Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An article to help get our thinking juices flowing...

As Father had taught him, he did not believe the first explanation his mind leapt to. ‘It will often be right, and as you get more experience of life is will usually be right. But it will never be reliably right, and you must always think of other possible explanations or, if you can’t, then at least keep your mind open so you will recognize a better explanation if one emerges.’”
Orson Scott Card, Ruins

How to Think

GettyFamilyReading The Almost Socratic Method: The Weekly Mentor, Oliver DeMilleThere are several things I like about his little passage. First, the fact that the father is doing the teaching is important. If you’ve read the book that this quote came from you’ll know that there is a further twist on this. But one important thing fathers can teach young people is how to think.

How to think! That’s really the main purpose of schooling, anyway. Unfortunately, this is too often forgotten.
The best way to teach someone how to think is naturally, while reading a book together aloud as a family, or while working on a project in the yard, garage, or kitchen. There are so many opportunities for something like this to come up—if you’re thinking in terms of teaching and mentoring.

Show, Then Tell

This level of lesson (to analyze your own thoughts, and learn how to think) is best taught to youth over 12 years old, during Scholar Phase, especially after you have been discussing books with the child for several years. After showing them how to think about what they read, not just accepting their first thoughts but really considering various options, it’s easy for them to grasp the same idea when you tell them.

Show, then tell. This is a most powerful pattern for mentoring.

Here’s how it works. You’re reading a book aloud together as a family, say Little Britches by Ralph Moody. You come to a part where Mother wants young Ralph to be punished for getting into a fight, but his Dad is actually proud of him for standing up for the right.
You stop reading, and ask the family, “Why does Ralph’s Mother think he did something wrong?” You let each person share his or her thoughts. Then you ask, “But why is Father proud of Ralph?”
Again, everyone gets to share. Then you continue your gentle questions, not truly “Socratic” in the modern definition, because Socrates actually had a hidden agenda and asked the specific questions that took his listeners in the direction he wanted.
Instead, you ask questions more like Mr. Stanton in Laddie or Charles Ingalls in The Little House in the Big Woods: because you are genuinely interested in the answers, because you really want to know what your youth is thinking, and because you really want to help the youngster you are teaching.
You continue your questioning: “Who do you agree with more, Mother or Father?” Let everyone discuss. Then, “Is it possible that both of them are right, in some way?” Discuss. “Okay, those who think Father is right and Mother is wrong, switch sides. How might Mother be right?” Discuss.
How might Father be right, for those of you who said he was wrong?” Discuss. “Different topic: what might be different if Mother and Father had talked about this in front of the kids, or in private together before announcing their decision to the kids?” Discuss.
And on it goes. Just make sure it stays fun. If it stops being fun, you have an easy solution. Simply turn back to the book and start reading again. This kind of questioning creates conversation. It creates connections. It creates bonding in your family. Above all, it creates thinking.

Guide, not Boss

This process teaches young people, and old people for that matter, how to think. Frankly, this can be a very hard thing to teach—but this method makes it simple. Using this kind of reading aloud and discussion, it’s easy. And fun.
One more thing: Don’t share your personal opinion on each question until everyone else has had a chance to fully share. Nor do you need to share your opinion on every question. Let them discuss. Be the guide, not the boss.
But do share your opinion, sometimes. This makes you a leader. Once in a while during the discussion, say what you think, and explain why you think it. Then, and this is the most important thing of all, tell the family that this is just your current understanding, that you hope to develop it and possibly change it – in some ways, or even completely – as you keep thinking about it and hearing different views and learning more. Communicate in word and attitude that they are welcome to have different perspectives—because that helps us all learn how to think.
We’re all trying to learn,” you say. “The key is to really think things through and feel things out, not just automatically accept everything a book or person says.”
Repeat this kind of conversation over and over—each time you come upon something interesting in the reading.
Practice this, and you’ll get better. So will everyone in your family. Just don’t turn discussions into arguments or power struggles—that isn’t fun for most people. Again, if it ever stops being fun, you have an easy solution—say, “Okay, let’s keep reading. I can’t wait to find out what’s happening next…” Then read in the book. Never end the session with an argument. Instead, read more aloud.

Kinda-Socratic Method

This kind of leadership, what we might call the Kinda-Socratic-Method, or the Caring-Socratic-Method (actually, Socrates does care, he just seems to care a lot more about the ideas than the people—and that’s not our goal), is incredibly helpful in family learning—especially during Scholar Phase. And it’s far more effective for Scholar Phase students if they’ve been doing it for years in Core and Love of Learning phases.
Remember: While you read aloud with the family, stop and discuss. Question, talk, share different views, and then keep reading…
Teach them how to think, not what to think. This is great education.

