Learning the Ropes

Ever wonder where that phrase originated? When a young lad went to sea as an apprentice sailor, one of his first jobs was to climb up into the masts and rigging and begin learning which ropes controlled which sails and in which ways. To “learn the ropes” was to learn the basics about his new career.

If you’re new to homeschooling (meaning less than two years) you’re still “learning the ropes.” You’re still in the process of discovering what happens when you pull on various ropes in your new career as a teacher/tutor. And that’s just fine. Nobody starts out knowing it all. It takes time for you to become an effective teacher and it takes time for your students to become effective learners. Fortunately, as I said in a blog entry last week- time is on your side.

Which ropes cause your students to sit up and ask questions? Which ones cause them to slump down in their chair and despair? Which ropes cause their eyes to narrow and the wheels to go round and round in their young mind? And which ropes cause their eyes to glaze over and make them yawn? You need to be “learning the ropes” and journaling your discoveries. Find out what works- and what doesn’t. And take notes. You don’t want to be caught in a storm and have the captain shout up to “reef the main sail” and have you unfurl the spinnaker by mistake.

Let’s have some fun with ropes today. Take a look at this website that teaches basic knots and sit down with your children today and learn at least three basic knots: http://www.tutorials.com/05/0540/0540.asp,

Learn the clove hitch, the bowline and the sheet bend. You’ll be amazed how often you’ll use those three knots. If your children are having fun, learn several more later in the week.

Talk about these quotes and what they mean…

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”

“Give a man enough rope and he’ll hang himself.”

Now take a look at these Bible verses:

Read Acts 27 and see how often “ropes” come up in this story a ship caught in a storm at sea.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

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