What You Can Learn About Homeschooling by Watching Little OnesAndrea Thorpe
Over the course of my seven years as a homeschool mom, I have learned quite a bit:
- how to organize our schooling materials
- how to write lesson plans
- how to navigate the annual homeschool curriculum fair with ease
Those lessons have been learned through dozens of discussions with fellow homeschool moms. But as great as those lessons are, the most valuable lessons have come by watching and listening to my children, especially the wee ones.
So what can our little ones — those beautiful bundles of energy who excitedly dash from activity to activity —teach us? It turns out they can teach us quite a bit. We simply need to slow down and observe their behavior. And though some may see the behavior of little ones as erratic, a closer look at the behavior reveals it is both purposeful and educational. Here are six homeschool lessons we can learn from the little ones.
Simple is better
Planning and executing fancy homeschool projects and activities can be fun, but doing so is not always necessary. Just as our little ones can find joy in playing with the box rather than its contents, we can find joy in simple homeschool activities such as read alouds and one-on-one time.
Just be you
Comparing ourselves to fellow homeschool moms is never a wise move. Our little ones don’t waste precious time trying to be like everyone else on the playground. Instead, many children forge their own paths and do things their way because that’s what works best. We can make our homeschools great by being ourselves and not feeling as if we have to imitate other moms.
Fight through fear
Little ones are often unhindered by fear. They’ll climb the tallest slide ladder, jump from the highest rung, and then run over to tell us all the fantastic details. If we could banish fear, imagine all the wonderful things we could do during our homeschool day. Let’s pray, face our fears, and go for it!
Messy can be marvelous
As adults, we often view messes as unpleasant things to clean up. On the contrary, our little ones see messes as chances to explore and express creativity. While making messes in paint, wee ones create exciting colors. Through messy play, little ones find new uses for everyday things. Why not get messy with our kids and see what we learn in the process?
Now is the most important time
You won’t find our young children wishing the day away. They do not plan events weeks and months in advance. Instead, little ones seize the moment and savor the current day. They understand each is a gift and they commit to fully enjoying each day. We don’t want to miss out on the beauty of our present homeschool day because we’re too busy planning future days.
Perseverance pays off
Wee ones are known for their tenacity. If they can’t do something the first time, they’ll usually keep trying until they achieve the desired results. And so it should be with us. Homeschool setbacks ought not stop us. Rather, we should follow the example of our young children by reviewing the situation and trying again until we find success.
When it comes to our little ones, we often see ourselves teaching them. But, many times it’s the other way around. We are the students and our young children are our accidental, but highly effective teachers. The next time your little one is doing something that seems completely random, slow down and take look at what he’s doing. You just might learn something valuable!