I learned at a very young age that we are stronger working together. As an adult, this philosophy served me well when I lived in a challenging area of the country.
Back in the 1980s, I lived in the upper Midwest and decided to homeschool my kids. It was an interesting and wonderful experience as I continued my two old children’s grade school education while teaching my younger two to read. But I found that my community did not look favorably on my homeschooling philosophy. My kids and I were frowned upon in social gatherings.
Homeschooling our foster son back to school
During this time, we also were foster parents to a teenager who would not go to school regularly and thus was barely generating passing grades. He had been held back once, and the school threatened to hold him back again. I met with the jr. high principal and asked what I could do over the summer to help him go on to the next grade. The principal told me that, basically, he was a couple of years behind in math and reading.
Okay, I thought, how in the world am I going to teach him in three months what the school system could not do in nearly three years? Regardless, I spent time assessing his skill level to discover an essential element missing from his education: He had never learned how to multiply numbers! Of course, he was failing math!
So my children (who were younger than him) and I worked together to help him learn his multiplication tables. We also took turns helping him to read. Since I was already homeschooling my children, I had the resources available to teach these skills.
Working together helps us in many areas of life. In our neighborhood, in our churches, in our communities, we are always stronger. Nowadays, I work as a virtual assistant, often collaborating with small groups of people. Seeing how much can be accomplished if we work together toward a common goal is amazing.
This skill seems to be sorely lacking in today’s society. Just take a look at our politicians to see how some Congressmen and women are digging in their heels rather than coming together to accomplish legislation for the good of the country. It seems to me our country was founded on this idea of working together.
I have also been a part of several organizations where they learned they are stronger working together. We accomplished much in these organizations with this positive working attitude.
So, what happened to our foster son?
Despite all the odds we, as foster parents, were given, the young man did well. He finished the year of school (8th grade, if I remember correctly) without failing. He also received an award for the most improvement in either Science or Math. After returning to his home, he became a new person and helped his single disabled mother and younger siblings.
Amazingly, he became strong because we all worked together to help him succeed!