Friday, October 18, 2013

Meeting Them Where They Are...Again

Awhile back I wrote this post about meeting my children where they are. About embracing their individuality and accepting their differences. I am finding this to be even more evident as we journey through our newest adventure...homeschooling. I am spending more one on one time with each of my children in a different setting...the classroom...and in doing so, I am realizing how very important it is once again to remind myself that I have been gifted four unique and very different children. This is entirely different from thinking of them simply as four students.

I preface this by saying that I don't feel one is "right" and the other "wrong". It is merely an observation and a tool to enable me to nurture and educate each child in the way that is best for him or her. For example...Madison is laid back. She is so easy going and relaxed about everything in life, including schoolwork. She is also a very independent worker. She can have her music playing, be texting, and be writing a paper on The Raven all at the same time. And she does it all quite well. My job is to reign her in and encourage her to stay focused and interested. In schoolwork. : )

Peyton, on the other hand, is driven. Driven to complete. Driven to succeed. Driven to accomplish. She rarely needs my help. But when she doesn't understand something, she has no patience for anything but immediate explanation. : ) I have found that with her, my best bet is to listen patiently, guide her to the information, and wait for the inevitable, " Never mind...I got it." Ahhhh... music to my ears.

Rhett is the one who requires the most of my assistance. And that is to be expected... he is only in the sixth grade. He is a complete mix. He has the desire to complete and do well, yet it is tempered by the easily distracted, multitasking, need- to -check- one- more- thing -in- the- kitchen gene that Madison possesses. He is also very sensitive, and therefore I need to remind him gently to focus and get things done. He is also so funny. Before he submits an assignment to be graded on the computer, he crosses his fingers and says, "Come on, Baby!" And then when he gets the results, it is a resounding, "Yes!!!"

My Flynn is typical of most preschoolers. She is excited, and eager, and willing, and adorable. She calls me, "Teacher" and is so precious it makes my heart happy. I enjoy every moment of our time at the little table.

I am so thankful for these amazing gifts from God. I am also aware of the fact that in giving me four children, God did not give me these four gifts in matching wrapping paper. Nor did He give me these four packages simply in different wrapping. God blessed me with four entirely different gifts, all beautifully wrapped in uniquely different paper with various, intricate designs. My job is to unwrap and examine each gift carefully, and with thanksgiving, learn how to treat each precious gift with the greatest of care.

















12 comments:

  1. You have a beautiful family and you are obviously a very good mom. Isn't wonderful how we are all unique children of God? I love the picture of your children in their home school room busily learning in their individual ways. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  2. Yes, yes, yes! I love this post. What I struggle with is why this can't translate to the public school or parochial school classroom???!!! I know that standard, pat, answer...too many kids to provide individual attention to, but I just don't believe that. Rather...I think that the teaching system is broken and that the very people who are supposed to think outside of the box (in terms of relaying information) are the very ones encouraging in-the-box thinking!!! My newest job venture...as a Resource Room/Special Ed teacher is teaching me this very thing!!! I need to meet these kids right where they are...(example) not teach them decimals the exact same way their classroom teacher taught them decimals only in a one-on-one situation. RATHER...I need to think outside the box and find an entirely NEW way to teach the information. I also read an incredible article about how on-line learning is revolutionizing the way children process info...and that the roll of adults in their education lives needs to change as well. Real learning takes place only when we are responsible for our own learning...when we decide we want to learn a new hobby or skill...we do it! We don't just read about it...we actually start trying to do the skill...OH I could go on and on....but I'll get off my soapbox. What a blessing to be able to homeschool! So glad you are enjoying your journey!!!

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  3. Look at you, mastering the teacher/mom gig. Well done, Billie Jo! At only two months in, you're doing really well. It took me far longer to figure out (and embrace) the learning/schooling differences of my kids. You are well on your way! It sounds like you have some very unique and amazing kids you get to stay home with each day.

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  4. I love your post. I only have one child (as you know) and we homeschooled all the way through. I totally understand where your coming from. Blessings

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  5. What a lovely blessing for you to be able to see all those little characteristics firsthand in your children, not just as their mother but now as their teacher. I am amazed at how you're able to balance school/play/work in your home. It's so inspiring. <3

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  6. It is so interesting how each child is so different.... I envy the time you spend with your sweet kiddos.
    Peyton and Rhett sound just like Isabella and Nicolas.

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  7. Love this! You are inspiring, as always!

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  8. I'm loving the things you are loving about homeschooling. It reminds me of the things I love too. It's easy to look at the negatives of it...because there are negatives (like no breaks EVER). I also believe it is something to be called to do, and is not, therefore for everyone. That being said, YES, the differences in children is magnified when trying to teach each one. As they get older, it gets easier to see. I love seeing those things, things that a teacher in a school with 28 or 30 some kids would see. I love that when I teach my kids, I can put my arm around them and give them some extra love...like my 7 year old loves her back rubbed while she reads outloud.



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  9. How cool that you are using your kids differences to teach them in a particular way. That individualized attention is one of the things that makes homeschooling such a great choice!

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  10. How wise you are, Billie Jo! You have the unique perspective of learning so much about your children as you teach them. What insight you have, that maybe some of us with traditional school's for our kids don't have. And I love the photos too. And that your little one calls you 'Teacher'. I always wondered how that Mom/Teacher role melded. Looks like you have done it so well.

    You inspire me every time I come here. Thank you :)
    Ceil

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  11. Inspirational as always my friend!

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Billie Jo