Teaching Determination and Perseverance

We had an amazing day yesterday.

We had the opportunity to go on a homeschooling field trip to one of our favorite places.  We went to Soar Indoors last year and the boys have been begging to go back but finances, timing, and whatever have just never seemed to line up for us to go again; until yesterday.

We stayed for the entire 3 hours and I was pulling my younger two off the course with promises of returning soon.  Evan has grown enough that he was able to go through the lower course completely on his own this time.  It ended up being the best lesson in perseverance and determination!

We had a great time working on mastering all the skills.

Evan's favorite part-- the zip line 
 After one quick trip around the lower course, Alec set a goal for himself to complete the entire upper course and hit all three zip lines in the room.

 He worked so hard and was so determined to complete the course.

He was amazing!

He had no fear of falling and trusted his harness completely.

He told me he loves to just hang around on the harness and I told him if he likes harnesses, heights, and hanging around on them he might be able to make some big money as an adult working on bridges and such.

He asked if he would be able to fly around in the air from place to place while working!

He tackled each portion of the course only after studying it and figuring out a technique to try.

He also spent a good portion of his day shouting encouragement to other people on the upper course and helping to give pointers.

One mom felt compelled to find me at the end of the day and compliment me on raising such a sweet boy.  She told me her daughter was stuck and struggling on one of the obstacles and that she was so touched and moved by Alec cheering her on from clear across the course shouting out encouragement.

It just touched my heart to know I'm raising such sweet boys.

It sure wasn't easy but he was smiling! 

Ian spent most of the day on the lower course since he shares my fear of heights.

He impressed the heck of out me challenging himself to try just one small portion of the upper course.  He tried to get me to follow him up and try it too but I'm not ashamed to say I completely chickened out.

He soon realized he was too far out of his comfort zone and unable to move himself around from obstacle to obstacle.

He started to cry and when I asked him why he told me he just wanted to get down so I told him that he absolutely could turn around and climb back down and same way he had climbed up.  No one was going to force him to do anything.  

He made his way back down and I told him I was still proud of him.

He tried something new and there's no shame in trying!

I then pointed out that he did better than I did and he just laughed and smiled.

There were a few other kids (and even a few moms) that needed rescuing from the upper course and every time all the workers assured them that it happens all the time.

heading up to the upper course 

"If you're determined to do something, really determined to do it; no one can stop you."

Look at all those moms and kids working their way through portions of the course
  Really all the kids had pretty determined faces on most of the day.

I think the best way to teach determination and perseverance is:

  1. To find something that the kids enjoy and think is important 
  2. Let them set their own goals
  3. Let them set the pace
  4.  Encourage, encourage, encourage! 
You could see them thinking of ways to tackle each obstacle and you could hear them encouraging one another and offering pointers.

This  was a wonderful lesson for all involved about perseverance.  They kept trying over and over to build skills, finish obstacles and try their hand at new ones.

We went through the courses so many times I lost track.

We came home tired and, to me, that's always the sign of a great day.


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