Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

5 Ways to Kill Your Homeschool Group

In my 13 years of homeschooling my local group has gone from a group of moms holding babies on our laps and chatting happily in one of our living rooms, to having over 100 families and meeting in a church, to not having any meetings at all! The group has gone up and down and is now heading for a slow demise. Some of it has to do with a lot of us having older kids and not being as needy as we were when we first started homeschooling. Part of it is that we had a big disagreement about four years ago and the group never fully recovered. Part of it might just be the normal lifespan for a homeschool group I guess (although I see some groups around us going gangbusters!) So just from my own observations, for whatever they are worth, here are 5 ways to Kill off your Homeschool Group.

1. Stop Having meetings. That way no one connects and new people never have a chance to come and make friends.

2. Don't have strong discernible leadership. Spread the leadership over a large committee that way no one person has a vision or a focus and no one is ever quite sure who to go to.

3. Make a big controversy over something that has almost nothing to do with homeschooling. Point out all the ways people in the group are different and make sure everyone sees where the battle lines are. Then folks can just break off and take like-minded folks with them, further diluting the effectiveness of the original group.

4. Miss certain touch points. If you have a yearly picnic - miss it this year and don't tell anyone why. This is more effective if you can combine it with another missed event like dues notification. Then people really will start to wonder if the group is still going on or not.

5. Go out of your way to make it difficult for new people to join Don't advertise your meetings and make sure all the topics are only of interest to old timers.

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