Mentor Challenge:

This week, as you read with your family, ask a few open-ended questions about topics that are relevant to relationships, current events, personal challenges, or the like. Show restraint in really listening, and allowing them to discuss, without taking charge too much. Share your feelings in a humble and supportive way. Repeat.

For help from Oliver DeMille on How to Mentor, subscribe to Mentoring in the Classics >>

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Calling Home Schooled Youth to Money Made Easy Event




Nickie Allen

Money Made Easy: For home schooled youth of Utah County 2/28/14 1:30PM - 3:30PM

Orem | View map
This is for all home schooled youth 12 and older. The Vanguard youth group in Provo is sponsoring this event. This is a fun opportunity to...
Oder Tickets Here:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vanguard families are invited...lots of people are invited...

Christmas Eve Service Project
December 24th  2013
9:00 am to 9:00 pm
854 North 1375 West | Provo

It's that wonderful time of year again. You and your family are invited to help support several organizations that provide services within Utah County. This year we will be sewing receiving blankets, painting blocks, tying quilts, coloring educational pages, making different weighted bags, sewing drawstring bags, hat making, pewter button finishing, and other lovely opportunities. Items will go to Kids On The Move, Utah Co. Head Start Program and the Colonial Heritage Foundation. If you would like to help prior to the 24th please call Nickie at 801-850-6554. We are also accepting gently used children’s shoes, books, finished/unfinished quilts, and canned foods to be donated to the Community Action Food Bank.

Hosted by the Allen Family

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


-one stove cost $25.00....(comes with 2 fire starters and taco soup)

-one fire starter disc cost $1.50

-one case of 12 stoves costs $300.00 ($25 each)

-one case of 108 fire starters costs $162.00 ($1.50 each)

There are no discounts for buying more then one of an item.

  1. Please place your money (cash or checks) in a safe place as you collect and keep the money to give to Sister Allen.
  2. You can have the checks written out to Veronnica would be safest but we'll trust the checks. :)
  3. You could have an index card with my name or your name written on it to show for writing out checks.
  4. Let everyone know on our site when you sell a stove so we can cheer each other on.
  5. FYI, the 5 stoves and 20 fire starters that you took home to sell cost $155. Please keep the items safe and clean. The boxes should have no marks on them when you go to sell them.
  6. You may buy 1 stove for yourself or family for the cost of $16.03. Just one nothing more or you can buy $25 to support Vanguard.
  7. Selling Points:
-Retails for $34.99---Save $10 buying face to face for only 25!
-white box with red lettering all ready for Christmas—great for hard to buy people—great for all the teens/20's grand-kids and for your children...this is a wood burning stove!--you can use wood, leaves, sternos, the cedar fire starters at “green” and last forever—It's a great present!--only 4 pounds—let them hold it—Say it again “It’s A Great Christmas Present”!--stainless steel—2 fire starter discs come with the stove—heats 4 cups of water or 1 quart—and a free taco soup mix...

FYI: our profit for each stove is $8.97 and each disc is 75 cents. These are the profits after we sell the item(s).

Any question please call Sister Allen 801-602-5836

You can take a large order and call me so we can arrange a pickup and delivery if you have a large sell like a case of something.

Go for it!!!!!!!!

P.S. Review what Uncle Eric says on pages 108 and 109 it will help you !!

Link for youtube demo:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

After hearing Janet share about her learnng experiences with community schools and her family, I felt I and many others would be interested in learning these are invited to attend.

Date: November 30th 2013
Time: 4 hour class (8-noon or 9am-1pm)
Place: Provo Utah, home of Nickie Allen
Cost: $25 per person with possible couple discount
Pay: cash, check, or credit card

Communication Matters!

Marshall Rosenberg is a man whose passion is teaching people to communicate so that both sides of an issue can be heard, honored, and respected. He literally travels the world dealing with high-conflict situations. As he helps them communicate using Nonviolent Communication principles, they understand how to work together to solve problems and resolve relationship issues. He is the founder of Nonviolent Communication (see I am offering a 4-hour seminar that will show how I apply the principles of NVC in my own home and in my community and family relationships. I have used these principles successfully with my own 10 children and family members. In addition, I have used these communication skills as I have run a local community school, a business, and taught community education classes. I know from first-hand experience that these ideas will revolutionalize our ability to deal with conflict, stress, and help us resolve problems. Learning NVC skills has changed my life, and that of my family. I want to share that with others in this beginning seminar.

There are many books available that the Center for Nonviolent Communication publishes, and they are all excellent. My favorite beginning book is Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. The book is not necessary for the seminar, but most people find that after the seminar they are interested in several of the books or videos produced by this organization.

