Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sometimes You Have To Excuse The Mess While Memories Are Being Made- Just Goals

Setting goals is imperative to becoming a successful individual. Without goals one becomes stagnant. Very little growth can happen when a person lacks motivation to reach goals set before them.

Personally, I am always setting new goals and challenges for myself because A) I love learning new things B) I become stronger in a variety of ways C) It is a brain-healthy thing to do. D) I don't want to be stagnant!

Our house contains seven completely different personalities. Some are dreamers. Some are logical. Some love facts. Some love beauty. I think most of us readily accept these as a natural part of a person's personality. What about being a goal setter? I don't know. I didn't used to be much of a goal setter. That part of me developed during the self-schooling I've pursued over the last 14 years.

As a homeschooling mom, I often wonder if my example will be enough to inspire my children to be goal-setters. I already know (have learned by trial and error, observation and analysis) that forcing a person to try to achieve a goal that is pushed onto them is counter-active to the entire purpose for goal-setting in the first place.

Then one day I hear the words, "I have set a goal for myself!"

Turning my head to the source of that statement I see Rylee with a very serious look on her face. Like as if something, somewhere is going to be in jeopardy if she does not attempt and conquer.

I'm going to tell you the goal she set for herself and it's okay if you laugh, or think it's an unworthy goal, or that I'm a terrible mother. After that initial reaction, take a minute to look for the not-so-obvious qualities in this rather lofty goal.

She decided to do ALL the dances in Just Dance on the Wii in one day.

The first day, she didn't make it. The next day she started over and persevered. She would dance. Then nap. Dance some more. Run errands with me. Dance. Eat. Dance. Stop because Dad is home. Dance. After her legs had had enough, the system called her "Lazy", but she kept on!

With Dad outside working on go-carts she continued on and on. Her arms were tired. She was doing songs she had never done so the movements were unfamiliar to her.

As I sat at piano cuz I couldn't take it anymore, I'd been waiting all day to play, I heard, "Two more songs..."

In the middle of my Moonlight Sonata, she did it. Then she turned everything off and texted a friend to make plans for the next day.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sometimes You Have to Excuse the Mess While Memories Are Being Made- Magnifyingly Hot

I would really love to be able to extend a question here and then see how many hands are extended in a yes answer of: When you were a child, did you ever use a magnifying glass to burn things?

Well, I certainly did.

My children caught on pretty early in life that when you want, you work. So when my two youngest- Crash and Eddy- want some new thing to play with they ask if Dad has some work they can do. (Did you Ice Age fans catch that reference!?) I'm sure this is common in families where no regular allowance is given and especially in families where the children are given responsibility for purchasing their own clothing and what-nots.

What may not be so common is for a nine and seven year old to take their hard-earned cash to Ace Hardware. Of all places why there? I think there are a couple of reasons. One is that we are quite limited in our store varieties here in Small-town-ville. Another, is that being in the business of building and woodworking their parents often have need of a hardware store. The funnest reason is that these two are eccentric and unique and have spent their whole lives outside of the box.

Crash and Eddy's most recent trip to Ace Hardware brought home a couple of rubber mallets and a pair of magnifying glasses.

I have not seen any activity with the rubber mallets, but the list of things with tiny burn marks keeps getting longer.

Here are my two youngest boys who would be going into 2nd grade and 4th grade in a traditional school. Without anyone deciding to open a book to talk about how convexed glass can focus the sun's radiation into a very small point, they opened up the topic on their own. They came to us and asked, "Why does this happen?" (with much excitement, I might add!) Then, they spent unforced hours studying the effect of intense heat on dozens of types of materials.

We also add safety-consciousness to the "curriculum" by extending their thinking to any and all possible consequences of what they are about to do!