We know everyone is made in the Image of God. How does that look practically? I strongly believe that being made in the image of God is something extraordinary. It also means every child is a genius. How does that pan out in raising kids God’s way? I cannot say all that is in my heart on this here, but want to tell a story that illustrates so much to me. I do not want to say we have the only way to raise kids. We have found one way.
See kids as geniuses made in God’s image. Accept that these children belong to God, and we are stewards. God has his own plan. I also do not want to say that schooling success is the only sign of genius. Now for our story.
Each Child is Uniquely Made For Each Family
When my son was 2, we identified him as an extreme INFP personality. This means he is introverted, deeply intuitive, very emotionally oriented and totally unstructured by God’s own wonderful design. Our first child, a girl, is ESTJ like me, and not only would learn the rules her parents taught her but would also immediately enforce those rules on anyone near by. She is also always quite open with us.
Everything you did to raise me worked and therefore none of it worked on my brother (who has a completely different personality, is a 2d child, and is a boy)
Despite seeing he needed more space, by the time he was 2.5 years old, my relationship with him was completely broken. I was then unemployed for 6 months. The time he and I then spent together saved our relationship. However, my wife and I continued to lose patience and lose vision with this extreme personality. We still have regrets and still are making up for those gaps. But this boy and God is greater than our gaps and our genius.
Living in China for God meant we were in a business start up when my first child went to first grade. My wife was Chinese and spoke little English. China has no homeschooling culture at all. My wife also forbid me putting the kids in a Chinese school (too much criticism there).
For my first child, we acquired an amazing book for teaching reading called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. She learned to read in 100 easy 15 minute lessons over 100 days and never stopped reading.
Raising Kids God’s Way Means Seeing Them
The boy, being completely different, I never asked him to start learning to read. At age 6 in the summer before 1st grade, he asked me to teach him and 100 days later, he could read at a 2d grade level. He then totally stopped reading. We were using Unschooling, so taught kids only when they asked or showed interest. We put our oldest in internet school in 3rd grade.
The boy played all through first grade. I was worried that he was not learning anything and would forget how to read. He was so different from my always reading and structured first child. I asked my dear wife what she thought, and she said, “No problem. Let him play.”
He Wanted To Achieve and We Needed to Let Him
First semester of 2d grade was the same. In January of his 2d grade year, he got a book via my sister called Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants. I did not approve of this book, but allowed. Our boy started reading it, and we got some other similar books, and he ate them up, and started to read all the hundreds of children’s books we had in the house (second hand books from the States-no libraries for us in China.) Raising Children with and for God.
He then discovered that he could not spell very well. He found some spelling sheets and learned the words himself, and had me test him. I did according to his plan. He was a great speller. Then, he found some math sheets and had me check to see if he was right. He worked diligently on these just like he had on spelling.
By late May, we talked with the International School of Wuxi, and put all three kids in school. They all were top students including the boy who did the first two years of first and second grade in one semester at his own timing and completely with his own motivation. He will apply to some quite competitive colleges this fall. He has a faith like gold as due each or our kids. Raising Kids With All We Have.
When I think of who this boy is, I am still amazed. ESTJ’s are good students all over the world. INFP’s are often marked as daydreamers and ADD. Yet, they are of great worth. So is each child.
Each child is a genius waiting to be set free. Each has a desire to learn and achieve. Can we see them? Can we change our vision and see each of them as geniuses? Is that not want God does? See also Adding a 1st Child.