Archive for category Mary Leppert
The year 2014 will be an exciting conference one for homeschoolers who attend one of the three locations of Great Homeschool Conventions (GHC): Greenville, SC; Cincinnati, OH and Ontario, CA (https://www.greathomeschoolconventions.com). Each conference will offer over 200 speaking sessions & over 200 vendors.
The team at GHC has prepared excellent resources at all three that will serve and entertain their attendees, giving them the boost that such an event is so valuable for. Rubbing elbows with other homeschooling families, hearing great speakers live and having access to great vendors all in one weekend, is powerful and uplifting for months afterward.
A few of the great speakers presenting at all three conventions this year will be headliner, Michael Medved, well-known conservative talk radio host, social commentator and experienced homeschooling dad; Heidi St. John, homeschooling mom of seven and a popular author, speaker and co-minister with her husband, Jay; California’s own Cathy Duffy, well-known homeschooling mom and long-time product reviewer; Dr. Jay Wile, chemist and textbook author, remarkable Gianna Jessen – aborted at birth; survived, adopted and homeschooled and achieving beyond all expectations, and Dr. Kathy Koch (Cook), a highly-regarded and experienced educator, author, lecturer and founder of Celebrate Kids, Inc. Of course there is a vast array of great speakers at the three conventions, so please check the website for full details.
Being aware that many homeschooling families are living on one income GHC has a track record of providing affordable pricing (and a generous Volunteer program) so that virtually all families can attend. This year the family package Early Bird price at the Ontario, CA convention is only $45 for all 3 days, for a complete family – parents, children, grandparents! The food available at the convention is also reasonably priced, with meals being about $8 each per person.
Offering parents the peace of mind that homeschoolers seek, GHC also provides a complete schedule of Children’s programs and activities provided by CCI, a separate company working with GHC. For complete information, see http://www.greathomeschoolconventions.com/sessions/childrens-conference/
Registration fees for special events are additional, one being the Teen Track, (ages 13 to 19) only $5 per person “Real Faith for the Real World”, consisting of 15 speaking sessions for teens that teach teenagers how to defend their faith in today’s world; conference registered parents are welcome, but have to pay $5 more than the $45 family packet. Another special event is the Friday Night Comedy Night (with Mark Lowry at Greenville & Cincinnati; Bob Smiley at Ontario), also $5 additional per person, who must be registered for the convention.
Included in the $45 package price is a New to Homeschooling Track – Homeschooling 101 by Cathy Duffy and a Parenting Track by Dr. John Rosemond & Kirk and Casey Martin. There will also be a presentation by
The hotel conference rates are very reasonable as well. In Ontario, the two hotels that flank the parking lot of the Convention Center have special rates — the Doubletree is only $99 per night + tax and the Radisson is only $89 per night + tax. Please see the Accommodations page on the GHC website, under the Locations tab, where you can register for this lodging. In Ontario, parking at either hotel is free, too.
For families who want to obtain attendance credit, GHC has a Volunteer Offer: You work for 4 hours at the event and you receive a family registration, free. Some of the volunteers can work on Wednesday, prior to the Thursday opening or you tell GHC in advance if you can work Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Sharon is the Volunteer Coordinator, so please contact her as early as possible, if you wish to earn these credits.
By Mariaemma Pelullo-Wills, M.S. & Victoria Kindle-Hodson, M.A. Learning Success Institute, Ventura, California
This morning, reading an email from a home schooling mom, an old adage came to mind, when things start going your way it is usually YOU who has changed direction.
This mom gave up trying to get her children to change their direction and instead dramatically changed her direction to support their curiosity, passion, and learning styles. As she writes, little did I know the difference this shift would make in my life!
In his book The World is Flat Thomas L. Friedman introduces a formula for a young person’s success in the globally-competitive world of the not-too-distant future. CQ + PQ > IQ, he says — Curiosity Quotient plus Passion Quotient is greater than Intelligence Quotient. Whoa! This is important information! Parents and teachers we work with are always concerned about what kids need in order to be successful in the “real world,” and here is a New York Times bestselling author emphasizing CQ and PQ. So, is Thomas Friedman saying teach your kids to be curious and passionate? No, absolutely not! Curiosity and passion can’t be taught. Our kids are born with these attributes. The question is, how do we support and develop the CQ and PQ that our kids already have?
