Every once in awhile, I get to see the fruition of the my efforts. My efforts to inspire my boys to do something great, that is. And yesterday was one of those days.
I subscribe to some of the Thomas Jefferson Education philosophies, and a big one is “Inspire not Require”. The idea is that real learning takes place when the student wants to learn it. You can’t really teach someone if they are unwilling to learn. They may go through the motions with you by writing a paper or studying for a test, but when it’s all said and done, chances are they will remember very little. Most of my educational experience was this. I studied hours for the tests (and most likely received an ‘A’), did all the worksheet pages, and read all the required pages, but a week after the test, I couldn’t tell you anything I had learned. Sad, but true.
It wasn’t until I was in college and I took a class that interested me, sociology, that I experienced real learning. I ate up sociology. I couldn’t wait to go to class and read my book. I probably even read ahead. And I know I probably drove my roommates crazy because I talked about it all the time. I would catch myself thinking about it at random times, pondering the questions it posed. Now that, my friends, was what I call ‘real learning’. This is what I desire for my offspring.
How do you achieve that? I’m still trying to figure that out, but this week it was through inspiration.
Through much encouragement from Renaissance Man, I began my blog. Thinking I didn’t have anything of value to say, I started. Soon I found myself in my ‘Element’ (see Sir Robinson’s book, “The Element”). Blogging became a thing I needed to do, like eating or breathing. When before I struggled to force myself out of bed by 7am to have a Quiet Time, I began to find myself rising with no effort at 6:30am to write. I would and do wake excited to write. I never experienced this kind of feeling in school. And I liked school, folks.
As I experienced more and more pure joy from writing, I realized my mom, who is an actual writer (you know she’s been a ghost writer, written a book, had the writing education) would love blogging. Renaissance Man agreed. We vowed to inspire her to blog. Every week at Pancake Church (our current Sunday worship service) we would drop encouraging remarks. We introduced her to Pioneer Woman’s new book and she devoured it. We encouraged her to read Pioneer Woman’s blog. Then, we introduced her to my blog. As she read, she became more intrigued. And just this last week, she started her own blog. I can’t even tell you the excitement and thrill she feels. She’s in her ‘Element’. I LOVE it.
Of course our kids have been privy to all our evil plotting to get my mom on the blog wagon. They’ve seen her struggle to learn and then conquer the technology that vowed to hold her back. And they’ve heard all about how much fun she’s having now.
And then it happened. I mentioned to the boys that I’ve been pretty slack lately when it comes to their learning around here and that I would like them to get back to journaling every day. I know, doesn’t sound very inspiring, huh? But I do have some educational requirements. You need to write something every day. Soccer Boy mentioned he’d like to maybe journal on his blog, but he didn’t like the look of it anymore. Well, now. Since I’ve learned how to do that on my blog and my mom’s, I feel a bit of an expert. I offered to help him.
With much cajoling on his part, I finally sat down and showed him how to find a new theme. And “The Life of a Farmer” was born. He was off and running like a wild banchee. He not only has written on it several times since then, but has changed the theme once and the name twice. All on his own. I showed him how to do it once. Once, people. He has got the blogging bug. He’s subscribed to my blog and showed me how to subscribe to his own. He’s embedded videos. Okay, I just learned how to do that last week. Wow.
The fabulous thing about it, for a mom, is that he comes to me with spelling questions. He allows me to give him feedback about sentence structure. Now, he doesn’t always use my feedback, but that’s okay. He’s writing. And that thrills me to no end. And the best part? It bonds us to a singular purpose. We have a ‘thing’ we both love. It’s fun to talk about how we choose titles to our entries and the thrill we get when someone comments on our work. I’m so thankful to the Lord for how all this has transpired. And so thankful for Renaissance Man and his encouraging words. Without these two, where would I be?
Keep writing Soccer Boy; I’m reading.
Go ahead. Make Soccer Boy’s day. Visit his blog. And want to experience real writing that’s just plain fun to read, visit my mom’s blog. And don’t forget to leave a comment. There’s nothing better to a blogger than to know someone was there, read their blog, and liked it.