Category Archives: Parenting for Excellence

Rejecting the Checklists

Rejecting the Checklists

I don’t really think of myself as a rebel, but as I look back over the years my husband and I have parented, I have to admit that it sure looks like it!  Growing up I was a list checker and tended to think inside the box.  However, some combination of marriage and children andContinue Reading

A Change in Perspective

A Change in Perspective

I’ve been making a concerted effort lately to learn to see things differently. A few weeks ago I made a totally unnecessary purchase of a coffee table book, That Tree: An iPhone Photo Journal Documenting a Year in the Life of a Lonely Bur Oak. On the face of it, taking a daily picture ofContinue Reading

Living Life Together

Living Life Together

 In this fast paced, fragmented world that we have built for ourselves, the family core that we claim to value is often spun away from us with a terrifying centrifugal force. Multiple activities for the multiple members of our family tend to have an exponential evolution. Soon, we live in separate worlds and return toContinue Reading

The Waiting Game

The Waiting Game

There are many teens caught in the waiting game – waiting to grow up, waiting for a girlfriend, waiting to get a driver’s license, waiting to get away from home. To be fair, many adults are caught in the game as well – waiting for a promotion, waiting for the big break, waiting for .Continue Reading

Important Interludes

Important Interludes

A new year.   A different season.  Rounding a corner and realizing you are in an unknown place. Unexpectedly we find ourselves with a new vista.  It is not always comfortable, but can bring about a valuable paradigm shift.  It can be thrust upon us, as is normally the case.  Or we can choose it, byContinue Reading

No Teens Allowed

No Teens Allowed

I’m a tough love kind of mama. I never liked childhood hissy fits and teenage theatrics, so they were not allowed in my house. Every time I hear a young mom make an excuse, “Well, you know how thirteen-year-olds (or two-year-olds) are . . .” I want so badly to share, “No. I don’t. It’sContinue Reading

Enough is Enough

Enough is Enough

On a stunning Southern California spring day we were driving to meet our son to celebrate years of hard work – his college graduation from the California Institute of Technology. My cell phone buzzed and I heard a strangled voice, “Mom, one of my classmates committed suicide yesterday.” The beauty of the day was shatteredContinue Reading

Another Year, Another Choice

Another Year, Another Choice

I don’t know about you, but the New Year always seemed not so much a fresh slate but a review of a school year that had, thus far, not gone according to plan.  Maybe it was because January landed in the middle of the school year and not after it was over, but I thinkContinue Reading

Awakening Possibility

Awakening Possibility

Benjamin Zander conducts the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. At the age of 45, he had a life changing insight. He explained, “I’d been conducting for twenty years, and I suddenly had a realization. The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. [His power depends] on his ability to make other people powerful. And that changedContinue Reading

Passing the Baton

Passing the Baton

 Relays were one of my favorite events as a track and field athlete. As a member of the highly proficient team, I would be in position, hand strained back, watching until my teammate, thundering down on me would yell. Once I snapped into a sprint, we had a very narrow window of opportunity for theContinue Reading

Disappointed in Your Husband?

Disappointed in Your Husband?

I’ll be the first to admit that this topic is not one that looks like it belongs on a site devoted to educational excellence. However, I deal with it often enough to assure you that it does! The majority of my readers highly value home, family, and education. They want to create an environment whereContinue Reading

Uncomfortable Miracles

Uncomfortable Miracles

I feel rather sorry for the Israelites.   Scripture records so beautifully the miracles that God wrought on their behalf.  It also chronicles so painfully (and so publicly) their ungrateful reactions to the miracles they would have handled differently. Take manna.  Here was a food they didn’t have to grow, kill, cut up or preserve forContinue Reading

Are Your Trees Bent?

Are Your Trees Bent?

Here on the plains of Oklahoma we have legendary winds from the south. At certain times of the year they can rip an opened door out of a person’s hand, send lawn furniture tumbling, and rip a flag to pieces in a matter of days. In fact, the common joke around these parts is thatContinue Reading

Do The Math!

Do The Math!

Do the Math! By Jeannette Webb Today’s teenagers live in a privileged world.  They have plenty of food.  They live in a nice home.  Dad functions as an ATM machine and picks up the tab for shopping mall trips, cars, travel, and entertainment.   Our student’s hands do not labor to butcher or prepare theContinue Reading

Life Lessons from a Baby Food Jar

Life Lessons from a Baby Food Jar

My kids started working at a very young age and we gave them a visible bank so they could understand the relationship between work and money. My daughter’s first bank was a set of glass baby food jars with representative pictures taped to them. For example, her tithe went into the jar with a pictureContinue Reading

Feeling Inadequate?

Feeling Inadequate?

Are you feeling inadequate today? Do the challenges of parenting and educating your children make you question yourself, your motives, and your direction? Do you worry, in the wee hours of the night, if you are jeopardizing your child’s future? Is there a tiny nagging doubt that you are smart enough to do this? YouContinue Reading

Trying Out Careers, Part 2

Trying Out Careers, Part 2

In the last post, we explored how to follow a child’s interests, develop important skill sets, and research potential careers. Today, let’s look at a very specific example of how my daughter found the perfect career fit. Music From the age of seven, my daughter loved her violin. We were on a rabbit trail. WeContinue Reading

Trying Out Careers, Part 1

Trying Out Careers, Part 1

I am troubled as an educational counselor when I come across a student who hasn’t really experienced life in the real world. Sadly, I have to report that it is more common than you might imagine. The parents of these kids often operate at opposite ends of the continuum. The laid-back parents surround their kidsContinue Reading

Letting Our Children Get Burned

Letting Our Children Get Burned

Mothers of old burned their children with fire. In those days of large hearths with a continual blaze used to heat the home and cook the food, a tiny child mesmerized by the dancing flames could reach for the beauty and their flowing clothing would quickly catch fire and consume them. To keep their childrenContinue Reading

And What Did You Do Last Summer?

And What Did You Do Last Summer?

This query usually surprises students when it appears during a college interview or on a college application. While it appears to be a fairly trivial inquiry, it is a loaded question. You see, how we spend our time when we have the freedom to make a choice provides great insight. Your answer speaks volumes aboutContinue Reading