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Goal for 2014… Build a Robot

I did a little more work with Emiko on goals. I didn’t have her do SMART goals, but I made her be a more specific in some cases and to think a about what it would take to accomplish some of them. We also agreed that we would review our goals every Sunday and plan to make progress on some of them each week.

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Goal for 2014… Be a Ninja

I worked with the girls this afternoon on some goal setting. We all listed as many things as we could think of that we would like to do in 2014. Here is Mari’s list:

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I love that she tries to spell words even if she doesn’t know them (ninga). We’ll correct them later, but just getting down what she wants to do was important today.

Tomorrow I’ll share Emiko’s list.


The Saturday Before Christmas

In the morning, future SAHMs practice for the next day’s Christmas program.

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Then go caroling in the evening.

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What Do you get for a 7 yo Future SAHM?

A My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope

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Mari is interested in becoming a scientist. Her Christmas wish list included this microscope, a science lab, a dentist kit, and a veterinarian kit. Once again, my aversion to any girlified product.


What Do you get for a 12 yo Future SAHM?

An Arduino Uno Ultimate Starter Kit of course! 

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The breadboard doesn’t have a kitten picture on it and the wires aren’t pink or neon. It’s not girly or masculine; it’s electronics and that’s what she’s interested in learning about. During the summer, while she was learning Scratch, she said she wanted to build a robot as her next project. I researched kits and found a number based on Arduino. I explained that we should probably start with something more basic, similar to learning to write sentences before writing a whole book. She agreed and I found this kit. We’re going to have a great time learning and building the projects and hopefully we get as far as a full blown robot!


STEM Gifts for Girls

Holiday gifts that encourage STEM education

The gender imbalance in STEM fields is extreme. According to a 2010 AAUW report, boys and girls take math and science courses in roughly equal numbers in elementary, middle, and high school, however far fewer women than men pursue these fields in college. According to the National Science Foundation, 29% of all male freshmen planned to major in a STEM field in 2006 compared to 15% of all female freshmen.

Honestly, I wouldn’t lay this all at the feet of a STEM monoculture. Software development, as a part of that landscape, just isn’t that appealing to a lot of people. The tools to build an app (web or mobile) are freely available. The barriers to learning are very low, and the barriers to success are no higher than for males.

One way is to interest them with toys that fit their frames of reference, while bringing in some element of technology for a soft landing. The Goldie Blox book and toy series is an example where a character is portrayed as a “princess turned engineer.” The toys teach spatial skills and engineering principles.

I looked at some of these toys and I’m not convinced that going the route of making colorful and cute toys with STEM elements is the way to go. Code is black and white, terse, and cold. Trying to dress up a subject may hold a girl’s interest slightly longer, but you can only hide it so long before the truth comes out. Better to expose them to the real deal and let them honestly decide if they are interested in the subject.

Tomorrow I’ll post what we’re getting our future SAHMs.


A Recent Favorite

This is one of my favorite drawings that Emiko has done recently. She really enjoys drawing and I think it’s an area to focus on when we help her discover a career. Seems like there would be a lot of SAHM friendly options.

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Early Christmas Present

Mari outgrew her bike so Erin’s parents and brother got her a new bike for Christmas. The size difference was frustrating her, but true to form she wanted to figure it out herself. The problem was that the new bike is too big to maneuver on the sidewalk, so I let her go in the street (with specific rules) and everything was fine after that.

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What a 7yo Future SAHM Wants to Do When She Grows Up

I asked Emiko (11) to write down some things she wanted to do when she grows up. It was meant to exercise her creativity and to help her understand how some careers were a better fit for a SAHM. Mari (7) decided to join in and her list is below.

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10 Months :(

Wow, it has been 10 months since I posted here. It’s not that I haven’t thought about posting, but when I do a mix of disappointment and fear comes over me and I just avoid it by finding something else to do.

I never wanted to write the “Why I Haven’t Been Blogging” or “I’m Changing Directions” post, but at some point they became the only two posts that made any sense. However, my sense of pride wouldn’t let me write them.

So I’ve decided to jump in with both feet and write the “Why I Haven’t Been because I’m Changing Directions” post.

I haven’t been blogging because I started this blog with a focus on theology and an emphasis on the doctrine of vocation and how that doctrine played out in my life. That got me “notoriety” in some small circles and I thought that I had to keep posting in that vein and have really boxed myself in. I’ve hesitated posting here on normal life because I didn’t think it had enough theological import. That just cut off too much of my life to make blogging fun. Also, the deeply theological posts took more time than I could justify.

I’m changing the focus of the blog to be about raising my daughters with a particular focus on efforts to raise them to be stay-at-home-moms (SAHMs). Why SAHMs? Erin, my wife, and I have seen the benefits of her being home to raise the girls. What we weren’t really prepared for was Erin’s transition to and from being a SAHM. The types of jobs she has transitioned from and to aren’t optimal. I want the girls to have the skills and focus on the type of careers that best lend themselves to being SAHMs. Corporate careers with a commute aren’t a good match for SAHMs, but more creative and entrepreneurial careers are.

I’m going to track the activities, projects, and lessons we experience together so that they have the tools and problem solving skills to find their way in a fast changing world.

NOTE: Here’s a secret. I don’t think what I’m teaching my girls is just for SAHMs. Whether they are blessed with children or not (or even if they were boys) what I’m trying to teach them are skills to handle change, think about and be intentional with their choices, and serve their neighbors in gratitude for the salvation Christ won for them with His death for their Sin.