Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Am I Doing Enough? (Part 2)

Potty Training is Home Education!

OK – here’s my philosophy on “Am I Doing Enough?” If you’ve ever successfully potty trained a child, then you are a successful home educator!

Potty training is hard work. First of all, you must determine if your child is even ready for the concept. How do you know? By observation. By noticing his interest level, by trying it out and watching his reaction. And even at some point you go forward with the idea, even if your child shows no interest whatsoever.

Next, you experience lots of trial and error. You switch up your approach, you play games, you get creative, you may question whether you can even do it. “Maybe,”
you think, “someone else could do a much better job of this than I." You finally experience elation when your little one says, “Mommy, I need to go potty”. And you make it to the potty right in time! You give lots of hugs and praise. Success! But, then, in an hour or so, he forgets to tell you, and wets himself and the sofa cushion. So, did you give up? Did you send him to potty training academy? Or did you just start again, reinforcing what you had already gone over a million times before? You started again.

And guess what? When your precious little one is taller than you, and headed off to his first job, he won’t even need you to remind him to “potty”.

That’s how it is with teaching your child at home. This applies to everything from learning to read to learning to change the oil on a vehicle. You discover your child’s needs. You discover a way to attain them. You work and work to accomplish those needs together. Is it enough? Most definitely. If you’ve loved your child enough to see him through potty training, learning to walk, and learning to talk, you’re equipped to do the rest. Accepting your calling as a dedicated parent will assure you that exactly the right amount of academics, character building, life skills, and most of all, love, will see your child mature into the person God has called him to be. That’s success!


Erin said...

This is good! I remember another thing you always said too, "it starts with pat-a-cake, & then you just keep teaching the next step, until they have a complete education." Knowing this makes me not be overwhelmed & freaked out about how I'm going to be able to homeschool. I know personally being educated with this mentality has been such a blessing. I was able to focus on what I was really interested in, & not get burned out by doing a bunch of "stuff" just to say I had done it. It truly created a love of learning in me, so I am not intimidated to search out things that I wish I knew more about. I probably did miss out on certain subjects, but I have not suffered for that by any means.

Tracy said...

I totally get it. It's just keeping it that's hard. Your encouraging words help. In the past, when one son was younger, I felt free to back off when I needed to. I was encouraged by others that it's okay to wait until my child is ready for certain things. But now we're in high school and I begin to feel the pressure of college. I have some practical questions. I have been told that there are certain requirements that they must fulfill at the high school level before entering college, certain classes that they must take whether it's of interest to them or not. And, of course, there are transcripts. What wisdom do you have to share about this? I have never graded much in the past. With science and history, we read and discussed and reviewed, but never tested. Do you recommend that I start grading and keeping track for the purposes of having a transcript. (However, I still personally don't feel the need to test, even if I grade work.) Can you address these issues?

D. A. said...

Well said Erin. I can assure you, you did miss out on some subjects and activities. I don't know any school or home situation that can cover it all. What is important is that we develop a thirst for learning and then teach our kids how to learn. When this is created whatever field or endeavor is pursued success will follow. I've seen so many try to cram knowledge and facts in or how to score well on a test but never really have a heart for learning.