Trust The Children

Friday, June 13, 2008

Agency Means Nothing Until There Is A Clear Choice

Many discussions about home schooling our children cross over into discussions about child rearing. And child rearing discussions seem to lead to a discussion about interacting with and/or leading youth generally.

Building strong youth, is all about building into them the ability to make good choices. Our children are going to be faced with all kinds of them, when we aren't around to "coach" them. So practice with choosing, early in life and experiencing consequences for good and ill significantly and early in life, is necessary.

Parents, leaders of youth, especially leaders of adults, seem to reluctant to ask someone to step it up. One fear seems to be that by asking someone to do something, where a "yes" or "no" answer is required, interpersonal relationships run the risk of being damaged if the answer is not what we hope for.

However, until we give someone a choice, a clear choice, they have no opportunity to exercise their right to choose. Therefore they have little opportunity to strengthen their ability to make good and wise choices when no one is around to watch them.

I am not sure why leaders of youth and/or parents are so often reluctant to offer clear choices and administer or allow obvious consequences. I don't understand the motivation behind allowing them skate day after day, without clear choices? Yet, the results of weak youth are everywhere to be seen.

We have a unique opportunity as parents to interact with our children each and every day. By applying the principle of choice and accountability regularly, consistently and daily, we can build into our children a respect for the power of choice they have and a joy in making good choices. Teaching our children to use the power they have to choose, wisely, may be some of the best teaching we ever do in the home, even if a few wrds end up mis-spelled.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

What Are YOU Learning Today?

I read recently in "The Choice in Teaching and Education" offered by the Arbinger Institute that students learn more from watching other people learn, than from watching other people teach. I have rolled this around in my mind over and over again. I see evidence of the power of this idea that makes we want to study it more and promote it more.

1) In their books "The Anatomy of Peace", "Leadership and Self-Deception", "The Peacegiver", one theme that threads itself from book to book, is that influencing others to change begins most successfully, when we change ourselves first.

2) Covey says that private victory precedes public victory, and in his book "Succeeding With People" states that the first step in creating influence with others is what? YOu guessed it, "Example".

3) The Savior told us to first take the beam out of our own eye before trying to take it out of others.

4) Then in a recent post on David Weiss' Blog, he quotes noted business leader, Dee Hock, founder and CEO of VISA who indicates that, "The first and paramount responsibility of anyone who purports to manage is to manage self."

5) My personal observation of my wife and I would support this as well. Cyndy always has a place she wants to go, things she wants to learn, books she wants to read and field trips she wants to take. Yes she keep the boys moving forward on their home school projects and internet learning classes, but on top of it all, she has here own life to live as a learner. I think I am the same way.

Maybe the primary qualification for being an "at home instructor/facilitator" is that you have your own personal "curriculum" that the kids watch you do, and get excited about?

I'd say that is about it on that topic.

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