As we see it, there are basically two ways to educate children — from the outside-in and from the inside-out: One approach short-circuits curiosity and passion and the other opens the circuitry for these wonderful attributes to flow.
Educating from the outside-in is an approach that focuses on teaching kids information that has been determined valuable by experts and authority figures. Knowledge is dispensed and a child’s role is to be a passive receptacle. “Should”, “ought to”, “must”, and other commands and demands, are often the means for communicating this information. Kids are seen as blame- or praise-worthy, right or wrong, good or bad, as a result of how willing and able they are to learn the information. Children are often compared with one another and rewards, punishments, threats, and bribes are often used to motivate learning. Memorizing dates and facts and taking tests and earning grades takes the place of active, engaged learning.
Fear and distrust are the underlying principles for interaction, and as a result of this outside-in approach, young people set aside curiosity and passion.
The inside-out philosophy of education encourages children to be active and involved in their learning at every level — from participating in planning their own programs to evaluating their progress. Children are seen as individual people with valuable ideas and contributions to make. They are people to get to know, not just manage. They are seen as young people coming into wholeness from the inside out, on their own time schedule and in their own way. Expectations and methodologies are individualized as much as possible. Appropriate conditions are set up to encourage skill development and successful learning experiences.
Respect is the underlying principle for interaction. Since the way adults view and treat a child can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, when a child’s strengths are nurtured and respected, the child learns to be a confident, respectful person. Motivation for learning comes from the child’s interests, strengths, and goals being acknowledged, nurtured, and developed.
Making the Shift — Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded, says Charles F. Boyd.
The mom of our story assessed the learning styles of each of her children and let the results introduce her to aspects of her children that she hadn’t fully noticed or appreciated — their gifts, talents, and learning needs. In her desire to make her children’s education conform to what she did as a child in school and current public school standards she realized she was missing opportunities to foster their uniqueness.
Here are 10 tips we teach at the LearningSuccess Institute to keep curiosity and passion alive in your children and to make the shift from outside-in to inside-out learning:
1. Celebrate rather than criticize. Celebrate the child you have! Don’t be regretful that you didn’t get a different one. Don’t be discouraged because the one you have would be wonderful, if only . . . Do celebrate your child’s skills, accomplishments, and uniqueness. If you don’t celebrate them, neither will your child.
When kids are very young it’s easier to celebrate their unique traits — how social they are; how they love to dance, climb trees, skateboard, build things, etc. Remembering to celebrate these seemingly little things as children grow older is more difficult, especially if reading, writing, math, and other academic skills aren’t among the things they do naturally well.
2. Accept a role as your child’s coach — the one who encourages, facilitates, and believes in your child. Perhaps there was someone who played this role for you when you were growing up. It may not have been a parent. Remember how much it meant to you to have this kind of support and jump eagerly into being a coach for your child.
In actual fact, a parent, like no one else in a child’s life, can bring out their best and facilitate their goals and interests. No one loves your child as much as you do. No one knows your child as well as you do. Therefore, no one else will bring the care and depth of understanding to working with your child that you do.
3. Respond rather than react. How we talk to our children directly affects whether or not they talk to us and will trust us to help them learn and grow. Are you shouting out threats, commands and demands because your emotional hot buttons are sensitive or are you able to be responsive to your kids’ ideas, feelings and needs? If you’re reacting, the flow of communication is going to be drastically affected. Your reactivity stimulates fear in your kids, so they aren’t going to talk much to you. If you listen and learn to identify your kids’ feelings and needs, you will be surprised to see withdrawn, suspicious, unresponsive children come alive and begin to share hopes, dreams, interests, and passions.
