If Only This One Thing...
What things done by one person, builds faith and confidence in the life of another?
This really is a discussion question more than a post on a blog. The answers are so subjective. What works for one, may not work in the same way for another.
Yet, of this I am convinced. it is far too easy to live out a day, and find that we have not done a single thing that lifts and strengthens another. Whether a kind word, a smile, an observed and noted kindness from another, asking for someone's opinion and listening as if it really mattered, all of it and more is something we can at least control and monitor in the home. What are the chances that your child gets this in a classroom of 30+ students? How would you even know? If it is hard to do at home, why would one think building someone up was MORE prevalent in a government school situation?
I teach a religion class every Tuesday night to kids 18-21. We discussed this there. My associate instructor made this comment, "We help people build strength and faith by asking them to make and keep commitments, and then helping them succeed in keeping them." Thinking to ask someone to make a commitment can happen at home, church or school. It is the practical "being there to assist them so that they succeed", that is the bane of the government school and the opportunity of educating at home.
Cyndy is going through a period, where she is helping Joseph with his Saxon Math. For the most part, Saxon is a no brainer in terms of needing to help and instruct. It truly is about 98% self guided learning. But for each child there are these sections where I see Cyndy sitting next to Joseph on the couch, and working through each step, step by step, together. Then when he gets it, the compliments are there, the encouragement is there. Joseph just feels great about himself. Even though the math isn't particularly easy right now.
You control, at home, the rhythm of them making commitments and their keeping of them much more so than in the other setting. I believe that this process of asking them to make a commitment, helping them be successful and lifting them up when their efforts begin to bear fruit, is a useful pattern, that, when repeated through a life time, maybe the very essence of successful parenting and productive home education. It doesn't take a college degree to do it either.