Checking In

Good Friday morning everyone!  How have you been doing lately?  I tell you, not to complain, but it’s been busy in this mama’s life with work, revisions on my submissions to two agents (where I have been feverishly working to either delete or rework a character), I slipped in a quick family vacation down to San Antonio, and now I am enrolled in a two-week Fast Draft Course with the wonderful Candace Havens that is totally blowing NaNoWriMo away!

Phew! *wipes brow*

Insert also into this time busy time the fact that the hubby and I have made some major life decisions – just to make it a little more interesting.  First, the hubby and I have made the decision to get a better handle on our financies and we evaluated how much money we spent for the last year.  I don’t want to say how much I spent on books (it was a LOT), but I seriously must have lost my mind.  One of the driving forces for this review is not just because it’s important, in my mind, to have a good household budget and stick to it, but also because this leads to another life change that the hubby and I have decided on…and that is we are going to homeschool our four-year old daughter.

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I know that many of you are going to have varying opinions on this matter, and I appreciate that, but this decision was not made in haste, it is actually something that I’ve been researching for the last year or so. (Hubby took a little extra convicing, but we made the decision together, as a family.)

So now that the decision has been made, I’m going to have to figure out better ways to save money on books, becasue I mean, come on, I HAVE to have books.  I need to be surrounded by them and always have options of what I’m going to read next.  Are you that way?  I like to have all kinds of books at my finger tips because I never know what I’ll be in the mood for and thanks, in part, to a wonderful writer and friend, Roni Loren, I’ve been expanding on my reading list into other wonderful genres that I would have never given time of day to before.  It’s been so amazing getting out of that comfort zone.

On that note, I’m going to give you a quick review of three new books that I have read recently, in case you are interested.

1)  “Hold on to Your Kids,” Gordon Neufeld, Ph. D. and Gabor Mate, M.D. 2006 Ballantine Books Trade Paperback Edition

     This book was referred to me from another friend’s site and basically the premis is that our society is raising a bunch of peer oriented children.  Basically children that look to their peers for “their values, identifty, and codes of behavior.” (back cover)  I don’t know that anyone would argue this basic fact, given the media attention given to so many examples, the most notably the Miley Cyrus scandals that have been on TV.  Now, as a parent, I constantly struggle with being the primary influence in my daughter’s life while not overwhleming her and becoming that “helicopter parent.”  It’s a balance,  But until now, I’ve never read a book that so eloquently discusses what the problem is, how it begins, and what you can do to help fix it.  The only critique I have for this book is that it is a little in-depth, and doesn’t flow as I would prefer, but really that’s just a preference.  If you haven’t had a chance to glance through this book, parent’s I highly recommend it!

2)  “The Brainy Bunch,” by Kip and Mona Lisa Harding, 2014 Gallery Books

     What an interesting book – another one that I pulled from a blog.  The pull for me was when another mom told me about this family that homeschools their ten children and all of them have started college by the age of twelve!  All kinds of thoughts ran through my mind about whether or not this was even possible, let alone a good thing, but the book (written jointly by both parents with inserts from the kids), gives an overview of the families values and teaching methods that allows each of their children to pursue their dreams and gather education in areas that interest them.  Among the children are a Navy Doctor, an Engineer, and an Architect.   The parents stress over and over that their children aren’t geniusus but that their achievments are made by allowing their children the pursue what interests them and to ensure that they are always challenged.  It gives you an interesting persepective about how you will look at your child’s education and the education system today.

3) “Smart Money, Smart Kids,” by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze (his daughter).  2014 Lampo Liscensing, LLC.

    Now, I believe almost everyone has heard of Dave Ramsey and his secrets to “financial success,” but I never knew that his daughter, Rachel, was also a financial educator.  Their book, co-authored, gives a unique perspective on money that many parents might not have given consideration to before – how to help your kids make the best decisions when it comes to your finances.  As I said earlier, financial peace is something that even my husband and I struggle with today.  But Rachel and Dave explain in their book how to be a good role model for your kids and how to set them up for financial success.  They talk about not using the word, “allowance,” but instead having children work “on comission.”  It’s an interesting conecpt and a very easy read.  I highly reccommend this book!

How’s your Friday going?  Ready for one of these?

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