I listened to Linda Werner speak three times at the convention. The first time was at the leaders' forum and she spoke about (whatelse) leadership. The theme basically was that if you don't continue to grow, you die. Not necessarily literally, but certainly figuratively. This resonated with me because I'm always trying to push myself (and often my family) to do better. As a blogger, I tend to show the nitty gritty dirty stuff (see the previous post) because personally I prefer blogs that tell it like it is as opposed to ones that show families that "have it all together". In other words, my blog isn't generally big on advice, but since this advice is coming from conference speakers and not me I'm going to include it. Supposedly I will be able to access her facebook page and see her list of her favorite self-help leadership books. I haven't done that yet, but I'll let you know when I do.
The second day she spoke on defining your strengths, and your kids' strengths. It is generally very easy for us to come up with many things we are not good at. Likewise we often do the same with regard to our kids. She suggested we focus more on what we and our kids are good at, and illustrated it with that story about the animals that started a school. How the rabbit was a great runner, but he had to take remedial swimming because he was so bad at it. Eventually the school suggested he give up running altogether and focus only on swimming because he was having so much trouble. Obviously we cannot completely ignore what we do poorly, but if we focus a little more on what we all do well, we'll all be better off. Isn't this the essesnce of homeschooling anyway? We don't all have to do the same things in the same ways that everyone else does. This session ended with a story of a little boy who was ostracized in preschool, not allowed into a private kindergarten because he couldn't write, and was eventually labeled on the autism spectrum. The parents ended up homeschooling him by default. He was tested by professionals and found to be just a hair above educably mentally retarded. This little boy is now ten, and got up on stage in full Native American Headdress and gave a report on Florida's Indian Chief Osceloa. At the end when everyone clapped for him, he replied, don't clap for me, God is one the who gave me the ability to do this...give the glory to God. Isn't it wonderful that this child who was basically written off by professionals is now being taught with an eye toward his strengths?
The last day Linda's topic was "where do you want to see yourself and your family in 10 years?" Think about that one for a minute. Is what you are doing now with your family going to give you the outcome you desire in 10 years?