We just finished this book as our family read aloud. Everyone enjoyed the book and I highly recommend it.  The book is well researched and well organized. It contains heroes you would expect and ones long forgotten. We have a deeper appreciation for many and added more to our list of conservative heroes. It also gave me hope that we may be able to return to a more conservative government.   I loved that it gave the kids insight of what a real conservative looks like. I am grateful for the leaders in the books and pray that more conservative leaders will be raised up. Read this book for the history. Read the book for great leadership sketches.  Just read the book.

My question is why does the Republican party continue to have Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner.  I propose we have a Taft-Reagan Dinner or Cleveland-Reagan Dinner.

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GHONOR-BOOKI saw Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller at Great Homeschool Convention. They were by far my favorite speakers. They spoke to my heart and I picked up a few of their books.  I just finished the first one- Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining and Bad Attitudes in you and your Kids. I would have never picked up the book without hearing them first. The title is too long for my ADD and I don’t like the photo on the front. I am so glad I did though.  It is a GREAT book and will help you with any age kid. The book teaches you how to establish honor as a family value. Honor is defined by them as treating everyone as special, doing more than what is expected and having a good attitude.   I believe families that  follow this principle will be transformed.  This book is about parenting to the heart of your children not just making them behave.  I have already seen improvement in my home and it has made me rethink many relationships. What would the world look like  if we all treated on another with honor?

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Vinegar Boy by Alberta Hawse is a must read anytime but especially wonderful for the Easter Season. We read it last year as a read aloud and we all enjoyed it.

It is a beautiful interpretation of the death of the Christ through the eyes of a boy. The disfigured boy’s job is to give comfort to prisoners when they are dying with a sponge of vinegar and herbs.  There are some great themes of service, love and adoption in the book. The story is captivating. It is one of the few books that I would read again.

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What is on my Nook?- Raising Real Men – Hal and Melanie Young

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Monday Jan 23, 2012 Under My Reading List

First of all, this one was actually not on my Nook but the old fashion paperback book. You can get the book in several formats including an audio version that I got for Bruce for the commute. I got the paperback book thinking I might want to pass it along. Just bare with me because this book takes a little background info.

I have know about Hal and Melanie Young from the homeschool community for years and quit frankly avoided them and anything about them. I thought they were from the Bob Jones Fundamentalist crowd and too conservative for me. I know that sounds crazy to some of you because to the world I am the “too conservative” one. Maybe legalistic is a better word than conservative. Anyway,  I got the chance to meet Hal and Melanie at this summer board meeting for NCHE Board Meeting. After meeting them, I started to like them and agreeing with them and realized maybe I had the wrong perception of them. I am wrong occasionally.

Fast forward a few months to a few weeks ago when Cobey had done something else that was out of character and I was at my  wits end. Something was wrong with my almost perfect child! I messaged Melanie and asked her if it was normal. She had five boys and if anyone would no it would be here. She assured me it was normal and then suggested I join the Boot Camp for Moms of Boys 9-12. The next day I had another problem with Cobey so I went online joined the Boot Camp and bought the book.

I have listened to  one session of Boot Camp and read the entire book. I have had a 100 percent turnaround and I am now Hal and Melanie Young fans. The book is not a checklist of dos and don’ts. It is more of a  philosophy of how to raise boys to become Godly men. The book written as if you are seating around a table with them sharing stories of what has worked for them. I have taken nuggets out of the book that I am going to implement this week. There was not anything earth shattering but more why am I not already doing that. I can see myself reading the book again and taking something else from it the next time. If you have a boy, you should read the book. It is from a Christian worldview so if you don’t come from that perspective then you might not care for it. Although, if you are not a Christian I really don’t know how you are going to get thru the years of raising a boy. I will be passing it along but only to those I know I will get it back from.

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Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Monday May 23, 2011 Under My Reading List

I FINALLY finished this book. It took me what seemed like forever and I will admit I skimmed the last 50 pages or so just to get through it. While the subject of the book  is very interesting and I agree with most of the arguments, the writing is so poor that I felt like I was trudging through it.  The book seems disorganized and unfocused.  The points could have been conveyed in a shorter book or a long magazine article.  On the other hand, the book is compelling and convincing with its main premiss which is kids need to be outside in non-stuructured activities more.

There was a whole section about treehouse that I actually enjoyed. I believe children today are mainly taught to pass test. I have heard over and over college professors talk about students not being able to problem-solve. I can see where allowing children to build a treehouse on their own would help them form some problem solving kids. Our son really wants a treehouse and this chapter will change how we achieve the end goal. Instead of my husband doing most of the work, I think we will put a lot of it in my son’s hands to figure out. It probably will not be as pretty but I think he will learn much more from the experience.

There was a section about a report released by the Alliance for Childhood in 2001 called, “Fool’s Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood.”   The report found only a modest improvement with the use of computers and found a much greater improvement with one on one  tutors. The co-signers of the report called for a moratorium on use of computers in early childhood education. I found this section particularly interesting since their has been controversy in our school district for buying laptops for ALL of our students third grade and up. The author pointed out how we know from past research that arts increase test scores yet art education has dropped while technology funding has sharply increased. This is one area I would like to look into more and see what the effect computers have on education.

There was another section that I would like to research more about and that was comparing Finland’s education system to the United States. In Finland they spend less money and have better results than the United States.  A crucial part of Finland’s program includes unstructured outdoor time.

Throughout the author gave several benefits of being in nature. Some of the benefits were health, attention, self-confidence, creativity, respect for nature and spiritual.

Overall, I think the message is so important that the book should be read. I suggest looking at it as a series of magazine articles that sometimes overlap themselves instead of a book. You may find it easier to read that way.

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Fearless by Max Lucado

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Friday May 13, 2011 Under My Reading List

Some people said the fact that I was reading this book made them afraid  because they think I am already fearless. I think I am not afraid of  things that many people  are and that is why people think I am fearless. I have never feared what people think about me so I come across as bold. I have always believed God is in control so why worry about certain things so I come across as adventurous. But I struggle with fear just like everyone else. Sometimes I am afraid of making the wrong decision or not hearing from God. I often have fears when it comes to my kids. I think everyone can use help in this area and that is why the Bible addresses fear more than anything else. One of the quotes I loved in the book was “When Christ is great, our fears are not.”  He continues with “As awe of Jesus expands, fears of life diminish. A big God translates into big courage.”  I have always questioned how people can have big fears and big faith. It is an oxymoron. So now I know if I am experiencing fear what I need to do increase my faith. How do you increase my faith? Record and remember how He has been faithful in my life and the life of others that is what works me. I pray you will have great faith and few fears.

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What’s on my Nook?

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Tuesday May 10, 2011 Under My Reading List

So this is my first post for What’s on my Nook? category for all those people who like me want to know what others are reading.

On the cruise I read The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard. The mystery novel is about Jody Linder, who was raised by her grandparents after her father was murdered and her mother went missing one night when she was three years olds. Pickard does a great job of painting a picture of the cattle ranch community where the story takes place. She also did a great job of developing the characters so that you felt you knew them. The book is suspenseful throughout with a twist in the end. I can’t put my finger on it but there was something about the story line in the second half that was disappointing and contrived. Overall, I thought it was good read but not great.

I am in the process of reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv and Fearless by Max Lucado. In queue, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L’Amour and Decision Points by George W. Bush.

What are you reading?

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