My family went to a homeschool conference this past weekend. It was so great! The vendor hall is enormous! There are so much curriculum to choose from. There are so many great books! You could spend a small fortune!
There were a lot of good speakers, but it's impossible to hear them all. There is always at least one speaker who really makes a huge impression on me. Last year it was a music teacher who talked about the different styles of music and how they affect us. He said that classical music is the only style of music that can actually make you smarter. This year there were 2 speakers that left a lasting impression. One speaker is a Mom to 6 children. They had 3 children, waited a while, and then had 3 more. The first 3 children rebelled against what their parents taught them and have had a strained relationship with their parents. This Mom and her husband started realizing the mistakes they had made with their first 3 children and changed the way they parented the last 3. Both parents have described ways in which they were too strict, too overprotective, and too harsh, but they have learned from their mistakes and try to parent with their children's hearts in mind. One story she told, was that her college age son came home from school one day while she was at the kitchen table with her youngest 3 doing school. She brightly said, "Hi honey. How was your day?" He grunted and said, "Whatever". She was shocked and hurt and one of her other kids started crying from seeing her older brother be so hateful to their Mom. The Mom's first thought was to go lecture him about being respectful, obedient, etc. But the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart and told her that something was going on with her son. She said to her other 3 kids, "I know that Joe (don't know his name) loves me, but something is wrong and we need to pray for him." They all started praying for him. 5 minutes later, he came down the stairs and apologized for being disrespectful and told her that something negative had happened to him at school and he was really upset about it. She said that that experience was a turning point in their relationship. She has learned that your pride or mood shouldn't drive how you react to your children.
Gotta go feed my children! I'll have to write more later!