A great quote (from Charlotte Mason, of course) that describes our approach to homeschooling is printed on the back of a t-shirt my children have. "Nourish a child daily with loving, right, and noble ideas... which may bear fruit in his life." Actually, just about all the offspring from my fantastic CM Book Club have this shirt! But I digress... yesterday I had one of those moments with one of my kids that made me "know that I know" that we're doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing.
I won't go into all the "offenses" committed, but we can just say that the eldest Smith son had not exactly represented Christ well in word, deed, or attitude. It was along the lines of responsibility, work ethic, and authority. He had taken advantage of a situation and yielded to his flesh, spiraling downward and fast. After restitution had been made, notes of apology written, and consequences meted out, this young man sat alone, obviously deep in thought and not very proud of his behavior. In short, he was disappointed in himself. I felt he had suffered enough and that he could benefit from some encouragement, so I invited him to come sit with me on the couch. It was one of those mother/son moments where you see the spirit vs. flesh struggle weighing heavily on the heart. Where you want to be able to step in and fight the devil yourself on his behalf, but you know that it is better to teach him to handle that battle dressed in the armour of God. As we sat & talked, Jirafa made an observation that astounded me - and it was right on the nose. "It's like I'm like Rip Van Winkle - I do everyone else's work but my own." Wow. All the nagging and prodding (see Volume 3) I could muster could not have brought him to that conclusion. In the reading of a meaty book, months of digestion, and a few reflective moments on a bad day, Jirafa learned something about himself that is going to actually lead to change... er uh... bear fruit... in his life.
I love it.