Since we have a home based business, we have a lot of people coming and going. Inevitably, I hear from someone, “Oh, I just couldn’t teach my own children. They won’t learn from me. They would never sit and let me teach them. It would be ugly.”
I don’t profess to be knowledgeable when it comes to homeschooling. My oldest child is only 6 so I haven’t been doing this very long. And I’m sure my thoughts on what is necessary in homeschooling will change over the years. What I do know is that homeschooling at my house rarely involves sitting at a table and working on worksheets. When I try to “teach” my oldest, it IS ugly. She fights me and we both get mad and yell. It’s counter productive and annoying.
Sometimes we sit around a table and work on worksheets – but only when my kids pull some out and ask for help. Instead, we do other things: read books, do puzzles, do art. It doesn’t mean that my kids aren’t learning. They are little sponges. They absorb everything and ask a million questions that I have to answer (there’s no way around it – I’ve tried). We have books and puzzles and legos all over the house. They are always busy.
To the outsider who has been watching us swing this week, it may look like we did absolutely no learning. But we were busy. My 5 year old son can tell you about nomads and make a super cute mouse out of wood scraps. My 6 year old daughter can tell you that the biggest pyramid in Egypt is guarded by a Spinx and how to make a mummy. She can also make cute little dolls out of wood scraps and since she knows how much I like coupons, she has been busy making coupons to sell me. And my 3 year old can serve a mean cup of imaginary tea. 🙂
I have finally figured out that homeschooling involves thinking outside the box. Duh, you may say. But, here’s what I mean. To think that the only way kids will learn is to sit at a desk and have their heads “filled” with knowledge by a teacher is just wrong. Provide them with good materials, good books, sticks and dirt, and kids will learn without interference from well-meaning adults. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure that out.
And now the weather is supposed to turn bad again, so we will have to find another venue for our homeschooling. I doubt it will be at a desk. But I guarantee it won’t be boring. 🙂
What did you do with your kids this week?