Monday, February 28, 2011

Loving the Struggle

     I teach adults at a technical college.  I also teach two future adults.  I remind myself of that fact every day, the fact that I am working with future adults.  What abilities do I want my children to posess?   Do they need to know Organic Chemistry?  I think I would rather have them know the struggle of learning Organic Chemistry, Physics, poetry, or our current dilemma, handwriting.

     Sometimes, I have to remind myself that the struggles that my children and I are sharing together are more important than the actual outcomes. 

     Today, my eight year old son had an absolute meltdown about subtraction.  He yelled at me, saying that I would not help him because I would not write the numbers down for him in nice, neat rows.  He got mad because I wouldn't enable him.  That is what I have to remember.  I told him directly that I am helping him by letting him do things for himself. I hope that some time very soon he will believe me. 

     I don't think we let our children (safely) struggle enough.  I see the results of enabling with the adults with whom I work as well.  They start doing math, or writing, whatever, and they throw their hands up and say, "This is hard!" Yup.  That's why it's worthwhile.

     I remember my dad answering my 'When am I ever going to use this!?!' question in regards to Geometry with a "You probably won't, but it's more important that you see how you work when something is difficult.  What do you do when you meet a challenge?" I bought it back then, and I still do. 

     I had the pleasure of teaching high school for six years.  When I see those "kids" now, it's the ones that I challenged, and they might have bucked me, that say 'thank you' now.  The adults are thankful for how I helped them as teens.

     I want to do that for my own children.  I want them to struggle, not give up, and know how good it feels to succeed.  I want them to do this so many times, that it is a normal experience for them.  I want them to love a challenge, not to shy away from one. 

     A good teacher leads by example.  I need to follow these lessons as well.  I need to role model a challenge, a struggle, and I need to persevere.  One way that I am doing this, for both myself and my family, is by running a half-marathon in May.  Yesterday, I ran nine miles, the longest I have ever run in my life!  I need to grow as a person, just as I hope my children will always want to do.  I want us to love the struggle, and know how good it feels to cross the finish line, until the next race. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Withdrawal-Not Really

Every Lenten season, I give up Facebook.  I really thought that I would have a tough time doing it this year, I mean, somedays, Facebook is my connection to grown-ups and the outside world.  Then, this happened:

My beautiful state of Wisconsin is divided into two.  I don't want to talk about it.   I am all talked out actually, and that is why it was no problem for me to quit FB.  

No one really has 750 friends that they want to talk to every day.  I would rather talk to these guys:

I found myself checking FB too often anyway, one of the perils of being a homeschooling mom.  The computer is always there, and so, my attention always wasn't.  So, I'm out, and fully tuned back in.  Or, as my kids are saying, my FB account is:

So, if you want to see "what I am thinking/doing", pick up a phone and give us a call.  We might answer, we might not...hopefully the music will be too loud or we will be outside, so we will call you back. 
Peace and love,