I thought of persistence and time and long-term views.
Then I had a phone call tonight from a friend who has been fretting over a perceived "being behind" in her son. And I asked her does fretting help? Honestly, if she looks at the long term view does fretting help? If her son is behind.. does taking an extra year hurt anything? Does the fretting HELP her son now?
And so I thought.. that's what I want to write about..it's the not so obvious things of Parenting, Persnickityness and Patience...
You know what parenting is right? It's folks who given birth to, adopted in, foster over.. children. That's what parents do. We have children under our care that we are mindful of. We strive to teach and train and assist them in love throughout life. And sometimes, when we teach, we got so caught up in we need to make sure they have these facts that we forget what is most important... the raising and training of our children to be functional people in society. That's our job too. And as believing parents we have that added responsibility to train up our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord God as well. It's a heavy burden,.. no.. not always a burden it's a strong calling. Sometimes it is a burden though, despite the calling that it is. Parenting is NOT easy. It takes thought and action and a whole whack of love.
This is what lies behind the homeschooling movement you know. The need that parents have to mindful of their children. Not only in their becoming people of God but also being mindful of what they are learning and how they are learning it.
Folk who do home education want to provide some guidance that may be lacking in other schooling venues. We can't forget this. We are parents first.
So as we parent, we also teach. We teach knowing that we can't teach it all. Did you know that? We can't. NO school system, not matter how well meaning, can teach it all. They can try. They can push. BUT they can't. It's impossible there is SO much information out there that you MUST pick and choose what you teach. I honestly believe it matters NOT what you teach so long as you teach something. It doesn't matter how quickly you teach.. as long as you teach. Patience matters in in this game of teaching you know.. patience to know that God will move hearts. God will develop minds and abilities.
My son.. a slow reader (worried me some until it was pointed out that he is learning.). I see his books and learning coming out in his play. I hear him asking questions. It's just a matter of patience and it will come. AND.. so it comes. Same with holding a pencil the right way.. it didn't happen for a VERY long time (so it seemed to me) ... but research tells me that some children take time to develop those muscles. And.. so it came. Patience... not worry, not concern, just determined patience to trust God as he leads me. THIS is what he calls me too.
Persnickety as well. YES I can be persnickety. And that's not a bad thing. You know what it is to be persnickety right? That means details matter. They do. When you make a bed, you fold the sheets just so. When you do math.. 2 + 2 ALWAYS equals four. When you start a sentence the first letter is ALWAYS capitalized. So persnicketyness does matter. :) We can and should teach facts! But in that persnicketyness (and yes I have learned it can go too far) we can make the one way too important. For instance does it seriously does it matter which medium my son prefers to do his art in? No it doesn't. I might prefer one way but does it really matter? Does it REALLY matter if he learns his math facts sitting down on a chair or jumping around a yard? NO. Sometimes we need to get over our preconceived ways of doing and see that it doesn't matter as long as the learning is happening.
Fast or slow. frontwards or backwards (my son often does math in what I think is a backwards fashion but he comes up with the right answer every time so does it matter?) At this point NO. I just find it fascinating.
I do hope so... sometimes we forget the student in our aim for the future and we need to see the student we have in front of us.
Bright and eager, stubborn and fighting, slow or smart.. they are children under our care and does our fretting truly help them? Don't teach them to fret, teach them to learn at the pace that suits them, in the manner that works for parent and student.
Does it matter really how fast or slow they learn something?
It's all just learning. Let them love you, let them love God, let them love to learn and fast or slow.... You'll get there .. HONEST. :)
This is some of what I think is essential to schooling at home?
What things are essential to you?
Other folks from the TOS review crew are talking about essentials and methods and what not this week. Won't you come join the party? Visit us, leave a comment or two, we'd all love to encourage you and to be encouraged.
Here are some to get you started.
Amy @ Counting Change... Again (our decision)
Shawna @ Tenacity Divine
Adena @ AdenaF (the four year plan)
Jenn @ Simblissity Cottage (school days)
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness (keeping children on task)
Kathy @ Kathys Cluttered Mind
Sara @ Embracing Destiny