Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dare to Dream A night to remember. An IPod to forget.

Last Wednesday I went to the Allstate Arena with 3 kids to go see Disney on Ice: Dare  to Dream produced by Feld Entertainment. 

The evening started out great, until after we got to our seats, I found that I did not have my i-pod touch with me.  I was planning on covering the whole event on twitter. I thought I left it in the car.  After checking the car without producing it, I realized that it had probably dropped out of my pocket on my way into the stadium.

It was hard to get into the Disney mood, knowing I had lost a piece of equipment that had become vital to me in the month I owned it, and further, knowing I could not afford to replace it anytime soon.  But I summoned all the when you wish upon a star attitude I could muster and got in the best Disney mood I could. That sounds good, but it’s not actually true.  What I did do was pray.  God answered those prayers immediately.  The I-pod was found before the show started.  I didn’t know that until Thursday afternoon, but God gave me a peace to enjoy the show, regardless. 

Enough about the I-pod, on with the show
.
Dare to Dream takes 3 Disney Princess movies and takes those tales from the silver screen and retells them on the shimmering ice. 

Act I 
Princess and the Frog.


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While I did not like the black magic aspects of the story, we all enjoyed the fast paced narrative, flashy costumes and excellent skating.  Puppy was a little frightened.  But let’s face it, that what puppy does best.


Act II 
Cinderella
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This more classical retelling of a fairy tale appealed to puppy quite a bit. She's a sap for a good love story and this is an awfully good one.


Act III
Rapunzel
This was the main event, as far as Puppy was concerned.  In her opinion, the other two tales were just appetizers for the main dish retelling of Tangled. Puppy vehemently objected to the small amount of order changing that the producers committed while adapting this for ice.  Click here for her review of the evening which can be found at Dave Out Loud.



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These objections aside, Puppy had a fantastic time.  This is because Dare to Dream is a fantastic show.  While It is essentially for girls, Spider Droid and his friend enjoyed themselves as well. 

The run at Allstate ended today. There will be 21  big beautiful shows at the United Center from February first to the twelfth.  The weekday shows have a special discount available of 4 tickets for $44.00.  The weekend shows have a $4.00 discount available.  Click here for discount info and don’t forget to use the discount code MOM.

Also, if you plan on bringing your IPod touch to the show, be very careful not to misplace it.  I plan to never misplace anything again.  At least I dare to dream that I won’t.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fragments of photos Ipod Edition



I am at a waiting room, cleaning out the pictures from my i-pod.  many of them were for blog posts that I haven't quite got to yet.  So here's a few fragments about them.

Photo Fragment 1



That's no majestic sunrise/sunset.  It's just a lamp post over spider droid working on snow board moves on his sled.

Picture Fragment 2


Many libraries offer a read to a dog program.  My oldest kids have done this.  But puppy, our resident dog lover never had before this.  Here she is reading to Samson, who is from a Sox fan family and paid a lot of attention to me because I was wearing my White Sox jacket.

Here she is in action . . . 





Photo Fragment 3


This pic is already on the blog.  I show it here to illustrate that it is generally not much of a problem to get all 3 kids to pose for a good photo.  But when you try to add an adult in, like when Amy and I took the kids to the Brookfield Zoo in late December, you get something like this.


Amy and Bunny look great.  Puppy and Spider Droid look goofy. 

Photo Fragment 4




I lived in Khabarovsk Russia for 2 years in the early  90's. Khababarosvsk is located  on the Amur River.  So when I'm at the zoo I always like to see the tigers and leopards that hail from that region.  Hers is  a picture of an Amur Leopard.  

Well that's enough fragments for one day.  For more fragments, join Friday Fragments at Half Past Kissing Time.

I do, however, have time for one more photo.




NEXT TIME: DARE TO DREAM

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Not Friday; Got Fragments

Just a  few programming notes for those passing by.

Taking Puppy and company to see the Disney on Ice production, Dare to Dream in Rosemont today.  Here's a little I See the Light to get us in the Tangled mood.  I'll be back tomorrow with a review.

COH is at Janice Campbell this week.  She has a nice Wintery Mix all ready for you.  My HSBA page is one of the many articles available. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

As a Former Fetus . . .

