Thursday, January 28, 2010

Getting the Family on Board Pt. 1

OK, so you have just come back from one of the most fascinating workshops you've been to in your homeschooling life. (Yes, it was even better than the event where they gave away free curriculum)
You've learned about Mediated Learning, you see the potential and you are now a gigantic hose of raw power ready to fire hose the smallest of fires that would quench your vision of grandeur for mediated success.
Slow down, hero. Put the brakes on and rein yourself in. First, we gotta get the family on board.

I thought for a while and decided the best way to go about this is the Mediated way, of course! (You know, I should get a nickel for every time I put the word 'mediated' into this blog post, because I feel that it could be a real money-maker for me).
First step should be to get your spouse on board, if they aren't already.

Intentionality and Reciprocity: To listen and hear what my spouse thinks about Mediated Learning by helping him/her understand the impact of using this method of learning.
Meaning: Emphasize our values and show how this will help us live them out.
Bridging: Paint word pictures of how things can look in the future with the use of mediated learning using examples of other families success stories. Highlight areas of contention that we have been trying to solve within our family and show how this could bring about change.
Also, highlighting the correlation between the role mediated learning can play with instruction in righteousness for our children's character.

I will provide a few ideas down below, but first maybe you can relate to my story.
Maybe you can relate.

I came home from our workshop over-the-moon excited about Mediated Learning and talked for a mile a minute for half an hour before taking a breath. I poured forth like the dam being released, except nothing was related to each other. Just a lot of random snippets that were tossed out only to be interrupted by me saying, "Oh yeah, and then there was this one lady who shared...". It had all the earmarks of a gong show.
You might be thinking, "The excitement and fervor clued your husband in on how important this is to you." Not because he isn't astute. He is very astute. And he knows me soooo well.
I tend to get excited about the 'new thing' all the time.
My first year of homeschooling I went from the schooling approach of unit study-to classical- to unschooling-to Charlotte Mason-to unit study and back again. He knows what I'm like when I read a book or attend a seminar.
So, I had to approach things differently to first let him know I was serious about it.

Naturally, I got on my knees and prayed. And I got an idea. More importantly, I was able to realize what the most important priority of our discussion would be. My main motive here is not to make him see that mediated learning is the way we should be doing things. My main motive is to listen to what he thinks about it and if we, with God's leading, feel it is the way He would have us learn in our home.

And that, my friends, is key.

Some of you may have your spouses on board before you attended the workshop. For those who didn't, here are some questions to help you to make the connection (oh, I'm not giving you an answer! We're doing this the mediated way):

When could you take time to ask God for an idea?
When is the best time to get your spouse's full attention?
What creative way could you use to make a date to talk about this?
How could you turn this into a memorable moment for each other? (something that makes you look back and say, 'I remember where we were sitting when we made the decision to try this')
What distractions do I need to get rid of for us to have a meaningful discussion?
How will I remind myself to just listen without interrupting?
What are the most valuable things that I want to communicate in fifteen minutes about this approach of learning?
What examples can I use to bridge to the past?
What examples of his success or our success in making decisions together can I pull from?

Do you have any questions to add to this list? Leave a comment and let the thinking begin!


stillinlove said...

This is great! I too go wild about the latest thing, however when I got home from Workshop #1 and "tried it out" on my whining 6 year old, both my hubby and I were dumbfounded that it worked immediately. God is good, because it immediately convinced hubby that there is something good here, and that God himself had sent Mediated Learning to us.

5minutemom said...

Good for you for implementing right away. Many more lessons to learn! Keep going.