Saturday, August 25, 2012

LDS Homeschool Conference part- 4

Michelle Stone is well known for her ideas on Celestial Education. At the conference she spoke on what she calls: Celestial Education- The 4th Stage. The Command For Us To Come Into The Presence Of The Lord. Her opening statement was that if we want to give our children the education that God wants them to have, then we must give it to ourselves first. She reminded us that the purpose of the gospel is to bring us back to Heavenly Father. She reminded us to be striving towards "Zion" which is a place where the Lord can be among us. She also said that along with faith, we should also be seeking knowledge. We can have faith that we will have eternal life, but we can also "know" that we have eternal life by gaining knowledge through the scriptures and words of the prophets. We should always be diligently seeking Him.

Tresta Neil's topic was listed as: Learning By Faith, but she actually taught more about how to teach children to feel the spirit. Even though I had wanted to hear the other class, this one was great too!  Some of her ideas were: To teach with symbolism, share your own experiences, stand in Holy places with them, record their experiences, etc. She reminded us to teach our children with the spirit and if we do, the Holy Ghost will write it upon their hearts. We can teach it to them- but we need to teach them to recognize and allow the Spirit to put it into their hearts not just their minds. She talked a lot about a talk that Elder Bednar gave called Seek Learning By Faith. All in all- another great class!

Friday, August 24, 2012

LDS Homeschool Conference- part3

" are that they might have joy." 2 Nephi 2:25

Another class I attended was Women are that they might have joy!" by Mindy Heath.
This was the class description: Yes, that means you too! Discover How To Live With Peace, Joy and Connection In Every Area Of Your Life.
Have you ever felt like you were doing all the "right" things but none of it seemed to be working? Have you ever felt not good enough or that success is for everyone else but you? Maybe you are thriving in some areas of your life but struggling in others and no matter how hard you try you don't know how to change it. And deep down you know it's taking it's toll on you, your marriage, your kids, maybe even your faith.  You can have peace, joy and connection no matter what is going on around you!  Discover the key to "BE"ing who Heavenly Father created you to be and all the joy and healing that follows!

 "In all of life have much fun and laughter, life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." -President Gordon B. Hinckley

She started out with a story about herself. She was a mess! She had poor health, felt terrible all the time, was stressed, had no patience, etc. One day she couldn't do it anymore. She left. She went to a favorite place and poured her heart out to Heavenly Father. She realized she had been going about things all wrong. She then asked us a question. Are you going to keep trying to be what everyone else wants you to be? Or, let it all go and find out who Heavenly Father made you to be. Wow. The room was dead silent. I hadn't really thought about it like that before. It seems like we are always trying to do better- be better and sometimes it's really hard to measure up. It can be really depressing, especially when you look around and it seems like everyone else has it all together. We were made in our "perfect" Heavenly Father's image. We were given special gifts and divine attributes before we ever got to this earth. We are worthwhile and He knows what we need! When we are overwhelmed and stressed who do we listen to? Is it the Spirit, or is it Satan? Between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts go through our head each day. At least 1/2 are negative. We need to change our thoughts! Benjamin Franklin said that the key to happiness is right thinking. We need to KNOW that we are good enough and that Heavenly Father loves us. We need to believe Christ. He will heal us and change us. We need to change our self talk and not let it become toxic. Sometimes we go from "I did something bad" to "I am bad".

"We must put ourselves in order before we can truly succeed." -Stephen R. Covey

What does all of this have to do with homeschooling? To truly succeed in life and experience deep peace, joy, and connection we must have our hearts and lives in order.

 "The academics cannot succeed until the relationships are in order" -Diann Jeeppson

Saturday, August 18, 2012

LDS Homeschool Conference- part 2

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God  -D&C 88:119

When I first received my Conference Program Book, I was delighted that there were 24 classes to choose from. It was really hard to narrow it down to 6. Thankfully, they recorded the whole conference so each class will be available soon!

The first class I attended was called "A House of Order" by Regan Barnes. This was her class description: I will share how my children and I make the gospel an integral part of our lives, patterning our systems after Heavenly Father's systems!  I will help you recognize how Heavenly Father helps us grow in certain ways, through routines and order... Then I will help you figure out how to keep similar order in your own homeschool routine.  When we strive to make our home a heaven on earth, then we (both as parents and children in the family) can be homeschooled by Heavenly Father himself through the Holy Ghost! 

