I was visiting with a treasured friend the other day. Some years ago, we both educated our children at home and were members of the same local homeschool group. We still go to church together. But there the similarities end. As she has done many times in the past, she made the comment, “You were so lucky. Your children loved to learn.” She has also made it clear over the years that she thinks it was easy to educate them because of that fact.
Because I love her and because I strive to be a nice person, I bit my tongue for the hundredth time. Because I know that she’ll never understand how hard I worked to make sure both my kids fell in love with learning.
The truth of the matter is that I read continuously to better understand each of my children’s personality and learning style. I researched and gathered supplies so my kids could build things and magnify things and discover things. I amassed a huge home library of the best books available to excite them and feed their imagination. We insisted on the discipline of playing an instrument and helped them past their fear of public speaking. I trained them to be leaders and worked side by side with them in the community. Being a homeschool mom was a job that I took seriously and I worked at it constantly, putting in serious overtime.
You see, I believe with all my heart that most children have a tiny spark inside just waiting to be fanned into a flame. As homeschooling parents, we can either dump water on that spark or we can add kindling and use bellows to increase oxygen until the flame is roaring.
In my humble opinion, here are things that can douse the flicker:
•Using strictly textbooks and workbooks
•Making comments about how hard math is or how worthless algebra is in real life
•Conducting school strictly at a desk
•Harboring low expectations of ourselves as teachers and our children as learners
•Allowing video games
•Confining school to certain hours of the day
•Becoming unsure of ourselves in the face of our child’s intellect
Here are some things that can create a blaze:
•Allowing only the best juvenile and teen literature into the house
•Following up on a sudden interest whether it is in history or chemistry or music
•Utilizing family read-aloud time on a daily basis
•Earning and insisting on respect
•Choosing hands-on learning whenever possible, especially in the younger years
•Seek out experts at museums, at reenactments, in your friend groups, or at a local university
•Encourage impossible things
•Doing life together while training them to be autonomous
I’ve never believed in luck, only in hard work.
Are you on our VIP List? If you would like to receive our newsletter, be the first to be notified of sales and new classes, and get special updates, click here!