WHEN BOYS BECOME MEN
My homeschool mentor warned me, “One day, you may want to stop calling Roger and Ryan your boys and start calling them your sons.” I’m so grateful for her wise words.
It happened so fast! Long days crawled past while years flew by. But today, there’s no doubt — my boys have become men.
(We marked the transition with a special gathering detailed in Celebrating Manhood — a rite of passage guide.)
(This is part 4 in our series. If you missed our first post, you can find it here.)
THE LUXURY OF A COACH
As a homeschooler, I consider it my privilege to guide Roger and Ryan through their studies. So when I learned that CollegePlus provides coaches to connect with and counsel students, my first thought was, “No thanks. That’s my job!”
But my perspective has since changed….
Roger Dean is a senior. Ryan is a junior. I have less than two years left to homeschool.
As this reality penetrates my awareness, it prompts me to savor and reflect upon these days. It also prompts me to reconsider how I relate with my children.
I have come to really appreciate the luxury of having Roger and Ryan accountable to Bryan, their coach. It has allowed me to become less of a task-master and more of a cheerleader.
Twice a month, each of my sons has a 45-minute coaching call with Bryan. During that time, they talk briefly about life in general and their studies in particular.
Bryan always asks what they would like to gain from their time with him. Then he asks them questions such as:
- What progress have you made since we last spoke?
- What obstacles have you faced?
- How did you overcome those obstacles?
- Did anything prevent you from moving forward?
- What did you learn about yourself?
- What can we celebrate?
- What do you want to change?
He helps them devise strategies to shore up weaknesses and capitalize on strengths.
Before they conclude their conversation, Bryan asks them to establish goals for the next two weeks. Then he asks how he can pray for them. Every conversation closes in prayer.
PARENTS INVITED (BUT NOT REQUIRED)
I’m always invited to participate in coaching calls. Over time I have learned to speak little and listen much.
Bryan is insightful, experienced, and well-equipped to skillfully guide Roger and Ryan. He has done a wonderful job helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses — and devise strategies to increase their effectiveness.
Almost immediately after each call ends, we receive an email detailing what was discussed in each call, including an outline of the goals for the weeks ahead.
A HIGH STANDARD FOR COACHES
Just as I have been delighted with Bryan’s coaching, other parents I have spoken with who have students enrolled in CollegePlus have said they are equally pleased with their students’ coaches.
CollegePlus holds their coaching staff to a high standard. That makes sense, since coaches are really the key element that sets CollegePlus apart from other study-college-at-home programs.
In our next post, we’ll share what we thought of the first course Roger and Ryan completed with CollegePlus.
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