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Cheryl Floyd

Starting strong finishing...

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A horse is a horse of course!

Just replace the captions with: "beginning of the school year" and "end of first semester" 

Do you set yourself up with big ideals and end up puttering to the finish line, or not even making it to the finish line (because you began with a marathon for your goal)? 

Well I do. I tend to have all these grandiose plans in August I've concocted over the summer after attending amazing conferences, perusing fabulous curriculum catalogs, and conversing with all my wonderful homeschooling friends, and then by December I am burned out and my children are wondering away from the table by 11am. 

Even after twenty years! 

I'm contemplating what is the tension between ideals, ideas, and actionable plans. Is it normal, is it ok to have goals that we might not (probably won't) meet? It feels defeating to me. But, today, looking at this horse, I thought about how you build endurance and muscle mass: you fail. Over and over and over. The last two push-ups are the hardest and the least well done - they look like that left hoof - or they ought to be if the push-ups are going to build strength. You have to run the last bit of your time in over-time, barely moving, telling your body: next time we'll need to go this long, but stronger. And your body responds! 

But! We can also push too far and make ourselves sick or hurt. You can pull a muscle, you can faint from running too long! This is what we can do to ourselves and not hate the process. But, what if it is done to us? What about what we do to others? If I made a goal of making and finishing that horse, and no one was grading me, or creating my schedule, I think I'd be happy I finished and would assess what I needed to do differently for the next attempt. But if someone was doing it to me, setting the pace, creating the curriculum, I might resent them. I might see less of what I needed to improve, and more of how they pushed me too fast, or didn't teach me what I needed to know to keep going. 

My point is, it is true, stretching our children to sit a little longer, and listen a little more, and try a little harder builds endurance and ability. But because we are an outside force, I am wondering if we actually have to take that into consideration so that we don't also build resentment, or apathy.  Do we need to win their will, and if so what does that look like? I am convinced, if this is needed, it has to happen at a young age. 

 

What are your thoughts on beginning and end goals and work ethic for ourselves versus for our children? Is there a difference - not because of age but because of "agency" - if I understand that term correctly? In what ways can we win their will to work in ways that build endurance? 

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 12.11.04 PM.png

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My ears (eyes?) perked up when you started talking about will, because that's so central to Charlotte Mason's principles. I think you've hit it--you cannot teach a child who "will" not learn. However, full command of the will is not possible for small children. It takes time to build those will-muscles, and that is where "habit" comes in. This isn't just Charlotte Mason--Comenius wrote about the same thing.

So, there is definitely a place in there for an "outside agency" to be developing the habits that will support a child's will, when they are ready to exercise it. As you said--learning to sit sit a little longer, read books a little harder, and so on.

 

On an unrelated note--the drawing is killing me. All. Too. Accurate.

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...and then I went off to do some of my current reading, and ran across this passage in Charlotte Mason's Philosophy of Education (vol. 6):
 

Quote

 

The ordering of the will is not an affair of sudden resolve; it is the outcome of a slow and ordered education in which precept and example flow in from the lives and thoughts of other men, men of antiquity and men of the hour, as unconsciously and spontaneously as the aire we breath. But the moment of choice is immediate and the act of the will voluntary; and the object of education is to prepare us for this immediate choice and voluntary action which every day presents.


 

 

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Not for nothing do I call myself the "queen of typos." I wish the ability to edit these posts lasted a little bit longer! In any event, my apologies for the typos.

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On 11/29/2018 at 4:37 AM, KarenG said:

Not for nothing do I call myself the "queen of typos." I wish the ability to edit these posts lasted a little bit longer! In any event, my apologies for the typos.

We all understand and experience it daily on all social platforms. I look up old things I wrote years ago - years and years ago! I'll open them up and edit them every once in a while, and I STILL find typos! So a few hours or days is completely understandable. 

 

.... and sometimes...

I swear...

it's my COMPUTER or the PHONE. I swear I've seen the keys CHANGE before my EYES into something I did NOT hit... or words that I wrote disappear!

They're watching us, trying to make us think we're crazy! 

And terrible with grammar! 

:) 

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