There’s No School Like Home

By Ed DeRoche

I was home-schooled, not in math or science, but in character and behavior. I had co-instructors both of whom graduated from the 8th grade – my Mother and Father. My Father was French but didn’t speak it. My Mother was Irish but spoke fluent French (long story). My Father was a shoe salesman, and my Mother sold dresses in a women’s clothing store.

They were on the same page in all things related to the character and behavior for each of their four kids. Here are a few things they taught us (with tongue-in-cheek).

Entitlement: Don’t get the idea that you are entitled anything. The world was here first; it doesn’t owe you a living.

Religion: You better pray that when your Mother and I come home from work you have all your chores done and haven’t fought with your sister or brothers.

Logic: You want to know why? Because I said so. If you two are going to kill each other, do it outside.

Irony: Keep crying and we’ll give you something to cry about.

Perseverance: You are not leaving this table until you eat all of the spinach.

Wisdom: When you get to be our age only then will you understand what we are saying.

Justice: One day you will have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.

Heritage: You’re just like your Father!

Patience: Just wait until we get home from work, then you will know!

Humility: Don’t ever think you are better than anyone else, because you are not.

Trust: If your Mother comes home from the conference with your teacher and it is not a good report, trust me, you’ll hear about it and won’t like what you hear.

To add to the “advice” from my parents, I have selected four of many “pieces of advice” offered by author Rodolfo Costa, Advice My Parents Gave Me: and Other Lessons I Learned from My Mistakes.

1. Learn to love someone when they least deserve it, because that is when they need your love most.

2. Many people are so poor that the only thing they have is money. Cultivate your spiritual growth.

3. Learn to adapt. Things change, circumstances change. Adjust yourself and your efforts to what is presented to you so you can respond accordingly. Never see change as a threat, because it can be an opportunity to learn, to grow, evolve and become a better person.

4. When you experience a negative circumstance or event, do not dwell on it. Be proactive — put your attention on what you need to do to bring the situation to a positive result.
Feel free to add your home-schooled “character” learnings here.

A New Year Reminder
“The best teacher is not necessarily the one who possesses the most knowledge, but the one who most effectively enables the students to believe in their ability to learn.” -Norman Cousins, American political journalist, author, professor

Edward DeRoche, Ph.D., Director Character Education Resource Center
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-2250





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