Celebrating Flag Day, In A Whole New Light

I joke with people that I bleed red, white, and blue because I love America so much. I was raised in a flag waving, politically active family. My grandfather (my mom’s dad) was an alderman in my city for over 25 years and then elected the first full-time mayor.

I have fabulous childhood memories of not only waving flags, but pushing tiny ones into our front yard to decorate on different holidays, including the oft-ignored Flag Day. That’s today – June 14th.

When we use all 8 of our smarts when thinking and learning, we draw conclusions we wouldn’t have when thinking with just our 1-3 natural strengths. Let me try to prove it.

Think about the flag using all eight smarts. Will you draw conclusions you haven’t in the past? Discover a new curiosity? See a new picture? Remember a long-forgotten memory? Let me know.

  • Body: think with movement and touch
  • Logic: think with questions
  • Music: think with rhythms and melodies
  • Nature: think with patterns
  • People: think with other people
  • Picture: think with your eyes
  • Self: think with personal reflection
  • Word: think with words

“The flag of the United States has not been created by rhetorical sentences in declarations of independence and in bills of rights. It has been created by the experience of a great people, and nothing is written upon it that has not been written by their life. It is the embodiment, not of a sentiment, but of a history.” ~Woodrow Wilson

Hard Working Parents Are My Heroes!

HandsUpLeftSideWhat are you willing to work hard to accomplish? Who are you willing to persevere for?

As you might know, I wrote in “Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World,” that the character qualities of perseverance, effort, and diligence seem to be disappearing. Because technology has made things easy, many young people think everything should be easy. Do we? Ouch!

Don’t get me wrong, I like that much is easy now. Research on websites. Copy and paste. The undo button! Phones we can have with us all the time. Cameras on our phones. The DVR. The GPS. iTunes. So much more.

We can’t afford to believe that everything is easy nor can we allow young people to believe that. It makes giving up way too easy. Stopping rather than starting. Sitting down in the valley, rather than walking through it to reach the victory (Psalm 23).

Maybe this is why these two pictures are deeply encouraging to me. As you know, if you’ve heard me speak to parents, those who are doing it well are my heroes. It’s not easy today, especially to parent with a standard for truth and for putting Christ first.

Parenting well is essential. Life. Necessary. God-glorifying. Obedient. Life-changing.

I took these pictures of one of my audiences at the recent Greater St. Louis Homeschool Expo. I asked them to raise their hands if the hard work of homeschooling well was worth it. Look at their response! Look at their smiles!

If I would have asked just about parenting, I would have gotten the same response. If you had been in the audience, would you have raised your hand? I know parenting can be hard, lonely, exhausting, frustrating, overwhelming, scary, and new. Your children are depending on you. You know that and it’s why you work at it and don’t give up even though it’s hard.

There are many parents doing hard work in the trenches to love, like, and raise their children. To persevere, be diligent, use effort, and get help. I bet you’re one of them!

YOU have not sat down in the valley. YOU have not given up. YOU attend seminars because you recognize there’s much you can learn. YOU read books and blogs to help you. YOU humble yourself. YOU put your children first. First. First.

YOU are my heroes!

“These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things…”

ExhibitHallMy Favorite Things is a fun song from the movie Sound of Music (which explains the image at the top of this post.) Maybe because of all the hoopla over the 50th anniversary of the movie, the song has been on my mind lately.

Last week, I spent 2½ days at the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. Just like the past 3 years, it was a wonderful experience. I saw many favorite things. I’m not going to try to put my things to music, but you could try.

  • Husbands and wives holding hands while walking to and from workshops and while in the exhibit hall. I loved how many truly seemed connected. Parents invested in each other and their marriage may be the most important thing their children need.
  • Obedient children who waited with parents as they shopped. There were some who clearly were bored and maybe frustrated, but they didn’t act up. I never heard a child complain and I never – in 2½ days – heard a parent correct a child. This doesn’t mean it didn’t happen outside of my space, but I was very impressed with the respect children showed their parents.
  • Caramel and chocolate covered pretzel rods and roasted nuts located in three different places, therefore allowing the scent to permeate much of the convention center.
  • Children holding hands with moms and dads. It wasn’t about controlling them or making them stay close. It was about wanting them to be close. There’s a difference and you can tell when you observe.
  • Moms and dads consulting with each other about which seminars to attend and which products to buy. They asked great questions, shared their opinions, and worked together for the good of their children.
  • Hundreds of parents in my seminars eager to learn. Hungry for truth. Wanting to be the best and do the best for their children. They were so easy to teach.
  • Joyful friends serving in our exhibit space for hours and hours, sometimes too busy to eat. Never complaining. Only smiling. Thanking me for the privilege of helping!
  • Teens in the teen track paying attention from the front of the room to the back. Teachable and grateful. Mature enough to stop by in the exhibit hall later just to say “thanks.”
  • Did I mention the roasted nuts? Yes, I think I did.
  • Siblings holding hands with each other and enjoying each other’s company. Swinging their arms back and forth as they almost danced in the space between booths was delightful and refreshing.
  • Observing Tina Hollenbeck, our staff writer, growing as a speaker and consultant in the homeschool community. Her following is huge and I’m grateful for her service. (We’ve been friends for almost many, many years. Longtime friends are among God’s greatest blessings.)
  • Joyful, pleasant, and easy-to-encourage children and teens attending my seminars with their parents. Laughing at the right times. Serious thinking at the right times. Standing in line to thank me for what I taught. Humbling.
  • Friends of mine meeting friends of mine and now they’re friends. Yes!
  • Parents holding children in their arms. Children being loved, cared for, and allowed to be children.
  • The leadership of the Great Homeschool Convention serving unselfishly for hours and hours. Consistently present to make sure things went well. Answering questions. Sharing feedback. Connecting people.
  • Exhibiting next to Hearts at Home and Jill Savage, my co-author on No More Perfect Kids, and Moody Publishers, my publisher. It was such fun to interact and network and laugh and learn together. I am so privileged!
  • SallyJillMe Normal

