Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Adams "Homeschool Family"

What a hoot! Why didn't we think of this?

It kinda makes you wish you were in this creative family


Does anyone know who they really are?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Making World Geography Real Life Learning

In light of two year old Lily's incredible knowledge, (see previous YouTube post) who knows more geography than most adults, I thought I'd post on a few ways that we have incorporated geography naturally into our everyday lives.

Having a home based business has many benefits in a family. One of which is mapping all the countries that you send products. We started placing a red dot on all the countries and states and provinces in Canada and the US that we send books. So far we have shipped to Spain, France, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Korea, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, England, and Scotland, including of course, the US and Canada.
The greatest benefits of mapping the countries that we have shipped to is the socio-economic discussions that we have while pondering why we haven't gotten an order from Congo, or Vietnam. "Do many people have computers? IF we did get an order from a distant non English speaking country, did we ship to a university or business? Why do you think that is? Is English a common enough language for the average person to want English material and music in that country? Great discussions and great research can follow the addition of a new country on our map! One of our sons writes to an email pen pal in Namibia. Why haven't we ever gotten an order from Namibia? Finding out the culture and the economic status of the average citizen there has explained that for our son.
Another way that we have brought great discussion is having a world map as a table cloth. Your kids will tend to say, "Please pass the milk. It's over by Malaysia!" Or, "Please pass the Chinese salt."
For many years our main bathroom sported a world map shower curtain. Much time is spent just gazing around in the bathroom so why not capitalize on that imagination time?
Of course, world and continent map puzzles are also great. Even country or continent cookie cutters are great for those creative cooks among us all.
Any other great ideas?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

This two year old knows more geography than most adults!

Check out this YouTube video of a .... two year old.... who knows more geography than most adults!


Do you think the mattress under feet had anything to do with the fun of learning?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Are these financial principles a little too simple? I don't think so.

I just came across this very humorous YOU TUBE video on the most profound but simple of financial principles.

But why is this so humorous?

Is it because of the lack of common financial sense in our culture today that this principle appears to be such a novel thought?

Or is it the truth that is so rare that makes it so funny?

What do you think?


Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Veterans Day, Mom!

The ability to teach our children to think entrepreneurially is in a great way dependant upon the way that we think as parents. We are inadvertent absorbers of the culture around us and if we do not have Biblical (entrepreneurial) conviction our thinking WILL go the way of culture.

This country was founded upon entrepreneurs, business men and producers. The liberty that existed at the time of the founding and pioneering of this country allowed the flourishing of such freedom and liberty minded thinking. But what has happened? Fast forward through the progression of a pluralistic society descending fast into socialism, we are now a nation of consumers rather than a nation of producers.
If we are not careful, I should say deliberate in our focus, we will teach our children the same socialist thinking that permeates our whole culture without realizing it.

For one such example, the honored vocation of homemaking. The socialist would look with pity on the poor woman at home not using her talents and worse still being a financial dead weight on society! However the Christian worldview values the role of motherhood in the nurturing and disciplining of her children and in doing so is actually being the ultimate producer! A wise and prudent homemaker multiplies herself many fold in the productivity of her home and ultimately in teaching her children to be producers and entrepreneurs themselves!

While society is dumbing down the education system and ultimately producing workers for the factories and service industries, our home school mothers are inspiring great thinkers and forming deep character. While society is allowing the media to do the thinking for us, mothers are teaching their children how to think Biblically. The huge explosion of restaurants over the last 25-30 years gives testimony to the absence of effective homemaking and the consumerism of eating out has taken precedence.

This isn't Mother's Day; it's Veteran's Day but I am inspired by all the many mothers who raised sons that had the courage to fight for what is right, the honor to protect women and children at home and the fortitude to face death for those beliefs ...and my own grandfather for being one of those men. Thank you moms of yesterday. May we present day mom's rise against the culture of self centered individualism to that high calling in the raising of Godly, Biblically thinking, character strong and entrepreneurial, productive children! There is no higher calling, nor any greater task!

"We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! "

Happy Veteran's Day.

Janet Langford

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A New Arrival!

We are so excited to announce the birth of our first grandson! Caden Nathaniel Langford, arrived after 3 gruelling hours of labor by my heroic daughter in law, Stephanie. (wife to our oldest son, Ryan) Caden is little brother to Abigail who adores him. He is very cute, I must say and looks quite a bit more like Ryan did as a baby. Abby takes after her mom through and through and, of course, that makes her also very cute!!

On another note, many have asked us how our son is doing. Three months ago he was diagnosed with lymphoma (Blood cancer)and decided to go ahead with Chemotherapy. The regiment is gruelling and quite honestly, I have trouble emotionally being there just after a treatment. He is my hero though as he is remaining quite positive for his family's sake and is enduring well enough now that he has improved a little in dealing with the nausea and vomiting. Stephanie took a midwife recipe of caster oil mix to bring on labor about a week early so that Ryan could be there and assist in the labor and delivery as his treatment schedule landed on her date and could not be moved.

Ryan has had a mid treatment test and there was no cancer detected. But they continue with eight more treatments for some reason. I'll keep you updated as he is progressing through to the end of the treatments. Thank you all for your prayers and offers of support and friendship. Life is hard but God is good! Janet Langford

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Are You Teaching Your Children to Be Learners or Thinkers?

