April 19, 2016

Little Men Quotes

“Simple, genuine goodness is the best capital to found the business of this life upon. It lasts when fame and money fail, and is the only riches we can take out of this world with us.” 

“Love is a flower that grows in any soil, works its sweet miracles undaunted by autumn frost or winter snow, blooming fair and fragrant all the year, and blessing those who give and those who receive.” 

It takes so little to make a child happy, that it is a pity in a world full of sunshine and pleasant things, that there should be any wistful faces, empty hands, or lonely little hearts.” 
“…for no matter how lost and soiled and worn-out wandering sons may be, mothers can forgive and forget every thing as they fold them into their fostering arms. Happy the son whose faith in his mother remains unchanged, and who, through all his wanderings, has kept some filial token to repay her brave and tender love.” 

March 16, 2016

Quotes from Count of Monte Cristo

“I am not proud, but I am happy; and happiness blinds, I think, more than pride.”
“All human wisdom is contained in these two words - Wait and Hope” 
―“Woman is sacred; the woman one loves is holy.” 
― “Moral wounds have this peculiarity - they may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.” 

January 13, 2016

Title Swap

The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax
The Boys in the Boat  - Daniels Brown
The Fire and the Covenant - Gerald Lund
Life Giving Home - Sally and Sarah Clarkson

Favorite Quotes from Oliver Twist

“The sun,--the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man--burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory. Through costly-coloured glass and paper-mended window, through cathedral dome and rotten crevice, it shed its equal ray.” 
― Charles DickensOliver Twist

“Some people are nobody's enemies but their own” 
― Charles DickensOliver Twist

“It was all Mrs. Bumble. She would do it," urged Mr. Bumble; first looking round, to ascertain that his partner had left the room.

That is no excuse," returned Mr. Brownlow. "You were present on the occasion of the destruction of these trinkets, and, indeed, are the more guilty of the two, in the eye of the law; for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction."

If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is a ass — an idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.” 
― Charles DickensOliver Twist

“My dear child,' said the old gentleman, moved by the warmth of Oliver's sudden appeal, 'you need not be afraid of my deserting you, unless you give me cause.'
I never, never will, sir,' interposed Oliver.
I hope not,' rejoined the old gentleman; 'I do not think you ever will. I have been deceived before, in the objects whom I have endeavoured to benefit; but I feel strongly disposed to trust you, nevertheless, and more strongly interested in your behalf than I can well account for, even to myself. The persons on whom I have bestowed my dearest love lie deep in their graves; but, although the happiness and delight of my life lie buried there too, I have not made a coffin of my heart, and sealed it up for ever on my best affections. Deep affliction has only made them stronger; it ought, I think, for it should refine our nature.” 
― Charles DickensOliver Twist

December 28, 2015

Treasure Valley Homeschool Conference

If you are local to the Treasure Valley, we would love to see you at the Treasure Valley Homeschool Conference! It is coming up in February 2016. For all the details and to register, go to http://www.mentorofleaders.com/treasure-valley-homeschool-conference/

December 9, 2015

Title Swap

Rascal by Sterling North
And What About College by Cafi Cohan
The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

My Favorite Quotes from the Wizard of Oz

1.  “You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”

2.  “Can't you give me brains?" asked the Scarecrow.
"You don't need them. You are learning something every day. A baby has brains, but it doesn't know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get.”

3.  “Oh - You're a very bad man!"  “Oh, no my dear. I'm a very good man. I'm just a very bad Wizard.”

4. I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas."
"That is because you have no brains," answered the girl. "No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home."
The Scarecrow sighed.
"Of course I cannot understand it," he said. "If your heads were stuffed with straw, like mine, you would probably all live in beautiful places, and then Kansas would have no people at all. It is fortunate for Kansas that you have brains.

5.  You have had the power all along, my dear

6.  “For I consider brains far superior to money in every way. You may have noticed that if one has money without brains, he cannot use it to his advantage; but if one has brains without money, they will enable him to live comfortably to the end of his days.”

7.  “My people have been wearing green glasses on their eyes for so long that most of them think this really is an Emerald City.”

8.  “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others”

9.  “I think you are wrong to want a heart. It makes most people unhappy. If you only knew it, you are in luck not to have a heart.”

November 9, 2015

In Memory of 7 Habits by Jeni Sidwell

When I was about 14 years old my dad was reading a book call 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  He would reference it often, using words like ‘Emotional Bank Account’ and ‘First things first‘. Not understanding what these phrases meant, I paid them no attention. Now that I am in my 30’s and have taken the time to thoroughly understand what these words mean, I realize my father was trying to improve himself and those around him. I want to explain what a few of these habits discussed in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey mean to me.


Instead of worrying about conditions over which they have little or no control, proactive people focus their time and energy on things they can control. The problems, challenges, and opportunities we face fall into two categories: Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence. Proactive people focus their efforts on their Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about such as their children, where they work, how they use their time. Reactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. These are things they have little or no control over such as how their sister is raising their niece. A proactive person uses proactive language--I can, I will… A reactive person uses reactive language--I can't, I have to, if only.
I thought that I was doing well with what I felt was my circle of influence until I read this section. I find myself saying words like ‘I have to’ quite often. Apparently I need to evaluate what is causing me to say these words.


Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day or project with a clear vision of a desired outcome. If you don't make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life. It's about connecting with your own uniqueness and then defining the personal, moral, and ethical guidelines within which you can most happily express and fulfill yourself. Steven states that the best way to begin with the end in mind is to develop a mission statement that focuses on what you want to be and do. I have heard this often with self development programs and have found it effective when I am implementing it in my life.


Putting first things first means getting your priorities straightened. Illustrated in his book are 4 quadrants categorized as important/urgent, important/not urgent, not important/urgent, and not important/not urgent. He advises us to spend as much time as we can in the important/not urgent quadrant. Again this is a habit I could work on.


To rephrase this would be: Try to understand how a person is feeling and put yourself in their shoes before expressing your own opinion. Sometimes you may never get to express your feelings because you change how you feel in the time it takes them to talk. I do recall my father truly doing his best to change from first being understood to first understanding. Human nature is to first be understood and we are often as children taught that our opinion is less valuable than our parents’. Before passing my father mastered this habit.

Steven R. Covey is a well of self-improvement knowledge all of us should be partaking of.

October 19, 2015

History Through Classics by Sara Sweet

In my childhood, history was a series of to-be-memorized dates and events strung together in a classroom and important only as a means to pass an upcoming test. Perhaps the re were some stories here and the re thrown in the cracks between dates and events, but somehow I didn’t come away with anything memorable (probably because the stories weren’t on the test). It all went in one ear and out the o the r, with some vague impressions of major events lingering in a misty timeline of US-centered history.

My first brush with history in a novel form was the book The Worst Hard Time, which related several true stories of experiences from the dust bowl era. Suddenly a part of history came alive to me. My grandfather had lived through this time on their Kansas farm. I felt the pangs of despair as I read of a mo the r unable to save her baby from the lethal dust-filled air despite draping the crib with damp sheets. I felt the trapped desperation of people unable to grow food or to relocate, but doomed to suffer and die from a man-made natural disaster. I felt hot anger against progressivists and speculators who had caused the disaster but not really suffered its devastating results as those did who fell prey to their schemes. I felt a new found appreciation for before scorned government programs intended to prevent the death and suffering experienced at this time from repeating in the future.

Another time, while reading about the life of Thomas Jefferson with my kids, I learned that this founding father had an affair with a slave woman who was a half-sister to his deceased wife, and that he himself had children with her who were considered and treated as slaves. These facts and others I read in some sections a book called Lies My Teacher Told Me, opened my eyes to both the shortcomings of idolized American heroes and the techniques employed by many historians to present the m as infallible icons. I also became aware that I knew very little history unrelated to US history, and realized than history isn’t benign, but charged with many subjective views.

I am currently reading Gone With the Wind, and this novel is presenting ideas and concepts to me in ways that no history book has ever done. Without asking outright, the story poignantly asks questions like, “What immoral acts were committed against southerners in the name of ending slavery? What alternatives could the re be to war? How does the actions and effects of the Civil War compare to o the r civil rights actions that have happened since the war?”  Questions like these are asked through the novel side by side with o the r questions of individual morality and actions.

In an engaging way, classics and historically-based literature can show us the way of life in different times, help us consider the motivations of parties involved in notable conflicts, make real the impact of events on individuals and nations. The Ku Klux Klan is rarely referred to with any sort of understanding or compassion as it is in Gone With the Wind, or the motives of its participants (such as powerlessness created by the governing Yankee officials who had stripped many southerners of many rights such as the right to vote or rely on officials for redress of wrongs) given any consideration. A novel can do so in a non-threatening way, without personal argument, but through a relation of experiences leading to actions. Before reading this book, my understanding of the Ku Klux Klan was limited to the disgusted, condemning variety of information and images about the m.

I am beginning to understand that every subject can be found in classic works, if one is reading between the lines of the story. There is math, science, language, and geography. History, in particular, is prevalent in many classics. Of course not all pictures of the past are historically accurate, and neither are the “facts” related by historians in history textbooks. I understand better now why the study of original documents is an important way to discover history, rather than relying only on the interpretations of o the rs. I am grateful for the expanded vision that classics have offered me about history and look forward to many more discoveries through reading classics.

September 12, 2015

Come Explore Europe on an Educational Tour

Ever Dream of explore 7 different countries in Europe.  Now is your chance.  Come join our tour in May of 2018. Perfect for you and/or your student. The European Carousel Educational Tour covers your air line tickets, your hotel stays, your admission into attractions, travel between cities and 2 meals a day.

EFTours specializes in group traveling and guarantees the lost prices.  They even allow you to set up a monthly or bi-weekly payments.  If you sign up today for every other week, it is just over $50 per payment. If you have any question, email at richemma26@yahoo.com