Happy 2016! As I was contemplating our success and challenges over the past year, while looking forward to the new year, I realized there is a key value in using the SOI philosophy: perseverance. Perseverance is defined as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” I love the synonyms for perseverance: tenacity, determination, staying power, indefatigability, purposefulness; patience, endurance, application, diligence, dedication, commitment, doggedness, tirelessness, stamina; intransigence, obstinacy; stick-to-it-iveness.”
When working with our children and their parents, the process of overcoming learning barriers through training is not easy or quick; it is a not sprint but a marathon. At our school, we believe that building character is an important way to help kids learn the value of perseverance. We use the program “We Choose Virtues” and recite them and reinforce it in our content. When reciting the virtue of perseverance, we say together, “We are perseverant. We are not going to complain, give up, and say ‘I can’t’ or ‘it’s too hard.'”
“We can do it even when it’s tough”.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
I have seen students do remarkable things through SOI training. When Deanna came to us, she was timid, afraid, and nervous. She first stepped on the balance board when she was 10 and could barely stand without trembling and asking us to hold her. With each new challenge I would hear Deanna recite, “I can do it when it’s tough”. She became a superstar on the balance board and became a student coach in our summer program. Her confidence grew and she started initiating friendships and reaching out to others.
The beauty of SOI is that we teach perseverance not only for the short term but as a life long skill that will help our students overcome challenges.
“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” – Samuel Johnson
written by: Pam Jarvis
Pam is an SOI Practitioner and the founder and Director of Shady Oak Learning, a private K-6 elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas.