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One of the parenting moments I cherish the most are my talks with Max. I’ve been inviting Max out on a beach walk each day of our vacation and sometimes he takes me up on it.
“Mom, I’m never going to like learning.”
“I mean, it’s nice to know stuff and I like the benefits of knowing things but I am never going to like actual learning.”
This is the kid that has basically every Pokemon memorized. Who while at the aquarium, impressed strangers who overheard him telling me about parrotfish. The kid who enjoys reading and watching shows about trivia, and when I find something out to impress him usually responds with, “I know,” and gives me a fact I didn’t know back. Who tested into a center based gifted program at school and we didn’t even realize he was being tested for it…
… this person hates learning.
If learning is miserable to a kid like this, we’re basically all screwed.
This is my challenge for our homeschool year. After years of school I feel like now we have to go backwards in some ways instead of forward. Back to the playing, the experimenting, back to the joyful and fun part of learning. And it makes me worry… is it possible to reframe our idea of learning and to find the joy in it?
Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but it’s scary to hear that your child hates learning when you are about to be the one responsible for their education. I realized that switching gears from learning by demand to learning out of joy is a little bit of a delicate process. I don’t want to find myself being just another person who pushes them to the point that they completely lose interest and yet, trusting the process and allowing them to “learn nothing” while exploring their interests is mildly terrifying.
Since summer is winding down and the regular school year is approaching, I am curious to see how the kids will feel when they don’t go back to school with everyone else.
And as my husband is planning his year of teaching ahead, I am thinking about mine.
For the kids, I have two overarching goals for our first homeschool year:
- Redefine learning as something enjoyable that never stops.
- Reconnect with the outdoors (it’s not just a place you go to get from one building to another).
For myself I have a number of other goals:
- Learn to follow their lead.
- Manage my expectations.
- Learn when to give them a gentle push and when I’m pushing too far.
- Create an environment that gives them opportunities to discover new things.
- Make time to let them teach me about the things they love (this will involve many Pokemon lessons).
go completely insanepanic (too often).
- Slow down and enjoy our time together.
So while the school year is gearing up, we’re still winding down.