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From: Michelle in GA (
Subject:         Re: I have Failed??
Date: July 27, 2007 at 9:23 am PST

In Reply to: I have Failed?? posted by Jamie on July 26, 2007 at 7:14 am:

I do not share in your experiences, but here are my thoughts on what might be helpful to you. I've been dealing with a move last summer that didn't go as smoothly as hoped, so our last school year wasn't the best due to my lack of proper planning. The last few months, I'm repeatedly butting heads with my eleven year old son that is going through (what others say is normal) the process of separating his personality from mine in often unpleasant ways. So no where near what you're going through, but similar frustrations.

One thing I've done is starting to use Love & Logic parenting. I'm still working on it, but the premise is to hold the child responsible for his own behavior, including allowing him to make (safe) mistakes so he gains the learning opportunity. I'm trying to implement as much of that theory in my homeschooling as I can. I took my oldest (the 11 year old) to the curriculum fair with me and tried to invest as much in his opinion of products as possible. We're still early on in our new school year, but the idea is that if he helped pick what we use, he's personally responsible for making it work. Not just sulking because mom put something in front of him and told him to do it. If possible, with an older child, I have him help draw up the school schedule and lesson plans, even year-end goals. More ownership definitely opens the door for more responsibility and greater co-operation, as well as incorporating what interests your son. I want school to be something we do together, not something I do to my kids.

Maybe not life-altering thoughts, but that's my two cents that I pray might offer you some fresh perspective. As to have you failed - I believe that God gave us our kids for a reason, knowing full well that we aren't perfect. As his academic teacher, there is nothing you can do in one year that is going to ruin him forever. As his mother, love him and train his heart, and the rest will work out.



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