Fits me to a T
My life in T-Shirts


It's been a while since I posted about about some of the t-shirts I've worn that best speak to who I am/was/will be. 

Today's shirts goes back more than 20 years to my college daze.

I used to frequent our local Christian book store and buy lots of cassettes and c.d.s as well as books.  He had a pretty good t-shirt selection.  Most Christian T-shirts at the time were parodies of popular secular t-shirts.  Those were so not me.  So I generally stuck with Christian Music shirts or the occasional bible verse shirt.  Until one day I met the shirt that really spoke my mind.  It said as a former fetus I oppose abortion.  This was written inside a picture of a fetus's foot print.  On the back it had several foot prints in different stages of life. 

I loved that shirt and wore it as often as I could. 



Of all the times I ever wore that shirt, only one time did someone say it offended them.  It was never my intention to offend, just to express my opinion.  I asked that person if any part of the shirt was untrue? Technically, I formerly was a fetus.  Truthfully, I do oppose abortion.  Since aborted fetuses never gain the opportunity to weigh in on  the abortion debate, as a former fetus I felt the need to say I liked staying around. 

Not sure what ever became of the shirt.  Some twenty years later, I am sure I've outgrown it.  I just haven't outgrown the sentiment. 






Friday, January 20, 2012

Dreams on Ice



It's Six Word Saturday at Show My Face and it's time to put my blog promoter hat and tell you about the next big thing to do.  I of course will do it in 6 words . . .


Don't Dare Miss Dare to Dream!!!

Here is the 411

Jan 25th - 29th @ All State Arena (Rosemont, Il)
Feb 1st - 12th @ United Center (Chicago, IL)

Get tangled up in the newest thrilling show to hit the ice, Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream. Experience Disney’s hilarious hair-raising escapade, Tangled; as Rapunzel, her unlikely companion, Flynn, and Maximus, embark on an uproarious journey that takes adventure to new lengths!  Boogie to the beat of the bayou with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog, in a magical, musical journey that all begins with a fateful kiss.  And fanciful dreams become reality as Cinderella meets her Prince Charming, with a glass slipper fit for an unforgettable fantasy come true.  All your favorite princesses take to the ice in a spectacular finale at the ultimate Disney Princess event of a lifetime!  Experience the beauty, sparkle, and spirit when Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream comes to your hometown!





Frying Pans! Who Knew?!?


Cinderella and her Fella

They got my nose wrong!
And you can't read the fine print.
So here it is below . . .

Wanted
 Flynn Rider

Rumored to be in Chicagoland Area with Disney On Ice

Get 4 Tickets for $44 on Weekday Shows

OR Save $4 on Weekend Shows

Redeem offer with code MOM through Ticketmaster.com,

Box Office, or call 1.800.745.3000

Click here or on any of the pictures above to take advantage of this special offer.



Offer not valid on Front Row or VIP seating. No double discounts. Service Charges, Handling and Facility Fees may apply.
 I plan on taking Puppy and company this Wednesday.  Look for our reviews of the show shortly after that.

For More Six Word Saturday show your face or maybe just your tiara at showmyfacedotcom by clicking here

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Friday Fragments - Promotional Considerations


Mommy's Idea


It is Friday Fragment time again.  This week's fragments all seem to be self promoting.  Oh well, if I were a true narcissist wouldn't tie them all up in one post, I would write them all out separately.

Fragment 1

If you don't follow my vlog Dave Out Loud. (and at this point no one does) you are missing gems like this . . .





Fragment 2

I have just created a resource for quality home school blogs.  It  takes all 20 Homeschool Blog Awards (HSBA) categories and features the winner in each category.  I also go behind the scenes and say who I voted for in each category and why as well as sharing a sample post form all 20 winners that I think gives us a good glimpse of their work.

Fragment 3.

Mine is apparently not the only resource throwing bouquets to home school bloggers.  It seem that one of those bouquets was even thrown my way.

elementary education degree

Yes Teacher Certification Degrees dot com did a fantastic job compiling 100 Homeschooling blogs and a few honorable mentions.  Here is what they said about HSD:

Dave is the “Home School Dad”, White Sox fan and movie buff whose sense of humor shows in creative nicknames and occasional rants; wife Amy adds her voice as a guest contributor to this lively blog filled with ideas for budget-friendly family fun, reports on Lego robotics action and a fresh perspective from the homeschool front.


