Friday, November 5, 2010
Blessing Our Children
Blessings are words of affirmation and love spoken to another. When a parent speaks these words and then exhibits them by action or deed, the child is blessed beyond measure. Gary Smalley and John Trent speak of the five elements of the blessing in their book by the same title. These elements are a meaningful touch, a spoken message, the attachment of high value to the one being blessed, the creation of a word picture of the special future perceived to the one being blessed, and an active commitment to fulfill the blessing. Although all parents can share the blessing with their children, the homeschool parent has a greater opportunity to pass this blessing along to their off-spring simply because of the dedicated amount of time he or she spends with their children. The creation of a warm and responsive environment facilitates a positive sense of self-worth in children, blesses them, and helps them develop intellectually and to his or her full potential. Although teachers in an institutionalized setting can be warm and responsive, studies have shown that the sheer number of students under the care of a classroom teacher limits his or her ability to spend much time affirming each student individually. An average teacher spends seven minutes a day responding to students, and this number includes both positive and negative responses. Because of time constraints, discipline issues, and lack of one-on-one interaction, most students are not asked the “why” and “how” questions that expand their abilities to become thinkers. Instead, instructors tend to spend more time asking “who, what, where, and when”, simply because the answers to these questions are easier to evaluate quickly so they can move along to other things. Home education provides an opportunity for parents to bless their children by responding to their individual needs in a warm and positive way. A by-product of this blessing is the development of intellect and the creation of thinking children.