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I don’t normally share facts & figures, but this might cause you to reconsider your homeschool. One day after listening to a guest speaker in his Environmental Design class, my son came home and shared these statistics.
A 5-year-old has 90% creativity abilities.
By the time a student gets to college, he has 5% creativity abilities.
What happened between our 5-year old & 20-year old?
My conclusion is we squelch the love for learning in our kids. Even homeschoolers do it.
Do your children love to learn?
Have you suffocated your kids’ love of learning?
Are you stressed out trying to finish a textbook, not enjoying learning?
If you’re reading this post, there is hope. You can make a change in your homeschool & inspire your kids to love learning. Let me share 5 clues I discovered during my ten years of homeschooling.
Love of Learning Clue #1: Modeling
Do “you” love to learn? Are “you” modeling a love of learning for your kids?
Let’s face it, our kids imitate us all day long. When I hear my kids talk, I hear phrases I use regularly. This is true in homeschooling, as well. If your kids see you reading and learning, they will imitate your love for learning.
My kids still tease me about the books I read. Although I was not a reader growing up, I always enjoyed learning. When we are on vacations, my family knows I want to read every sign at the national park or museum. They know I love to learn.
Your excitement & love of learning is contagious.
When you want to learn something, do you get a workbook and fill it out? More than likely, not. You probably get online to start your research. Or, go to the library, get books and read about your chosen topic. You discuss it with other people in your family so it becomes a real life experience; it becomes part of you. When your children see you learning and loving it, a love of learning will transfer to them.
My free workshop on Love of Learning discusses modeling and other aspects of inspiring a love of learning in more detail.
Love of Learning Clue #2: Read Aloud
As a public school teacher, I was confined to textbooks with one or two chapters of a classic for my students to read. I wanted more for my kids. I wanted to read real books, classics. Even though we read together since our kids were young, homeschooling allowed us to open up the world of reading together.
My first year of homeschooling, I read aloud after lunch. Do you know what happened? I fell asleep and asked one of my girls to finish reading. I was not modeling a love of reading. Something had to change, so I changed our daily schedule. For the next nine years, we began our day with reading aloud. Since reading aloud was most important to me, we did it first. Whatever you do first in your homeschool, is what’s most important.
When you read as a family, learning becomes a part of your family’s lifestyle. In our family, discussions would follow at the diner table or in the van.
How did this work?
Choose quality classics that your children will enjoy. Read aloud every day. Simply read for pleasure. Get lost in the story…it’s so much fun!Choose quality classics that your children will enjoy. Read aloud every day. Simply read for pleasure. Get lost in the story...it's so much fun!
One day, we were laughing in the van about Little Britches and how Ralph was dealing with his grandfather. Grandfather was a man of no understanding, empathy or sympathy. As we drove, we talked about who would want to live with Grandfather. We also had a chance to talk about relationships with our friends, with our parents, with our grandparents.
That’s natural learning, a part of your everyday life, and it inspires a love of learning.
Love of Learning Clue #3: Freedom in Planning
I began my teaching career as a public school teacher, not a homeschool mom. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t think I ever finished a textbook in a single school year. Neither did the other teachers at my school.
I know! Shock! Horror!
Many homeschool moms worry about finishing each & every textbook. I know who you are. You can’t imagine moving on to next year if you don’t finish your history textbook. You’re saying to yourself, “I have two more chapters I must finish.”
Why are you putting so much pressure on yourself & your children?
Why are you stressing out?
All stress does is suck the love of learning away from your homeschool. Your children will not love learning when you’re always nagging them about finishing this textbook or that workbook.
Give yourself freedom. The public school teachers have that freedom.
If it’s a subject that’s sequential like math, here’s a solution.
We took a break during the summer. In September, we picked up our math wherever we left off last May. Even if it was in the middle of a book. It was no big deal (nor should it be for you).
That’s the freedom of homeschooling.
Love of Learning Clue #4: Let Kids Decide
Yes, I really mean it. Let your kids decide what they will study. If you’re a Type A person, wanting to be in control, this might be difficult. But it will open up your kids’ love of learning in ways you might not imagine.
Let’s face it. When you’re interested in a topic, you’re more engaged to “learn” about it. The same is true for your kids. This can be done in reading, language, math, science, history … all sorts of subject areas.
If you’re still unsure about this, let me suggest Grace Week. The first 3 weeks of the month are mom-chosen studies. Grace Week is the last week of the month and your kids decide what they want to study. I have more info about how kids love learning with Grace Week on my blog.
Another way to let your kids decide is to use mini units centered on your child’s interest. You can get 5 mini units for FREE a little further down this post.
Love of Learning Clue #5: Relax
Although this is listed last, it is actually the most important action you can take. Relax. Rest. Rejoice.
Each year when we homeschooled, I re-evaluated our school year after Christmas. I would make decisions about the rest of the school year. From there, I prayed that God would oversee our homeschool, allowing us to accomplish what is most important to Him. I trusted Him to guide us in what we did each day.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7
If we finished an astronomy textbook, that was great. If not, we evaluated & prayed whether it was important to finish it next year or move on. God was in control!
Prayer & flexibility are keys to overcoming stress and inspiring a love of learning in your kids. As you pray, God will give you peace, allowing you to rest & relax. Take a deep breath. Enjoy your kids. Love learning.Prayer & flexibility are keys to overcoming stress and inspiring a love of learning in your kids. As you pray, God will give you peace, allowing you to rest & relax. Take a deep breath. Enjoy your kids. Love learning.
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Kerry Beck helps you get past the perfect Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook image and get on to real life…real life ways to inspire your kids to grow in Christ and love learning. She wants to help you inspire your kids to love learning, giving them a superb, Christian education . . . where they will think critically & Biblically.You can connect with Kerry on her blog and at Mom’s Monday Lunch Bunch weekly Facebook Live. She also hangs out at Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram. Feel free to email her at [email protected]