is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften
and purify the heart.
Irving (1783-1859) Novelist and essayist
Saving the Family Meal
How to Get Them There
This is the second part of
a three part series we started last month. It has become
increasingly difficult to get a meal on the table.....and to get the
family to the table. Family meals are important.
We want you to know it is okay to want the kids at the table, how to
get them there, and what to do when they get there. This month
we will look at ways to get our kids to the table.
the parent establishes that there will be a meal, the way it
actually happens can be negotiable and flexible. Use everybody's
ingenuity in adjusting times, locations, and types of food. One
family, for example, has Wednesday night supper at a fast food
restaurant after the soccer game. Another family eats dinner
right after the children get home from school because dad is off work
at that time and everybody is hungry. Yet another family has a substantial
family breakfast instead of dinner. Both mom and children are
active in sports, and morning is the one time they can all be
meals enjoyable. The family table has to be a nice place to be
or nobody...not even parents...will want to be there. Keep it
pleasant, keep it light, include everyone in the conversation, and
don't use mealtimes for disciplining or airing grievances. It's
all right to talk about touchy issues, just don't try to come to any
conclusions. Use mealtimes for listening to each other's
good behavior at mealtime, and excuse children from the table if
they won't behave properly. Being at the family table is a
privilege that children have to earn by helping to make it pleasant
for everyone. If they don't like something, teach them to say,
"no thank you" and pass it on. The meal has to be
pleasant for you, too, and if you are listening to complaints or
worrying about getting your family to eat, it won't be.
do let your children be children in the way they eat. Young
children spill, are awkward about using their utensils, and eat with
their fingers. Children can get so preoccupied with neatness
they can forget to eat.
Ellen Satter, How to Get Your Kid to Eat....But Not Too Much
an Accurate Self-Image
maxim "know thyself" looks good on paper. But, if you
have tried it, you know that one of the greatest hurdles is being able
to see yourself objectively. We all have built-in biases about
who and what we are, and these biases can color our self-images.
It is very difficult to see ourselves as others see us. We often
cannot be objective about our emotional selves because we have built
up defenses that hinder accurate self-evaluations.
"insights' about ourselves usually contain a number of convenient
blind spots. The self-actualized individual, who can speak
freely and honestly of her/his faults and abilities is rare.
writers on success encourage us to exert a "110 percent"
effort in everything we do. Of course, this is unrealistic, but
it is not unrealistic to set as a goal of exerting ten percent more
effort than you thought you could.
tend to be too humble about their talents and activities. We
need to realize that diminishing our own talents can be as socially and
psychologically damaging as overconfidence. Dizzy Dean once said,
"If you've done it, it ain't bragging!" Today we say,
"When you're hot, you're hot!"
from The Public School Administrator
Best Kept Secret
Somehow, the world seems
to be unwilling to admit that simple, good, old-fashioned hard work
can be the basis of success. Studies are constantly being made
to determine personalities, hormone ratios, childhood characteristics,
intelligence, education, methods, techniques, and the rationale of
successful people. The fact that they work hard is shoved aside
as some strange coincidence.
Thomas Edison tried
futilely for years to convince the world that his inventions were not
the result of any great genius he had. "Genius is one
percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration," was
the way he explained it. "I never did anything worth doing
by accident nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by
He left, at the time of
his death, some 2500 notebooks crammed with notes of his work and
ideas. He would work himself into virtual exhaustion and then
sleep in a cot he had in his laboratory until sufficiently refreshed
to pursue his work again.
So, the best kept secret
of success seems to be that success, strangely enough, is always
preceded by hard work. This fact is so obvious that, either by oversight
or inclination, it is entirely overlooked. As someone once said,
"The obvious reaches almost total oblivion." People
read books, go to meetings, take courses, attend conventions, and probe
frantically in all directions for new secrets and methods for
achieving success. But, somehow, they almost deliberately avoid
admitting the answer was right before them all the time. Work!
It is so uncomplicated
that ordinary work is the fountain of achievement that people who have
not reached the levels of their aspirations seem not to want to admit
to themselves that their failure can be attributed to the lack of such
a conspicuous ingredient as work.
from University Outreach Service, Inc.
people knew how hard I have had to work to gain my mastery, it
wouldn't seem wonderful at all.
