Last evening our Countywide Homeschool Organization Presented a Workshop for Parents and teens. Our speakers were Steve and Ethan Demme who travel extensively and speak on relationships in the family. It turns out that the Demme's live in the Lancaster Area and were very much looking forward to offering their speaking gifts to the local homeschool community.
They were excellent. I warned Jonathan and Mikey to be on their best behavior since we are on the Board of this organization and as soon as I said it I flashed back to my time growing up as the Preacher's Kid. There were just certain things expected that not everyone else had to live by...I did not like that and here I was doing it to our boys.
I don't think I would have needed to give that admonition. From the moment Steve Demme took the podium he had every one's attention in the room. He was good! I could not resist taking a peek out of the corner of my eye at the boys when certain things were said...they were right there...getting it!
After Steve Demme spoke his son, Ethan, came up. This guy connected with everyone so well and with such humor. Mikey said afterward he felt like he was watching a stand up comedian. The points that this 25 year old homeschooled, college graduate got across were great!
Between the two speakers here are the highlights:
1. The Love of God for us and then the Love within the family.
2. Children are to obey their parents.
3. Parents are responsible for the instruction of their children.
4. Fathers are reminded not to provoke their children to the point of anger.
5. That parents should not be hypocrites. Our children know us better than we know ourselves.
6. The importance of the company we keep.
7. How important it is to understand the learning style and personality of each child. It matters!
8. That we are raising these children to be adults so there is a time that is hard for all involved as changes happen and we let go more and more...
9. God has no grandchildren and so the spiritual walk of the child will be different from ours. We are not making clones of ourselves, spiritually.
10. Teaching kindness and compassion for others.
These were Steve's main points. He shared them with such humility and humor that his time with us just flew.
Then Ethan talked about his experience with his brothers and how different they each are from one another but how they interacted.
He brought in the different learning styles and how his oldest brother is in graduate school now going for his PhD but is kind of lacking in the common sense things of life where he and his younger brother are more average students who have both graduated from college.
Ethan is now doing the things for a living that he hated most in his school years, writing and public speaking...and he loves it! He encouraged the students to keep an open mind to these things all the while telling them how much he had hated it.
Ethan talked about the moments that every homeschool family is familiar with...how every activity is a teaching moment. The grocery store...shopping for the cheapest price per ounce, the historical markers along side the road, anything and everything is a learning experience...Ethan is now married and is still homeschooling himself as He now stops and reads the historical markers and he reads lots and lots of books and he shops for the cheapest price per ounce.
He stressed that he had to learn to think critically for himself because he truly bought into everything his parents had taught him until he hit college and found out they weren't right about everything.
Steve backed him up on this.
It is true that we, as parents, need to be sure to offer our children the information that there is more than one way to think about anything. We can give our reasons and support it with scripture if it is available...otherwise it may not be something in which our children need to think exactly like us.
There was so much! I highly recommend the Demmes. You can find their web site at www.thefamilythatstaystogether.org.
You may also know of Steve's math program: Math-U-See.
Have a great Day!