Occasional rants! I wonder what they mean by that.  Well, I never.   They have a lot of nerve.

Fragment 4.

Speaking of Robotics . . .

The State Robotics Tournament is tomorrow and Saturday.  Unlike last year, Spider Droid's team will not be participating.  They did great at their regional.  Just not great enough to be one of the 3 teams from a field nearing 20 to make it. 

Here are  some pics from the regional. 



Well those are all the fragments I have for today.  For more Friday Fragments click here.

7 reasons why I'd like to win a ticket to the Titus 2:1 Conference

The Titus 2:1 Conference is coming to your town.  That is if your town is Sterling, Va. The Conference takes place in April 27th through 29th and is a homeschool bloggers conference.

Kris, of Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers,  is one of the speakers at the event.  She has been given 1 ticket to the event (a $199.00 value) to give away on her blog.  This post is my entry to said give-a-way.  My goal, to explain why I'd like to win a ticket to the conference.

Here is a list of my reasons.  Some are serious, some are silly and some are just plain HSD.

Reasons I want to attend the Titus 2:1 Conference

1.  I like to go places where it's not certain that I'm welcome. 

The Titus 2:1 Webpage page says:


The 2:1 Conference is a faith based conference for homeschooling parents that blog (not just about homeschooling), or are otherwise interested in social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

Well that's me, a homeschooling parent who blogs.  So I'm invited right?  Not so fast.  The Conference Home Page, the one you read before you can even get to the About page, says this in the first paragraph:

2:1 is the premier conference for bloggers like you - mothers, in the trenches of homeschooling, with hearts for God. 

Well, I am in the trenches of homeschooling, but am not a mother.  It seems like it might be kind of awkward for me to go to a place where I'll stand out like a sore thumb.  This brings me to reason 2.

2. I don't mind standing out like a sore thumb.

A seminary professor of mine described me to a mutual friend years later, by saying that I marched to a different drum.  I am told that he meant it as a compliment, and I certainly took it as one.  As a Homeschool Dad who is actually the stay at home teacher rather than the go to work provider, I am used to sore thumb status.  I finally got our co-op to stop calling the break room the Mom's room and refer to it as the parents room instead. 

Seriously, I think I can learn a lot by being with so many bloggers in one place, that my sore thumbs won't mind so much.

Or I could, as Steven Keaton explained to his wife Elise in Family Ties what he would do at an all female architects convention, arm wrestle for money.


3. I'd like to learn some technical aspects of blogging especially advertising.

I would love to do more advertising on this blog and would like to talk with other bloggers how they do that.

4. Because winning a ticket is much better than losing a ticket.

Seriously, you are on you way out the door to go see a show. Then you realize you don't have the tickets. Where are they?  Now we are going to be late.  Puppy did you make that mess?!?


5.  I love D.C. and have relatives in the area I could stay with.

6.  To find out how to increase my readership. 

I think being a teaching blogging Dad in a Mom's world hinders the type of audience I can attract.  However, maybe this conference can help me get the word out on HSD as well as give me new strategies for increasing my readership.

7. I could certainly use the spiritual refreshment.

  I like that this conference is faith based. Teaching my kids at home is the toughest job I ever have had.  It depletes my energy and my spirituality.  A conference like this will be a great blessing.

So those are 7 reasons why I'd like to win a ticket to the conference.  I'll be back later today with some Friday Fragments.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Turtle Cake is Best a HSD Rewind (Sort of)

This post was originally aired in 2010 in November.  It has been one of my most popular posts over the past 2 years.  Somehow, it has been in draft status for a while.  This is probaly from  back when I was trying to clear out all the kid's real names and put in their blog names. 

Since the post was in draft it did not count in my post count.  So this old post is actually # 600.  600 posts and I even brought a cake!



