Monday, June 30, 2014

Musical Numbers

Thanks again to the youth that took the time not only to prepare the song, but to hang around during the training and help wherever you were needed.  The songs were beautiful!

Are You Giving the Least to Those That Matter Most?

You Are the New Day

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Thanks everyone for all your hard work and for coming!  It was a great, inspiring day.

Sorry these pictures aren't in order, but at this point in the day, this is what you get - a backwards view of it all.  :)  I wish I had taken more, but I didn't even think about it until the fun morning presentations were happening.  Any others pictures out there?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

12:45: Creating a Spirit-led Learning Environment (Becky Edwards)

Rather than reading ahead for this class, we’ll read quotes and ideas during class and enjoy a discussion about applying them. Here are some points we’ll cover. 

The Spirit is supremely important in teaching and learning
The Spirit converts, changes minds, hearts, and actions
The teacher’s character teaches and also invites or inhibits the Spirit
When students participate they invite the Spirit and conversion
Testifying – from both teacher and student – invites the Spirit
Asking inspired questions – from both teacher and students – invites spirit-led learning 
Writing down impressions from the Spirit invites change and more impressions
It’s better to really digest one principle than rushing to cover all your material
Pondering and reverence invite the Spirit 
We can expect a lot from youth, and they need deep conversion in this day and age
The Spirit can testify of all truth, no matter the source 
Pray for the teacher to prepare and teach by the Spirit 
Specific methods to invite participation and the Spirit 

Here is one of my favorite quotes about how class participation invites the Spirit to teach the students. 

“When you encourage students to raise their hand to respond to a question, they signify to the Holy Spirit their willingness to learn.  That use of moral agency will allow the Spirit to motivate and give them more powerful guidance during your time together. Participation allows individuals to experience being led by the Spirit. They learn to recognize and feel what spiritual guidance is. It is through the repeated process of feeling impressions, recording them, and obeying them that one learns to depend on the direction of the Spirit more than on communication through the five senses” (Richard G. Scott, “Helping Others to Be Spiritually Led,” August 11, 1998). 

Before class you can watch this 4 minute video. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

4:15: History/Geography Conquest

There is a battle raging, it is the battle for the hearts of the children of men.  You are called to train the warriors in this battle, by leading them to search out their past. 

To begin our conquest please think about all of the following:  

What is your personal conquest with teaching history this year?  What personal battles do the youth you are teaching face?  

Why is the conquest of teaching history and geography important? Make a list of all the reasons you can think of that we study history and geography.  Bring the list to the training with you.  

What do we learn by taking on the conquest of history and geography.  Make a list of the skills that are taught through the lens of history and geography.  Bring the list to the training with you.


Arm yourself with the following inspirement:

Choose one historical person or event that you enjoy studying.   Come prepared to share with us.  


Choose one (or more) of the following battle tactics:

Bring a visual representation of the historical person or event you will be sharing with us

Act out, dress up, monologue or prepare a skit to teach us about your person or event

Prepare an activity that will teach us about the historical event you are sharing

Write a persuasive paper about the person or event that you enjoy studying  (this does not need to be long)

Prepare a graphic summary, character sketch, or T chart about the person or event that you will be sharing with us.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Vanguard Principles and Methods Workshop

From 10am to 12 pm we will be having a workshop to help you solidify what the Vanguard Method is and how to apply it to your unique circumstances (we know some are looking to learn how to apply it to their homeschool, some want to understand what their youth are doing, and some are planning to start a group in their area that uses this method.) We ask that you come prepared to this workshop having filled out the following document and taking it to the event with you.  Your experience with the workshop will be much more productive if you take the time to do this!

Link to online document

Or copy and paste this to your own document to edit how you would like:

What is Vanguard?

The Vanguard Vision for an educational setting is to:

(1) Encourage faith in God as the students ultimate mentor and source of truth through the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ

(2) Help the students find value in their own unique mission, introduce them to various communication styles, and encourage them to gain the skills, talents and gifts necessary so that they may communicate that mission to the world

(3) Help the students come face-to-face with greatness as they study the world, history, people, and science in order to prepare them to become future leaders* in society.

(4) Create an environment of love, respect, decency, trust, and confidence

(5) Teach service-oriented leadership
(6) Help the youth learn the language of liberty to protect their freedom to pursue their God-given missions to their fullest.

Through the years we have sought for and found wonderful principles and methods to help realize this vision.  

