“And the Mom of the Year Award goes to…”
Anyone but me! So far, I’ve managed to frustrate Ruby in the usual getting-ready-for-school routine (no holey leggings at school, thanks) and annoy Zac. Did I mention nagging Zac? Yeah. He’s behind on his schoolwork and not doing so hot academically, either. I don’t know how to motivate him.
This is the hard part of homeschooling, at least to me. I want him to succeed and catch fire with all he’s learning. But I can’t *make* the light bulb turn on. All I can do is wheedle, cajole, encourage, edify and possibly maim. Not the last one. Though at times it’s tempting.
“Why are you making me do all this work?” Zac growled.
This is where the wheels fell off.
I took a deep breath.
“Zac, I’m not making you do this work. You wanted to be homeschooled. The deadline is today: September 30. You need to get all the overdue assignments done. You know this.”
I admit I got a little hot. I hate receiving blame for things that aren’t my fault. We got into a brief time of intense fellowship. In the middle of all this, I was making cookies. Cheap therapy, folks. As I moved the cookies from the sheets to the cooling rack, I realized I was only trying to encourage Zac the way my dad encouraged me. Dad believed in me 24/7, nonstop. He still does. I will cop to the fact that Dad got under my skin. He would never let me quit anything until I’d given it everything I had. I kept at volleyball, band, basketball, track, softball, driving a stick shift, you name it. Because of Dad’s constant and sometimes excessive (it seemed) pushing me, I overcame. I learned to persevere.
Remembering this legacy, I got onto the school website from Zac’s login point and dug around. The gradebook! That’s where all the past due assignments are, along with their point value. Yay! In all fairness, Zac’s homeroom teacher pointed it out to me. I started writing them down and Zac took it from there.
After a time, I brought Zac a cookie: a peace offering of sorts.
“I don’t know how to motivate you,” I admitted sheepishly. How to translate into actions, if not words, how much you dream of the best for your child? You bring that tiny baby home from the hospital and your heart swoons. True love. As they grow and develop, you see your child’s giftings. You want the world to share in them and to see your kid succeed. Zac has many abilities – natural athlete, writer, mathematician, scientist, comedian, debater/potential lawyer…He will have to put effort and time into any of these areas. How do we as parents get out of the way and yet continue to uplift our children? At the end of the day, Zac will decide, hopefully by listening to the Lord, where to best invest his time and effort. I must step aside.
As I write this, Zac’s moving from subject to subject, knocking out the items due. Kapow! He still feels overwhelmed but his attitude improved exponentially.
Guess who’s in school, right beside Zac? Yep. I’m pulling up a chair.