In a recent planning meeting we discussed culture: the changing culture of PACES. Five of us present had two or more PACES graduates and one in attendance WAS a PACES graduate. We reminisced about the “good old days” when Pre-Paces-Panic day (the day before the school attendance) meant lots of caffeine, printer ink, and more than a few emergency trips to the library (yep, before EVERYTHING was Google-able).

These were the activities of our children, but also of us.

We ALL conceded that more than once per semester our little darlings pulled an all-nighter because the humiliation of showing up without work completed was completely unbearable.

Competitiveness drove the machine.

Students dreamed of being called nerds and academics—synonymous terms for those who did more than only what appeared on the assignment sheets.

For one complete semester, one of my daughters wrote, rewrote, edited and reedited her work for ONE POINT. One point separated her from the girl who was CURRENTLY in the number one spot for valedictorian. After getting every family member involved in reading, studying, writing, and helping with her projects, she did it.

Our girl was valedictorian.

Was it worth it? Heck yes! Not only did she learn ALL the information needed for that semester, but she learned the valuable lesson she began in kindergarten: hard work brings a good profit.

Lamentations 3: 22-28 gives parents sound advice on how to help their children endure hardship.

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.

28 Let him sit alone in silence
when it is laid on him;

Verse 27 reminds us that bearing the yoke in ones’ youth constitutes part of God’s plan for young people. Students should not have an “easy-peasy” time of school and studies.

We all know it does not make good sense for a child to “dance through life” as the soon-to-be Scarecrow in the musical Wicked. We see that it is not Biblical nor moral.

Remind your children to follow verse 28 and “sit alone in silence” when the schoolwork seems overwhelming.

And in that silence, they should do some reading.

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