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Schoolhouse Review: Leader Garden Press

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Company Name: Leader Garden Press

Physical books I received:
Downloadable Resources:
Recommended ages for U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS Growing My Leadership Garden resources is ages 5-12 with participation of an adult (parent/teacher).

I would like to start by saying that I really enjoyed reviewing Growing My Leadership Garden with the children. It reinforced what my husband and I are teaching our children. It was nice to have ‘someone’ else speak on this topic.
Six leader-friendly gardening practices in this course are:
  • Be nonjudgmental
  • Do not enable
  • Use empathy
  • Prune gossip
  • Eliminate blame
  • Eradicate victimization
Although all six are great I really noticed~ do not enable, eliminate blame, and eradicate victimization. The reason being is one of my children is a blamer and feels like he is the victim. I don’t want him growing up feeling like everyone is against him. I have seen too many adults that blame their parents, society, and others for who they have become or life is always unfair and against them.

When blaming others or circumstances you are giving it/them the power over you. I don’t want that for my kids.
UNIQUE Kids
U.N.Q.U.E. Kids Growing My Leadership take your child on a leadership adventure with Hugh the sheep. Hugh happened upon the Leadership Farm scared and running away from his past.
U.N.I.Q.U.E.
  • Understanding: balancing and blending your four leader behaviors
  • Nurturing: using leader-friendly gardening practices
  • Inventive: invent a unique purpose and aim
  • Quality: use the leadership attributes necessary to thrive
  • Unstoppable: move through the circle of commitment and remove any barriers to your purpose and aim
  • Expression: practice the art of communication with a unique purpose and aim
Leda, her husband, Annabelle the Border collie, and the other farm animals teach Hugh how to weed and nurture his inner garden. To weed out negative thoughts and feelings and plant positive seeds that will help his leadership garden thrive and grow.
U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids Growing My Leadership Garden consist of 8 chapters:
  1. Leadership Garden
  2. Planting a Leadership Garden
  3. Understanding Field
  4. Nurturing Meadow
  5. Inventive Roost
  6. Quality Yard
  7. Expression Pen
The book is filled with colorful pictures of the characters. The story is told in a way that children can understand but yet doesn’t talk down to them. Each chapter begins with Hugh meeting a new farm animal that teaches him a new leadership trait and ends with Hugh summarizing what he has learned. There are also questions to ask your child(ren) at the end of each chapter and suggested exercises to help the child (and adult if reading Growing the Leader Within as well) flesh out and better understand what is being learned.

U.N.I.Q.U.E. Growing the Leader Within tells the same story as the child version but each chapter transitions to a lesson that the author, Debra J. Slover, has experienced and learned from.
Leadership Within
The companion guides “The Leadership Garden Guidebook” and “Growing My Leadership Garden Guide Book” are great to help the parent/teacher flesh out the books. The U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids has activity pages, questions, and student notebook pages where your child can write his thoughts. Where The Leadership Garden Guidebook for young adults and/or adults is not as colorful as the child version but also has questions, a place to write notes, and written exercises.

This program doesn’t take a whole lot of prep work to get started. I was able to start the next day. I would first read the chapter that would be covered. I looked over the U.N.I.Q.U.E Kids Growing My Leadership Garden Guide Book and was pretty much set. Made the necessary copies and had my mp3 download ready.

I used this with Caleb 12, Brent 11, Ethan 10, and Lance 8. Annette my 13 year old wanted to be included too when she had the chance (she has a busy school schedule).
I held the book while we all listened to the mp3 download. Once done listening I would ask some of the questions. It took a while to get the kiddos discussing what needed weeding and planting, my younger boys are very private. Once I started talking about myself they opened up.

We used the Activity Guide but did a lot of it orally as well. My boys are all over the place when it comes to writing and as a mom of 6 I only have so much time. We usually spent 30-40 minutes on this.

We completed 2 chapters a week and used it Monday-Thursday. We would listen to the story one day and read some scripture. The next day we would do the activity. One chapter took two days to complete.

I would also research the night before some Bible verses to add to our study. So we read some passages of scripture as well and kind of made it our Bible study time too.
Leadership
Lance loved the whole garden metaphor and took off with it. Right after our first lesson he planted his very own leadership garden and to this day it’s still thriving!
What I loved about this programs was the children can relate to a garden. To make it their own I asked each child what do they need to weed out to make their leadership garden thrive. Some answers were selfishness, tempers, and not blaming others. We talked about what we wanted to plant in our gardens: love, peace, joy, and other fruits of the Spirit.

My final thoughts: Using this program was a wonderful way for us all to open up and talk about what we needed to do to become better leaders. The children learned that leadership is how we guide and direct our lives. It doesn’t always mean that someone is in charge of a group.

This time around I used the program with all the children in a group setting. I plan to use this again with only Ethan. I think Ethan would open up more as he is very conservative and it would give me the chance to really talk to him about his feeling of blaming others and being the victim. I think using this program as ‘our’ time will give him freedom to really open up.


I would like to add that this program is not from a biblical perspective. Hugh learned that we make our own ‘reality’. In a sense I believe we do to some extent. We can choose a path of destruction or a path seeking Christ. This is what I talked about with the children and I always pointed what we read to Christ.
If you would like to see how I adapted one of the chapters to add biblical application you can read my blog post titled Leadership Garden for Christ.
For a limited time (through May 31, 2013) you can get 20% off, please use coupon code TOS-SS20D at checkout.
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