Summer Tip #1

Jul 14

Summer Tip #1

Engage those Teenagers! We all know this is an extremely hard thing to do. We recently met two girls who had their interest peaked in cake decorating! With a little help from their mother, they found a new talent and hobby to develop this summer. Naomi and her sister Annah told us how it all started… Naomi – “When my mom made luau cupcakes for my birthday last year, it looked really fun and I wanted to try it. My mom bought the ingredients for me and my sister and I attempted our first cake. It was harder than I thought it would be, but still lots of fun. When I want to make a cake now, I just give my mom a list of things I need to make it and then she lets me create my own designs. Annah – “Coming from a family of 8, we have holidays and events all over the place and that means cake! I love being creative and love decorating so I decided to create cakes on my own. I use cake shows and my mom’s help for inspiration, but then the designs are always my own. From local classes at Hobby Lobby to a fun show about cake decorating, there are many ways to introduce a fun new activity to your teens! Good luck!...

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Empathy and Courage: Two Hallmarks of Great Learners and Teachers

May 11

Empathy and Courage: Two Hallmarks of Great Learners and Teachers

On a frigid November night in 2012, a police officer in New York City was on patrol at Seventh Avenue near 44th Street when he came across a homeless man sitting barefoot on the sidewalk.  The officer, who was wearing combat boots and two pairs of wool winter socks, described how the biting New England air was penetrating his layers.  He could only imagine how the barefoot, homeless man felt. So, the officer decided to do something about it.  He walked down to a shoe store on 42nd Street, bought a pair of insulated winter boots and thermal socks for $75, then returned to the man, knelt down, and helped put the footwear on him.  A tourist realized what was happening, snapped a picture of the kneeling officer, and posted the image on Facebook. It went viral with nearly two million views in a few weeks’ time.  The officer was widely honored and later promoted—an example of empathy in a profession so frequently misunderstood and all too often underappreciated.1 But then, as is so often the case in life, this seemingly simple act of compassion began to draw criticism.  Investigative journalists caught up with the homeless man a few days later.2 They learned his name (Hillman), and found out that he was still barefoot.  The boots were nowhere to be seen. When asked why he was not wearing the boots, Hillman responded “Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money. I could lose my life if I wore those boots.”3  Further investigation into Hillman’s background revealed that he apparently had an apartment in the Bronx paid for by social security.  Soon other news organizations joined the growing debate.  By now, the barefoot Hillman was aware that his story had somehow become the focus of national attention.  His feelings, published in the New York Times, were boiled down to this: “I appreciate what the officer did, don’t get me wrong, and I wish there were more people like him in the world,” he said, “[but] I was put on YouTube. I was put on everything without permission. What do I get? I want a piece of the pie.”4 A New York City police officer was caught in...

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Great Quotes for Mother’s Day

May 08

Great Quotes for Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day! We hope your Mother’s Day is filled with joy. Reeve Nield, a friend of American Heritage School and Latter-day Learning, shared the following quotes for Mother’s Day. With her permission, we are sharing them with you.  “There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood.” —Elder James E. Faust “Fathers, Mothers, Marriage.” Ensign, August 2004 “Being a mother has never been an easy role. Some of the oldest writings in the world admonish us not to forsake the law of our mother, instruct us that a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother, and warn us not to ignore our mother when she is old (Proverbs 1:8; 10:1; 23:22). The scriptures also remind us that what we learn from our mothers comprises our very core values.” —President Thomas S. Monson “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear.” General Conference, October 2004. “No more sacred word exists in secular or holy writ than that of mother.” —President Ezra Taft Benson “To the Mothers in Zion.” Fireside address, 22 Feb. 1987. “Perhaps the reason we respond so universally to our mothers’ love is because it typifies the love of our Savior.” —Elder Bradley D. Foster “Mother Told Me.” General Conference, April 2010. “You have entered into a partnership with our Father in Heaven to give mortal experience to His sons and daughters.” —President Gordon B. Hinckley “Your Greatest Challenge, Mother.” General Conference, October 2000. “You rock a sobbing child … because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms.” —Elder Neal A. Maxwell “The Women of God.” General Conference, April 1978. “You can show your daughter by the way you love and honor your wife that she should never settle for less.” —Sister Elaine S. Dalton “Love Her Mother.” General Conference, October 2010. “We understand the power of a group working in faith, strengthening homes, and seeking out to help one another. One of my favorite stories in scripture is the story of the Lamanite mothers in the Book of Mormon. The real power of that story was their unity…There wasn’t one mother in that 2060 who was weak in her faith. It was the combination of the support they provided for each other and the help they gave...