Bio of the presenter:

I am Janet Summit. I live with my husband Don and children in the Logan, Utah area. I have 10 children, ranging in age now from 12 to 26. Several years ago we had one of those “hard crisis situations” in our family, and it was evident that we were falling apart emotionally, and didn’t know how to resolve the crisis. I began to search for solutions. One of the most important of those solutions was finding the organization Nonviolent Communication, (founded and developed by Marshall Rosenberg), and learning the “language of life,” or NVC, as it is called. Learning the skill of being able to express feelings and needs, and to listen for others’ feelings and needs in conversation literally changed the life of my family. We do not generally communicate this way at all in our culture. This language is called “compassionate communication,” although it is much different from simply listening. It is a straightforward language, a language that does not avoid confrontation, but creates a climate in which all needs can be met and be satisfied. It is a respectful language, and a way of communicating with someone that tells them you are truly interested in what they need and feel, even if you do not agree with them. Because of this, even in situations where people differ greatly, they are usually very willing to work together to find compatible solutions to the problem so that life can be enriched for all. I have seen this “language” pay off time and time again.

My family is different because we are able to communicate openly about what we feel and need. I run a community school in our area, composed of over 30 families and their children, and use NVC skills constantly as we set up schedules, deal with challenging situations, and decide what kinds of policies we want to develop. Anyone who has worked with homeschoolers knows how independent they are, and how different one family is from another, and yet we have managed to find a way to have everyone contribute successfully and feel included. I credit this to being able to use NVC to help everyone communicate together successfully.

I have found that when I know how to sense someone else’s needs and feelings, and when I know how to “receive a negative message” from someone else, then I can feel confident and secure in knowing how to respond. That provides me with the ability to think through things, and to truly consider what the other person needs, even behind their words. I also can understand myself, give myself empathy, and see what I truly need (which is never dependent on the situation). It’s made all the difference in my life.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Great opportunity for 14 and older...

Hi Families,  This has been a great experience for my son for the past 2 years and Bethany will be going for the first time this year.  Our own Sister Neil helps make this activity happen...or she did last year....anyway she can tell you more.-Nickie

 Presents the
5th Annual Royal Simulation
Your Royal Presence is officially invited to attend
OUR VISION:   To inspire our youth to become future Kings and Queens of Zion by learning and implementing the kingly and queenly arts of etiquette and refinement in our lives.
In this great gospel of emulation, one of the purposes of our earthly probation is to become like [our Heavenly Father and Mother] in every conceivable way so that we may be comfortable in the presence of heavenly parentage .” (Elder Callister) 

WHO:  All youth ages 14 and up    (We will be teaching from an LDS perspective, but anyone is welcome to attend.)
WHAT:  A 2-day event of classes and activities focusing on etiquette and refinement — including dance instruction –  culminating with a 4-course formal banquet and  grand ball.     (The banquet and ball are the simulation portion for the workshops, therefore we require that any youth who wish to attend them also attend the workshops.)
WHEN:  Fri and Sat Nov 8th and 9th
Fri 3:00-6:00  Classes
7:00-9:00  Evening of Elegance Youth Talent Show   (see below for details)
Sat 8:45-5:00  Classes
6:00-10:30  Formal Banquet and Grand Ball

WHERE:Brigham Young University Harmon building (classes) and Hinckley building (banquet and ball)
COST:    $65          (until Oct 18th, $75 until Nov 1st, $85 after Nov 1st)
RSVP   Register online here
ATTIRE:  We request you wear attire befitting future kings and queens of Zion
Please also make sure to bring jackets and comfortable shoes as we will be walking outside during various parts of the event..
For Classes – modest* Sunday dress (skirt or dress for ladies, slacks and dress shirts for the gentlemen)
For Banquet and Ball – modest* Formal wear (formal dresses for ladies, suit and tie or tux for gentlemen)
We will have a place to change on Sat so bring it with you.
*Modest as defined in the For the Strength of Youth

EVENING OF ELEGANCE (talent share): All are welcome to share talents.  Due to the nature of our event we request that the talents shared be kept within the bounds of elegance and refinement.  Please make sure any music will contribute to a positive, uplifiting spirit. (No strong jungle beats). If you wish to participate, contact Amy by Nov 5th with the type of talent and length of performance so that I can make proper arrangements and set up the program.  We will have a piano.

FOOD:  Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and Sat. banquet are all included in the price

VOLUNTEERS:  If you are interested in volunteering, please see our website for details
We are also starting a scholarship fund for those who would like to attend, but are unable to pay for it. If you would be willing to contribute (even small amounts help) please see our volunteer page.

The article, Our Refined Heavenly Home (Elder Douglas Callister), has provided the foundation for the theme for our workshops and simulation.  We encourage all who will be participating to read it, so that we can have a common frame of reference going into the event.
See highlights from last year on our website
We await your response with regal anticipation!