Spider Droid's Cub Scout Pack had a cake walk Friday Tonight. Each Cub Scout was to design and help make a cake according to a theme. I did not tell Spider Droid all the themes. There was an "other" theme which meant decorate the cake any way you want. I neglected to mention that one to Him. Otherwise it would have been A Star Wars Cake all the way. There is a limit to how much Star Wars stuff a guy can take, so I said nothing.


One of the themes was wildlife and SD decided to make a cake based on his favorite animal, the turtle. Here is how it turned out.






While Amy and I helped with some of the baking and decorating, SD was involved in every part of the process.




For each The scoutmaster announced 3 scouts in and asked them to come to the front. At that point, you knew they were in the top 3 but not what place.


When we entered the cake I heard many positive comments about the turtle cake and since some of those same people were judges I was not surprised that his name was called for the top 3.






But this did surprise me . . .






First Prize!!! Congratulations, SD! When it comes to having good ideas and implementing them, I guess you take the cake!

Meanwhile back in 2012 - Spider Droid is no longer doing scouts but he still likes turtles. 

I promised that I would wrap up the HSBA today.  If you check out my pages you will see a HSBA 2011 page. In it I have revealed all my voting for the awards and also highlighted all the winning blogs and shared a sample post from each. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Carrnival of Homeschooling at Time For Learning

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is being hosted at The Home School Online Blog of Time For Learning Dot Net.

The Theme is the oganized hmeschool.  They have included my review of War Horse as well as some other great posts.   I am looking forward to getting organized and reading as many posts as I can.

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For the past few weeks, I have been featuting each of the 20 winning blogs from the 2011 HSBA Awards.  I am finishing that up today,with the winner in the Thrifty Homeschool  category.  So if you want to talk to that winner, who you gonna call?  That's right, Econobusters.  Here is a  sample post.

In my next post, I will wrap up all this HSBA talk with a special announcement.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Extreme Makeover Joplin Edition

We have been watching Extreme Makeover since the show began. We watch almost every episode on Hulu. The series finale was especially poignant since it took place in Joplin, Mo where Charlie and I spent an awesome week this summer.

In fact, we were there for thee same reason EMHD was to help rebuild Joplin after the Tornadoes last May.

It was a great episode.  If you did not see it you can do so right here right now.

Part I




Part II



The featured HSBA winner today is in the category Best Home School Mom.  The winner is  A Jewish Homeschool Blog.  It is a fascinating blog and I really like this recent Sample Post.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Friday Fragments

Hi.  It's Thursday night which means it's time for Friday Fragments.  The part of the show where Larry sings a silly song.  I think I might be mixing up my segments, a little. 





Lots O Fragments today.  So let's get to them . . .

Fragment, the first one

First of all, for the past while I have been featuring the 20 winners of the 2011 HSBA (Home School Blog Awards) here at the old blogstead.  Generally I have been doing this at the end of my posts.  For reasons that are too long and too boring (mostly too boring) to go into now, I am going to share two different winners in this here post.

In the category of Best New Home School Blog the HSBA goes to Doorposts of your Home.  Today's post on Honoring one another was so good, I decided share it here as a sample post.

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Fragment, the next one


My wife and I have been married for almost 14 years.  We have had the same bed for that long and it was time for a new one.  We had a Verlo and we loved it.  So last Saturday we got a new one.  Last Friday in preparing for a new bed I was clearing out some stuff in the bed room and found a really cool picture frame that a friend of my wife's had made for her and for whatever reason we had never put up.  It needed a small amount of repair after years of non use.  Here it is in use on the wall above our computer.



Fragment, The obligatory Puppyism


Sometimes puppy's explanation of her puppyisms are more amusing than the puppyisms themselves.  Take this conversation that took place at the dishwasher after yesterday's lunch. 

Puppy: Dad I'm full to the tip.

Me: Full to the tip?

Puppy:  I'm full to the tip, not even an inch is left.


Fragment, The penultimate one

I bought a new Ipod Touch a few weeks ago and have been using it quite a bit.  One thing that is both good and bad is the amount of pictures you can take in such a short time.  Amy took all these pics of Puppy on the horse at Meijer.  It was like a regular photo shoot.



Can this be the last one please?!!!?



Fragment, The Porky Pig One (That's All Folks)

Well not quite all.  I have one more HSBA winner to bring to the light of Dave. 

That winner is Confessions of A Homeschooler.  This blog has been a staple of my sidebar for sometime now.  It won in the Best Design Category.  This sample post about A Family Mission Statement is very good.

That's it that's all the fragments I have at present. 

Head back to Half Past Kissing Time for more Friday Fragments.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Best Christmas Gift Ever

Time once again for Thursday

@ Self Sagacity

Here are my two questions:

Question 1

What is the best Christmas present you ever received?

This year I received this book.











You might not be able to tell by the cover.  But this book is probably the best give I ever received. 

Here is what, the folks at Amazon call, a look inside.





That is my son reading and as I have mentioned in other posts, my son has really struggled learning to read.  This year he has made a series of breakthroughs and thus, this Christmas was able to read the entire book and my wife recorded it as a keepsake for me.  As I type this, I am beginning to cry.  I am so thankful to God that our hard work is paying off and thankful for a wife who loves us so much that she wanted to commemorate our achievement.

Question 2

What is your favorite part of your favorite season?


I think I like all 4 seasons of the year pretty much equally.  I certainly have my favorite part of each season.  For winter, it has to be what is scheduled for this evening.  Snow, and plenty of it.  I especially love sledding with the kids. 

Those are my 2 questions.  I am looking forward to your answers.
To see other people's questions or participate yourself, click here.

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This post's  featured HSBA blog is Handbook of Nature Study winner in the Best Homeschool Nature/Field Trip category.  I really like the look and feel of this blog.  It is the home of an outddor carnival that I want to look into more deeply in the future.  I really enjoyed this sample post.

Mid Week Music Break

I have made it clear that my Puppy loves the music of J.J. Heller.  I thought I'd give you a chance to find out for yourself how good she is.  Here she is with What love really means, the song that Puppy fell in love with.

What Love Really Means (Single)

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The HSBA winning blog for Best Group Blog was TOS Homeschool Crew.  This blog continues to provide excellent product reviews as this sample post attests.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Alasandra's Homeschool Blog: Carnival of Homeschooling the Gemstone Edition

Alasandra's Homeschool Blog: Carnival of Homeschooling the Gemstone Edition

This is a gem of an edition. Sorry, I could not resist.
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The HSBA winning blog I am featuring today is My Angels and Autism winner of best Special Needs Blog. This is a moving blog, but also very practical and insightful. I really enjoyed this Sample Post from last month.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Election Year Coverage

2012 is an election year ,so I thought this might be a good time to teach about the presidents of United States.   I am doing it a little differently instead of going in chronological order I decided to study the presidents as their birthdays come matter fact you know that today January 9 is Richard Nixon's birthday?

Saturday, January 7 was Millard Fillmore's birthday.  Today, we studied Millard Fillmore's presidency as part of school, and tomorrow we will study Richard Nixon.

In addition to Nixon and Fillmore, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and William McKinley were also born in the month of January.   January isn't the month with the most presidents.   That distinction belongs to  October, which has six.   At least one President has been born in each month.  June and  September only have one. 


Here's a little bit more about the details of this teaching plan.

 Preparation

Each Month

Get books out from library for the Presidents with birthdays in the next month.

I also start blog posts about each President scheduled to post in our Izola Becker Home School Blog on their birthday.  Here is the post for Millard Fillmore

Prior to Weeks with Birthdays

I will review the materials about the President and decide if I want to do some special project.  This week,  we started one of the 2 time lines we will be constructing.   More on those in a bit. 

Presentation


Each day on the President's birthday or school day closest to the birthday, I will give a short lesson about the President.  I will have the students prepare a fact sheet.  Later in the week, We will update the blog posts with more information. I will also have each of my kids who blog write a post each month with some facts about the Presidents born that month. 

Today I cut 10 feet from a roll of paper and had Bunny Girl  divide it into 10 inch sections.  For those playing at home, that ends up in 12 sections, 1 for each month of the year.  Tomorrow or the next day we will take the fact sheets for Nixon and Fillmore and assemble them on the January section of the roll.  After the election, we will construct a more traditional timeline with the Presidents in chronological order. 

