By Kathy Kuhl This Thanksgiving, I wish you all time to enjoy and hearts to be grateful for your blessings.
I write to equip you for helping your kids who learn differently. To do that, I usually write about what’s hard. It’s so easy, when your child is drowning in a sea of schoolwork, to think about what she cannot do, or to focus on what he won’t even try anymore. But there is so much about our different learners to enjoy.
We weep for our kids. We want to make it better. That’s compassionate, that’s natural. But our grief can make us neglect our child’s great strengths and talents.
As I did, you may have a hard time seeing those talents. When my son was ten, if you asked what he was good at, I’d have paused, awkwardly. Then I’d have said, “Umm, Legos? Talking to strangers?”
It was hard to see his strengths in the face of his learning disabilities. But the talents were there. I learned to focus on his love of history, his knack for recalling stories exceptionally well. We built on homeschool on history and on stories.
Best of all, I learned to see my son’s incredible perseverance.
What do you see? Do you give thanks for those gifts? When mom or dad has a grateful heart, it changes everything about the home and the homeschool.
We’ve got to remember to give thanks for:
- This child. This child is a gift.
- Whatever degree of health you or your child have.
- Ability to homeschool.
- Choice of curriculum (instead of just stressing that we chose the wrong one).
- and much more.
To close, here is a favorite poem of mine. George Herbert (1593-1633) is one of the metaphysical poets. They like paradoxes. I do, too, and your children may as well.
In this poem-prayer, Herbert says that without the gift of a grateful heart, there’s no value to the other gifts. So being thankful will help us all have a
“Gratefulnesse” by George Herbert
Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
See how thy beggar works on thee
He makes thy gifts occasion more,
And says, If he in this be crossed,
All thou hast given him heretofore
But thou didst reckon, when at first
Thy word our hearts and hands did crave,
What it would come to at the worst
Perpetual knockings at thy door,
Tears sullying thy transparent rooms,
Gift upon gift, much would have more,
This not withstanding, thou wenst on,
And didst allow us all our noise:
Nay thou hast made a sigh and groan
Not that thou hast not still above
Much better tunes, than groans can make;
But that these country-airs thy love
Wherefore I cry, and cry again;
And in no quiet canst thou be,
Till I a thankful heart obtain
Not thankful, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare days:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
- Today, I’m copying my friend Janice Campbell’s lead. She quoted this poem last Thanksgiving. She teaches literature, among other things. Her blog and comments are this poem are here.
- Past Thanksgiving posts on LearnDifferently: