home schooling paths
  E-journal September 6, 2011

New Audiobook!I Saw the Angel in the Marble audio

You can set your children free to become the individuals God created them to be. The book I SAW THE ANGEL IN THE MARBLE will explain how. This book has been called, “the cream of the crop” of homeschooling books, “a tremendous blessing for me and my whole family,” “a wonderful book—a must read,” “the best advice for schooling and parenting,” “the 1st book that any new home school mom/dad should read, and ”a breath of fresh air.” Now the book is available as a set of 6 CDs read by one of its authors, Chris Davis, a popular speaker at homeschooling events. Chris also adds some extra material that is not in the original book. You can listen to an excerpt from the audio book at this link. CLICK HERE to get your audiobook NOW!

NEW BOOK! I CARVED THE ANGEL FROM THE MARBLE is the companion book to I SAW THE ANGEL IN THE MARBLE and was compiled from articles that focus on the nuts and bolts of schooling at home and the everyday aspects of teaching and learning together. It also covers how to successfully teach the different major subjects. It is over 220 pages and takes a deeper look at the different elements that make home schooling a wonderful adventure. To order your copy: GO HERE>>

Hanging On By a Thread

by Ellyn Davis

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I have a close friend and for years the most common phrase I've heard coming out of her mouth is, "I'm just hanging on by a thread right now." She has a high pressured, thankless job, a chaotic home life, and she rarely gets enough sleep. She manages to keep herself going by taking catnaps and drinking a 2 liter Mountain Dew each day. She is forgetful and has poor impulse control, little empathy, low level paranoia and a great deal of susceptibility to sales tactics. Plus, the muscles in her back, neck and shoulders are in constant knots. Even though she knows her lifestyle is not good for her, she can't find the mental, emotional, or physical energy to change it.

It would be easy to write my friend off as someone with poor self-control and self-management skills, but, even though that may be a factor, that's not the whole of the picture. Instead of being due to a lack of character, a lot of the way my friend acts is due to persistent, long-term Ego Depletion.

In the last issue of the newsletter, we introduced the concept of "Ego Depletion." Ego Depletion is just a fancy name for the fact that when we are faced with too many decisions, too many tasks, or too many demands for self-regulation (controlling our behavior, thoughts, feelings, and impulses) in a short period of time, our energy to make decisions or regulate ourselves is depleted.

Numerous studies have shown that when we execute tasks that demand decision-making and/or self-control, we are, subsequently, less able to perform other tasks that demand decision-making and/or self-control.

The most common causes of Ego Depletion are:

  1. Coping with extraneous stimulation like loud noises, media overload, things going on in the background while you're trying to concentrate, etc.
  2. Having tasks interrupted.
  3. Multi-tasking, continuously switching from one task to another, particularly with electronic/media devices such as cell phones, internet, etc.
  4. Monotonous, tedious, time-consuming tasks.
  5. Having to perform tasks of self-control (such as resisting temptation, even in such small things as forcing yourself to be nice to someone you wish would leave you alone)
  6. Prior conditions of mental, physical, or emotional depletion such as not enough sleep, an emotional upset or drama, unresolved deep-seated emotional issues, physical pain/illness, previously engaging in a demanding activity, etc.

If you stop for just a minute and contemplate what this all means, you can easily see how we all can succumb to Ego Depletion and how it could have serious mental and emotional consequences whether you are a multi-tasking mom trying to wear half a dozen different hats each day (mom, wife, chauffeur, housekeeper, teacher, and so on) or a child faced with solving math problems he doesn't quite understand when he didn't get enough sleep the night before.

Decision Fatigue

One of the major consequences of ego depletion is what researchers call "decision fatigue." Studies done in Israeli courts reported that prisoners asking for parole earlier in the day were more likely to get it than those whose court appearance was later in the day. Why? Because by the time the judge had made a whole morning's worth of decisions, his "decider" was tired and he was more likely to maintain the status quo by keeping things as they were, which, in the prisoners' cases, meant they stayed in jail. In other words, with each decision you make, your decision-maker becomes more and more depleted and subsequent decisions become harder to make.

Most people do not realize they are suffering from Ego Depletion when it is going on because by the time they are depleted, their logic is already faulty.

Decision fatigue is only one of the consequences of Ego Depletion. Others include loss of memory (forgetfulness), diminished altruism and empathy, accepting the status quo, lack of forgiveness, susceptibility to sales tactics, lowered self-esteem, impaired logic, losing sight of the big picture, and feeling slighted by unintentional acts of others (low level paranoia). There are also physical consequences in the form of enhanced levels of stress that result in illness and muscle tension and pain. Ego Depletion leads to mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion.

In children, Ego Depletion can be even more pronounced than in adults because children are still developing the self-regulating skills that adults have already mastered, so their impulse control is generally weaker than that of adults.

What Can We Do?

So, what can you do to keep yourself and your children from succumbing to Ego Depletion? The best ways to address Ego Depletion are:

  1. Make sure everyone gets enough sleep. Children need more sleep than adults. Some studies recommend at least 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night for children and 7 to 8 hours of sleep for adults.
  2. Keep your and your children's blood sugar up. This doesn't mean you need to feed them sweets, but low glucose levels are a major factor in Ego Depletion and studies have shown that just supplying an ego depleted person with glucose replenishes them.
  3. Rearrange your life and your children's lives so that you reduce the common causes of Ego Depletion for yourself and for them.
  4. Cut down on multi-taking and focus on only one thing at a time. (See the newsletters on multi-tasking.)
  5. Become aware of what Alcoholics Anonymous calls "HALT"—Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired— and stop what you are doing when you feel hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (or when you notice that a child is experiencing hunger, anger, loneliness, or fatigue).
  6. Schedule major decisions and ego depleting tasks at the beginning of the day or at times when energy is highest.
  7. Cultivate laughter, fun, and anything that generates positive emotions. Studies have shown that watching funny videos or listening to jokes replenishes the ego.
  8. Provide ego replenishing breaks rthroughout the day, such as resting, snacks to keep blood sugar levels steady, fun times, etc.
  9. Be compassionate to yourself and to your children. We tend to compound the effects of Ego Depletion when we become disappointed or angry about actions that are simply the result of ego depletion. Let yourself and your children off the hook when you notice a lack of self-control or a poor decision. Remember, Ego Depletion is just a fact of normal human life, particularly in our fast-paced, complex world. Be discerning and learn to recognize the difference between a loss of self-control due to Ego Depletion and a loss of self-control due to a character flaw. An ego-depleted loss of self-control is not necessarily a character failure.

Until next time....


home schooling

FREE e-book: A Strong Enough Why

Why Home School?In the twenty-plus years I’ve homeschooled, I’ve spoken with thousands of other homeschooling parents and I’ve discovered that most problems with home schooling tend to occur because parents get hung up over the HOWs of home schooling. And the reason is, they don’t have a strong enough WHY.

In Christian jargon, we might call the WHY a conviction and we could say that their home schooling efforts became a struggle because their conviction about home school ing was unclear or wavering.

Let’s be realistic. Home schooling is not for everyone. Home schooling is a massive, full-time commitment, primarily for Mom. Done well, it requires a total reorientation of your life, not just four or five hours of your day.

This e-book will help you create a strong enough WHY about home schooling to propel you through any problems of HOW. You can read it HERE.

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http://www.homeschoolmarketplace.com/images/angelbook.jpgI SAW THE ANGEL IN THE MARBLE was compiled from articles that focus on discovering who your children really are and how they learn best, creating the attitudes and environment in your home where learning and relationships can thrive; understanding the many options that are available to you when you are home schooling, and much more.

http://www.homeschoolmarketplace.com/images/Carved-Cover-small.gifI CARVED THE ANGEL FROM THE MARBLE is the companion book to I SAW THE ANGEL IN THE MARBLE and was compiled from articles that focus on the nuts and bolts of schooling at home and the everyday aspects of teaching and learning together. It is over 220 pages and takes a deeper look at the different elements that make home schooling a successful adventure in learning. Chapters cover how to recognize your “angels in the marble” and help set them free; how to get off the “hamster wheel”of activity if you feel overwhelmed and undersupported in your homeschooling efforts; how to develop your own scope and sequence of study for each child; how to teach the major subjects such as language arts, history, math and science in your homeschool; and much, much more!

In a way, these two books took over 20 years to write. So savor them. Read them (or listen) slowly and carefully. Don’t let them just take up space on your bookshelf, but let them impart helpful, practical wisdom and advice.

Turning Hearts: Davis Seminar Set (8 CDs)

home schoolingThe Best of Chris and Ellyn Davis, this set contains seminars given by Chris and Ellyn Davis of The Elijah Company at home schooling conventions. The set contains all of the favorites that home schoolers ask for over and over. People have told us this set of CDs changed their lives. Find out more about them HERE>>

Angel in the Marble/Turning Hearts Set
Order a combination of I Saw the Angel in the Marble and the Davis Seminars CDs HERE>>

Home School and Home Business

Let Your Mortgage Make You Rich.
A friend in my internet marketing group discovered this technique for paying down your mortgage incredibly quickly without making an extra payment or refinancing. Using her method, people are cutting a 30 year mortgage down to eight or nine years. It’s true; without extra payments or refinancing – you could save tens of thousands of dollars - even hundreds of thousands - on what you pay for your home. And the best part is that the book comes with a money-back guarantee. If you don't save more on your mortgage than the book costs in the first 18 months of using the techniques, you'll get your money back.
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We have the following WRITING IN NARRATIVE books available: The Reluctant Writer, Writing Man 1 & 2, and WIN Twin. GO HERE.


Home Schooling and Home Business Resources

Building the Home School of Your Dreams is a 6 CD set taken from the From Home School To Home Business Seminar and features sessions by Chris Davis and Mary Hood. Find out more HERE>>

home schoolingFrom Home School to Home Business
(14 CD Set)

If you missed one of our From Home School to Home Business Conferences, you missed a great time.People who attended told us that it changed their lives—not only in the area of home schooling, but also in the area of creating their own sources of home income.This set is huge and filled with useful and encouraging information about how to be successful at home schooling and at home business! Find out more about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>

Building the Business of Your Dreams (8 CD Set) We've had requests for just the business portion of the From Home School to Home Business Seminar, so have developed a set of the business CDs from that set. It contains 8 CDs and includes sessions on The Entrepreneurial Mind, Multiple Streams of Home Income, Discovering Your Ideal Life and Ideal Business (2 CDs) , Developing a Business Plan (2 CDs), and The Importance of Business Relationships. Plus, there is a very important and insightful interview on Redeeming the Marketplace. Find out about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>

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