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Prophet and Apostles General Conference Poster – With April 2016 Talk Topics

Apr 09

Prophet and Apostles General Conference Poster – With April 2016 Talk Topics

In his April 2010 General Conference address, Elder Neil L. Andersen said, “We hold in our arms the rising generation. They come to this earth with important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities. We cannot be casual in how we prepare them. Our challenge as parents and teachers is not to create a spiritual core in their souls but rather to fan the flame of their spiritual core already aglow with the fire of their premortal faith” (Ensign, May 2010). Here is the link to the entire talk, which I really love. Elder Andersen’s words encourage me to do all that I can to nourish the souls of my children. One way I can do this is to make the teachings of our Prophet and Apostles readily available and visible in our home. We have a 16 x 20 chart on our wall that has photos of the Prophet and Apostles with a place where we record the theme of each talk from the most recent General Conference. As a family, we sit down and briefly discuss each talk from the Prophet and Apostles and decide what stands out the most to us, or what we need to focus on. We type key ideas from each talk, print them on white cardstock, cut them out, and tape them in the spaces provided under each picture. Here is a PDF sheet of the topics typed up in the size for the poster that you can download.  Here is the same page in Word format, so you can edit it. I love to see the smiling faces of these great men remind me throughout my day the important lessons they taught me. My children know how critical it is for us to follow their counsel. Sometimes I do a “pop quiz” and ask who gave a talk on a certain topic. My 8-year-old has fun seeing how quickly he can remember who gave each talk and point to their picture. You can print this chart as a photo print and place it in a picture frame behind glass. You can tape on the printed talk topics or write on the glass with dry erase marker or with a Sharpie.  (Sharpie can be...

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“Using the Book of Mormon to Teach Your Child to Read” – Special Offer!

Apr 02

“Using the Book of Mormon to Teach Your Child to Read” – Special Offer!

Only $29.99  FOR THIS BOOK!? Yes, a printed copy. I don’t believe we’ve ever offered so much for so little. This truly is one of those things that EVERYONE needs to have in their home, whether for children, grandchildren, or sharing with friends and neighbors. What a treasure for your home! If you don’t know much about Dr. Grant Von Harrison’s original “Teach Your Child to Read Using the Book of Mormon”, you’ll want to find out more about it on our website. This is a limited print run of our Focus Group Edition of this book.  Supplies are extremely limited. Here’s the link to Jan Harrison Hyde’s class that she taught about her Father’s book at the March 2016 Latter-day Learning...

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LDS General Conference Countdown Poster & Quotes

Mar 28

LDS General Conference Countdown Poster & Quotes

I made my first “Conference Countdown” poster over seventeen years ago.   We still use this idea twice a year when we prepare for LDS General Conference. We begin eight days before General Conference, so it is a Friday to Friday activity.  You can start today and easily catch up on the days you have missed. The purpose of “Conference Countdown” poster and accompanying quotes is to help prepare the hearts and minds of you and your family to be open to receive counsel and inspiration during General Conference.  An added bonus is that it adds some extra excitement and anticipation for General Conference. My boys love any type of countdown calendar.  We read one quote each day in the morning during family devotional.  You could read it before your family scripture study, at night, or even in your car.   I like to read it in the morning and discuss it during dinner. Reading and discussing the quote each day helps remind us that General Conference is coming up and focuses our minds and hearts on getting ready to receive counsel and inspiration from our church leaders. I will walk you through the steps to make your own “Conference Countdown” poster.  I have included all of the files for you to print. Supplies needed:  5 pieces of coordinating color cardstock or paper to print the pockets and poster title on. 4 pieces of white or light colored cardstock to print quotes on. 1 piece of white cardstock to print the Prophet & Apsotles 4 x 6 card. 1 piece of foamboard.  (Most dollar stores carry this.) Clear tape, scissors and a glue stick. I like to laminate all of the paper that I print on after I cut it out.  This is not necessary.   Here’s how to make your own: Print out the “Conference Countdown” poster header on 8.5 x 11 paper, cut in half, laminate, and glue on the top your foamboard. Print out the 4 x 6 chart of the current Prophets and Apostles next to the poster title.  My friend Heather Price Smith has one that I like that you can download for free here. Cut, laminate and tape this on the top of your...

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6 Vocabulary Games & Activities for Children

Feb 23

6 Vocabulary Games & Activities for Children

Acquiring language is a difficult task that can cause frustration or emotions of defeat. Enliven the learning experience with some useful vocabulary games that will provide context for the words and engage the learner. The attachment of emotion — like, amusement, anger, intrigue or surprise — will help create a deeper learning connection. Games are also beneficial because they include audible elements. The ear is an important tool that assists in memory-building, so it is necessary the student practices the words aloud. Here are six games for your students, which will expand their language comprehension and help them gain a better grasp on vocabulary. Word Puzzle Create a word puzzle on BusyTeacher.org for your students. A word search will provide the students with a fun, mystery-solving game. A word search is valuable for vocabulary enhancement, as the student repeats the word they’re searching for in their head. Repetition is a valuable learning tool, which cements terms into the memory, especially in regard to language. Before you begin the word search, make sure you read the entire list of words aloud, so the students know the correct pronunciation. Analogies Analogies help kids connect the dots between terms. The recognition of similarities and differences provides an enhanced context for the word, which will create multiple tethers for the memory. It is also a way you can expand a student’s vocabulary, through the introduction of terms that are either synonyms or antonyms of words they already know. The Analogy Game at LearningGamesforKids.com will help the student build a foundation of analogies and expand their vocabulary. Compound Words Compound words will help students learn two terms at once. It will also help them understand the idea of compound words, so they may utilize this knowledge when they encounter compounds that aren’t part of their vocabulary. The compound word game, Scrapy and Slice, on the PBS Kids website has the player identify and break apart compound words. It also throws in non-compound words as a trick. The game is fun and silly, which will keep the student engaged and entertained. Simple List Divide your students into teams and have them compose a list of words within a certain amount of time. Once time is...

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