Regally Yours,

Amy Hansen

Upcoming Stand For The Family Conference...possible field trip for those who are ready

Dear Parents of Vanguard Youth,
     I would like to extend this opportunity to a few of our youth who would be interested in attending and reporting to the group about their learning experience.  I don't think this is for someone under 14. What do you think?  Do you have a youth who feels called to protect the family?  You just might after they read and do the work for chapter 3 of TJED for Teens.  I will be taking my daughter Bethany and though I would like to take others who are ready. Let me know personally. 
Thanks,  Nickie
Stand For The Family Conference

Date:Friday, November 15, 2013
9 a.m.–5 p.m. Workshops 
7–9:30 p.m Super Session/Celebration

Location:South Town Exposition Center
9575 South State Street
Sandy, UT 84070

Conference Purpose:
Eye-opening presentations, solutions and strategies from world-renowned experts and scholars on issues that matter to your family.
You will learn:
  1. How the international sexual rights agenda is threatening families and targeting children worldwide
  2. How to protect your children and family against promiscuity, pornography, and distorted ideas about human sexuality
  3. How to address the sensitive issues of same-sex attraction with understanding and compassion
  4. How to counteract the increasing threats to parental rights and religious freedoms
  5. How to strengthen your marriage and family and improve parenting skills
  6. How to become an effective family advocate so your voice can make a difference
  • Patrick Fagan, PhD, Director, Marriage and Religion Research Inst.; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family Policy, US Dept. of HHS
  • Sharon Slater, President, Family Watch International; author, “Protecting the Family and Children at the International, National and Local Level”
  • Nicholeen Peck, expert, BBC’s most-watched, “The World’s Strictest Parents;” “Family Governance and Revolutionary Parenting”
  • Stephanie & Christian Nielson, bestselling author, plane crash survivors and national celebrities promoting motherhood and family
  • Alan R. & Suzanne Osmond, of the original Osmond Brothers; founders of One Heart Foundation and to strengthen families around the world
  • Patrick Trueman, President/CEO, Morality in the Media; former Chief of Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, US Dept. of Justice; expert in fighting child sex crimes, pornography
  • Shane Krauser, Director, American Academy for Constitutional Education; attorney, adjunct professor; ”Protecting Religious Freedom”
  • Michael P. Donnelly, President of HSLDA, renowned international legal authority; “Why Everyone Must Be Engaged in the Battle to Protect Parental Rights
  • Don Feder, Director of Communications, World Congress of Families; “The Sexual Revolution and the Roots of Demographic Winter”
  • Donald L. Hilton, MD, author, expert on “The Neuroscience of Pornography: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Family”
  • Steven & Rhyll Croshaw, founders of The S.A. Lifeline Foundation, “Our Story of Overcoming Pornography Addiction”
  • Floyd Godfrey, MA, LPC; author; Director of Family Strategies & Coaching (has worked with more than 600 men); “Understanding Same-Sex Attraction”

Leadership: Apprentice level book for November

The youth will need to read The Young Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews for Nov. 6th Apprentice level.

Also, Chapter 3 of TJED for Teens includes forms that your youth need to fill out. Please make a copy (if necessary) for all your youth to have the same forms to work the chapter assignments.  This reading will take 3 days if the youth follow the authors request.

And, you might check in with your youth regarding how their monthly selection of a HOW skill is working for them. I'd like your youth to check in with you first but if you don't hear from them go ahead and ask. This isn't something anyone seems to want to share in class which is fine but I hope they are utilizing the opportunity.

Calendar Events: Friday, October 25th Movie Night in Lehi at the Tyler home. Wednesday, October 30th Service Project all families and ages are welcome to participate in spreading Pennies By The Inch envelopes. A picnic and games at Lion's Park will be held from 12:00ish to 2:00pm. Bring your own lunch.

Filed trip for the November Master level students includes a private tour of the Ashworth collection of Revolutionary/Constitutional artifacts.

 FYI:  Education Of A Wandering Man is postponed until January's Master class.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

October Newsletter is ready...

Look to the right and you will see a box called FORMS.  There you will find the newsletters.  I think I will print one for each youth to be given out on the 25th of September. These will be black and white. If you want color you will need to print the newsletter yourself.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Guest Speaker coming October 2nd.... for all Vanguard Youth to attend

 The Leadership/Government Inspirements for October are now posted at the blog site: 

Class will be held October 2nd.

 We have a guest speaker and would like all youth to attend. Mrs Openshaw will present from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. So those who normally do Apprentice level only will need to stay that day and take a longer lunch break or go ahead and do the Journeyman level this month.

Pam is the author of the book Promises of the Constitution which the youth are reading for Apprentice level and she is also  a story teller and reenacts the life of Betsy Ross.