Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Measure of Wisdom

I am a teacher.  Actually, that’s an understatement.  I home school my three children.  I tutor for a local home school group, mostly ten year olds with their moms also in the class.  I have taught a “Coming of Age” class for young girls (ages 8-14) and their moms.  I am also a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator who teaches childbirth courses, baby care classes, and breastfeeding courses to mostly adults and some teens.  I have also trained women to become Labor Doulas as an approved instructor for a national certification organization.  I point all this out to prove to you that I have had to draw up a lesson plan or two in my day.  I can’t just walk into a room unprepared to teach; it isn’t pretty.

What does it take to come up with a lesson plan?  I usually start with my goals or the measurable objectives that my students should get from my class.  Our goal here is to teach our daughters wisdom.  Is wisdom measurable?  What is the check list that my daughters must complete to show they are wise? 

A similar question came up at a dinner party my husband and I attended around Christmas.  We were all asked, “What coming-of-age rituals or activities could your child complete for you to recognize them as an adult?”  We broke into smaller groups and discussed this question and then pooled our responses (a post for another time, “What makes a child an adult?”).  The responses had a range of survival techniques, daily household skills, academic skill levels, and different ways to show honor and integrity.  Many of the items listed came back to an adolescent with wisdom. 

If wisdom is the ability to discern the right response or action in a given situation, how can I test each daughter to see if she has learned the lessons?

  • Can she explain in her own words the difference between being smart and being wise?
  • Does she work to understand what people mean rather than be content with her own understanding?
  • Does she see how and when to apply certain rules and when leniency is called for?
  • Can she recognize when something sounds like the truth but it isn’t?  Does she know how to fact check if she is unsure, and is she willing to put in the effort to do so?
  • Does she know how to ask for advice?  Is she gracious in hearing it unsolicited?
  • Does she know wisdom from others when she hears it?
  • Is she comfortable saying, “I don’t know,” and then going to look for the answer?
  • Does she understand where wisdom comes from?  Does she believe if she is wise it comes from her own effort?

Before we get into a discussion on Absolute Truths or fallacies in Logic, I am curious what you would consider the measurable outcomes of wisdom in your daughters’ lives?  At what age do you think you should expect any of this?  I would love to hear your comments.

Even a child is known by [her] actions, by whether [her] conduct is pure and right.   Proverbs 20:11

1 comment:

  1. Well my first thought is... Will she run to the Bible looking earnestly for the answers to all arising questions that stretch the heart and mind?
    And my second is... Will she continually ask for wisdom? "If anyone lacks wisdom you should ask God... and it will be given to you." James 1:5. I suppose if she is

    I love that it is so simple, just ask. But your questions are the probing measuring stick-the gauge for determining their progress in this area-questions I tell you I wouldn't have thought to consider in this context.

    Welcome to blogworld. :) The ideas you've expressed are thorough. I'm going to glean much and then some!