    l-r: Jill Savage, Dr. Kathy, Sally Baucke

    Being silly with Jill Savage and our mutual friend, comedian Sally Baucke. It is good for me to get silly with people I trust.

Being in such a positive environment was refreshing. Oh, believe me, I’m exhausted after speaking five times, selling for 2½ days, listening to many stories/questions from concerned parents, and answering as many as I could. But, it’s a very good fatigue.

In our everyday lives, we can see and hear lots of negative and stressful things if we choose to. But, there’s much that’s right in the world and seeing it, hearing it, and prioritizing it is wise.

What can you choose to see and hear today that will put a smile on your face? How can you behave so others will smile?

Your questions about homeschooling will be answered by Tina Hollenbeck, former teacher and full-time homeschooler, and Dr. Kathy. All questions are welcome regarding curriculum, specific lessons, contemplating homeschooling, records and whatever else you wonder about.

You may have gotten to know Tina from her articles in our newsletter. Her insightful commentary on homeschooling, being a mother, and her personal life are full of practical ideas and are life giving.

We look forward to your presence at our online seminar!

When you register, feel free to type questions that you would like us to answer into the comment box. You can also ask questions live during the seminar.

Date: November 19, 2014
Time: 2:00-2:30/2:45pm CST and On-demand whenever it’s convenient for you. (If you register, you’ll be sent the replay link that allows you to listen whenever you want as often as you want. Your schedule does not need to be a factor in determining whether to register.)
Event: Home Schooling Questions and Answers with Dr. Kathy and Tina Hollenbeck
Sponsor: Celebrate Kids
Venue: Online Seminar
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

Do you want your children to believe in themselves and doubt you less? The multiple intelligences have proven to help make this happen! The eight smarts will be explained in easy-to-listen-to-easy-to-learn- from language. Both parents and children will gain personal understanding about how they are smart.

Event: “How Am I Smart? for the Whole Family” with Dr. Kathy
Venue: Online Seminar
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

Are you wondering if you could or should homeschool? Doing it, but have questions about curriculum, schedules, motivation, or anything else? Dr. Kathy and Tina Hollenbeck want to answer your questions.

You are invited to attend our online seminar that will address YOUR questions. Send an email to online@celebratekids.com with your questions and listen for the answer while you listen during the seminar. Just give us 30-minutes of your time. We’ll add 15 more if questions keep getting submitted.

The on-demand replay will be available after the event is over if you can’t listen live. The seminar must still be purchased.

Date: October 15, 2014
Time: 2:00 - 2:30/2:45 p.m. Central
Event: Home Schooling Questions and Answers with Dr. Kathy and Tina Hollenbeck
Location: In your living room, office, or wherever you have Internet access.
Public: Public


World-renowned authors and international speakers, Jill Savage (No More Perfect Moms and founder of Hearts At Home) and Dr. Kathy Koch (How Am I Smart? A Parent’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences and founder of Celebrate Kids, Inc.) will share authentic, honest and God-inspiring methods using Christian values to help families and equip all who work with our young people.

Offered with humor, truth and practical advice, we parents and educators will learn to let go of “being perfect” and expecting perfection in our children. Instead we’ll hear how to embrace the process of “being perfected” by God!

  • What is the ‘Perfection Infection’ in our society and why is it dangerous?
  • How can we as parents meet the five core needs of our children in healthy ways?
  • What are the eight kinds of intelligences that exist and how do they relate to a child’s uniqueness?
  • What are the eight main reasons kids make mistakes?

This is a unique opportunity for parents, teachers and practitioners to hear Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch in person, close to home. Because of Atonement’s intimate venue, tickets are expected to sell out quickly. Tickets are available NOW at $30/person. Parties of 8 or more will be offered the $25 discounted price throughout our sale.

Date: September 27, 2014
Time: 09:00 a.m. - 04:00 p.m.
Event: No More Perfect Parents: A Special One-Day Parenting Seminar
Venue: Atonement Lutheran Church
(847) 381-0243
Location: 909 E Main Street
Barrington, Illinois 60010
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

If you would like to read Jill & Kathy's new book No More Perfect Kids beforehand, click here to learn more and order.

What Are You Saying? The Importance Of Translation And Clarity

When speaking to moms at the Hearts at Home conference in Budapest, Hungary, last Saturday, Erika translated my English into Hungarian. If she wouldn’t have, the Hungarian moms would have been lost. Confused. Untaught. Angry.

I hope I would have seen their confused looks as signs they needed help. I hope their scowls would have caused me to ask someone, “What’s wrong?” Perhaps I would have asked someone if translation was necessary.