I recently purchased a writing course for my son. The course comes from the Institute for Excellence in Writing. It’s been a really great curriculum so far and I’ve observed at least a 90% improvement in my son’s writing! That being said, the writing situation was pretty bad to begin with. I could barely get him to write more than one sentence and they were awful. I couldn’t seem to find the words to help him. Now he is writing whole paragraphs about really interesting subjects or any subject that we might be working on. I can’t say that he loves it or even likes it but I can see how it is helping him and building confidence.
There is a teacher course that I’m watching alongside the student lessons and while I was listening the teacher, Mr. Pudewa, he made a point that resonated so much with learning doctrine, I had to write it down. Making sure that we understood that this was a very important point, he said, (I’m going to paraphrase) ” This is not a formula for perfection but instead practice of skills which will make complicated scenarios easier to navigate in the future”. He was referring to the idea that each skill taught will be required in each piece of writing from lesson one till the student either leaves home or gets a new teacher. So eventually there may be quite a check-list of skills to apply at writing time. He was also trying to express that this may not churn out the most beautiful papers you have ever seen but it will create a storehouse of skills to call upon when a difficult piece of writing is required in the future. I thought of how much like learning doctrine this was. We learn day by day one skill at a time and from that time on, skill one is required just as much as skill 200. In just the same way it’s not a formula for human perfection and I often think it is, I get hung up on thinking that the skills I’m using like rebound and the faith-rest drill are leading up to experiential perfection, like shooting a perfect basket in basketball. The practice of skills is training for our benefit because when we face a complicated scenario, we can look at it and see something in it we have practiced many many times and it becomes less complicated. The fruit of God the Holy Spirit will be a result of daily training not a result of some system that promises to lead to perfection. I love the daily aspect because the application of skills learned one by one gets awkward at times and messy but God has a plan that is perfect and I only have to take it day by day.