Monday, November 5, 2007

Miss Blessing (the full article)

When I first began home schooling, I thought a lot about my goals for my children and how that would affect how I educated them. My educational goal for them is to develop a love of learning. Goals affect strategy. I hope to develop a love of learning in my children by making learning fun. I go out of my way to avoid burnout in myself and my kids. But then, this is just my short-term goal.
My long-term goal for my kids is that they grow up to become godly mothers and fathers. Notice I did not say “successful businessmen and career women.” This goal has a tremendous impact on my teaching strategies. One of the key ways I prepare my children to be loving mothers and fathers in the future is teaching them selflessness.
My kids have one job. Of course, they do chores each day, and I definitely expect them to be active participants in their schooling. But they only have one very important job: to be a blessing to their siblings. When they are arguing or bickering, I ask them: Are you doing your job? This simple question is quite powerful in bringing about quick conviction.
I look for ways they can learn to serve. I frequently whisper in one’s ear: “Would you be a blessing and refill your brother’s cup?” or “Would you be a blessing and help your sister put away her clothes?” When I do catch one of them in service, I rave! “Look everyone! Isaac saw that none of us had drinks with dinner and he filled all our glasses!” Then we all say in unison: “Thank you, Mr. Blessing!” Of course, Isaac loves this attention and praise and he will look for ways to be Mr. Blessing again the next day.
When I see one of my kids do something kind, I pull them aside and tell them: “You are being such a servant. I’m so proud of how loving you are becoming.” I want my children to value servanthood, so I am deliberate in weaving this into everything we do.
Sometimes I lose my focus in my endless determination to check everything off my home school to-do list. However, when I remember my ultimate goal to raise loving mommies and daddies, my days go more smoothly and I have a sense of accomplishment regardless how many new facts we have learned. There is a saying that a dying man never says, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” I believe when home school parents die, they won’t say, “I wish I’d had my kids read one more book.” The love of knowledge is a God-given gift, but character development is more pleasing to Him.


The Herd said...

I've tried to read your articles that are continued by a link, but it closes my internet there something I am doing wrong? Ever heard of this happening?

Ginger said...

Haven't heard of that happening before. Sorry!

MommaofMany said...

I have the same problem. I'm just back up after being told the plug-in performed an illegal act. I haven't ever been able to read a "Read More" article...

MommaofMany said...

Thanks for redoing the entire article. Your thought that we won't wish that they'd read one more book is thought provoking!

Could you redo your laundry article?


Ginger said...

For you complainers, I went ahead and uploaded the full article. {{snicker}}

You happy?!

Nealy said...

The link always works for me - maybe they need a new anti-Virus protection. We use AVG - can I say that?

The article is beautifully written and extraordinarily profound in its content. I wish I'd had you as a coach when I was raising my daughter - oh! That's YOU!


The Herd said...

Yes we are happy now!!
Thanks! Really love reading the whole thing. My computer has an anti-virus, but it's not perfect and doesn't like illegal acts--haha!