One of the things that many people who don’t understand Leadership Education philosophy have a problem with is the idea to Inspire not Require. Many people assume this means never require anything of the children, allow them free reign to learn whatever or whenever they want, don’t suggest anything and wait for all learning to happen. Furthermore, many believe this will extend to all areas of life- don’t require chores, don’t require healthy habits, etc. I must admit I struggled with this principle for a long time. After all, that is what it appears to say!
As a parent, it is my responsibility to make sure they receive the best education possible, are prepared to enter the world academically and socially, and fulfill their mission in life. This means it is my responsibility to make sure that my children know proper manners, proper behavior, how to clean house, how to cook, how to take care of basic maintenance, and how to be an adult. It is also my responsibility to make sure that I have given my children the opportunity to learn all they can and know how to learn. Does this have to be accomplished through endless worksheets? I don’t think so. Can everything be inspired? Maybe as they grow older, but for now I am not sure. For now family work is a requirement… but then again there are times the children are inspired to work hard on even family work without being asked.
So what does Inspire mean? Some call it Delight Directed learning. Others take it to one end of the spectrum and call it Unschooling. Still others have a very rigorous schedule but find ways to encourage their children to want to work hard on something. No matter how inspiration is accomplished, it is definitely a balancing act. With one child it might mean setting up an accountability program with stars. Another it might mean setting up a schedule for each day. Others thrive with input and then run with it. The key is to know the child and how to inspire that child best.
One way to inspire is, as Diann Jeppson says, to look for sparks from your children. What is a spark? A spark is a question or a comment the child makes. I wonder…, Why?…, etc. These are good jumping off points to help inspire learning. These sparks can pave the way for other things that you, as the parent, know the child needs to succeed. Sometimes these sparks are unexpected. Tiger needs to learn how to slow down, take his time, and be a bit methodical. I could harp on him but that won’t really do a whole lot of good. A spark for him is computer programming. He is currently working through Computer Science for Kids. Each lesson he MUST slow down. At first, he would get frustrated that he was missing something or had not inputted something correctly. Now he recognizes after several encounters that if he slows down and looks line by line he will find his error. Tomorrow I will talk about a mini-spark lesson in the kitchen.
This is a blog hop. Be sure to check out what the other Schoolhouse Review Crew are doing to light sparks and inspire their children.