"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Hard Moments & the Ones that Follow

My son took up violin this year.  He's shown some natural ability with it; catching on quickly.  I am amazed at how far he's come in such a short amount of time.

The other afternoon, I reminded him to practise and he gave me some grief.  That's nothing new, he struggles with doing things cheerfully.  This combined with the fact that I needed to get dinner on and attend to a few other things, made me miss what was really going on.  He continued to complain and I hollered from the kitchen to stop the complaining and just start practising.  Which he did.  I knew he was struggling with the bad attitude but the next thing I knew he was packing everything up and declaring himself done with the violin - forever.  He's said this a few times.  Emotions ran high, mine, his.  I sent him to his room to calm down.  I gave myself a time out and while making dinner I thought and prayed.

 He's my child that requires a lot, and that's okay.  I am thankful to homeschool him.  He needs that one on one with me to learn in the ways that will bring him success, to ensure that he is learning the way HE learns and not just subject to the mercy of a certain teaching style or restrictive field of learning.  He needs so much more then that.  I sigh as I think about him.  And I know right then what he needs from me.  He needs me to slow it down and be present with him.  I can't give him a lot to learn on his own; just yet. Some day, but not now.  He needs hands on, tactile stimulation and the presence of someone to encourage. This requires more out put from me as a parent as an educator.  It means: not being in a rush.  It means: being there.   I ask the Lord for help and patience and I pull my son into my arms. I ask him: "What do you need from me to help you with your violin practise?"  He looks at me and I can see the relief pour over him.  He tells me he needs help to read the notes, to have me sit and listen and watch.  *sigh*  It would be nice to send him off to do it on his own while I do something else but it's not what he needs so we'll do things differently.  I tell my kiddo, he's amazing, that I am so happy God gave him to me and that I won't let him quit violin because he has a natural ability with it. I tell him we're a team and I will walk along side him.  He hugs me, one of those soul hugs. :) So this week I slowed it all down, I carved out the time, I rearranged the day, and I do all the things I know he needs.  This is different from a nonessential want, he NEEDS this.  I helped him get the notes and fingering right even though I am not 100% certain what I am doing but we laughed together and learned together anyway.  I gave him encouragement when he struggled and clapped when he succeeded. And I noticed that he eagerly picks up his violin the next time I asked him to practise.   Before we know it, he has that piece down.  This kid is amazing.  I know it's these moments that matter the most. The hard ones when you wish it could be easy but know it matters the most because it's hard and you know it's the change that will make the difference. The moments after this are so sweet because it's reaped the reward of the harvest of change.

I don't always figure it out right away and I know I mess things up.  I hope, in me, they see a human touched by God's grace, walking, falling and getting back up.  :)

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