Friday, August 25, 2017

Letting Her Fail

We all knew at least a couple of kids who were kicked out of college that first year. Usually, it wasn't any big infraction. They didn't make the school paper or even have a great story to tell.

Generally, it was just a case of a kid who wasn't ready to be responsible for all the privileges that come along with being a college student. You know how it went down. A fun party keeps them out late. The alarm clock rings for that 8am class that freshmen get forced to take. The kid hits snooze. Snooze becomes the habit. Pretty soon, the undone snowballs into failing grades and a kid back home trying to explain where all that money for the semester's classes went.

I started blogging here around about the time my oldest began her (home)schooling career. It was a time of bug hunts and field trips and read-a-louds. The good old days... ;)

Now, my sweet girl is taller than me. A freshman in (home) High School... How did this happen? Those bug hunts have turned into an Applied Health Science course at our local homeschool co-op. The glitter and play-dough were replace by a Digital Arts Class. Those read-a-louds became a World Literature course.

I see the future coming fast.

We had a talk, my baby girl and me. Call it tough love?

I told her that she's almost grown. It might have made me tear up, but I told her. She didn't seem too surprised.

I told her that she is now responsible for her schooling. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm charting the course and grading the books and making the transcript. But the work? It's all her. The deadlines? All her. The reaching out for help when needed? Yup. All her.

She might have looked a little shocked when I told her that. A little overwhelmed.

And on my part, it's kind of scary, too. It's hard to step back and not step up to nag, to catch, or to rescue.

And she might do fine. And she might not.

In the end, I'm choosing the lesson of personal character as my main goal for her freshman year.

It may lower her GPA. Let's be honest, it probably will.

She may fail at something. Haven't we all?

It could cost her a scholarship to an elite school. Well, she knows the stakes. It's her game to play, now.

The reality is, I only have 4 more years to teach her the really hard stuff that won't be seen on the SAT. Only 4 more years before this beautiful arrow goes out into the world to make her way and make her mark and reflect her God to the people she meets.

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! Psalm 127:3-5

I'm not wasting those 4 precious years. I'm using them to teach the greatest lessons. This year? Integrity and Perseverance.

Wanna chime in on the discussion? Leave a comment about the character traits your are working to foster in your children (home or public schooled). Tell us what you are doing to help them develop in those areas. Let's encourage each other.

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