Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hey, Homeschool Dad!

Hey Homeschool dad!

You are “the man” to your family.  You are the foundation on which the whole family is supported and they simply could not do life without you.  It’s important for you to know that you are deeply and heartily appreciated.  Today your wife might have nursed the baby, taught the other children, made a homemade lunch, cleaned up multiple messes, read storybooks and did 5 loads of laundry, but nobody gets as much glory as dad when he plays toss the kids up in the air and gives them whiskery kisses.  You are more than just a breadwinner, you are a hero to your kids.

Because you are “that hero” (shameless VeggieTale reference) your children view you as a powerful role model.  I want to encourage you to set a high vision for them no matter what their ages.  The behavioral expectations for children in society today are appallingly low and part of changing that is setting the bar a bit higher.  Your children need to see you behaving honorably in every circumstance, so they understand clearly what good behavior looks like.  They need to see you try your best at tasks and they need to be encouraged to do the same.  

Let’s be honest and acknowledge that your children are not always going to clear the good behavior bar that you have set for them and that’s when Dad needs to flex his proverbial muscle.  There seems to be no substitute for a father’s influence when it comes to matters of discipline.  When kids know that Dad is going to back Mom up it makes a tremendous difference in their behavior.  So, if Dad checks up on how things went during the day then the parenting power multiplies because the kids know that Mom and Dad are a united front.  

Your relationship with mom is vital to more than just good discipline.  Dr. Mark Lowery, professor at the University of Dallas writes, “In a word, a crucial contribution to the homeschool on the part of the father is his attitude toward his wife.  Needless to say, children pick up very quickly on the quality of relationship between their two parents and are profoundly influenced by it.”  The investment your wife is making in the lives of your children by teaching homeschool lessons, developing character, and instilling lasting values is time consuming.  She may have little time left over to create gourmet meals and keep a spotless home.  Your children are watching and listening to you to find out what you value the most.  

Thank you for all you do, Dad.  You are a busy man with many responsibilities and your family would be lost without your leadership.  You are that hero!  (Sorry. . .the same shameless VeggieTale reference).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sharing the Love

Last Thursday our home school students took thank-you cards, cookies, hot chocolate and a great big bag of stuffed animals to the Atlantic Police Department.  Chief Green welcomed us and told the
 kids they would distribute the toys to children who participate in Shop With a Cop.

 This morning the kids donated about 25 children's books to the Cass County Memorial Hospital and Atlantic Medical Center.  The books will be distributed throughout waiting rooms. 

We also took a trip to Heritage House where the children visited with 
some of the residents and wished them a Merry Christmas.

A box of 20 pillowcase dresses sewn by our homeschoolers was put in the mail to go to 
Little Dresses for Africa.  Based out of Brownstown, Michigan, the organization
 distributes dresses and shorts to children in orphanages all over the world.

Next Thursday morning starting at 9:30 the children will read books and play with children at the Ann Wickman Center and the preschool classrooms in our building.  We will also be making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to send over to Omaha with one of our parents who goes on Fridays to help out the homeless there.  We will finish off the morning with a good old-fashioned Christmas party!  
Tina and I are planning party games, treats and music!  See you then :-)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Writing & Reaching Out

The writing continues in our writer's workshop during December.  The older children are writing an original story using dialogue punctuation in one of the following genre: mystery, old western, comical fiction, comical non-fiction, humorous poem, or a poem that tells a story.  Above are a few of the students composing their stories or poems using laptop computers.

The younger students listened to the book "Snowmen at Night" by Caralyn Buehner which is a fun and imaginative book about what snowmen do after dark.  They also heard several short, humorous poems about snowmen.  The students were then challenged to write their own version of what they think snowmen do at night or an original poem about snowmen.  They each received a paper with a snowman template on it and were asked to write around the outside of the snowman. . . and then move to the inside if they needed more space.

When we were done writing we switched gears to our Operation Outreach project.  The younger kids frosted sugar cookies and decorated them with sprinkles.  These were paired with a large jar of cocoa mix and handmade thank you cards for the officers.  The goodies were then taken to the Atlantic Police Department where they were happily received on behalf of the police officers by police chief, Steve Green.  The children also donated stuffed animals to the police officers to share with families they are serving this Christmas.

We returned to the warm, cozy classroom for Brown Bag & a Book.  Linda is reading "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" to the children.  This funny Christmas classic never gets old!