The following is a guest post by Beth Watson of Classical Conversations at Home.
“All that I own, I carry with me.” ~ Cicero
This quote has stayed with me since I read a blog post a little while back by Ruth at GraceLaced. It made me ponder. What do I own? What do my children own?
What do I want them to carry with them long after this homeschooling journey we’re on has ended?
So much of what I do today is based on my dreams or hopes for their futures. While I would love for them to be great at baseball or whizzes in the kitchen, more importantly I want them to be kind, strong, thoughtful, adventurous, creative, and loving.
I want them to share light and hope to those around them.
Rather than listing skills I hope they possess, I’d like to focus on truth, beauty, and character. What can I give them that they can own and carry with them for a lifetime? After a little bit of thought, here’s my short list:
The ability to learn
While I lead them to learn as young ones, I want to equip them with the skills needed to bravely continue this task on their own as they grow.
One of the traits about my husband that has always impressed me is his ability to read about something and do it. For example, laying tile floor on a diagonal throughout our kitchen. I’m always good for making the challenge more exciting, like not only requesting tile flooring, but also laying it on the diagonal. He loves me for it!
The joy of reading
So far two of my guys have learned to read and one is itching to start. With my oldest, I’ve recently seen him take off quite a bit in independent reading. He is required to do it daily, but has on his own committed more time to reading lately.
It’s exciting to teach them to read and to watch them fall in love with it! One recently said, “I can read anything now!” to which the other replied, “Except Spanish.” Ha!
But, really, we expose them to good books through read-alouds, stocked shelves and library time. In the same way we study art, we intentionally pick the best of the best books, so that their eyes and minds are trained toward beauty.
Curiosity to explore
Have you heard someone say children need to be bored sometimes to allow for creativity and ingenuity? I think the same can be said for exploration.
We need to provide time and opportunities for exploration. As a type-A doer, I frequently need to remind myself to give my guys space and time where no hurry or deadline exists.
Care for others
In humility and strength, I hope for them to see the value in others, to kneel to comfort and to lead in what’s right. Thankfully sibling relationships afford plenty of opportunities to practice putting others first.
Truth that secures and faith that believes
We believe all of these good guy qualities will be useless if they aren’t rooted in the truth.
What good is good without truth? In all that we do, my husband and I are striving to point them to the truth through the reading, study, and memorization of the Bible.
What good is truth unless you believe? This is ultimately a choice each of my littles will make for themselves.
Their faith will only be theirs when they believe on their own. And once they own it, it will carry them wherever they go – with or without me.
Your list may differ from mine. Some things on my list are more important than others and really I think my list could go on and on.
But, isn’t it great to think that what our children claim as their own from what we give them, they will always have with them. The biggest question is – what are we giving them?
Do share what would make your list!
Love this! We wrote a family mission statement to keep us focused on what’s important:
Above all, we will love God and each other deeply.
We will live simply
Be life-long learners
Honor how God made us
And rest in His Promise
Steph’s latest post: 6 Ideas to Pull Yourself Out of a Bad Parenting Day
Steph, thank you for sharing! I love your mission statement and I read your last post & it was great! 🙂 Thanks for the tips!
Beth’s latest post: Traveling the 50 States with the Flat Littles: Cummins Falls State Park, TN
What I want my kids to have upon graduation:
a joy for learning
a strong faith in God
a solid yet flexible plan for the future
a respect for all people and a caring heart to help
a strong sense of self and strong values rooted in faith, truth and love
a feeling that they can do anything
a love for their family
Those 7 things are what we strive for right alongside academics. My kids are 8,13 and 15 and I cannot wait to see how they claim what we give them.
Deana, good stuff there! I really love those 7 you choose. They’re precise & pack a lot of meaning into a few words. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Beth’s latest post: Cycle 3: Week 3
Might I include this post in this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling?
Mama Squirrel’s latest post: From the archives: The Great Wide Road
Hi! That’s fine by me, but maybe check with Jamie to be sure? Thanks!
Beth’s latest post: Cycle 3: Week 3
Kiki @ Choosing to Cherish
I love the list. Thank you for this reminder.
The carnival is up now: http://deweystreehouse.blogspot.ca/2014/10/carnival-of-homeschooling-458-wonder-of.html .
Mama Squirrel’s latest post: Carnival of Homeschooling #458: The Wonder of It All Edition