Welcome to my homeschool blog, which offers insights into loving learning, loving your family, loving history, loving homeschooling, and enjoying your life! With your cup of coffee in hand, take a break to laugh with me, to have your heart refreshed, to be reminded of how cool your kids really are, and to consider the amazing adventure of being a homeschool mom. AND, if you are interested in the History Revealed curriculum, be sure to check out my Teaching Tips!

Today I choose HOW to be a doodle

Today I choose how to be a doodle

Face it.  All of us will encounter disdain at some point in life, whether at home, church, school or work.   But, disdain need not define.

Being a DOODLE means that we accept who we are, embracing our strengths, even celebrating our uniqueness—just as those early Americans celebrated their victory in 1781 with Yankee Doodle!

This is a good lesson to learn early on.  So, for the children in your life, look for evidences of their unique strengths and then encourage them there.  It might look like a ten-year old chef spicing up Ramen Noodle soup with unidentifiable herbs, a budding musician picking out melodies on the piano when her feet can barely reach the floor, a basketball-playing teen who shoots (and makes!) rim shots on the garbage can with a tangerine. . .

Sometimes, when confronted with these marvelous talents, we have difficulty distinguishing genius-in-the-making from making a mess. That’s why we we’re talking.  By encouraging kids to discover their strengths, they will be better equipped to withstand disdain.

Today’s assignment:
Choose to be a DOODLE, then help the kids in your life learn how to be a DOODLE.

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Today I choose to be a DOODLE

Today I choose to be a doodle When Yankee Doodle was originally penned, it expressed the arrogance of certain British officers who looked down their nose at the local-yokel colonists. These colonists had come to support them in the French and Indian War, but their informal dress, lack of polish, and ignorance of the rudiments of marching made them appear foolish to the British.

That happens today, too. In fact, I happen to have my very own DOODLE story. When I went to college as a vocal music major, I was assigned a voice teacher.  Sue was a classically trained soprano, delighted to display her prowess with operatic arias. When I walked in, as a long-haired, folk-singing hippie chick, she regarded me with a chilling haughtiness.  My attempts to sing classical music must have been a whole lot like the colonial militiamen trying to march in military step. . .not impressive. I will never forget when she said, with disdain, “Don’t quit your day job, Diana.”  It was a humiliating moment in my life.

The colonists knew what it was to be mocked by those who considered themselves superior. When it came to fighting in North America, though, what had seemed weakness turned out to be strength. With a gutsy humor, the Americans changed the words of Yankee Doodle in the early days of the Revolution. With wonderful irony, it was also played at the surrender of the British in 1781.

It became obvious I would never sing opera. But then, singing opera is not the only way to be a vocalist, is it? I joined three other musicians to create America: American history through folk music. Our homespun, toe-tapping approach to music is the very reason AMERICA is successful.

Many people have had a DOODLE experience—being told that they “couldn’t” accomplish something, but now excel in that field or another. What is your DOODLE experience?

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Reenvisioning Me

Diana  Last month, I came to the realization that I had no idea what I looked like.  No, I am not talking about my nose or eyes or height. . .the mystery of my mien (def: person's look or manner) went a little higher.  The root of the matter, frankly, was my hair.  I knew the length, the texture, the style, but the original color had disappeared years ago.  My current color was the outcome of an advanced hair designer at an uptown salon, and though it was close to 30-year old Diana's haircolor—safe and predictable—it was definitely not the NOW color.

So, when I went to see Jacob a few weeks ago, I dropped the bomb.

"I've decided to let my hair go gray!"

Jacob is very cool, very professional.  His eyebrows stayed fairly close to his head, though I could tell he was shaken by this announcement.  Having vigorously perused the internet for "going-gray," I had some ideas of how others had accomplished this feat, and had ruled out a few.

"No pixie cut, no cold turkey, no hats. . . And I want about three inches cut off, so there's not quite as much to grow out!"

After a bit of discussion, his expert opinion was to do an ash blonde partial highlight. This would provide a bit of camouflage for those gray roots.

I have to say that I was definitely skeptical.  I have never been a blonde—though it had once been the secret desire of a certain freckle-faced junior-high brunette living in Miami. My comfort zone tends towards dark brown, so heading the opposite direction required a sort of J'en sais quoi attitude, a throwing caution to the wind approach.  If I was going to go gray, I figured I might as well dive in the pool.

As Jacob expertly turned me into a radio receiver (have you ever felt that way, with all of those foils hanging on your head?), he told me about one other client who had once tried to go gray.  I asked him how that had gone, and, with an amused glance, he said, "Well, after one month, she came back and told me she had changed her mind.  She has been dying her hair ever since."

Not encouraging.

However, once my hair was dried and cut and blown and styled, I was cautiously optimistic.  Not too obvious, not too blonde, not too much of a change.  Yet, the subtle weavings of silvery ash blonde and gray brought a new range of colors to my palette. 

Now that the die has been cast, so to speak, I am looking forward to the journey. And I'm sharing it with you as a personal incentive for staying-this-course, and, perhaps, helping someone out there to reenvision herself.

#MeGray?

Diana

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The Adventure of Betty Greene

Do you ever wonder how your life will turn out? Are there many things you love to do, but they seem impossible to weave together in one lifetime? Have you ever pondered the adventures that lie before you as you serve God? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this woman's story will be an eye-opening discovery.  Join me as we consider the life of Betty Greene—a WWII WASP, the first woman to fly across the Andes Mountains, and the co-founder of Missionary Aviation Fellowship!

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Kids are NOT alike!

When my children were 10, 8 and 6, a friend wrangled an invitation for us to join her at a farm for a homeschool science field trip:  watching a butcher cut up a cow.  It was supposed to be a practical view of—as well as a fascinating glimpse into—the insides of a recently living creature.

My friend, who was of a scientific bent (she had already dissected a cow’s eyeball at the kitchen table with her kids), was a fabulous salesman for this event.

“Diana, your kids will love this!  It’s so cool to see things in person rather than just in pictures.  Several homeschooling families will be there, it’s going to be GREAT!!”

And you know, one of my kids did love it.  (That was the one who would one day do a stint as a hospital corpsman in the Navy.)  He was spellbound as he stood close to the butcher, happily holding every thing handed to him, regardless of how gooey.

On the other hand, one of my kids hated it.  (That was the one who would one day faint at the clinic when, as a college student, he was just trying to give blood.)  He took one brief look at what was happening to that cow, and then fled to the safe haven of our car.

Though I hadn’t realized it so concretely until that moment, what is one person’s delight may be another person’s nightmare—and vice versa!  We need to not only be aware of this, we need to honor these differences.  Why?  Because they were hardwired into our children by One who created them for His plans and purposes.

Allow for—and respect—the individuality of each one in your family.  That means, in case you missed it, not every child has to dissect the eyeball of a cow.  But then, not every child has to be kept at home when the cow is butchered. . .  Pay attention to what is good for your individual kids.  Relationally speaking, it’s the wisest thing you’ll ever do!

For more on the way our kids are wired to learn, check this out:

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