Celebrate The Lesson, Not just The Mistake — Gustavo Razzetti
A middle-school teacher Gosheva with a young daughter has several stresses in her life: one of her students is a petty thief , her father has taken up with a much younger woman after his wife died, and her husband is an unemployed drunkard who has wasted her earnings, supposedly trying to fix a broken-down camper rather than making the mortgage payments on their home. It has all become too much, as the bank is uncooperative, dismissive, and rigid regarding her situation, so she resorts to drastic measures to save her home from foreclosure.
The Lesson premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 4 September and proceeded to make its rounds at different film festivals for another year. The film received generally positive reviews from critics. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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The Lesson Film poster. Margita Gosheva Ivan Barnev.
British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 17 December Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database.
We are acting as a proxy, in a sense, for Christ. Since they can't have his daily role model, then he has given his children parents to be an example, to point the way. Along with lesson preparations, we need to prepare ourselves by asking: is the pattern I live the way Christ would act? Can I say today that I have marked the path for my children to follow? Children learn from seeing their parent's role model. Watching an adult make a simple mistake such as being too punitive with a child and go through the process of repenting is times more effective than your devotional lesson on repentance.
This means children must be intimately involved with you in your daily life.
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A few hours a day after school won't do it. Children should be involved in the adult's life rather than daily life rotating around the children. Research has shown that children who have grown up to be productive well-adjusted adults are those who have been drawn into the parent's world; their daily activities, work, and interests; rather than having parents who centered their world on the child.
When I began home schooling, I never could find the time to do the things I felt were important for my life; such as writing in my journal, corresponding with relatives, studying my scriptures, and more. Somehow, in my busy-ness of trying to teach the kids how to write in their journals, I was neglecting my own journal writing.
Thankfully, we now have journal writing time in school daily, and we write letters to relatives together as a family on Sunday.
Homeschool life should help parents do the daily necessities, rather than usurp the time needed for them. Home maintenance, chores, food preparation, gardening, food preservation, budgeting, clothing care mending and sewing , planning family social relationships, caring for small children, record keeping, quilting, wallpapering, etc. The parent's joyful task is to lead and guide the child into the real world--not set up a contrived pseudo-world to teach skills that the children would easily learn if they spent their time around adults who were striving to live good lives.
The Baby IS the Lesson
What constitutes an adult trying to live a "good life"? Being a productive adult would constitute a full-time curriculum!
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Plant a garden, read good literature, serve the needy, be politically aware, keep a journal, vote for honest men, develop your talents, etc. The exciting part about leading a child into the real world is that they are self-motivated. The moment I sit down to play the piano, all my children want to play and want me to teach them to play something. No sooner than I begin typing on the computer, I have the whole family "needing" to type.
My efforts at writing have, humorous to me, stimulated the production of "books" from my youngest children. Modeling is so much more effective than lecturing. Studies show that the biggest determining factor for a child's success in reading in school is if they have seen a parent reading in the home on a regular basis. This is especially true for boys if the parent who reads is their father, rather than their mother. Somehow, the example says far more about the value of reading than endless hours in school reading groups.
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In every area, it takes instruction to teach skills to little people. It isn't realized just by living in a family. But shared family life practices and contributes to those skills. Having taught my little girl the numbers and the plus, minus and equal signs and how they worked, she jumped right into figuring out how many plates she needed to set the table using her new skills: "We have 9 and the boys are gone to college so that is minus 3, so we need six". When we think of homeschool, sometimes we get tunnel vision, and think "academics", "keeping up to speed" and other worrisome concerns that don't really tell the whole story.