"If it be not goodness, the will is virtue, in the etymological sense of that word; it is manliness." -- Charlotte Mason, Ourselves (Volume 4)In other words: Menschliness.
Mini poster and further explanations found on Life Without Pants; please note that blog (outside of that post) contains adult language.
The post at Life Without Pants refers to a book by Bruna (not Brenda) Martinuzzi, The Leader as a Mensch: Become the Kind of Person Others Want to Follow. Martinuzzi takes the reader on a transformative journey to a way of living, self-discovery, and personal strength that translates into becoming a person who authentically inspires with empathy and confidence—and successfully motivates others to follow by example, a mensch-leader." I also liked one of the reviews posted there: “Bruna Martinuzzi has distilled the essence of what it takes to influence and motivate others, not by the exercise of authority, but through the example of ethical and admirable character. She doesn’t just tell us how—she helps us understand.” — Mark D. Lange, Christian Science Monitor
So what does that have to do with homeschooling parents? The attributes listed in the above poster, which are summarized from Martinuzzi's book on leadership, can be taken as characteristics of good teachers, and also of good parents. I won't paste the explanations as given on Life Without Pants, but here are my own (homeschooling) takes on the list.
1. Give people gifts other than those that you buy. LWP mentions the gift of "A reason to care," among other things. In November I wrote a series of posts here about the gift of discipline, including this one.. We invite, we offer, we give; we don't invade or impose.
yourself. Homeschooling parents seem to understand this naturally...hence the existence of support groups and the publication of many "how we did it" books and magazines, not to mention the Carnival of Homeschooling. And of course it applies as well to what we actually teach. One way we frequently start our day here is with our homeschool "principal" (Mr Fixit), who tunes in closely to current events of all kinds and who is usually good for a "weekday update."
4. Spend more time in the “beginner’s mind.” Put yourself in the student's place. What would you want to know about a topic? What would be a good way to communicate a particular idea? What points should you explain first, and which ones does your student need to discover for him or herself?
7. Become a relationship anthropologist. Maybe like this? "Justice can best be grasped through the prism of three generations. If I want you to treat me justly, I must imagine you and your parents and your grandparents in context. If we want to treat each other justly, we must imagine each other in context - you and your parents and grandparents; and me with mine. I must battle as hard for me to “get” your story as I battle for you to “get” my story." (Trustcounts.orghttp://www.trustcounts.org/just3.html)
8. Be happy for others. At the L'Harmas retreat last fall, Tammy Glaser told the story of a boy in their community school with a particular set of special needs, who was also hypersensitive to noise. On one occasion, when he demonstrated how far he had come by doing some kind of classroom presentation, the rest of the students all clapped for him...quietly.
9. Get rid of grudges. Allow second, third, fourth chances. Don't let past tensions spoil a good learning opportunity.