Education is more interesting when we implement activities that feed our children’s souls. This is the beauty of homeschooling.
So how do we help our kids discover their interests?
This is how – We spend hours upon hours watching and listening. We explore life together by going places and meeting others. We provide stimulating material in our day to day activities.
However, it’s difficult for me to plan lessons just around my kid’s interests.
I want them to be great readers, write excellent reports, and master math. I plan lessons that focus primarily on learning new words, spelling, and math problems. My kids are eight and six and it’s crucial that they develop in these areas. It’s these skills that enable them to be successful in their desires.
Learning these skills can be fun and not so fun. But let’s face it. Sometimes flash cards, silly games and worksheets are boring. I have to bribe my kids to do these things with a treat and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The important thing is that they are learning the basics.
My challenge is to create a home school plan that is balanced with both academics and activities that are centered on their interests.
We limit our kid’s opportunities to discover what they like when we only implement the things we enjoy and we expect them to also find joy in. We can also keep our kids from discovering their strengths when we keep them from doing the things we don’t care about.
I could make a list right now of the things my kids are doing that they would never be doing if it wasn’t for their Dad encouraging them to try it out. And there are things that I do with the kids that my husband wouldn’t have considered.
I’m learning to bloom where we are planted as a family and take advantage of all the learning opportunities that surround us. I’m also willing to travel to places that my kids desire to go to. I’m out of my comfort zone at least 80 percent of the time lately.
I worry too much about my kid’s success. I know I do because I get stressed, edgy, and bossy. My kids and I go through periods of arguing and crying. I get so frustrated when they don’t want to do what I have planned. They get frustrated with me because they are bored or it’s too hard. There are days that I feel like such a failure.
But God is helping me overcome my fears.
I fear that my kids will fail in life because of me and I’m realizing that this is not true. I’m important in their world, but not that important. God is everything to us and He has a plan. He will provide them the opportunities to a future of success. My job is to direct them to God and help them love learning.
God asks me to guide, coach, influence, challenge and show my kids how to teach themselves.
This is such a relief!!!
Now I can relax, enjoy my time with the kids more and get to know them. I get to discover with them the gifts and talents that God has given them. I get to encourage them to grow in their strengths and weaknesses.
My kids do best with the boring part of learning (flash cards and math worksheets) when they know that their day is also going to include sports, parks, cooking, field trips, museums, enrichment classes, gardening, caring for the chickens, art, electronics, reading good books, science, educational shows, meeting new people, history, building, pretending, games, asking questions, exploring………
I have set up areas in our house for my kids to discover, experiment, and create.
-Just recently we made our guest bedroom into a reading room with books from the library. It’s a comfy place with stuff animals, rocking chairs, reading light, and a bed to rest on with a favorite book.
-In the corner of this room is a little science area with a microscope!!! A few pictures of nature and planets.
-There is a messy section in our basement for messy art projects with lots of collage material.
-We have plenty of open table space and shelving for ongoing projects like electronics, Legos, and puzzles.
-In the corner of our basement with a comfy couch we have a wall full of world maps, an atlas, history books, and a Guinea pig!!!
-Our home is filled with living life – fish, dogs, lizards, garden and chickens.
My son enjoys science and history. While my daughter loves art, gardening and caring for chickens.
They both love the reading area!!!
My favorite place to take the kids is the Children’s Museum. It’s in this place that I learn a whole lot about what the kids like. My son spends time in woodworking while my daughter plays in the pretend grocery store.
Knowing these things about them helps me create experiences in real life for them.
I take my daughter to the grocery store and she learns about nutrition and money. We do cooking projects together. She helps me read recipes and cooking directions. She measures out ingredients.
Learning can and should be fun when kid’s interests are considered and taken seriously!
What are some things you do to make learning fun? What are your kid’s interests and how do you implement these into your lessons?