As homeschooling parents we all know that to teach your children to be lifetime learners is one of the most desirable traits and skills you can do for your children. But is your goal too shallow if all you teach them is to be a learner, to always learn but never to able to arrive at a conclusion? Could it be that being a thinker is a deeper and much more scriptural principle?

Today's school system is set up to teach learning and not thinking. It used to be when our grandparents went to school that the goals then were to teach thinking skills and their eighth grade graduating diploma gave them a much higher level of thinking than our twelve years of schooling does today. Perhaps the claim is that there is more information to impart now than there was several generations ago? Perhaps, but that may just be the point! Modern day schools with dialectic teaching and testing methods teach knowledge which is always going to be incomplete and full of gaps and not thinking and reasoning skills which is critical in bringing our children to maturity in discernment skills.

Furthermore to teach someone to think is to teach them the difference between right and wrong. To be able to reason the truth by principle is the deepest and most foundational education that we can give our children. They can learn what Mom or Dad might think about this or that but to reason and discern truth based on principle is the ultimate goal to leave as our Godly heritage.

Doesn't a thinker have to learn? Yes, but does a learner have to think? No. A learner is graded on how many facts and pieces of information he can parrot back usually on a test. By that definition a computer is an excellent learner but it cannot think! Does God want blind obedience or deliberate choice? Does He want our children to think and choose wisely or to just do as they are told without the reason or promise of a blessing? Let's not produce robots in the education of our children! Let's teach them to reason, even to reason with God himself. “Come now let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow!”

Learners know facts and yet thinking is discouraged. Thinkers deal in ideas and concepts and reasoning is the goal. To the learner the more facts the better but the thinker knows that the facts are important and they can be found when necessary.

Learners look at the effects; thinkers looks at the cause. Learners don't care why, things just happen and sees man as the focus of history. A thinker constantly asks why and understands the cause and effect principle. A thinker also views history providentially. A thinker is one who can apply thought processes to circumstances and is able to extract truth. The bottom line is a learner is paid for what they know. A thinker is paid for how they think, the basis of the entrepreneurial mind!

Teach your children to ask why, but don't tell them the answers. Teach them to search, to hypothesize and to reason the answers through the knowledge that they already have. The ability to craft a good question is a sign of intelligence and it is so important to surround yourselves with people who think and challenge your thinking. Of course, there is no higher call and better example you can set for those in your charge than for those thinking mentors to be your children's parents!

Knowledge is cautiously esteemed in the scriptures but we are implored to embrace wisdom. Wisdom cannot be taught; it must be reasoned and ultimately comes as a gift of God. Therefore, to be a truly accurate thinker is to be Biblically minded. A Biblical thinker is constantly comparing the ideas presented to him with the Word of God, to discern what is Truth and what is a lie. A Biblical thinker truly fears God over man which we know from Scripture is the beginning of wisdom! Let's teach our children to be wise through the practice of excellent thinking skills, and to lead their future families, this wayward culture and possibly our nation by being true Biblical thinkers!
Janet Langford

A true Biblical thinker knows when to give credit when credit is due. I cannot reason so well without the well thought out leadership of Dr Marlene McMillan who is offering an excellent entrepreneurial education class this August. Watch for further postings on her thought provoking classes for parents and teens.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Leadership Education-How Important is it to Read Great Books?

How important is it to read great books?

Very important, I think most of you would say but how many of us would say it is imperative to read great books... even to make a bold enough statement that unless you read great classics you are not teaching your children to think, the first and
foremost goal of our home school.

Oliver DeMille explains in his most excellent book, A Thomas Jefferson Education that there are three types of education.

1. The Conveyor Belt Education is what we all know oh so well because we experienced it in our own childhood. We went to public school. It teaches children what to think and prepares them to become employees. Content based public education was an invention of the industrial age and existed to teach the poor so they could land a job. Their education was set up like a factory, everyone in the class gets the same education at the same age from the same textbooks and they are graded and tested based upon the same scale regardless of individual talents, goals, giftings, interests and personal mission. Conformity was the intent and the successful outcome. Those in power could be assured that the successful graduates would think the way they wanted them to think. The goals of the conveyor belt education were mostly social, NOT academic because the intent was to produce people who would fit into the system. NOT thinkers, doers. Those who would do as they were told. Does this sound familiar?

2. Professional Education prepares professionals like doctors, attorneys, those with Masters, etc. These specialists are created to know when to think. It still is content based but it gives the students a strategy for thinking in different types of situations. Granted professional education is a higher level than public education as only the top 10-15% are usually allowed into these programs. Unfortunately, most of the Leaders in America have been trained as professionals and specialists and not leaders.

3. Leadership Education raises thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs and statesman by teaching them how to think. Teaching children to think is highly discouraged by either of the two previous types of education. If they were taught to think in these systems they would soon abandon the system as being full of inadequacies and inconsistencies.

One of the best ways to teach children how to think is to meld mentoring with allowing them to tap into the thoughts of the great minds throughout history by reading the writings of those great minds. Mentoring and discipling was intended by God to be provided by the parents or at least directly overseen by parents and carries quite a responsibility with it. But whoever said parenting was easy? The greatest challenge is to break out from our own {lack of true) education and become thinkers in our own right, then we can turn and mentor our own children.

Next time we will be discussing the methods of mentoring children and how we can and must jump off our own conveyor belt in order to lead our children to be great thinkers!

Until next time, keep raising your leaders, entrepreneurs and statesman at home.

Check out this new addition to our recommended reading list,
A'>A Thomas Jefferson Education

Janet Langford

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