Category Archives: Younger Years: K-8

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

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

The Hard Work of Parenting

The Hard Work of Parenting

We live in an age of the quick fix and short answer. We experience life in sound bites. Somehow, we’ve come to expect that things should be quick and easy. If those are the kinds of answers you are looking for in Training for Excellence, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. Parenting, educating children, the wholeContinue 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

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

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 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

My House, My Rules

My House, My Rules

In other posts I’ve admitted to being a loving despot in my home. I expected manners. I expected respect. And, I got it. We had a great deal of fun because my children knew exactly what was acceptable and so there were very few points of contention. (Read about that here).  If you are dealingContinue Reading

Is Opportunity Holding You Back?

Is Opportunity Holding You Back?

Opportunity is an interesting phenomenon and means different things to different generations. As I write this, I sit in a room that was built for my husband’s grandmother. In her generation, opportunity was the chance to board in town 20 miles away from her home so she could complete her high school education. For herContinue Reading

Pursuing Life With Excellence!

Pursuing Life With Excellence!

Pursing Life With Excellence! By Jeannette Webb  While enjoying a delightful meal with a few members of our church family, an interesting topic came up. One guest, a former university department head, told the story of a returning student. At age 46, with a family and a full time job, this gentleman decided to goContinue Reading

Finding the Truth in Psalm 23

Finding the Truth in Psalm 23

Finding the Truth in Psalm 23 By Jeannette Webb  Psalm 23 – One of the most familiar and best-loved verses in the Bible. Like most people, I thought I understood it. As a child and young adult I would repeat the comforting words to myself.  But somewhere in my thirties, the words began to ringContinue Reading

Creating a Home

Creating a Home

Creating a Home By Jeannette Webb  Home. Overly sentimentalized by Victorian literature. Sterilized by today’s frantic lifestyles. Some reading this will have come from dysfunctional homes, others from encouraging ones. The concept of Home is, nonetheless, worth salvaging and re-building with the lessons learned from the errors and victories of past generations.  I believe thatContinue Reading

Banned Words

Banned Words

Banned Words By Jeannette Webb Looking back on the years when my home was bustling with children and their activities, I have to admit I was a despot, albeit a loving one. While I am a flexible parent and encouraged self-expression, there were certain words that were totally banned in our home.  Words that wouldContinue Reading

Learning to Speak in Public

Learning to Speak in Public

Learning to Speak in Public By Jeannette Webb  When I started the educational adventure with my children, I felt that one of the most important things to teach them was communication skills. Whether they were going to be college professors, engineers, medical doctors, or missionaries (or any other career I could think of) they neededContinue Reading

Does Your Kid Know How to Interview?  Pt. 1

Does Your Kid Know How to Interview? Pt. 1

Does Your Kid Know How to Interview? Part 1 By Jeannette Webb  This is the time of year my appointment book is filled with seniors wanting help with their interview skills for college admissions and scholarship competitions. Thanks to Skype we sit face to face whether they are in China, California, Africa, or the DeepContinue Reading

Parenting Lessons from Watercolor Class

Parenting Lessons from Watercolor Class

Parenting Lessons from Watercolor Class By Jeannette Webb Now that my nest is empty, I have found that I finally have a few spare hours to pursue something that has been my dream for many years – to attempt to learn the art of watercolor painting.  It probably wasn’t the smartest move given the factContinue Reading

Feeling Discouraged?

Feeling Discouraged?

Feeling Discouraged? By Jeannette Webb   It’s the time of year that many moms and dads begin to feel discouraged. You started the school year out with a wonderful vision of what each of your children would accomplish, what you would accomplish. And somehow it has not gone as planned. Subjects have not progressed as theyContinue Reading