What 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!