Note: I did not realize until Today, that Nixon's birthday was today.  For some reason when I looked at it yesterday, I thought I read the 19th.  Otherwise, we would have studied Fillmore last Friday and Nixon on his birthday.

This is just a supplement to our curriculum. We are not studying American History at present.  We just began Part II of Mystery of History today as well.  I will try to post about that a little later this week.

Before I am history.  Let me tell you of our HSBA featured blog.  The category is Best Teen Blog.  The Blog formerly known as Umbrella Girl won this year.  This is a very enjoyable, fun to look at blog.  The photos are excellent, as is this sample post about taking excellent photos.




Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dave Out Loud Relocated


Sunday's Cool: A Link Up and A Look Ahead


A Link Up: I am going to say something, and I don't want you to take it the wrong way.  I hate Word Press.  I have tried on several occasions to use Word Press blogs, even taught a blogging class using a Word Press platform.  They are about as easy to use, as Millard Fillmore is easy to rate as one of the top 3 presidents ever.  No offense to Millard Fillmore, in fact more on him tomorrow.

But back to my disdain for all things Word Press.  The latest debacle came a few months ago, when I tried to start a vlog, called Dave Out Loud.  I had a Word Press account with the nickname DaveOutLoud, so I thought using Word Press might be a good idea.

Big Mistake. Huge.

It took me almost an hour every time I posted to just put a video from my You Tube account on the blog.  Yesterday, I finally stopped the madnes, and started a Dave Out Loud Vlog here at Blogger.

Here is yesterday's innuagral post.  In the next few weeks I will be rerunning the videos I posted at the previous platform.  Which, as it turns out, won't take an hour for all 8 episodes, let alone 1. 

A Look Ahead:  Tomorrow, I will be posting about a special project we will be doing at school this year regarding American Presidential History.  This is one of the reasons, I had Millard Fillmore on the brain earlier.  Not exactly what else I will be blogging about this week.  It seems like it will be a rather eventful week, so I should have plenty of material.

HSBA Award Profile

Today's category: Best Homeschool Vlog

One reason why I started a vlog is to compete in this category next year.  This year's winner, Women Living Well does so much more than vlog.  Here is a sample post with an encouraging video about involving your family in your misistry.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Six Word Weather Report

They call this Winter? Yeah Right!



For more 6 word Saturday click here.

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Time to get back to my HSBA winner wrap up.  Today's category: Best Current Events. Opinions and Politics Blog.  Winecup Christian Academy won in this category for very good reason.  The pieces I read about bullying,  test taking  and  the perils of public education were well thought out and excellently reasoned.  Here is a sample post  from February 2011.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Time

I just heard this guy's music for the first time today.  His name is Buck Storm, which you have to admit, is a cool name.  I hope you like this song.

Next Time: The tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolved



Here are some Home School Resolutions I am going to try this year.

Many of these are not new. 

1.  To every day demonstrate  to  my children that teaching them is a privilege and something that I cherish.

I am not the first person I want teaching my kids.  I am the second.  And until God works it out that I can get a job that can provide for our family, I will be the one teaching at home.  Sometimes, I think I give the kids the impression that teaching them is a burden.  Every day I want to convey how happy Amy and I are as a family for the privilege of educating our children.

2) To be prepared to teach.

I am not much of a planner and flying by the seat of my pants doesn't work.  So each day and each week, I need to be planning for the next days and the next weeks.

3) To model the behavior I am teaching.

During the course of the week, I often "teach" by example, the exact opposite that I am trying to teach by words.  Much of the reason why I get frustrated with my children is not because they are not learning, but that they are learning some of my behaviors a little too well.

4) To focus on the basics.

Writing, Reading, Spelling, Times Tables. 

Some of the kids have come pretty far, but there is still a long way to go.  These things need to be drilled and drilled and drilled and often I get tired of fighting them and move onto other things that I can manage more easily.  This year I want to focus on these main things.

5) To shower my kids with love and praise.

This may just be a rewording of resolution 1, but I think it bears repeating.

What about you?

What goals and plans do you have for 2012?

This post is in this week's Carnival of Homeschooling.  To return to the carnival click here.