Do you work? Do you worry that you can’t teach your kids because:
- You don’t know how; or
- You don’t have time; or
- They’ve already been at school for 6-9 hours today and they’re burnt out on learning and you’ll just make them hate you?
How about 4. All of the above?
Yep, #4–That’s been me. #3 has been part of my continuing fear about changing schools too.
There’s just tons and tons of stuff that I want to teach my kiddos that they might not get in school in the future. Things that I think are culturally important (like reading true classic literature–not the abridged and adapted stuff!), things that I think are character-shaping (like the foundational role of Christianity in the shaping of our nation), and things that I think are just plain crucial to their worldview (like holistic natural systems) that I don’t think they’ll necessarily get in school unless they’re homeschooled.
Our home can be a thriving place of learning, living, and growing even if we aren’t there all day!
We’ve been saving jars (some glass and some plastic peanut butter jars) and using them for the kids “collections” of feathers, rocks, leaves, sweet gum balls, bits of old brick, and other “discoveries” which they can bring inside and study at their leisure. This is clearly working because the Ladybug has asked for a magnifying glass to help her with her “observations.”
We’ll be encouraging more of that this summer by giving them each a composition book to make into a nature journal and doing some nature notebooking as a family. We also might incorporate some observation prompts like Nicole (one of my new Titus 2:1 friends!) used for her children’s bird watching.
It’s just about taking our time and savoring the moments together. Not rushing through to the end.
And they’re enjoying it! They’re not burnt out about it. It’s their favorite part of the day!
The key is that you can’t just settle for things that are not bad--you have to hunt up things that are actually good. Don’t just pick movies that don’t tear down your values–find movies and books that actually reinforce your values. They’re still good for entertainment too. Don’t just pick wall art that’s pretty–pick something that also educates or edifies. Children can have just as much fun at a museum or nature center as at a bounce house or Chuck E. Cheese. They can have as much fun coloring in a Barbie coloring book as in an American History coloring book.
As an intentional parent that is not home full-time right now, that is not homeschooling right now, I need to not waste the moments I do have. And I’m excited to share more ideas for making your home a learning home this summer!