In a not-so-rare occurrence, I have two reviews going on right now that have led me in the same direction. What can I say? When God speaks to me, he often hammers in the same message through many different sources.
We recently received in the Deluxe Combo Teacher/Student Writing Package Level A from IEW for review. It includes a lot of different elements, but one of them is the revised version of Teaching Writing: Structure and Style. I had only listened to the introductory lecture when I found decided to listen to the audio lecture on Principles of Motivation and Skills Development. It’s included as part of the premium TWSS subscription as an audio download. So, I started listening to it, and found myself really engaged and interested in it on so many levels. I could spend a whole blog post (and maybe I should soon) discussing how I’ve discouraged the children’s development as students by the incorrect ways I’ve attempted to motivate them.
As a part of that audio lecture, I found that Pudewa was quoting a piece of C.S. Lewis’s classic essay “The Weight of Glory.” I found a copy of the essay here. As I sat down to begin to read, the very beginning of this essay really stood out to me. It says:
If you asked twenty good men to-day what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a a positive, and this is of more than philological importance. This negative idea of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point. I do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love.
This, of course couldn’t help but make me think of a completely different review product that I’ve been working through. I am, of course, working on the launch team of Motivate Your Child Action Plan. (You might have noticed the review of the book and audio cds that I posted yesterday.) This takes the book Motivate Your Child and gives you a practical, step-by-step plan for putting the ideas into action and helping your child to develop character qualities.
I had been wondering which child and which trait to begin working through using the plan. I had listed some characteristics that I thought needed a little work for each of the children, but it really hit me when I read the C.S. Lewis quote not long after an incident between two of my children, with lots of selfishness and tears, that the thing I need to work on most with the children is love. I’m constantly telling them when they are unkind, but I’ve never worked with them on being explicitly honoring and loving with each other. I’ve never put it on a practical level. Since I believe that honoring and love go together, as you have noticed on the blog where I’ve discussed honor recently, we’ve be working on practically building honor and love in my children using the Action Plan for them.