March 6th, 2014
Here is a recipe for a communication disaster — four ingredients:
1. Excessive Negative Talk
“Some people constantly complain and find fault. They seldom affirm or talk about positive virtues of other people. They rarely acknowledge the good things happening in the world or in the church or in their family. They are experts at excessive negative talk. The gloom and doom that pours from the mouths of these people fosters a depressing atmosphere in the family.”
2. Excessive Heavyweight Speech
“Some people …want to turn every conversation into a discussion of deep … problems, weighty subjects, and ultimate concerns.”
3. Lethal Exaggeration
“Exaggeration is a more subtle, but equally lethal form of lying. It occurs when we blow things out of proportion. Sometimes we exaggerate about a person’s behavior…Sometimes we exaggerate concerning our own conduct….Exaggeration encourages people to become defensive or suspicious of the speaker. Although intended to get the listener’s attention, exaggeration usually fosters disbelief or disregard for what is said….The listener begins to feel abused and mistreated, having lost confidence in the speaker and his words….”
“Misrepresentation, a close cousin to exaggeration, is part of the falsehood family. Perhaps there is no more common form of lying than when the facts about a person and his behavior are rearranged. The truth is so twisted and distorted by additions or omissions or slanting of facts that the result bears little resemblance to reality.
Mix well and wait for the explosion.
Taken from Your Family God’s Way by Wayne A. Mack.
March 6th, 2014
Suggestions on how to treat your adult children.
1. The majority of the time that you are talking with your adult child, you should be doing the listening, not the talking. Real and attentive listening. Respectful listening — not appearing to be listening or thinking about what you need to be doing next or what you want to say next, but real listening.
2. Talk to your adult children in the same way which you would talk to any of your peers. Your body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, language, and level of respect should be the same as what you use with your peers.
3. There must be trust. The members of a family must trust each other. Without mutual trust there can be no family peace, order, fellowship, respect, or communion.
4. Address the concerns of your adult children in a timely manner. Don’t continue to put off resolving issues or acting on matters, but have enough respect for your adult children to move forward, making decisions promptly on issues which are important to them. Don’t be eternally saying, “Well, I’m praying about it.”
5. Avoid exaggeration — it undermines trust and respect. Exaggeration is a learned behavior and your children will most certainly adopt the behavior if they see it in you.
6. If children are exposed to a steady stream of negativity and criticism, leveled against them or against others, it will undermine their trust and confidence in you, and it will interfere with their ability to respect you. When the parent is negative and critical, his intended result is that the child will become more discerning and careful. But in actuality, the effect of steady negativity and criticism is usually the opposite — it serves to pull down and inhibit growth, and causes the child to not take the parent seriously.
7. It is most likely that at some time in his life and in some area of his life, your adult child will disagree with your views on different issues, be it politics, how to handle money, nutrition, music, dress, courtship, or (gasp!!) theology. Have enough respect for your adult child to discuss these differences in the same way that you discuss differences with your peers.
March 3rd, 2014
The Wall Chart of World History: From Earliest Times to the Present
The Reese Chronological Bible — I would prefer it wasn’t the KJV, but it doesn’t come in any other version.
Trivium Pursuit’s List of National Contests and Exams Open to Homeschoolers — this is a list I started compiling back in the 80′s.
Building Thinking Skills Books 2, 3 Figural, and 3 Verbal — our first introduction to logic
Your Family God’s Way: Developing and Sustaining Relationships in the Home by Wayne A. Mack — the best family counseling book EVER
Hand That Rocks the Cradle by Nathaniel Bluedorn — my list of classic read-alouds, compiled from 1981-2001
Audio Books — a life-saver for Mother
Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think And What We Can Do About It by Jane M. Healy — read this before you start homeschooling
McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers — I prefer the Christian School Edition
A Child’s History of England by Charles Dickens — get your children hooked on history with Dickens
March 3rd, 2014
Help for the Day
by J.R. Miller
He led them forth by the right way. Psalm 107:7
God leads every one of His children by the right way. He knows where and under what influences each particular life will ripen best.
One plant grows best in the sheltered valley, another by the water’s edge, another on the bleak mountaintop swept by storms. God puts every tree or plant in the locality where the conditions of its growth exist, and does God give more thought to trees and plants, than to His own children? He places us amid the circumstances and experiences in which our life will grow and ripen the best.
The peculiar discipline to which we are each subjected is the discipline we especially need to bring out in us the beauties and graces of true spiritual character. God knows what is best. He makes no mistakes.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
March 3rd, 2014
Hey, I recently came across your website. I thought it great.
I’m currently 25-years-old and missed out a lot of education (deep reading, pronunciation, logic, etc). I was just wondering if you had any tips for an adult like myself who wishes to correct the huge gaps in his education?
Just a few short suggestions:
1. Start your logic study with The Fallacy Detective. From there, go to more difficult logic books. You can do a search on our site for titles.
2. Make a list of important books to read and start reading, spending an hour a day at this. Take notes as you read and keep a notebook with all your notes.
3. Write something every day — one page. Journal, letters, essays.
4. Reduce the time you spend looking at a screen.
February 24th, 2014
Talking to babies boosts their brain power, studies show.
Reading bedtime stories to babies and talking to them from birth boosts their brain power and sets them up for success at school, researchers say.
February 17th, 2014
Large Hebrew Letters & Vowels Flash Card Set
Hebrew font used on these large flash cards is the most common printed Hebrew font found in Hebrew Bibles and Hebrew prayer books.
February 17th, 2014
Taken from Drums by James Boyd (first published, 1925)
The time is about five years before the War for Independence. The place, North Carolina. Thirteen-year-old Johnny has been sent from his backwoods home to Dr. Clapton (a Church of England pastor) in the nearest city to be tutored. He had been homeschooled up to that point. In this passage, Dr. Clapton is determining where Johnny stands academically.
“Now,” he said, “fetch down your school books and we shall see.”
What Dr. Clapton saw by the end of the morning was this: that Johnny wrote a fair hand and spelled within reason, that he read the easier passages in Caesar’s Commentaries passably but with no pretensions to elegance; and that his efforts to write Latin were uniformly deplorable. In the realm of science he could add, subtract, divide and multiply infallibly if given ample time, but of fractions the less said the better.
“You must learn to cipher, Johnny. It is unfortunate that gentlemen’s sons should employ their time in the commercial branches, and I should never subscribe to a young man’s going a step beyond fractions and decimals, unless, of course, he were to enter his Majesty’s navy, and even there I consider that the mathematics should be left as far as possible to the lower ranks. But with clerks and stewards what they are nowadays, a gentleman must know fractions if he would protect his affairs.”
“Yes, seh. Dadder said I must learn fractions.”
“I have no doubt. A knowledge of ciphering is commonly demanded by the parents of this Province.” His eye wandered. “I have concluded,” he murmured, “that ciphering is one of the unavoidable disadvantages of a new country. Yes.”…
“…as to Latin exercises; that is more serious. When I was a Colleger at Eton the meanest scholar your age could do his fifty lines a day with never a false quantity.”
People often ask if it is “too late” to start the classical approach with their 11- (or 13 or 15 or 17) year-old. I always respond that it is never too late, but I would like to mention that in some cases it would be very difficult. If you have, say, a 15-year-old who has been raised by the government school, fed television and video games for 3-4 hours a day, seldom been read to and reads only lite literature, and generally not been trained how to think or been trained not to think, then homeschooling with the trivium will be a great challenge for you. But, if the student and the parents are motivated and willing to make changes in their lives, then it can be accomplished. A classical education is not just Latin and logic, but a way of life.
February 13th, 2014
Penrod by Booth Tarkington
Penrod Schofield is twelve and has been volunteered by his mother for “The Pageant of the Table Round” in which he is to play the Child Sir Lancelot du Lake. He gets himself into a mountain of trouble when he exchanges his gaudy costume of castoff silk stockings and flannel long-johns for the janitor’s overalls. This is one of those books which will cause you to lose your dignity and roll about the floor laughing hysterically.
Bob, Son of Battle by Alfred Ollivant
Hoo aboot sich a yarn that’ll bring the tares to the eyes o’ e’en the sternest mon. Bob, Son of Battle, by Alfred Ollivant (copyright 1898) is about: Bob, a bonnie tyke and last of the Gray Dogs of Kenmuir; Davie, a puir mitherless lad; and his fether, Adam M’Adam, a little man turned harsh after the death of his wife.
Within the Capes by Howard Pyle
This is the story of Captain Tom Granger, a Quaker, and his adventures in the year 1812. It is a combination of Robinson Crusoe, pirates, romance (Quaker style), and seafaring adventure.
Prester John by John Buchan
Young Davie Crawfurd has a strange adventure with a huge black man on a seashore of Scotland. Later, he travels to South Africa and again meets that mysterious black man, who leads him into a wild African adventure. This is one of Buchan’s best adventure stories.
A Dog of Flanders by Ouida
Nello finds a cart dog left to die on the road side. The dog recovers and helps Nello and his grandfather carry milk to the village. Nello dreams of learning to paint and seeing the great masterpiece by Rubens hanging in the cathedral, but he has no money. In the end, one of his dreams come true.
Drums by James Boyd
Johnny Fraser leaves his backwoods home in North Carolina to fight in the Revolutionary War.
At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
Diamond is a curious little boy who goes on dazzling adventures with his friend, the North Wind.
Adventures of Remi by Hector Malot
Remi is an orphan who travels in search of someone to belong to.
Cinder Pond by Carroll Watson Rankin
Jeannette Huntington Duval and her family are squatters who live in shanties built on a crumbling dock jutting into Lake Superior.
The Wreck of the Grosvenor by W. Clark Russell
Mr. Royle is the new second mate of the Grosvenor. When the ship’s stores are found to be inedible, the captain refuses to take on new stores. When the captain refuses to save shipwrecked survivors, Mr. Royle forcefully saves Mary Robertson and her father, for which the captain puts him in irons. The crew mutinies, kills the captain, and forces Mr. Royle to steer them to America.
Book summaries from Hand That Rocks the Cradle by Nathaniel Bluedorn.