The Art of Rhetoric – Practicum Day 2, 2014

The Art of RhetoricToday, I was so thankful to dig into the curriculum of Challenge B in my afternoon session. My ‘classmates’ and I had an opportunity to ask our questions and seek clarification from a seasoned professional. And I found out something else… I’m not the only one who is scared! Leading – being a tutor, or director can be really scary. It’s a step of faith, though, and we have to walk down a new road if we want to see where it takes us.

In our A.M. session, Erin Barry spoke about everyone of us having purpose and calling. I needed that reminder. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t need to know everything. We just have to give  all of ourselves to what we are being called to do today. And for us, today, that calling is homeschooling our kids.

Erin said something that knocked my socks off today. Are you ready for this?

There are NO grandchildren in heaven. 

Did you catch that?  NO GRANDKIDS. That means that not only do our kids belong to our father, but we are also no more important than they are. Our feelings don’t matter anymore than their’s do. God gave us a few of HIS children to care for, and has called us to educate them in our family rooms.

Wow. That just changes my perspective of every single time I’ve lost my temper, or gotten frustrated. Not that any of you ever get angry or frustrated. It’s just me, I know…

We discussed the importance of allowing middle schoolers the experience of enjoying the dialectic years of education. Middle schoolers are impulsive. They don’t want to organize. They don’t want to write out the steps – and want to follow them even less! The dialectic stage – around ages 12 to 14 – are when kids are questioning everything around them, and often, are impulsive with their answers. (At this point I was just thankful it wasn’t only my kid!) Often, our kids aren’t taught to organize their thoughts before coming to conclusions, and this is a natural part of being in the dialectic stage. However – if we fail to teach our kids to process and systematically ask questions, they may never grasp that skill on their own.

(If you need proof of this, read the comment thread of any controversial post on social media. It’ll be very clear.)

Erin used this illustration to explain what’s happening during the dialectic stage, and why it can be SUCH a frustrating time for parents… This stage is like the period of time after you plant seeds in your garden. It’s the wait. Nothing is happening. Our kids can be like that. We spend a lot of time just waiting around for our tweens and teens to mature, grow, and stop driving us crazy! But we keep watering the seed. We keep fertilizing the soil, and pulling the weeds. And we keep the faith that the plant really will sprout.

If you are in this stage, keep the faith. The seed is going to sprout and grow, bloom and flower, and eventually produce fruit.
It’s just going to take a bit of time.

Hang in there, mamas! I’m right there with ya!


If you would like to read about my biggest takeaways from Practicum Day 1, just click here!

1 comment on The Art of Rhetoric – Practicum Day 2, 2014

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