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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
Make A New Year's Wish Box
© Beverley Paine
The last two homeschooling tips for 2005 looked at making a memory scrapbook and a time capsule as ways of celebrating New Year and now it's time to move on from memories into goal creation, or specifically dreaming up 'wishes' to set the tone and direction of 2006.
Far from being a whimsical activity the creation of a wish box, or as we used to make, a wish poster, for the year ahead is a powerful way of setting the tone and direction of our lives. Over 90% of our realistic wishes would eventuate, although not always within the following year. When we make wishes we reveal our hopes and dreams and if we examine these closely we can also determine aspects of our character that can help us change our behaviour to help our wishes come true. When we first began making our wish posters each year I quickly learned what wishes were the most important to me, and worked out why. There were many things I did in life that actually got in the way of those wishes coming true. From recording and talking about my wishes I was able to recognise and then act to discard distracting behaviours and activities. Although the children weren't as aware of the psychological processes at work as I was, nonetheless the benefits from naming realistic wishes came their way.
Individual family members can make their own wish boxes, or you can do this as a family project on New Year's Day. We always made our poster as a family project because it was easier to enthuse the children. We allowed any wish at all, even the most ridiculous. Thomas's perpetual wish for a million dollars never came true, but then we didn't experienced any more financially harrowing years after we began our wish poster tradition!
To make a wish box you will need a shoe box or similar, wrapping paper or paper that you can decorate, marking pens, stickers, glitter, ribbon, etc. Wrap and decorate the box and lid separately, so that you can take the lid off and on. Fill the box with items that evoke memories of the past year - letters, postcards, first issue stamps and coins, movie stubs, news clippings, wrappers of favourite chocolate bars, keepsakes and anything else that you want. You can also put into the box pictures of things you'd like to happen or have. I collect images from catalogues, or garden magazines, to remind of what I'd like my garden to look like. In this way my wish box becomes an 'ideas' box too!
Place the box in prominent place in the living area and remember to visit it often as the year unfolds.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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