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Using Expectation Explanations in Your Parenting (Live Video Training)

So I started a thing last week. I, alliteratively of course, call it “Donna Daily.” But it is a FB video challenge in which I go live every weekday for the month of June to teach about what I know and love or what has made a difference in our family, my life, my health, my relationships, my productivity, and more. (So what I know and love!) It is themed by the day (Mama Monday, Teaching Tuesday, etc.), and I’m pretty excited about it! (Learn more about it here!)

And I will periodically be sharing the videos here at the Character Ink blog, at Write for a Month, and at my lifestyle blog ( as the topics are applicable. So this is one of those!

On the first Mama Monday, I shared a favorite parenting tool we used for three decades (and still use with our grandbabies!) called Expectation Explanations. I have the full outline and video below!

Also, if you have heard me teach about something that you would like to hear again or learn more about, shoot me an email or private message, and I’ll work it into the Donna Daily schedule!

Love and hope,


Expectation Explanations


A. Honoring JaNon


1. Almost there…..14 year old said “Time for Mom and Dad to tell us about the party!”
2. Five parties in a row to get to, can’t stay long at first couple
3. “Do not go off and play at this one. We are just going in, honoring JaNon, and then heading out.”
4. Loaded everyone back up in “Big Blue”—-three year old forgot something–“I forgot to honor JaNon!”

B. Expectation Explanations


1. What are they

2. Why?

a. Helps children adjust behavior;

b. Wards off problems;

c. Keeps parents from having to nag;

d. Takes away all vagueness—which is one of the biggest problems parents and kids face in child discipline and behaviors.

3. Rather than being a fire fighter who is constantly putting out fires, we become the builder who builds with fire repellant materials, installs fire alarms throughout, places fire extinguishers in certain places, etc. We are practicing Preventive Parenting–parenting in such a way that we prevent problems that are preventable.

4. Teaching for the future—-everything we do builds on future teaching!

5. Shouldn’t they do what I say without explanations?

C. When to Use


1. Giving time warnings to young children:

a. Play time ending;

b. Bedtime close;

c. Leaving time;

d. Raise kids with “This is the five minute call!” Security and getting rid of vagueness.

2. Explaining Expectations as we travel in order to warn/prepare children for the environment and surroundings they will be in:

a. Seniors and people with special needs;

b. Voices, actions, etc.

3. Using Explaining Expectations to build family unity and sibling loyalty:

a. Who are your best friends tonight:

b. Who do we defend and love more than anyone else here?

4. How Explaining Expectations helps you as a parent to develop your family’s acceptable and unacceptable behavior and character list (or mental list)

5. Starting early helps kids look at them as positive things:

a. not outside-inflicted boundaries later—they come to expect that your family will talk about expectations in all situations.

b. This carries over to pre-teen and teen years as you’re driving them places, etc.

c. It’s not looked at as lectures but something your family always does.


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Using Word Cards in Reading Instruction


Using Word Cards in Reading Instruction


Tips for Using Word Cards in Reading Instruction


1) Don’t use word cards with words the student has never encountered. Word cards are for practicing words used in instruction, not for long lists of words never encountered before.

read more…

You Were Probably Homeschooled If Your Grandpa Was Your Substitute Teacher

On the two year anniversary of my dad’s death, I wanted to honor him on FB with pics or memories or kind words……then I saw some old pics of him doing school with my kids and knew how I wanted to share about him.


My dad never graduated from high school. He never had the opportunities for education that we have now. 

As we homeschooled our kids, he and my step-mom were so proud of us and our kids. They bragged about how smart the kids were, how obedient and kind they were, and how much they loved to be with them. 

When we left the kids with them whenever we went away, Dad took his role as their substitute teacher very seriously. 

Donna Daily–Scary But Exciting Challenge

This Week’s Video Topics!

June 17-21




Previous Topics—Go to Donna’s FB to Watch These!





I am embarking on a scary challenge for the month of June (and possibly longer?) The challenge is to “just go live”! Talk about what you know. Teach people what is deep within you….give people content and information that will enrich their lives.   Okay…that is totally me. I love to teach. Public speaking is an absolute blast. And I adore enriching people’s lives.   (more…)

Summer Family Bucket List To Grow

Summer Family Bucket List

I have loved seeing families’ bucket lists on Facebook! They make me wish that bucket lists were popular when my kids were little!

(Well, I guess we made our own Bucket List with our Summer School Goals—oh, my kids loved those!)

And I love having fun as a family…I mean, honestly, we were a FUN family. And we still go to Disney World as a family every five years!!! (Thanks to Plexus, we are moving that up to every three years!)

But for this post, I would like to propose a different bucket list than the traditional, fun, memory-making bucket list. It is the Summer Family Bucket List to Grow.

read more…

Happy Mother’s Day! Or Happy Mothers’ Day?

The history of the holiday known as Mother’s Day is an interesting one. It was founded by a single lady who wanted to honor her mother. Anna Jarvis arranged two ceremonies in 1908 to honor mothers and initiate the holiday. 

Soon thereafter, the holiday was catching on and Mother’s Day services were held in 45 states, as well as Canada and Mexico. For four years, Jarvis continued to advocate for a national holiday to honor mothers until she founded her own association in which white carnations were the icon and the terms “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day” were branded. 


Character Ink Private Tutoring Online or In Person 2019-2020

Character Ink Private Tutoring Offerings


Over the past year since Ray has “semi retired” (lol), he has expanded our class offerings, added a Half-Day Homeschool option for local families, and taken on dozens of private tutoring students. It has been a busy year for Character Ink!

We will be continuing the private tutoring options as long as we have spaces available for the upcoming summer and next school year.

We have also had success this year with Ray doing private math tutoring via Skype or FaceTime and Donna teaching small writing classes via an online classroom. Both of these options will be available next year as requested.

Half Day Homeschool Expanded for 2019-2020 School Year



Character Ink will continue its new teaching arm – The half-day homeschool for 4th -12th grades and expand it for K-3rd grades – in which all academics are taught, followed up on, recorded, and graded for YOU!

ALL of this is done as your students come to “school” for 8-15 hours a week!

The following schedule and guidelines have been developed for the 2019-2020 school year. Adaptions can be made to meet your family’s needs.


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