Most everyone agrees that communication is a necessary skill for effective interactions; our workshop participants rate its importance as a “10” on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high). The same participants rate their own skill as 3-5. Take the next opportunity you have to brush up on your communication skills. Read a book, take a course, or attend a weekend workshop.
4. Expand your view of where, when, and how learning takes place. Learning is happening everywhere, all the waking hours of the day, every day of the year. As well as learning information, your children are learning and developing learning habits. Are they continuing to learn the same habits at home that they would learn at school—read the book, answer the questions, and take a test? Or, are you willing to expand your views about how learning takes place to include discussions, playing games, cooking, watching movies, doing brain-teasers and crossword puzzles, listening to books on tape, going on field trips, sitting on a river bank and simply listening?
5. Start supporting your child’s learning style needs. Stop supporting grades, standardized tests, and bell-curve standing as the definition of your child’s abilities and intelligence. Redefine your child in terms of learning dispositions, talents, interests, and learning modalities. Grades and percentile ratings based on test scores are conveniences that maintain a narrow system of evaluation, and they are not the whole truth about your child.
6. Focus on solutions rather than problems and blame. Solution-focused parents, through modeling, teach their kids to be solution-focused, too. By learning these valuable skills they are much more likely to feel competent and able to keep going in the face of setbacks. Blame-focused kids are often afraid and withdrawn or resistant and rebellious. Solution-focus keeps attention on how a problem can be handled from this moment on. Blame-focus looks to the past to determine who caused the problem and what should be done to that person.
7. Identify your child’s long term and short term goals. Kids who have goals and can imagine a positive future for themselves are more eager learners than young people who are discouraged and don’t see future possibilities for themselves. Kids with goals have an inside-out reason for developing themselves. Goals give hope, are forward-looking, and convey the message to one that I have someplace worthwhile to go with my life. Goal-setting opens up a world of choices, commitment, preferences and values where kids are willing to work for what they want. Goals motivate participation in learning and life.
Without goals of their own, kids are often passive participants in the goals that other people have for them. Other people’s goals and expectations can feel to kids like demands, and human beings have a natural tendency to resist demands.
8. Track successes rather than failures. Success is a daily requirement — like food and water. Accentuating the positive, encourages a child to stick with learning longer, to go deeper, to ask their own questions, to do their own thinking, to stay up late and get up early.
It seems like human nature to remember the pain of our failures more than the sweetness of our successes; however, we are actually taught by influential people in our lives to track our failures rather than our successes. Children see themselves as we see them, and if they are continually reminded about what they are doing wrong rather than what they do right, they begin to see themselves as failures.
By the time we are eighteen years old, it is estimated that we have heard 180,000 statements reinforcing our limitations. Perhaps you have heard Albert Einstein’s saying that it takes eleven positives to overcome one negative. To balance out the 180,000 negatives, it would therefore, take 1,980,000 positives to balance out all those negatives.
9. Take the pressure off when necessary. If your child is having trouble with penmanship, spelling, reading, or math, or any other skill, and this has been a problem for a long time, you can work wonders with the situation by giving your child permission to not do the troublesome activity and to focus on developing other skills. With repeated reminding about her inadequacies, a child becomes defensive and focuses on protecting herself. Children are painfully aware of many of their own inadequacies. They don’t need our continual reminding of what these are. In many cases they don’t need our help to remedy them either. By letting go of your expectations, you give her breathing room, and she can start to focus on her own approach to the difficulty she’s having.
10. Teach the way your child learns best. Find methods and materials that stimulate your child’s curiosity and passion. It is a wide-open world of opportunities for learning. We are truly limited only by our imaginations. Whether it’s books to read, books to listen to on tape, research sources, classes, workshops, art supplies, CDs, DVDs, field trip destinations, fabulous hands-on learning materials, etc., etc., it’s all available and at your fingertips.
We hope these tips have given you new ideas about how to educate from the inside-out and be your child’s best LearningSuccess Coach!
© Copyright 2008, 2013 by V.K.Hodson & M. P. Willis/Reflective Educational Perspectives, LLC.
