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Note to readers: I've broken a bunch of images. It may take me a while to get them all fixed.


How do you observe Columbus Day?

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. It was a courageous thing to do, but someone was already here... Nancy Shimmel, "1492"

Which Columbus Day story did you grow up with? I didn't encounter anything less-than-flattering about Cristóbal Colón until I discovered A People's History during early adulthood. Now my kids have A Young People's History by Howard Zinn.

I've written a couple of articles about sharing The Truth About Columbus and America and Ways to Observe Columbus Day.

My family also observes Leif Ericson Day and Indigenous People's Day. Our family ancestry is very mixed with Viking, Blackfeet, and Nez Perce, amongst other distinctive peoples.

My girls and I just finished reading Morning Girl by Michael Dorris. It was a beautiful book about the deep and peaceful lives of two children, sister and brother, who lived in the tropical world of a Bahaman island in the years just before 1492.

The story alternates between the viewpoints of Morning Girl and her younger brother Star Boy. I can't recommend the book highly enough. It's going down as one of my favorites of all time.

The week ahead: How will you observe Columbus Day?


Homeschool discounts: Reading Eggs & Mathseeds

I recently got the Reading Eggs/Mathseeds combo subscription for my 6 yo daughter. She LOVES it. Her progress learning to read is pleasing her greatly, plus the snappy and animations and songs are fun and entertaining. Living in a houseful of super-readers (piles of books everywhere!), she has been extra motivated to develop her solo reading skills.

Below, you'll see that you can join a groupbuy for Reading Eggs or Mathseeds alone or a Combo of both.

Homeschool Groupbuys:

Reading Eggs only: SAVE up to 25% + GET 500 SMARTPOINTS on Reading Eggs, the Early-Reading Program for ages 4-8 years. A fun and motivating experience learning to read with games, funny songs, and animated characters.

Mathseeds onlyGET 1,000 SMARTPOINTS on Mathseeds, the Early Math Program.

Combo: Get Reading Eggs + Mathseeds Combo 12 Month Subscription.


Peaceful parenting: Nurturing a child's intuition

The very young child drifts naturally into quiet, introspective periods, allowing for examination and contemplation of experiences. However, as the child enters into a more fast-paced, typically achievement-oriented lifestyle, he or she finds less time to look inward and explore inner thoughts and feelings.

In a busy culture, most children's experience is centered on schooling for much of the day and media entertainments, such as television, video games, and Internet, during the remaining hours. In the school setting, the child perceives discouragement from teachers for engaging in introspective activities such as daydreaming, as well as for sharing inner thoughts and feelings that wander from the set course of high outward achievement.

Nurturing Intuition

Sonia Choquette, P.h.D., author of The Wise Child: A Spiritual Guide to Nurturing Your Child's Intuition (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1999), recommends that parents create a supportive, accepting family atmosphere in which adults and children both express intuitive feelings. The parents approach intuition in a light-hearted, playful way, remain open-minded and willing to listen and respond to the child's insights, and encourage the child to check in with his or her intuitive feelings when making decisions. She encourages parents to maintain a serene and clutter-free home and to provide opportunities for children to turn inwards, such as through guided meditations.

Meditating with Children

Over-Stimulation and Over-Achievement

In a culture with a heavy emphasis on competition and achievement and significant engrossment in media entertainment outside of school hours, a child may avoid introspective activities and suppress or disconnect from intuitive inner guidance in favor of looking to the social atmosphere for direction in conforming to societal expectations, which seem most important via peer orientation.

The school or school-like environment promotes competition amongst peers, drives a child to accomplish ever more in preparation for participation in a never-ending growth economy, and points a child toward the ultimate goal of success based on highest achievement and level of wealth. In this environment, the child perceives that allowing his or her thoughts to drift does not support the goal of outwardly quantifiable achievement.

In an over-worked society, many adults do not take time to turn inward in order to rest and reenergize, but instead turn to escapist entertainments which do not provide true rest or an adequate opportunity to process experiences, make insightful discoveries, or grow in wisdom. A child already engaged in the fast-paced lifestyle follows the lead of his or her parents, caregivers, and teachers in this regard.

In order for a child to continue developing intuitive abilities through increasing self-awareness, the child must feel safe and secure in his or her environment, including within relationships.

When parents and caregivers listen without judgment to a child's insights, the child interprets this as respect and encouragement. Even in the face of doubt, disbelief, or disagreement, caregivers can support a child by withholding any negative opinions and allowing the child safe freedom of expression.

A child who spends time exploring and contemplating his or her thoughts and feelings develops self-awareness and the intuitive abilities that come from this inner knowledge. In a fast-paced culture, the pressure to achieve and conform can discourage a child from taking time for self-reflection, development of intuition, and growth of self-awareness. Parents and caregivers can help a child to continue developing his or her authentic self by providing a safe and secure environment and by modeling reflective activities and honoring the child's and their own intuitive guidance.

See also: Peaceful parenting topics
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