-type beginning reader books.  I just had to help him find the right book.  Now he considers himself just as much a reader as Julie and Tarina, and I love it!  I want my children to own their education, not me, so I need to inspire them to want to do the hard work it will take to get a world class education.

Stand for Something.