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TO THE POINT: Character Growth
July 25, 2018


We all want character growth for our children, but you will find that it's not a curriculum of 'character lessons' from which they will learn. It's who you are that is the real influence and inspiration for what they'll become. Your influence is huge – never underestimate it. Don't worry so much about whether you're doing enough teaching or character training – you are doing more than average just by being there for your kids, modelling what you want them to live. Let us therefore be careful about what we model….let us make sure we are happy with who we are and let us walk in wisdom.

Two things influence who we are – how we view ourselves, and time. Your own perspective on self, is transferred to them just be being. Although this is a scary thought, it is also very liberating, as you become better aware of who you are by learning from them!

If you are feeling emotionally out of control, then your kids will see you as such. If you see yourself as stressed, then the children will see you as stressed too. However, if you see yourself as calm, happy and firm, kids will view you that way. We can literally pick how we want people, including our children, to see us just by choosing to look at ourselves with more proactive eyes. So ask yourself these questions:

· How do you see yourself when you're teaching your children?
· Are you stressed? annoyed? angry?
· or calm? firm but effective?
· Are you emotionally healthy?
· What do the kids reflect from your attitude?

If you don't like what you see, then you should probably work on changing the view. Then the way others view you will change too.

But take heart and never underestimate the positive character building that is already taking place in yourself and them, as you homeschool your children…....Think about the perseverance it takes - we do not give up on them. Or the patience it requires if you do not see immediate results….what about humility when you have one of those days….Or maybe it's contentment you learn when you are trying not to envy that mom down the street whose kids seem to have it all together. Of course one can include dependability when you are showing your children that you stick with them even when their behaviour needs attention. And lastly you are serving them day by day in taking up the responsibility of being a homeschool mom.

The second thing to consider is the necessity of time in parenting. Character building requires not just teachable moments but many, many moments, in fact: “hours, days, weeks, months, and years of intentional attitudes and actions to be an ongoing nurturer of your children.” (quote by Diana Waring)

Ruth Beechick once wrote….In your strong conviction and commitment to family, your own character will be evident. Your children in this environment receive what is called immersion teaching. Every day they see, hear, and experience the character traits you want them to grow into.

When you see attitudes or actions in a child that you disapprove of, don't think "I'm a failure" or "I need a curriculum for this." Instead, think "That's why I'm the teacher; I see what the child cannot see yet." And know that you not only have the responsibility to do something about it, but also the capability!

Talk with them about problems at times. Do something about it. Keep on keeping on with the discipline and the value-based family living. There's no better education around. A key to better understanding them is to ask the right questions and then listen to their answers:

· What are they saying?
· What are they asking?
· What do they want from ‘schooling’?
· An education? or preparation?
· Preparation for what ?
· By when?
· Why? or why not?

You are allowed to say, “I will listen to you, and if possible and in your best interest, I will incorporate your ideas and suggestions." Let them know that you value them for who they are as individuals. Also let them understand that this (homeschooling) is their education. You are not "doing school" to them. You are preparing them for life. They are also responsible and included in making decisions. And there are many ways to prepare, many ways to learn, many things we might learn from them if we take time to listen.

Until next time, Willemien

Don’t judge a day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. (Robert Louis Stevenson)

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