Peter's Wish List
"You're going Christmas shopping
today, aren't you?" Peter asked his mother as she dropped
him off at junior high.
"Maybe," she teased.
"And maybe not."
"Well, I know you are,"
Peter said. "You have on your sneakers and you only wear
those when you're headed for the mall. So here's my
list!" Peter smiled and pressed an envelope into his
mother's hand. He kissed her goodbye and bolted from the car
before she could respond. "Love you, Mom!" he called
out to her.
Margaret sat in the car holding the
envelope that read "Pete's Holiday Wish List." It felt
thick, like there were several sheets of paper folded inside of
it. She was disappointed,.
Margaret and her husband Paul had done
their best to teach Peter about sharing with others, understanding the
value of money, and appreciating the things they had. She feared
that peer pressure was having more of an influence over her boy than
the good examples she and her husband tried to give him.
Once inside the mall, Margaret bought
herself a cup of coffee and sat at a small table. She pulled out
the list she'd prepared over the last few months of gifts she wanted
to buy for family and friends. In Peter's column she'd written
the name of a series of books she knew he wanted. Now she
wondered if Peter's "mega list" had any books on it at
all. What was he asking for, anyway? Video games? A
drum set, maybe? A dirt bike?
She pulled his envelope from her purse,
thinking about the conversation she would have to have with her son
that evening. As she removed the folded papers from the
envelope, five $5 bills floated onto the table.
Margaret quickly unfolded the pages.
Peter's wish list included items like plant a tree, cook for Meals
on Wheels, sponsor an exchange student, work at a soup kitchen, and
read to the kids at the children's hospital. There was
also a note:
Dear Mom and
I know how lucky I
am to have you for parents. And how fortunate I am to be related
to the grandparents and cousins and other loving relatives that make
up our family tree.
But I've only just
realized how many people don't have compassion in their lives, and how
much isn't getting done in our world only because nobody's stepping up
to do it. This is my way of stepping up.
I'll need your
help because it could take a couple of years for me to accomplish
everything on my list and keep up with school, too. So you can
"nudge" me any time you want!
All My Love,
P.S. The money's
for you, Mom! After you wear yourself out shopping for everybody else,
have a pedicure on me!
Margaret wiped the tears from her
eyes. She was overwhelmed by Peter's thoughtfulness. And
like any parent, Margaret hoped she could make her son's wishes come
Reading to Our Children
are four main concepts we want to communicate about reading to our
children: (1) Written words have value because they are a vital
communication tool; (2) Written words can be personally enjoyable; (3)
Written words increase understanding and power over the world; and (4)
Reading is something most people can easily learn to do. We
communicate these concepts through:
Having a print rich
This simply means our house is full of good things to read.
In one study it was concluded that "A rule of thumb for
predicting success is to know the number of books in the
Reading aloud to the child
from an early age, pointing out simple words, running a finger
from left to right under the lines of print, and encouraging the
child that soon he will be able to read these books himself.
Letting the child see
you read. Children take their cues about what is worthwhile
from their parents. If the parents seldom read, the children
assume reading is not a valuable activity. Boys need to see
their fathers read.
Letting the child see
you attach value to books. This not only means that you have
your own library of personal "treasures," but it also
means that the child sees you go to books for answers to questions
to Your Children
Some people feel that talking to their
children about money matters is like discussing sex....only it's more
difficult. Psychologists agree that parents are often afraid to
discuss family finances with their children because money is closely
tied to identity. Most experts feel that the subject should be
talked about frequently and that parents should start early to educate
their children about financial matters. The following are
suggestions for preparing your child to deal with financial
- Begin talking to preschoolers
about how money works. Take your child to the bank and
explain in simple terms how banking works. Show them how
groceries and clothes are paid for at the store. Offer them
small amounts of money and let them know the different things that
can be bought with that amount.
- Introduce a weekly allowance
when you think your child is ready. For some people, that
age may be around 6, for other a little older. Dr. Kathryn
Williams, a Pittsburgh-based psychologist, believes that an
allowance should be considered a share in the fami8ly
income. "An allowance should not be tied to do
chores," she says. "That's a separate
issue." If you want your child to save a portion of
that allowance, set us a system for doing so.