It is exciting to see youth and their leaders exploring their individual passions 
as they find and follow their God-given missions in homes and at school!

We seek true educational principles to help us accomplish this vision.  
*Bible scriptures are included which each principle as well as scripture from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. D&C = Doctrine and Covenants, Abraham is in The Pearl of Great Price and all others are in The Book of Mormon

1. Principle: To live higher, happier, more fulfilled lives, we first seek principles and evidence of their truth through our revelation, reasoning, experience, observation and experimentation  and that of others. We then obediently apply those principles to all areas of our lives. This is the purpose of education, the ability to provide for a family will be one of the outcomes but not the aim.
Method: We focus on one principle each month and see evidence for that principle throughout our studies that month. Core class includes a book each month and memorization of a scripture and/or poem/thought that helps us get a deeper understanding of the principle. We seek to apply that principle to our lives and find evidence of its truth as we do so through a monthly project or personal goal.  As we progress, we also learn how to find our own principles in our study and test their validity.
Scriptures: Matthew 6:33, D&C 6:7-8, D&C 130:18-19
Your thoughts and impressions:

2. PrincipleChoosing an education blesses us with the Spirit and we will desire to gain more. The light and truth we gain will cleave unto the light and truth we have.  Force often creates resistance to this process.  The light that others share encourages this process.
Method: We choose to become members of the scholar group when we are ready to challenge ourselves to get the education we need. Once we are in the group we choose our level of engagement beyond the "core" class by preparing for and attending Journeyman and Master classes. The purpose and content of these levels should be prayerfully considered by each group each year. Experienced/older youth will help mentor, inspire and lead others through serving in the core class.
Scriptures: Abraham 1:2, Matthew 7:8, 2 Nephi 2:26-28, Luke 22:32
Your thoughts and impressions:

3. Principle: We are each is blessed with gifts, talents and potential strengths in our weaknesses that enable us to fulfill our unique work on this earth.
Method: We practice using our unique voice by choosing from a variety of inspirements for a way to share our insights.  These inspirements give ideas for sharing that include a variety of communication styles such as writing, music, art, logic, speech, activities, visual presentations, etc.  Youth may also write their own inspirements.  We challenge ourselves to gain the skills, talents and gifts to be able to share our message in a way that will change hearts. 

Scriptures: D&C 6:11, Daniel 1:17, Ether 12:27
Your thoughts and impressions:

4. Principle: Putting forth effort to prepare for class invites the Spirit to teach us as we share our insights and listen to others share theirs. The Spirit is the ultimate teacher.
Method: All are expected to come prepared to class having read, listened, watched or observed the material assigned for that week's discussion.  Mentors rarely lecture, but rely on the Spirit to teach the youth while they guide the principle-centered activities and discussion as everyone shares what we learned and applied with one another.

Scriptures: D&C 130:20-21, 2 Corinthians 9:6, D&C 84:110
Your thoughts and impressions:

5. Principle: Agency allows the knowledge given to us to turn to understanding if we choose to act to invite the Spirit to take that knowledge into our hearts.  That understanding turns to intelligence as truth is applied to our life and becomes part of our character.
Method: Inspirements are invitations to act on the knowledge we receive. They include ideas for applying those truths to our personal lives. Through actions such as raising our hand to contribute or taking notes in a way of our choosing (drawing, writing, symbols, graphs) during class and in preparation for class, we show our willingness to be taught and the Spirit is invited to personally teach us what we need to know.  We also have a reflection journal and are given time each class period to write and reflect on what we learned that day and how we might apply it. As we make and keep any of our personal goals, we are given the opportunity to report the evidence of our personal experience with that truth when appropriate.
Scriptures: D&C 93:36, 2 Nephi 28:30, D&C 88:40, Proverbs  14:8
Your Thoughts and Impressions

6. Principle: Exposure to true principles in a variety of disciplines prepares us to find truth in everything around us and we become life-long learners who are interested in truth wherever it is found. We should use our limited time and resources on the best books, media and other sources, containing concentrated truth for our profit and learning
Method: We are exposed to four schools of thought that allow us to see the world through those different lenses and experience a holistic view of ourselves, others, God and His creations. We call these lenses Leadership Academy (principles of government and self-government), Geo-Conquest (principles in history and geography), Imaginative Arts (Principles in imaginative literature, music and art), and Eureka (Principles in math and science). We use classics (books, people, art, nature, other media) to learn in these areas.
Scriptures: D&C 88:78-80, 118; D&C 93:53; John 16:13
Your Thoughts and Impressions:

7. Principle: Learning and inspiration flourishes in an environment of love, respect and service.
Method: We teach and exemplify love, respect and care for each individual.  We seek to invite the Spirit through prayer, music and devotional in class. We serve one another by coming to class prepared to teach and edify each other through sharing thoughts and insights through an inspirement of our choosing. We may plan service projects for those inside or outside our group.  We also serve one another by being aware of and thoughtful with each other.
Scriptures: D&C 88:119-126, D&C 136:32, Romans 14:19, 1 Corinthians 14:26
Your Thoughts and Impressions:

8. PrincipleStewardships help us grow through strengthening our characters with the weight of responsibility.
Method: Mentors and youth are given leadership and mentoring responsibilities in the group.  We are given training to succeed and freedom to learn from our mistakes in these stewardships. Leadership operates on the principles of prayer, council and trust.
Scriptures: Alma 17:2-3, Mathew 25:23
Your Thoughts and Impressions:

9. Principle: The Word of God is the measuring stick with which to measure potential truth.
Method: We seek to apply the Principle Approach to education by using the 4R method, Word Studies and Timelines to teach the youth to measure all theories against the Word of God and to see things from a Christian-history perspective while also seeking to understand and learn from other perspectives through original works.
Scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Nephi 9:28-29; D&C 11:22,24; Bible Dictionary: Education

Your thoughts and impressions:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mentoring in the Class

You've gathered together all these great young men and young women . . . but now what?  You want to encourage them in their education, but how?  With so many unique individuals glowing with promise (or at least showing a spark!), helping them along their road can get a little intimidating.

We're going to talk about mentoring, 
from the earliest steps with your newest youth, 
to leading youth presidencies and youth mentors.

To Prepare for Class:

Read chapters 12 and 13 in "Teach the Children" by Neil Flinders.  What principles do you find that are necessary for a mentoring relationship?  Underline and be prepared to share quotes to back them up.

UNDERSTAND (Choose at least one)
Think about your own experience of coming to this training.  What are your expectations?  Are you nervous?  Excited?  Do you know other people that will be there?  Are you normally quiet, or are you willing to ask questions and discuss?  Write down answers to those questions.  Then think about the youth you mentor.  How similar/different is their initial experience to yours?

When you think about a "safe environment," what does that mean to you?  Write down your answers, or if it helps to create or bring something to help us understand, do that.

APPLY  (Choose at least one)
Read "Help Them Aim High" by Henry B. Eyring.  Underline and jot your thoughts as you read.  How does this apply to mentoring in a classroom?  Take some time to think about 3 youth in your life (preferably some that aren't your children that will be attending Vanguard, but it's your choice) - think about where they are at in their education.  What are their strengths?  How can you help them climb even a little bit higher?

Think of at least one person (or more!) in your life who helped you become who you are today.  How were they a mentor to you?  What qualities do they have that made them effective mentors?  Take it a step further - write them a note thanking them for what they've given you.

1:45 Hour: One-On-One Mentoring: Empowering Effective Parent Mentoring (Genevieve Peterson and Mary Biesinger)

I don't know about you, but as my acquaintances learn that I educate my children at home, many of them respond by saying things like, "I could never do that."  "I don't have the patience!"  "My kids won't listen to me."  

What they don't realize is that we home school parents have the same doubts, fears and bad days, BUT we keep going.  WHY?  Do you know why you are home schooling?  Do you need a reminder? 

Your children need YOU.  God sent your children to you for a reason.  He will not leave you without help.   

In this class, we will discuss principles we can identify of how God mentors us: one-on-one. We will explore how we can apply those same principles in order to uniquely mentor our children for their individual missions. 

To prepare for class, please carefully study the following:

To simplify your readings, the first two are already included as suggested reading for the whole day of training.

  • "Leadership Education" by the DeMilles pgs 40-56 (within chapter 2: The Seven Keys of Great Teaching, Applying the Seven Keys, The Eight Key, and Foundational Phases)
  • Oliver DeMille's address from the TJEd 2007 Forum: "The Eighth Key and the Four Levels of Leadership"--I don't purchase many things, but this is a treasure...very central to the Vanguard vision.
  • Watch this TED talk by Benjamin Zander The Transformative Power of Classical Music
  • Please consider ways in which God has taught you.