This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Know and Believe in Your Teens, Interview with Anita Gibson.
How to Know and Believe in Your Teens, Interview with Anita Gibson
You know a kindred spirit when you meet one, and Anita Gibson is a kindred spirit with us 7Sisters. Vicki is joined again today by Anita to discuss the importance of knowing and believing in your teens. She also shares some simple how-to’s to help. This is SO worth your time and investment!
Vicki first met Anita at their favorite conference (2:1 Conference). When she picked up a copy of Anita’s book, Star Finder, she knew they had the same ideas about life. Anita Gibson is a coach, educational strategist, author.
Anita and her husband homeschooled their kids for over twenty years, all the way from kindergarten to graduation. She was “dragged into homeschooling kicking and screaming” because she was a successful business woman and could not imagine how to fit homeschooling into that lifestyle. But as their kids became school age, they felt the leading of God to homeschool, and Anita obeys God.
Anita describes herself a “hands-on, quirky, butterfly chick”. They did many “nontraditional” educational adventures, like schooling in the park and handling and learning about things outside the home. They had many hours of inquisitive learning and fun.
Her children are now all in their thirties and doing well, so it was the right homeschool program for them! (After all, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool. The beauty of homeschooling is the ability to learn in the way that best fits YOUR family!)
Anita was led to create the lovely book, Star Finder, to share the things she learned homeschooling her kids. Anita’s kids were very different personalities and learners. Her oldest taught herself to read. Her second daughter struggled to read. It was difficult for Anita to watch until she heard God encourage her to realize that she was “prejudiced” because she was making an assumption that all her kids would be like her oldest daughter and if they were not, something was wrong with them. Anita found God saying to her that she had not honored who He had made her second daughter to be. She had to be honest with herself and ask God how to fix it.
God began to show Anita the “beauty of Danielle” (her second daughter). She learned the “beauty of slow”. (Anita is a rabbit, she thinks and acts quickly. She learned that God needs all kinds of people because there are all kinds of things he needs to accomplish.)
God showed Anita a vision of two doctors. One doctor was quick. He would look at a set of symptoms and tell the patient, “Oh, you’re fine” and give a quick but inaccurate diagnosis. The second doctor was slow, he told the patient he would take two weeks to review testing results. At the end of two weeks, the slow doctor had identified a more serious but very fixable problem. God asked Anita, “which doctor would YOU want?”
Slow is beautiful because it is God’s creation, too. Anita learned to love the gift of “slow” and to help her daughter mature in the gift by learning to focus and concentrate on the blessing (such as being able to find things around the house).
Out of this experience and learning how to know and believe in her daughter, Anita felt God leading her to write her lovely book: Star Finder.
The title Star Finder has several meanings:
Learning to find the “star” in each child. (As Vicki says, God makes all kids gifted- in the way He wants THEM to be, not necessarily in the way our culture pushes for in our performance-driven culture.)
STAR is actually an acronym for:
Every child has a STAR. As a parent, we want to focus less on weaknesses and more on STARs! When we do that, our kids begin to know and believe in themselves.
When we concentrate on the STARs, the weaknesses seem to be less of a big deal. That is good because, as Anita points out, you can only get a weakness to average (which we should). But we can and should concentrate on the STARs because that is where God is leading!
Our teens do not need to be ashamed of their weaknesses. The weaknesses keep a teen relying on God for help. However, the STARs are the ways God will work in and through them to accomplish His plans.
Unfortunately if parents do not understand the STARs, their teens may begin to see themselves as failures. SO how do parents guide themselves and their kids of all ages through the steps to find and develop their STARs?
Here are Anita’s STAR Finder steps:
- Parents take the Clifton StrengthsFinder test.
- This is important because parents need to know themselves and not make the assumption everyone is like them. As we parents find our strengths, it is easier to see our kids’ different strengths. Then parents can create an environment of
- Teens can now take the teen version of StrengthsFinder or simply watch and discover what their kids:
- naturally spend time doing
- are naturally good at
- (as Vicki says, “Be a scientist for discovering your own kid.”)
- Identify what irritates you about your young person
- For instance, Anita worked with a kid who was always breaking things by taking them apart. He just needed lots of things from the thrift store to break and learn to put back together. When he graduated from homeschooling, he went to college to become an engineer!
- Anita’s oldest daughter talked so much it was irritating. She grew up to be a foreign service officer who gets paid to…TALK!
- Irritations might be an indicator of a future STAR!
- There are nine more steps in STAR Finder! Go get a copy of the book: STAR Finder by Anita Gibson.
Join Vicki and Anita for lots of encouragement in this episode. Also,
- Find Anita Gibson on Facebook and in her lovely encouragement group, Simply Homeschool.
- Listen to our previous interview with Anita.
- Check out 7Sisters’ posts on helping teen discover their gifts. Start with Authoritative Guide to Career Exploration.
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