Victoria Hodson and Mariaemma Willis are the Co-Founders and Co-Directors of the LearningSuccess™ Institute in Ventura, CA. Read more articles and sign up for their monthly email newsletter at www.learningsuccessinstitute.com
by Emerson Sandow
Two of the most popular and successful alternative teaching methods are the Montessori Method, developed by Maria Montessori and Waldorf School, created by Rudolph Steiner. Both have similarities and differences that are significant, but the teaching parent can gain much from learning more about both approaches.
The Montessori Method of teaching was developed by an Italian educator, Maria Montessori (1870-1952) in the 1890s. Her original experience was with retarded, supposedly uneducable children, whom she taught with great success. She then became a government-sponsored teacher of the poor in Rome, again to great success. Thus, Montessori’s theories were proven in the field and she was ultimately able to apply them to “normal” children. One of the earmarks of her method was the belief in allowing children to direct their learning, with the teacher functioning as observer and guide, rather than an absolute director of what the child would learn. Montessori also believed that physical activity was significant in a child’s integrating academic concepts. Ms. Montessori believed in the competence of children and had faith in their abilities to lead their knowledge-gathering. She believed in a holistic learning approach, even to having child-size furniture and accessories, allowing children to feel competent in their environment; which competence would develop and grow into adulthood. Ms. Montessori had a strong awareness of students’ learning styles and believed that it should be taken seriously when developing a child’s academic program. The Montessori name and method are not trade-marked or legally limited in any way. Therefore, many schools can call themselves “Montessori” without having to have pedagogical authority to do so.
Waldorf Education was developed by Rudolph Steiner, a German Renaissance Man (1861-1925), who was an architect, farmer, spiritual philosopher and social theorist. He published his book The Education of the Child, in 1907, setting forth his theories and observations. In 1919, the owner of the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette company hired Steiner to create a school for the children of its employees, hence the name “Waldorf”, which is trademarked worldwide. The governance of Waldorf schools is well-formed, with the academic decisions made by the teachers in committee and the other decisions made by the board of directors. This tends to produce a very satisfying educational experience for students, parents and teachers. Each private Waldorf school is self-governing and unique but most choose adhere to Steiner’s curriculum. State-supported Waldorf schools are likely to have to adhere to the Steiner method.
Steiner and Montessori both believed that child development falls into divisions – Montessori held 3-year increments in her teaching, while Steiner observed 7-year increments in his teaching model. Interestingly, the Classical method also observes a similar division in the child’s development, so that all three methods teach certain concepts at each stage, building upon the early learning in successive increments.
Montessori and Steiner have similar viewpoints about many aspects of pedagogy, including the importance of art and imaginative thinking in all academic endeavors and the importance of moral and ethical training. The issue of morality was not adherence to a particular belief system, but training the student to critically think and analyze the issues of morals and ethics. Studies have shown that these two points – art and critical thinking – have allowed students of both schools of thought to achieve above average results on standardized tests, worldwide.
Waldorf can possess a more specifically spiritual tone than the Montessori method, since Steiner viewed the pedagogical as a part of his complete conception of the universe and Man’s place in it. This aspect is typically absent in American Waldorf schools, but is often present in Germany and other countries. Both of these innovative teaching methods offer much food for thought to the teaching parent and further reading of Montessori and Steiner’s theories may assist your homeschooling experience. E.S.
[Reprinted with permission from the National Vaccine Information Center, http://www.nvic.org.]
Under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, over $2 billion has been awarded to children and adults for whom the risks of vaccine injury were 100%. Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry risks, which can be greater for some than others. NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about the risks and complications of diseases and vaccines and speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision.
- Am I or my child sick right now?
- Have I or my child had a bad reaction to a vaccination before?
- Do I or my child have a personal or family history of vaccine reactions, neurological disorders, severe allergies or immune system problems?
- Do I know the disease and vaccine risks for myself or my child?
- Do I have full information about the vaccine’s side effects?
- Do I know how to identify and report a vaccine reaction?
- Do I know I need to keep a written record, including the vaccine manufacturer’s name and lot number, for all vaccinations?
- Do I know I have the right to make an informed choice?
If you answered yes to questions 1, 2, and 3, or no to questions 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and do not understand the significance of your answer, you may want to review information on NVIC’s website with links to other websites and resources so you can better answer these questions, designed to educate consumers about the importance of making fully-informed vaccine decisions. Click here to learn more about the role of informed consent in vaccination.
NVIC also publishes a free online NVIC Vaccine eNewsletter to keep consumers informed of the latest information about vaccines and infectious diseases and offers tools like NVIC’s Advocacy Portal that helps consumers protect vaccine choice in their state and the Vaccine Ingredient Calculator to assist consumers in becoming knowledgeable about vaccines, existing safe standards for toxins found in vaccines and a printable vaccination plan to facilitate parent-health provider dialogue. Be sure to visit our Diseases and Vaccines webpage, which provides information on risks and benefits associated with vaccines.
If you choose to vaccinate, always keep a written record of exactly which shots/vaccines you or your child have received, including the manufacturer’s name and vaccine lot number. Write down and describe in detail any serious health problems that develop after vaccination and keep vaccination records in a file you can access easily.
It is important to be able to recognize an adverse reaction and seek appropriate medical attention, as well as reporting a vaccine adverse event with federal health officials at the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), who monitor vaccines after they have been licensed. Information provided to VAERS, may also help identify high risk factors that make some individuals more vulnerable to suffering vaccine reactions. To learn more about injury compensation and filing an injury claim, click here.
If you or your child experiences any of the symptoms listed below in the hours, days or weeks following vaccination, it should be reported to VAERS. Some vaccine reaction symptoms include:
- Pronounced swelling, redness, heat or hardness at the site of the injection;
- Body rash or hives;
- High pitched screaming or persistent crying for hours;
- Extreme sleepiness or long periods of unresponsiveness;
- High fever (over 103 F)
- Twitching or jerking of the body, arm, leg or head;
- Crossing of eyes;
- Weakness or paralysis of any part of the body;
- Loss of eye contact or awareness or social withdrawal;
- Loss of ability to roll over, sit up or stand up;
- Vision or hearing loss;
- Restlessness, hyperactivity or inability to concentrate;
- Sleep disturbances that change wake/sleep pattern;
- Head banging or onset of repetitive movements (flapping, rubbing, rocking, spinning);
- Joint pain;
- Muscle weakness;
- Disabling fatigue;
- Loss of memory;
- Onset of chronic ear or respiratory infections;
- Violent or persistent diarrhea or chronic constipation;
- Breathing problems (asthma);
- Excessive bleeding (thrombocytopenia) or anemia.
There are other symptoms, which may indicate that you or your child has suffered a vaccine reaction. Not all symptoms that occur following vaccination are caused by the vaccine(s) recently received, but it cannot be automatically concluded that symptoms which do occur are NOT related to the vaccine. Therefore, it is important for your doctor to write down all serious health problems that occur after vaccination in the permanent medical record and to report ALL serious symptoms or dramatic change in physical, mental or emotional behavior that does occur following vaccination, to VAERS. It is also important that re-vaccination does not continue until it has been determined that the serious health problem which developed after vaccination was not causally related to the vaccination(s). Continued vaccination in the presence of serious health deterioration could lead to vaccine injury or death.
Although it has been the law since 1986 for doctors and other vaccine providers to report hospitalizations, injuries, deaths and serious health problems following vaccination to VAERS, it is estimated that less than 10 percent, perhaps less than one percent of all vaccine-related health problems are ever reported. If your doctor will not report a serious health problem that you or child experienced after vaccination to VAERS, you have the right to make the vaccine adverse event report to VAERS yourself.
Since its’ founding in 1982, the National Vaccine Information Center has operated a Vaccine Reaction Registry which has served as a watchdog on the VAERS system. We encourage you to also report any suspected vaccine reaction you or your child has experienced to NVIC’s Vaccine Reaction Registry.