 I was very intrigued by what she meant about patterning her systems after Heavenly Father's. She gave us a great example. Sacrement Meeting vs. our homeschool day. We listed out what happens each week at Sacrament Meeting. There's someone there to greet you, prelude music, prayers, announcements, the Sacrament prayers, a program,  We then drew parallels with our day. Greeting- does each family member feel welcome and loved. As they come into the room before school, do we smile and say good morning cheerfully? The music- Is there something you do to set the tone and invite the Spirit? For our family we sing a hymn.  Her family sings their mission statement set to the hymn "carry on". Her 6 kids came in and sang it to us. Very fun! In place of the "carry on" in the chorus they sang "we are the Barnes, we are the Barnes, we are the Barnes". Prayers- praying throughout the day. Announcements- Letting everyone know what is expected of them throughout the day.  Going over the schedule. Sacrament prayers- Doing whatever our repetitious things are for the day. In our house those are the things like the Pledge of Allegiance, reciting the scriptures that we are working on, working on our Articles of Faith and The Living Christ, etc. The program- Doing your daily schedule and routine. She also talked about Testimony meeting being once a month and that could equate to a day that we share with each other what we have learned. 

She also had a list of P's on the board. Progression- Always striving for the Lord's plan of progression. Think of drawing an upward spiral. You are always moving upward but sometimes for a short time your hand falls to the bottom of that circle, but you quickly head back up on the higher path. Does that make sense at all? It is a deep contrast to the Nephite pride cycle that is a circle of events, but it keeps repeating itself over and over again with no progression upward. Principles- Always teach the Lord's principles, not the worlds. Purpose- Why are we here? Why are we homeschooling? Patterns- The Lord has certain patterns. We should pattern our homes and homeschooling after them. Personalities- Remember that each child is unique with his/her own personality and that is OK. Choose different patterns for them. 

She also cautioned us to not worry so much about perfection.  Sometimes we worry so much about doing it perfectly that we become paralyzed and do nothing. We should also not "overload" our children with information and facts.  We need to concentrate more on "writing it on there hearts". I truly believe that the Holy Ghost will help us do this.

Friday, August 17, 2012

LDS Homeschool Conference

   "And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith."  D&C 88:118

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to attend an LDS homeschool conference in American Fork. It was such an amazing day! It was held at the American Heritage School- a private LDS school.  I could do a whole post about how incredible that school was :)  As much as I love homeschooling my kids, if I lived anywhere near American Fork and could afford $500 a month, my kids would be going there instead of being home with me.  Every room had pictures of Christ and the First Presidency.  The Family Proclamation was proudly displayed in the hall.  Pictures of our country's Founding Fathers were on the timeline along with Adam and Eve and other significant church events. When Brigham Young cautioned the saints AGAINST supporting public schools, I'm pretty sure this is what he had in mind instead. Can you imagine- starting your school day with a hymn, prayer, and morning devotional?  How about learning about the Plan of Salvation and God's hand in everything while you are at school?  We do that here in our home, but wouldn't it be wonderful to do that everyday with hundreds of others? Sorry, I digress.  I just really, really loved that school!

The theme of the conference was "Seek Learning by Faith".  It was based on a CES talk that Elder Bednar gave in February of 2006.  " learners, you and I are to act and be doers of the word and not simply hearers who are only acted upon. Are you and I agents who act and seek learning by faith, or are we waiting to be taught and acted upon? Are the children, youth, and adults we serve acting and seeking to learn by faith, or are they waiting to be taught and acted upon? Are you and I encouraging and helping those we serve to seek learning by faith? We are all to be anxiously engaged in asking, seeking, and knocking".  Pretty powerful words. We need to have our hearts and minds open to the teachings of the Holy Ghost at all times and in all things. He doesn't just speak to us on Sundays, it is any time we are seeking truth and knowledgeI encourage you to read this talk.  It gave me a lot to think about.  Am I always prepared and ready to learn?  Do I "expect" to be taught or do I do my part to open my heart and mind to what the Holy Spirit has for me to learn? Am I preparing my children to seek learning by faith or do we "just attend church meetings" or "do school work"?

In my next post I will have more on the speakers...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Camp Hunt

Nate went to scout camp last week and asked to borrow my camera. They were going to Camp Hunt, which sits right on the shore of Bear Lake. I couldn't wait for him to get home and share his pictures. I envisioned lots of pictures of canoeing, fishing, swimming and water fun. I couldn't wait to see were they set up camp. Last year Steve went with him and was in charge of the picture taking. There were lots of pictures of the activities and the camp. We even got a look at the "not so nice" bathroom facilities. Here's a look at what Nate thought were the most important things at scout camp. I'm glad for his subtle reminder that we all see things differently and are individuals. I would have wanted to capture every moment of fun and would have taken pictures of the campsite and all the day-to-day things that we did. He found importance in the serenity and beauty of other things. I love how unique each one of my children are! It definitely would be boring if Heavenly Father made us all the same.

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