If those are the kinds of answers you are looking for in Training for Excellence, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. Parenting, educating children, the whole kit and kabootle is just downright hard work. There is no escaping it. No rushing it. No shortcuts.
It can mean experimenting with multiple curriculums to find the one that works best for your child (which may be different from what works most effectively for his older brother). I found that my young children shut down when workbooks or textbooks were presented and came to life with a hands-on unit study approach to learning.
It can mean trying different educational approaches to discover their favorite learning modality. Even with a very experiential environment, my son has always been a visual learner, my husband an auditory learner, and my daughter a mildly kinesthetic learner.
If there are problems, it can mean testing to discover learning differences or disabilities and then figuring out how to correct them. Don’t make the mistake of just making allowances in your school and never testing or seeking accommodations. That will hurt your child when it comes time for standardized testing in high school.
As we seek to awaken possibility in our children, it may mean multiple attempts to find the activities that make our children’s heart sing. We were fortunate in the lean years of early homeschooling to have inherited a piano that was beat up, but had an amazing sound. In my mind, we were set! My kids would play the piano.
My son started lessons and became quite accomplished. However, when my daughter reached the age of six and the obligatory lessons began, she went along with it for about a month and then informed me she did NOT want to play the piano, she wanted to something she could carry.
This was a pretty serious request given the isolation of where we live and the financial implications of another instrument. However, I trusted her and finally found a half size violin and a teacher. She immediately fell in love and has been delighting me with her music ever since. But it was a huge amount of time and work and money through the years.
While our culture may have changed and grown shallow, you can bank on the fact that your children have not. To help them be all they can be will take years of hard work and sacrifice and experimentation. At times it will feel that you have nothing left to give. But there is no work on earth that is more creative or more fulfilling than parenting well. May God grant you courage for the job in front of you.