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…

Making Sure to get it All Covered in Homeschooling and Life

Originally posted in 2011

One of the perils of homeschooling lots of kids for long periods of time, at least for me, is that I remember teaching certain things once or twice, and forget that I didn't teach them to the younger ones! Case in point - one time I was talking to Gabe about something and I used the analogy of David and Goliath. He looked at me with a completely straight face with no recognition at all. Then he asked me if they were musicians or congressmen! Somehow, in teaching Gabe his bible stories we had skipped over that classic tale! So we had to go back and do that. That can happen from time to time, so it's important every once in a while to go over cultural and spiritual check lists to make sure that our kids are familiar with common references.

Homeschooler's Book of Lists, The: More than 250 Lists, Charts, and Facts to Make Planning Easier and Faster is a good good resource for that, as is the What your Child Needs to Know  Series.

Cindy Downes Checklist is Downloadable and easy to use as well.

I know most homeschoolers are really big on book lists and I have several lists in my Diigo account.  But it also important they have a familiarity with classic movies.  These are just some of the things that will be referenced from time to time that they should have some familiarity with before they leave home.

This week I was reminded that I need to be more specific and VERIFY that my kids know how to do the things I ask them to do.  I have noticed lately that Izzy's hair has just been really dull and kind of sticky.  First I thought maybe it was because she is starting to go through puberty and her oil glands are starting up.  Swimming in a clorinated pool a couple of times a week and sweating while running is also probably adding to her problem.  So I bought some expensive shampoo at Best Cuts that they said would strip the grime and make her hair shiny.  I gave it to her, she took a shower and used it - and her hair looked a little better but not great.

On thinking about it, I wondered if she was shampooing her hair right.  I did it for her when she was little, but now her hair is thicker and she is much more active. What she learned as a baby and little girl just wasn't working for her now as a pre-teen. So today, I showed her how to wash her hair in the kitchen sink!  I lathered her hair up and I really scrubbed with my knuckles just like my grandma used to do for me when I was a kin.  Then we rinsed it all out and I showed her how to make sure all the soap was out.  We then re-lathered and rinsed.  Then I showed her how to put the conditioner just on the ends of her hair and work it through and then rinse it all out.  The result is her hair is clean, shiny and gorgeous!  and she admitted that she hadn't put that much effort into it during her shower because she didn't know she was supposed to!  And that's my fault as her mom - although after having four sons in a row, it just never occurred to me that this would be something I needed to teach my daughter.

Our next lesson is going to be shave vs. wax - although I can't believe she's ready for either!  But whichever we pick, I'm going to make sure that my other daughter is there to watch these lessons - so we get all the girlie personal grooming things taken covered as well.!