Monday, January 25, 2016

I Can't Do It!

"I can't do it!" my four year old wailed.
"You can do it. You really can, bud. But you have to try," I said, handing the marker back to him. We had been working on a letter matching game and everytime he saw a lower case b or d, he couldn't figure out which one it was. He can't stand to be wrong so if he doesn't know, he freezes. Because this is my second child with perfectionist tendencies, I don't worry as much. But I was running out of ways to keep him feeling confident.

"Come sit with me," I said as I patted my lap. "I have a question for you. What will I do to you if you get it wrong?"
"Don't know," he said under his breath.
"Will I give you an electric shock?"
"No," he said, trying to stifle a giggle.
"Will I put you in the dryer and turn it on?"
"No," he said giggling a little more.
"Right. Nothing bad will happen. It just means that I need to do a better job teaching you and you have to work hard to learn. We can do that, right?" I smiled, feeling like I absolutely nailed this pep talk. His shoulders slumped. "I can't do it."

I took a deep breath and began rethinking my game plan. My oldest however, already had it covered. "Drew! I used to hate this too! It's so hard! Mommy, how old was I when I finally figured this out? Five? I think I was five. Maybe six! Drew! That means that you can learn something TWO YEARS before I did. Want me to show you a trick?"

"Mmm hmm!" he said as he climbed off my lap.

"You know what a big B looks like, right? Well, a little b is just a big B with it's head chopped off! Isn't that hilarious!?"

"Yeah! That's hilarious!"

"So basically if you add a head to it, like this, and it doesn't look like a B, it's a D! Let's try it. What do you think this one is?"

"It's a B with it's head chopped off!!"

"WOW you got it right already! That's so good, Drew!"

I couldn't agree more. Although I was most proud of my oldest. He helped me, he helped his brother and he somehow managed to make it fun. He reminded me once again of the power of homeschooling. It isn't all about the ABC's and 123's. It's about living life together, learning together, helping one another and using each moment as something that will help all of us to grow. It rejuvenated me and made me so incredibly grateful for this journey.

Have you seen your children helping each other lately? Make sure to hug them and let them know what a difference they are making.

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