Saturday, March 2, 2013

What I learn by teaching them.

There are days when I am sure that I am learning much more than I help them to learn.
Days when everything I do presents me with a huge mirror to see my true reflection.

It's not pretty....

I have no patience. I have known this for years. It has gotten better with time...but still....

I expect to say it once,  and bang....you have it!  Isn't that horrible and intimidating?
She was trying so hard....  :)

It is crazy, is what it is, because I have lived this once. Growing up my dad would often be the one to teach me things like:

 To ride a bike.....put me on a hill and push....instant bike riding.

 To learn to swim....well, throw me in the deep end and boom.....swimming.

 Learning to count money was horrible.  It involved a monopoly game and once you messed up all of it was thrown into a pile, and you start over, and he was disgusted when I didn't catch on right away....

Telling time, I remember that day and that clock.

I wont even talk about learning my multiplication tables.....numbers are just not my thing. :)

 The horrible part was knowing how much I disappointed him by not getting it. I could just feel it. It made me nervous, and that resulted in it being even harder to think. I rode the bike, but I still count multiplication tables on my fingers. His impatience and anger didn't help.

 I wont go on...
 I think you get the picture.

What I  have learned and what I would like to put into words is this: children learn best when you are slow to anger, kind, soft spoken and PATIENT. This is not a new revelation but
                                                                   This. Is. Hard. 
 Not because I do not love them, but because in an instant,  I am acting like the man with the monopoly game. And I assure you, if anyone else acted that way with my babies I would instantly end that situation.
I easily remember how stupid I would feel. It must of been my fault, right?

No, is wasn't, and it is not their fault when math is hard and piano lessons are hard.

Do you know what makes it easier?

A calm adult who is GENTLE in correction. Encouraging with her words. Long-suffering when those notes just sound like a bad dream.
See that smile.....

She had a hard new song.

It looked intimidating to her and all week she just avoided that page. Thankfully, I had the clarity of mind to not become impatient and we sat there and went measure by measure, clef by clef, and in 15 minutes she had played the entire song.

The heavens opened up, and I had a huge feeling of doing it right! A little grace fell on me, while I gave grace to her.

Man, that was so easy. And pleasant, it had never really been that pleasant. It was pure joy. Seeing her blossom under kindness and praise.

Why must learning these lessons take so long? To undo all of those times when I loaded their heart with my disapproving, impatient glare.

I apologized, and I apologize daily. I let them see that I am not perfect. Far, far from it.

I can remember, when my husband and I were just dating, he would say, "You are so hard on yourself, if I show you something and you don't master it the first time, you are just brutal on yourself....it's okay if you don't understand....I will show you again."  (He was teaching me to put tack on the horses, btw).  I can remember how his words felt, so freeing, and the tension left. My mind cleared, and I could think better. I have thought of that day often.

As homeschool moms we are asked to bear a lot. The days get long and tedious sometimes. But lets remember why we are in this way. This is not a horse getting its saddle put on. It is my dear ones who are being molded by how I treat them. I can blog that gentleness is the way....but if I don't live it out then I am a hypocrite. If I can go to church and be kind and nice to all of those people who I see a few hours a week then doesn't my family deserve the same, if not better, treatment? Does my life bear out my confession? Do I look like Christ when I am speaking to them and teaching them?  Not always, but as long as I live I can try....

Make today the day you give grace.


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