I added three lessons to my “go to” strategies as a parent that came from learnings along my Wonder journey. Combined, they work to free my children (and myself) to journey forward into life with courage and confidence.
1: Be deeply curious about your children.
This seems so obvious. But the idea is a game-changer in parenting.
I like to assume I know my children better than anyone else – even themselves.
But isn’t this a fantasy?
If I can let go of my agendas for my children (ie, what I want them to accomplish, how I want them to behave and even to look like) then I am free to be fascinated by who they are and who they were meant to be.
With this mindset, I go from wishing they were more athletic or more musical or more intellectual to yearning to know them more deeply.
My favorite moment in the novel, The Education of Little Tree, is when the Native American protagonist explains that in his grandparents’ language they don’t say, “I love you” to each other. They say, “I understand you,” to express their deepest relational connection.
The best ending of any day with my children is when I can say, “I learned something new about you today. Let me share what I learned.”
2: Get to know our definition of “hero.”
The Wonder learners have defined “hero” as:
- A hero is someone who does not quit when things get hard.
- A hero is someone who does not blame others when there is a problem.
- A hero accepts responsibility and works to make things better.
- A hero learns to listen to feedback even when it hurts because it can lead to growth.
- A hero sees worth in others and helps fellow travellers on their own journeys.
- A hero is someone who gets up after falling down to begin the journey anew.
Pondering these words moves me to be more resilient in my daily life. It also helps me find words for a child when the going gets really tough – which it will. Together we can remember and re-commit to who we want to be.
3: Be prepared to talk to your skeptical friends about “blended learning.”
There is a misconception that using online programs for learning means children are staring at a screen all day. Bah!
Reading the following article will arm you with an excellent response about what blended learning looks like at Wonder, one out of hundreds of schools that makeup the Acton Academy network.
I hope it also makes you excited about the future of learning and the fact that your children are already there.
[Blogs or portion of blogs may be adapted from the blog of our partner school founder and advisor, Laura Sandefer.]