Hang in there and battle with it! One of the best lessons we can help children learn (and I can learn myself) is to hang in there and wrestle with a problem. The best questions are often those that cannot be solved in under a minute. In order to engage in deeper thought, problem solving and reflection we need time to think. The ability to hang in there and persevere in problem solving is good for us in many ways, not only academically, but in our daily life which dovetails with our spiritual life. Persevering in goodness in times of temptation, finishing a difficult task well, doing that which we do not want to do, all of these contribute to helping us to be good people as well as good Christians.
How do we teach “scruffiness”? “Scruffy” was the descriptor of the ideal school administrator in one of my favorite ed admin classes years ago. The dictionary on this computer is not nearly as positive about the word as the class was. Life is often not neat and tidy (as if that is news for you who engage in family life daily), and the ability to roll with the challenges (and punches) is essential. Hang with the Lord and He will help us persevere.
We had an undercover mini lesson in “scruffiness” a couple weeks ago. One component of becoming “scruffy” is being willing to engage in new things. Eighth graders used the “mystery tool” of a few weeks back, the post hole diggers, to help plant the new tetherball poles. We had the stage set with tarps for the dirt, a post on the ground to bang the dirt off the digger, along with, of course, the post hole diggers themselves. Use of the tool requires a bit of upper body strength and I thought it might test the upper limits of the 8th graders. To my delight, they slam dunked the job. It was not easy, nor was it exceptionally quick, which made it all the better. The 8th graders were in four groups, which soon became teams, as they worked together to dig down a minimum of two feet. A few pictures in process as well as the groups with the finished task:
One group, who happened to have all girls, had a particularly hard piece of real estate in which to dig. They worked on it diligently. Occasionally Mr. Meduna offered to use the spade to loosen things up at the bottom of the hole, which they graciously welcomed. When the boys finished their hole and offered to help the girls, they were considerably more independent and finished the job on their own. The effort, joy and liveliness of the 8th graders were delightful to behold.
In His Love,
Sister Mary Michael, CK