Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The envelope

It is such a special treat to be able to get away from time to time and attend women's conferences. These times always bring refreshment and offer "treasures" to bring home and apply to my life.

Which was again true from a conference that I attended in February. It was a Homeschooling Encouragement Day. My husband and I, had been looking into our children's schooling options and thought this day would be a great way to learn more from those people who are the professionals. Those that have been doing homeschooling a long time and are practicing it every day. There were some great speakers with a wealth of information and so many practical ideas.

What really touched me was the answer and question times. In one of the group discussions, I heard this conversation between a speaker, who I will call Mrs. L and one of the attendees, who I will call, Susan.

This is how one of the conversations went:
Susan asks,
"I was wondering how do you know when your child is doing his/her best? I mean when you know they can do better, but for some reason they don't do it. How do you not get frustrated with them when they don't meet your expectations. When you know they are capable of doing something?

Mrs. L. asked,
"Well now give me an example?"

Susan says,
"Like the other day, when we were writing a letter to grandparents. I gave my son a pen, an envelope and then a slip of paper with their address. Then I had him go sit down and address it. When he was finished, he showed the letter to me with the address he had written vertically down the envelope. This was so frustrating to me, because I knew he could do it. It seemed like he wasn't doing his best."

Mrs. L. says,
"Can I ask you something?"

Susan says,

Mrs. L. says,
"Have you trained him to write an address on an envelope? Have you sat down with him and showed him where and and how to write the name, address, city, state and zip code goes? Where the return address goes? Where the stamp goes?"

(While Mrs. L is saying this, you can see the realization come across Susan's face, a bit of tears welling up in her eyes, and then a smile.)

Susan says,
"Well no, I have not done that."

Mrs. L. says,
"You need to train him in these things. Even those things that we think are the simplest of tasks need to be taught. You and I, have learned these skills and now they need to be trained how to do them too. They cannot always learn by just observing Mom and Dad. We need to take the time to train them."

Susan asks,
"How do you know when they are being disobedient or not?"

Mrs. L. says,
"When you can tell that things are "just not right". When they aren't getting the instructions. You need to stop and ask yourself, "Now have I trained them?"
If there is an "attitude" present - you know when they are darting their eyes, rolling their eyes, slumping the shoulders, tone of voice (not hard to miss), and there is a lack of a humble heart - then they are disobeying. They then need more training and discipline.


Now personally this scenario is not something that I would struggle with. It seems logical to me that a child would need training in how to address an envelope. But the underlining message of this conversation is what hit home for me. I had not heard of the term "training" used in this context before. I was so very blessed to have witnessed many conversations like the one above, that so became light bulb moments! Not only did I hear about schooling options, but what I really came away with was an answer to prayer. Some solid instruction into raising my children. The Lord met my true need that day.

I hope to later share more of how life at home changed following this conference.

Blessings to you all. Thanks for stopping by!

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