Give me Liberty or give me death!

Ok maybe it was not quite as dramatic as all that. But on one particular evening it sure felt like it. This year has been a year of transition in our home. At time, it was hard to keep a steady rhythym. One of my greatest challenges is trying to educate three, sometimes four, different levels of eduacation and of course keep my own sanity.

My 10th grader seemed to be doing a lot of stopping and starting this year. Some of it was from not understanding while some of it was from lack of perservering. At the end of my rope, I declared that I would no longer be helping her plan her education. We had seven weeks of school left and I was growing weary. I have always tried to be a planner so I gave her all of my resources and handed her her education. She was informed that I would be around to help in any way I could but she was on her own. I developed a checklist for each subject so that she would know what was expected and that was it. She was given complete liberty and freedom over her education. She had a deadline and a list of expectations for accountability. Unsure of the outcome, I waited, held my breath...and prayed.

The word liberty literally means the quality or state of being free. While the word freedom means the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. Too often, we confuse freedom with laziness. This is not a "get of work free" card but rather a new way of thinking. By allowing our children to become good stewards of liberty, they can reap the reward of freedom.

The deadline fast approached and I watched as my daughter worked tirelessly to complete all her tasks. There were a few weekends where she opted to stay home rather than go out with friends. As the final day approached she sat down with me and presented everything. Tears began to roll down her cheek as she became overwhelmed by her own accomplishment. She had learned to be a good steward of the liberty she was given. At the time, I implemented this plan out of frustration and desperation never thinking about how this aligned with my ultimate goal for my children's be life-long learners. By owning her education she will continue to develop a love for learning.


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