A Morning in the Life 24

This morning while I was reading at my desk Issac wandered in and asked if it was okay if he cleaned his room.

“!?! Um, yeah, of course.”

We talked a bit and he explained to me why he throws his clothes on the floor and how he planned to refold the clothes when the come unfolded so that he can put them back in his drawer. (Our rule is that he needs to keep the clean clothes off the floor and make a path before bed each night. I have reiterated time and again that I don’t like him throwing his clean clothes on the floor so he has been trying to work out how to keep that from happening.) He wandered off and did his clothes then asked if he could take a break– to eat breakfast.

“Of course.”

A bit later he went back and did some more then asked if he could play on the computer a bit.


A few minutes later he came back and asked if he could get me some coffee.


When he returned he was proud of how careful he had been and how quickly he had gotten it. (Yes he is 6 and yes, he LOVES to make and get me coffee. He has a fascination with the whole process. And yes, he is free to do what he likes within reason. I do not require that he come ask about each step–it is just his way. The girls don’t.)

After he had gone Rachel wandered in with my old spell-checker in hand (its a calculator but with a spell-checker from when I was in college.) She has seen it before but was never interested in it. Now that she enjoys writing letters to her friends she is constantly looking words up (she will get the spellings eventually–the spell-checker on my computer is how I learned to spell–that is often the best way with dyslexia). She was so excited when I showed her how it works. Then she saw the scale on my desk and asked if she could borrow it. I have no idea what for but I am sure it is interesting and makes perfect sense to her. I’ve shown her how it works and she has often used it to help me weigh things to mail on Paperbackswap.
I haven’t seen Esther yet, but if knowing her she is likely still in her room, reading a pile of books or doing her devotions, or drawing. She often shows up after reading a while with a drawing illustrating it. She will come down and eat later–she doesn’t like eating when she wakes up.

It still amazes me how my kids will do things on their own and in their own time that I have tried to get them to do to no avail in the past. It doesn’t matter how many times I help my son clean his room–it won’t stay clean until it is his own project.

It doesn’t matter how many times I try to get my oldest to write and use the spell checker–she won’t do it and learn the correct spellings until she makes it her own project.

It doesn’t matter how hard I try to get my middle child to stay focused–it won’t happen until she wants to read or draw something.

When they take it on themselves they internalize it and get what they need out of it. If you feed someone who isn’t hungry even their favorite foods will be rejected but, if you wait until they are really hungry, they will enjoy even the most hated foods. If I try to force-feed my children knowledge they will reject even those things they are interested in. However, if I show them what is available, make things easily accessible, they WILL choose to learn on their own.

Sure there are things I have to teach them but God designed them to move in a certain direction–which is not necessarily the way I would send them. He knows the way they should go and my job is to train them to know and love Him and to teach them HOW to learn and to enjoy learning and show them what is available to them so that they may follow that path He has designated. He has put the fire in their hearts, I just need to fuel it.

*Just some quick doodles to illustrate–didn’t take any pictures.