The Kitchen Table
Seems just as you plug one leak, another seems to spring up. This holds true in our home schooling as well. Just when I work through some difficulty with one student, another seems to start up. This is not unique to homeschooling I know - it is true for all parents with children in school.
Currently, said unnamed student is struggling greatly in math. It is not a lack of ability - but a lack of neatness and attention to detail. They want to plow through their work as quickly as possible. In their effort to do as little as possible, they find they have to do triple the amount of work. Their work is incorrect. It is so indecipherable that I cannot even follow their work to show them where they went wrong - they just have to begin again.
If in their struggle to work through a problem they would calmly ask me for help, I would be more than happy to give it. “Mom, I’m stuck here. Can you tell me where I am going wrong?” Instead, they proceed to put their head on their hands, roll their eyes, and grumble about how much they dislike math. Help is within arms reach, but they never have the presence of mind to simply ask for it.
Though they never seem to ask for it, when I do sit with them, and watch them write out the problem reminding them to make sure this is legible or that is legible and to take their time, they get the correct answer. I have no problem being this guiding presence, however, they have to learn to do the work right without someone sitting right next to them. At some point they have to chose to do the work right, one step at a time, because it is the right thing to do. Mom can’t follow them around their whole life (Thank God!), they must take responsibility for themselves. Once they make this choice their life will become so much simpler. They will save themselves the frustration and headache of doing the same problem time and time again and not getting it right. Let’s pray this particular Hilgefort makes this choice soon!
I was remarking recently to a friend that so many of my sins occur within 10 feet of the kitchen table. I spend a great deal of my life somewhere near the kitchen; cooking, cleaning, schooling, just living. How would I behave differently if Jesus was sitting at my table? I would certainly speak more charitably and raise my voice much less. I would take the time to visit with my guest. I would ask Him to help when I felt a bit overwhelmed and needed the extra hands. I would do things much better I am sure.
I am not too unlike my own child in this way, failing to do what is right for the sake of doing it. Failing to ask for help when Christ desires so greatly for me to turn to Him in my weakness. What excuse do I have? Christ is with me at all times. I need to speak as if He is right next to me (because He is!) and seek His help in my daily struggles. If I commit to this I will find my days will be much smoother. There will still be much work to do, but I will have the peace of knowing the work was done right.
How is it that so many of the bad habits my children have that drive me so crazy, I too struggle with in just a different way? God be patient with me and help me to be patient with my children!
So the math continues in another room as I finish up this blog. Will they finally finish? Will I choose to have a holy kitchen? I hope the answer to both of these questions is a resounding “Yes!” JMJ