When the Love of Learning Starts to Fade…

love-learningWhat is a mother to do when her children just complain and complain and complain about “school work”? Do you just push on knowing that later in life your children will have to do things they may not love? Or, do you take a step back and evaluate what you can change to make things a little better?

This is the kind of mother I have been…

I have always thought I was never doing enough teaching…I needed to do more.

I have loved my kids SO much that I want to teach them everything.

I have taught my children the way I think they should learn, instead of the way they actually will learn.

I have passed by the real life experiences because there was book work to be done.

I have felt the need to somehow prove myself as a homeschooler by producing super smart children.

I have pushed, pushed, pushed them to learn more, thinking I was doing them some sort of favor when all it was really doing was making them not want to learn.

So what are we going to do about that? One of my greatest goals for my children is for them to love learning. I don’t want them to grow up thinking learning isn’t fun. I want them to want to look further into those things that interest them. I want them to see the whole world and life around them as a learning experience.

Accomplishing this will mean a bit of a mix-up in our curriculum. But if it results in a revived love for learning and a happier home, then it is all worth it! We are still keeping the basics (math and language arts) but trying to do them in a different way. For math, we are going to play games…lots of games. Yes, they will still do their Math Mammoth lessons, but we will also include some hands-on fun math activities. Spelling is going to be done with Spelling City. Writing and grammar will be done with Primary Language Lessons, Intermediate Language Lessons, and studied dictation. The only memory work we are keeping is Bible and poetry. The rest of the schedule…well that will be where the interest-led part comes into play!

We are going to be using a combination of lapbooks, unit studies, experiments, field trips, lots of books, hands-on activities, and all of those other fun things I pinned on Pinterest and have never had time to use! The possibilities are endless!

After one week with this new schedule, the kids are loving it! And they are actually remembering what they are learning because it is material they are interested in. Will our schedule always be this way? I don’t know. But for now it is what is working and it is what we need.

So what does this mean for me?

I will work more on life skills than on workbook pages.

I will spend less time planning and more time exploring with the kids.

I will get the kids out of the house more.

I will read more books, and not just at night. Lots and lots of books.

I will concentrate more on relationships and character than curriculum.

I will nurture the natural creativity in my children.

I will stop hunting for the perfect curriculum (because let me tell you…it doesn’t exist!) and I will start making memories with what we have around us.

I will worry less about messes and focus more on the experience.

I will spend more time learning with my kids then lecturing at my kids.

I will let go of thinking that I need to finish every little thing.

I will find more learning experiences to include the younger boys because, after all, this will be much easier than finding ways to keep them busy while we do hours of school work!

You are all going to help hold me accountable to this, right?!

There you have it. Our new normal. I can tell you already that this is going to be a great year with a new type of learning and a whole lot of fun! Have you ever had to switch your approach to schooling? I would love to hear about it!

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10 thoughts on “When the Love of Learning Starts to Fade…

  1. We switched more to this kind of homeschooling last year, and believe me, it’s definitely worth it! I’m trying to do more of it this year. We’re still using Math-U-See, but this year I’m not making my daughter do the workbook because she hates writing in a workbook. We play lots of math games and when I know she understands the concept, I print off about 10 questions for her to do, just so I have something to show that she does know it, and then we move on. There is a lot less complaining that way! Also, I’m trying to focus more on letting them learn about the things they are interested in. For my oldest, she loves to make up stories, so this year I’m using that to teach her parts of speech, grammar and spelling. Her imagination can go wild as she writes down her stories, and then we can do activities to learn about nouns and verbs and plurals, or whatever we’re learning, using her own stories 🙂 My son’s dream is to go to the African rainforest one day, so we’re focusing on learning about the rainforest this year. So far we’ve made a rainforest terrarium and painted the forests on a salt dough map of Africa, as well as read books and watched videos about Africa and the rainforest. We are having so much fun! And, as you said, it is much less stressful! Thank you for your post!

    I found your post on the Blogging Homeschoolers Daily Post Share.

  2. Pingback: Teach children life skills part 1

  3. Please keep us updated as to how it goes for you! I really like your last “I will” resolution. That’s where I am in life. How to keep the littles occupied??

  4. I LOVE this post and am bookmarking it, as I truly want to continue to move this way in our homeschool. In fact, I am featuring you as one of my favorites in this week’s Heart for Home Blog Hop. Be sure to stop by to see my post as well as grab an “I’ve been featured” button. 😉

  5. Thank you for sharing about the changes you’ve made & why you’ve made them! This is our fourth year homeschooling, and every year I’ve found myself moving closer to this type of approach. This year we’re using a very eclectic mix of curriculum resources and I’m making sure we have time for real life homeschooling. My three girls are happier and I feel more at peace because I’m not trying to keep pace with all the “checklists” anymore. I’m featuring your post as well on NextGen Homeschool’s Hearts for Home featured list! 🙂
    Renée

  6. Pingback: Hearts for Home Blog Hop & Link-Up #36 - nextgenhomeschool

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