Have you ever just sat and gazed at your child, wondering: Who is this person? What is she feeling? What is he thinking? What moves her? What does he aspire to be?
After researching, dreaming, and planning my children’s education even before they were born, I have found it to be a fundamental shift in my parenting life as I realize that their education isn’t about me.
The boys I am raising and teaching are individual people. Children who have their own thoughts and desires.
These children in our care will become adults with their own lives.
I often slip into thinking of my boys as extensions of myself, believing their skills or behavior are testimonies of my parenting. What do they say about me? What do I expect them to become?
This way of thinking can seep its way into my teaching methods and goals. Do I relate my success as a teacher to what I’ve accomplished? It is so easy for schooling to become a checklist of activities, worksheets, and grade levels accomplished.
Certainly, as a classical educator, the content and skills play a big part in our homeschool, but am I using classical education as the end in itself–or as a tool to help my children realize the full, vivid life I hope for them?
What are the true goals you hope to accomplish through the education you are providing for your children? What lessons will best serve them in their future?
Photo by Heidi Scovel
I would encourage you to spend some time thinking about each child in your care. See him or her as a living, breathing, individual soul. Write down the lessons and skills you feel will serve to enlarge their life. Post your list where it can inspire and direct your efforts.
My list looks something like the following.
Lessons I endeavor to help my children embrace so that they may be healthy, whole human beings, capable of living an abundant life:
- Trust God.
- Be curious. About everything.
- Read. Read. Read.
- Help the underdog.
- Entertain thoughts.
- Set goals.
- Observe nature.
- Have compassion.
- Discuss ideas.
- Do hard things.
- Create: Build. Paint. Plant. Draw. Sing. Bake. Play an instrument.
- Care for your body.
- Follow through.
- Appreciate beauty.
- Ask questions.
- Take responsibility.
- Eat good food.
- Play hard.
- Plant a garden.
- Try new things.
- Share with others.
- Manage your personal finances. Well.
- Solve problems.
- Plan for the future.
- Keep house. Well.
- Prepare for emergencies.
- Nurture relationships.
- Give of yourself.
- Value truth.
- Keep your word.
- Smell the flowers.
- Pick up after yourself.
- Use time wisely.
- Encourage others.
- Laugh. A lot.
- Brave storms.
- Cultivate a spirit of gratitude.
- Find passion for life.
Photo by Heidi Scovel
Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: “I am with you kid. Let’s go.”
What life lessons are on your list?
Below are some common scholarship essay questions. You can use these as a great starting point for a pesonal statement. Some of these essay questions are used in the Maricopa Scholarship Database.
- What life experiences have shaped who you are today and what challenges have you overcome in achieving your education (i.e. financial, personal, medical, etc.)?
- Explain why you need financial assistance.
- Describe your academic and career goals and your plans to achieve them and discuss any of your extracurricular/volunteer activities (both on and off campus) that you may perform.
- Describe an event in which you took a leadership role and what you learned about yourself.
This is a sample essay to help guide you when you are writing essays for scholarships. Keep in mind that all scholarship applications are different, so you may have to design your essay to meet those specific requirements.
(State an overview of what you are going to talk about in the essay. If the essay is about you, give a brief description of your experiences, goals, aspirations, family background, etc. Touch on why you want the scholarship.)
For as long as I could remember, I have wanted to be a veterinarian. I have been responsible for the care and feeding of pets ever since I was in the second grade. In high school, I participated in the 4-H club as well as the Junior Humane society. To reach my goals, I realize that I must pursue an eight year college education which will begin with the Fall 2010 semester. I am very excited about my future and feel that with the opportunity your scholarship will provide, I can help many animals.
Paragraph II & III
(Go into more detail on one of the topics listed in paragraph I. For example, elaborate on your previous experiences, family and financial situation, volunteer work, employment, academic career, future goals, college plans, etc.)
My love for animals has been encouraged by my family and friends. I have had the opportunity to volunteer with the local animal shelter and provide basic care to the stray animals. With the help of my biology teacher, I was able to start a 4-H club on campus. Many of the other students on campus developed an interest in the animals and now our club has 100 members. My family also has many animals for which I provide care, including basic needs as well as first aid. I find that I enjoy that aspect of pet ownership best. Unfortunately, my family cannot afford to pay for my entire education, so I hope to use my skills and love of animals to help me pay for college.
(Conclude your essay with a wrap-up of why you should be considered for the scholarship; how do your goals match those of the organization, etc.)
Your organization stands for what I believe in. Like your organization, I hope to help animals for the rest of my life. To reach my goals, I need as much help as possible. I already have the moral support of my family and friends, but that is not quite enough to make my dream come true. I hope that your organization can help me reach this dream by awarding me your scholarship.