I am so excited about this year’s plan because we are starting out with STEAM the center of our minds! Yesterday was our first day of our co-op, and I’m teaching an upper elementary-level STEAM Challenge class. Besides that, today is the day that the book STEAM Kids comes out, a fantastic book full of gorgeous and creative ways to implement science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics into your homeschool, home, or classroom days.
Today’s world is not kind. The “leaders” are not kind to other leaders. The people that are praised as leaders have often advanced by being unkind and self-serving. Rude drivers and rude neighbors fill our communities. People still exclude others because of race and religion. Not everyone is rude, so please don’t think I’m a total pessimist. But one of my priorities as a mother in the world in this generation is to teach my children kindness and compassion.
Sometimes this feels difficult, and I really believe that some difficulties can be blamed on the unique personalities of our young children. Here’s an example. In my last two pregnancies, I had horrible morning sickness. I also had a child between 3.5 and 4.5 during both of these pregnancies.
- One of my children during one of those pregnancies would say, “I’m sorry, Mommy! I hope you feel better soon!”
- Another my children during a different pregnancy (same age) would say, “Mommy! Get back in here! Stop being sick! I need more oatmeal!”
I did not teach my children differently, but they have their own personalities. For one of my children, I see compassion and kindness as a personality trait. For my other child, I see other strengths. But being compassionate and having empathy for others is not one of them.
How can I help my children see the world around them with more empathy, compassion, and kindness?
I don’t believe there is a simple fix for something this important. That said, teaching kindness and compassion must start with me. I must be an example of kindness and compassion. Similarly, as a parent, I help by teaching kids to notice and use their words to communicate what we see. Finally, I must be patient with them as I teach them principle upon principle. We can’t learn anything all at once, and developing kindness is a life-mission for all of us.
I am becoming more creative at noticing ways to use items destined for the trash as learning tools and games in our homeschool. One rescue from the garbage was an empty tissue box. My daughter and I made it into a monster that likes eating ABCs. Our ABC Monster keeps coming out of his “home” (in the cabinet) for more letter eating fun!Continue Reading
How do you find your groove in an unfamiliar kitchen? Even with most boxes unpacked, it is hard to get into cooking when you move in to a new place or visit somewhere. But there is one sure way to know that where we are is home: bake chocolate chip cookies.
Every family has their own recipe. Here is mine. It is adapted from the back of a generic bag of chocolate chips from my college days. It amazes me that the discount brand of chocolate chips was the most successful at discovering the best combination of fat, sugar, and chocolate. And yet, it is this recipe that is truly delicious.
I have made this recipe on many occasions: when I spent a summer in Bolivia during my college years, when my family moved to Australia, when we bought our first home, any time I crave them. It never fails to make where we are a familiar and friendly place. I think the recipe is truly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe out there.