I lean back in my chair, with my new book in my hand. It is Better Late Than Early, by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. I loved their book, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook, and I want to learn more. I want to learn more about true education, delayed formal study, character building, and how to apply it. Well, my kids provide adequate training situations…
One meal we had pineapple as a side dish. My son (2 1/2 years old) really, really liked the fruit. So, when he saw an opportunity, he took all there was. And, he refused to share with his sister (four years old), who also wanted some of the pineapple.
What could have been a dilemma, ending in a fight, became an important lesson in character building.
Obviously my son needed to learn to share. Keeping everything for yourself is not the way you should act. It will result in negative feelings, I explained. He made his sister sad. He needed to protect his plate, to keep his sister from stealing some pieces of pineapple. And, he was upset when she succeeded in stealing a piece. I told him sharing the fruit with his sister will make not only her, but also him, happy. He shared happily one piece and both kids smiled. Good for them!
Then, my daughter asked for more and my son stubbornly refused again. So…the lesson continued! My son went in time-out in the hallway, where daddy talked in a calm and clear way to him, explaining he needed to share and then they both could happily enjoy the pineapple.
In the meantime, I talked with our daughter. Refusing to share is not okay, but stealing the fruit from your brother is also wrong. Learning to resist temptation is an important lesson, not only for now, but for the rest of her life. Even though she is young, she seemed to understand, and patiently waited for her brother to come back from time-out. Little brother needed a couple of minutes to think, but when he came back to the table, he happily shared the pineapple with his sister until she wanted no more.
Oh, how I love these kids and their smiling faces! I feel so incredibly blessed with the children God gave us, with everything God gave us. Since we decided homeschooling was the way we wanted to educate our children, I learned about true education, delayed formal study, and the need to focus on character building. I have to say I’m still a newbie in homeschooling and I need to learn more, much more. But, I thank God for the lessons both my family and I learn, day by day.