Lunch today on our condo deck with my wife and Time magazine

Lunch today.
We ate lunch today on our condo deck

We had talked about teaching spelling in school before.  What do you think?  Is it important for a young child to learn the importance of spelling words correctly?  Some say "no so much" while others say it's vital to effective communication.

I brought it up after thumbing through the latest Time magazine.  It uses words with some hefty spelling and uses some words that are not part of everyday conversation, at least in my parts.

Now my wife has plenty of background in this area as a retired third grade teacher and as a student teacher supervisor. We talked about right through a dessert of fresh strawberries and yogurt.

We ended up asking each other about the proper spelling for broccoli.  Is it one or two "c's" and one or two "l's?"

OLD PHOTO: A picture of me and other Michigan Senate pages and Gov. George Romney taken 54 years ago


I spent most of my junior year in high school as a page in the Michigan Senate going to school one day a week in my hometown about a hundred miles north of Lansing.  It was the next step in my education about government and politics.

On Mondays after school, I would ride to Lansing with either the state senator or state representative for the area.  Then along with the other pages, we would prepare the Chamber for the Monday night session.  My chair during the session right in front of Sen. William Ford who later served in the U.S. Congress and Sen. William Milliken who later became governor of the state.  

During the day we would do errands for senators all throughout the State Capitol including the office of Gov. George Romney, the father of Mitt Romney, the presidential candidate.  We would take documents and files right into his private office.

One day, the Sergeant-At-Arms of the Senate took all the pages into Romney's office for a group picture with the governor.  That was 54 years ago.

I was at the University of Michigan stadium when President Lyndon Johnson announced the Great Society in 1964


Ticket stub from President Lyndon Johnson event in Ann Arbor.
We took a school bus from Bay City, Michigan to Ann Arbor to hear President Lyndon Johnson announce the Great Society.


How many of you remember President Lyndon Johnson who took over the top office when President Kennedy was assassinated?

He was a bigger than life figure in national politics who gained notoriety when he was a United States Senator from Texas because he was able to amass power and use it to accomplish his goals.  He was also the father of the Great Society which was supposed to end poverty and inequality in this country.

A month before I graduated from high school in 1964, he came to the University of Michigan stadium to announce his vision for a better life for those who were poor and without power.

My high school--T.L. Handy in Bay City about a hundred miles north of Ann Arbor--got tickets for the event and took students to it in buses.  I went and I saved the ticket stub.  

In the same year, I met U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater who was campaigning in our area from the back of a train caboose.  I was in the background of a picture published in Life magazine.  

My wife's classroom bulletin board on reading from more than twelve years ago


My wife, a retired third grade teacher, always had outstanding bulletin boards in her classroom.


When my wife was a third grade teacher, I always enjoyed going in her classroom which I did often after I retired.  Through bulletin boards, books, displays and toys, she had created an environment that produced curiosity.  

Students realized that learning could be fun and empowering.  I found this picture of a bulletin board she had more than twelve years ago.  

What about your child's classroom?  Does the teacher take time to put up relevant bulletin boards?

Our kids were a beneficiary of having a mom who was a teacher.  Their curiosity was always encouraged.  We exposed them to all kinds of learning opportunities.  That was fun.  I know my kids are passing that on to their kids, our grandkids.

My wife is teaching the country to make change through her YouTube video

Not everybody's brain is wired to make change or to count back change in their heads.  I know that mine isn't.  My wife, a retired third grade teacher, showed me a chart she used to teach the skill in her classroom.  When she did it, I recorded it with my Flip video and then put it up on YouTube.  

Every so often I get a comment from somebody reacting to the video.  As adults, they are looking for help when they get to the cash register.

How many people have viewed it?  As of this morning, more than 39,000.  


Lutheran Schools: Can they survive?

Img_0031This is a shot of my improvised workstation at the Lutheran Education Association (LEA) National Convention in Indianapolis where I am blogging from.  I am here as part of my main ministry at my church--Our Savior Lutheran Church in Lansing, MI.  as the chief support person for its third grade teacher who is also my wife. 

My history with Lutheran schools predates my wife.  I graduated from eight years of Lutheran schools.  For six years, I attended Mt. Olive Lutheran School in Bay City and for my last two, I went to Immanuel Lutheran also in Bay City.

With our changing culture, parental preferences for schools are changing.  Many don't see the distinctive part of a Christian grade school education and few schools do a good job of promoting what they have to offer.

So, I have been wondering. . .

Continue reading "Lutheran Schools: Can they survive?" »