Just in case you think this whole blog is only about homeschooling it’s not. It’s about all the things you can do for yourself and how to differentiate which things you really should get advice for or hire professionals to handle. My daughter’s mental illness, for example. Definitely in that category! But one thing that you really can, and should, do yourself is train your dog. I found the experience very rewarding and enjoy a deeper relationship with my current dogs than I had with previous pets. I had no idea what was missing and can’t recommend strongly enough that you do something with your dog today whether it’s problem solving, basic manners, or full-blown competitive sports like agility or free style. There are great books, blogs, and videos out there and learning how our animals learn is easily do-able! It just takes patience and commitment, especially if you pursue scientifically proven methods like clicker-training.
My own path into training my service dog started with my need of a service dog. We knew the waiting list and cost concerns pretty much ruled out a program dog. And starting with a puppy bought for our 20th wedding anniversary (thanks, Hubby) meant I would have more control over the history and temperament since we were able to pick the best suited puppy. I’m so thankful I had the energy to tackle that project back then! I had also just graduated my ADD child at the celebration of math girl’s public school graduation. So I suddenly had lots of time on my hands. I like to describe it as ‘I ran out of two-legged students so I started homeschooling my four-legged students’. So that’s how homeschooling turned into dog training.
There’s an amazing amount of crossover here. The book I used in my school was ‘Charlotte Mason Companion: personal reflections on the gentle art of learning’ by Karen Andreola and that title perfectly describes my dog training philosophy! One of my favorite dog trainers Kathy Sdao repeatedly explained in her videos some important information from an out-of-print book called ‘Coercion and it’s fallout’. So here’s where the convergence of the week comes it: France just banned spanking. Stefan Molyneaux talks frequently about ‘peaceful parenting’ so the spanking ban was a topic of conversation. I received my replacement copy of Charlotte Mason Companion and I’m crocheting some door pulls to allow Saya to learn a new task to keep her sharp since she’s retired from the service dog bit. The old girl is slowing down and her joints are feeling her age so I found something I need help with that won’t be too strenuous for her. Re-watching old training videos + refreshing my mind on CM methods + non-aggression principle/coercion and it’s fallout = convergence. My entire life’s work in all its variety is coming into focus!
- Charlotte Mason Companion is out of print but there were a few copies at Barnes & Noble’s marketplace. THANK YOU Faith Books!
- I’ll write a blog post detailing resources to learn about clicker training soon but for now just go to Tawzer Dog they can hook you up!
- read more about peaceful parenting
- Coercion and Its Fallout has a revised edition (but not in audible or e-book formats so that’s my problem.)
So my focus is to use this blog to promote a peaceful and gentle approach to parenting, education, dog training, and our personal relationships.