- Teach children about earning,
spending and saving. Isabel Sloane, managing director of
J.P. Morgan and Co., New York, says "I tell my young children
that I work so that our family can go on vacations and afford to
live in a nice apartment. When they see a toy that they want
advertised on television, I tell them that the toy costs money and
that maybe it's too expensive for our family's budget. I
then might suggest that they choose a different toy that is less
- When children are teenagers,
involve them in the family budget. This would be a good
time to talk about saving more for college. If possible,
institute a matching system; for every dollar your teenager saves,
you put away a dollar. Investigate investing money in the
stock market for him or her. You can help your kids in this
age group find a summer or weekend job. Discuss what kinds
of things you expect them to pay for.
- Observations: You
can open up a bank account for your child at any age. As
your child grows older, make it his or her responsibility to
withdraw and deposit funds. By starting early and taking the
mystery out of money management, your child will feel comfortable
with everyday financial matters.
inch of progress is worth more than a yard of complaint.
Washington (1856-1915) Educator and actiivist
This site offers a hunt activity that can be done entirely
online. Students can learn about navigating the Internet while
also discovering fun Thanksgiving facts.
History of the
Mayflower Pilgrims: The Mayflower Society has developed this
site to provide more information about the passengers of the Mayflower
and their descendents.
American Indians and
the Natural World: Hosted by the Carnegie Museum of Natural
History, this site is an exploration of four tribes of Native
Americans: The Tlingit of the Northwest Coast, the Hopi of the
Southwest, the Iroquois of the Northeast, and the Lakota of the
Plains. It includes the "belief systems philosophies, and
practical knowledge that guide their interactions with the natural
Justice Learning: Civic
education in the real world: Justice Learning is an innovative
approach for engaging high school students in informed political
discourse. The web site uses audio from the Justice Talking
radio show and articles from the New York Times to teach students
about reasoned debate and the often-conflicting values inherent in our
democracy. The web site includes articles, editorials and oral
debate from the nation's finest journalists and advocates. All
of the material is supported by age-appropriate summaries and additional
links. In addition, for each covered issue, the site includes
curricular material from the New York Times Learning Network for high
school teachers and detailed information about how each of the
institutions of democracy (the courts, the Congress, the presidency,
the press and the schools) affect the issue.
In Search of the Ways of Knowing
Trail: Your trip to the village of Epulu takes a detour when
your jeep experiences mechanical failure. You are forced to walk
through the Ituri Forest in central Africa accompanied by four youths
from the different local cultures. Along the way, you'll make
choices and learn about plants, animals, and survival. A Forest
Factbook serves as a glossary. Totally Flash-driven. Could
get noisy! http://www.brookfieldzoo.org/pagegen/wok/index_f4.html
The Thrill of Flight: This
multimedia resource contains lessons, interactive activities, games,
worksheets, simple quizzes, Glossaries, and Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQs). Divided into five topics: aviators and events, air
and lift, airplanes, helicopters and gliders. Requires Flash. http://education.gov.ab.ca/ltb/resource/
Accordion Dreams (PBS): A
renewed interest in grassroots regional musical styles, such as Zydeco,
Cajun and Tejano, have resulted in the rediscovery and rise in
popularity of the accordion. Conjunto is a unique Texas-based
Mexican American music tradition born in the 19th Century that
continue to evolve and thrive today. The world of accordions and
conjunto is attracting a diverse worldwide audience that includes
millions of admirers of the accordion-based polka that is popular in
Czech, Polish and German communities. Pictures, music,
biographical and historical information make this site 'muy bueno.'
Requires Real Player and Flash. http://www.pbs.org/accordiondreams/main/index.html
Virtual Cave: Caves are
cool! Learn about Solution Caves, Lava Tube Caves, Sea Caves and
Erosional Caves. Students can also investigate caves near their
homes with links in the U.S. Show Cave Directory. http://www.goodearthgraphics.com/virtcave/
We Give Thanks to YOU!
From the Knowledge HQ Staff
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