I continually feel like I’m in a world that is getting easier and easier on kids. And on adults too. We take the path of least resistance over and over again because it’s there for the taking. You don’t want to walk home from your friend’s house a couple blocks away? That’s ok, someone will drive you. You don’t want to go through the hassle of going to Home Depot to pick up that part for the broken toilet? No worries, you can sit at your computer, order it on Amazon and have it delivered to you doorstep. You don’t want to slice up your apples? Never fear, you can buy them all pre-sliced and bagged for you at the store lickety-split. I know what you’re thinking: that’s awesome in some ways. And you’re right. It is so nice and convenient. All of it. But are we losing touch of working on things? Together as a team or on our own? Does all that ease cause us to lose touch in a way?
Maybe I should explain what I’m getting at, because of course there’s still all kinds of good work going on in the world. But lately I’m getting tired. So if my kids complain about doing something tough, or mope around, sometimes I make the cardinal sin of just doing it for them, or just to forget it all together. It’s easier than the eye rolling or the effort it takes for me to put on a happy face and give them that sideways fist across the chest claiming, “come on, it’ll be so fun!” Sometimes I just get tired of combating all that negativity. Oh, you’re going to be gone for family dinner? Ok, we’ll catch you next time. No time to clean up after yourself, I’ll do it. Blah, blah, blah.
Whoa, that was a little aside the point. Maybe I’m more frustrated with all this mumbo jumbo than I realized! Ha! What I’m getting at here is that I’m trying to crack down on things I feel like these kids need to do to make them stronger. Things that will make them find more beauty in life. Things that will bring them happiness even if it’s a pain in the short term.
So as I mentioned before in our “summer expectations,” one of the things I cracked down on was memorization. I talked about how much I love memorization back HERE. And there’s a Q & A about how we did memorization in our family growing up over HERE. Oh, and we had a quick stint in poetry memorization back HERE that I loved…here’s my little tiny girls reciting one of the poems they memorized:
div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: left;”>
We have quotes up on our “Wall” (back HERE) of many of the things we’ve memorized, both in my family growing up as well as this family Dave and I are growing:
Back in the spring my neighbor hosted a memorization night. My girls were at first horrified that I was going to make them stand up in front of a crowd and recite something. But as the night drew closer and they practiced up, you could sense the excitement. They were actually eagerly anticipating their turns to stand up on that stage.
Claire practiced up on her Theodore Roosevelt “Man in the Arena” quote that we love so much and recited that:
And Grace was a little late to the game in the midst of all her senioritis business but luckily had Helaman 5:12 up her sleeve which she knew easily by heart from memorizing it every summer with my mom for Grammie Camp. But of course it’s different when you’re doing it in front of people, and she did it fabulously:
I just have to include this video of Lu when she was trying to memorize that thing a couple years ago and now she has it down-pat and has referred to it over and over and over and over again since then:
(I can’t thank my mom enough for making it so fun for all the grandkids to know that scripture, love you mom!)
And this video was categorized with that last one under “memorization” in my photo files so I may as well share it too…it’s of Claire when she memorized the first half of The Living Christ when we did home-school-English last year:
Yes, that was literally only a little over a year ago, can you believe how much that girl has grown up in a year?? But let’s examine beyond that face that was so-darn-much-younger and check out that glow of confidence on that face?? See it? Yep, because she worked hard on that thing. But her “teacher”-who-happened-to-be-her-mother worked it into her lessons.
That glow that came from these girls from a job well done, being able to take something from the inside and spill it out beautifully got me thinking about how I want to up my game of what to expect from these kids. Not just poetry but life in general. They can do so much more than we expect sometimes! And so can we. (Poor Lucy and Claire…ha. But don’t the last kids at home usually get the slacked-off parent?? I want to hold them to the same expectations I held their older brother and sisters. I don’t want to forget to push just like I did on the older kids just because the majority of my children are gone.) So we’re motivated among other things to up our memorizing game around here. We memorized some favorite quotes as well as a scripture I love this summer. Then at the lake all these kids were inundated with memorizing “Grandfather’s Secrets” which made my heart swell up.
So, now we’re on to the new school year and I’m committed to keep that memorization up, for them and for me, as well as some other things I’ll write about soon. I’m committed enough to throw it onto the blog to keep me accountable 🙂 I’m going to come back in a couple months to report, hold me to it! Also, I’d love any advice on memorizing, and great quotes or poems that would be good to put up on our “memorization board.”
And with that I’ll close this little rant…luckily I’m out of time 🙂
How do you approach grades and reward or punish academic performance? I’m sure that this is a question that crosses most parents mind once their kids bring home a less than stellar grade. Which begs the question… should parents reward kids for good grades?
As parents, we have such a special opportunity to infuse kids with confidence. Sometimes it is tricky business, especially with all the “voices” they listen to out there. But I wanted to share one way my dad helped us understand our talents – a parenting hack to give kids confidence.