Here it is:
"This is how you get better. I know it's hard right now, and you feel frustrated. But do you remember how hard it used to seem to write your name with a capital letter at the front, and have all the other letters be lowercase? Or how hard it seemed to read those little 8-page readers that Maranatha is reading now? But now doing all of that is easy-peasy to you. It wouldn't even take any effort at all if I asked you to do that. Just like that, this (whether I'm talking about reading harder books or multiplication tables or whatever) will one day seem super-easy to you too.
Now, look at me in my eyes. (wait for them to look) You can DO this. You can. God has made your mind curious and intelligent. Mama says you can do this, and you really CAN. This is how your brain is going to grow and become more capable. I know what you are capable of, and I think if you stretch your brain just a little bit, you can reach this and do it well. Now, let's get to it."Sometimes I follow this up with "now go wash off your face and come out ready to work"... if they've been crying. Sometimes it's given with a hug and snuggles, if I see that they are genuinely (not just manipulatively, but GENUINELY) feeling as if they really *can't* do this. Sometimes it's a little more stern, and sometimes it's a little more soft. But this lecture has become oft-visited and oft-spoken. Last week I actually heard my 10-year-old giving part of this pep-talk to my 8-year-old when he was feeling frustrated about reading something more challenging.
Teaching our children to trust in us... to look at what they've accomplished and realize that just like we said they could do THAT back *then*, and they did (whether it was wiping up a mess or tying a shoe or reading a sentence or changing their attitude or whatever), that they can trust us in THIS NOW... is so important.
Over time, the process of homeschooling builds confidence for both us as moms & teachers, and for them as kids & as students. It teaches us as moms to not exasperate our children, but to really watch for readiness and make sure that what we are asking of them is reasonable and within their grasp. It builds relationship as they learn to listen to us, and to trust our judgment, that we can see farther than they can.
And it builds trust in God for all of us as we see, day-in & day-out, that God really did give them minds that are capable. Capable to do certain tasks adequately, and capable to do some things extraordinarily well. God has built our children's minds well, according to His purposes, and it is such a privilege to be a part of shaping and molding those minds.
Anyway, I just shared this mini-lecture with a friend tonight and thought I'd share it here as well. Hope it encourages some of you, or at least, gives insight into how I've come to deal with that "barrier" of "I CAN'T DO THIS!!!" in our homeschool setting.