My oldest son has lost his love of learning. When he started reading at a very young age, we piled on the books and programs. We wanted to encourage this advanced learner…. Little did we know we would also kind of squash his love of learning.
My child refused to learn. He wasn’t going to follow the program; the worksheets and books were ignored Mama was, kind of, freaking out. When we couldn’t take it anymore, we put the books away.
De-schooling… I stumbled onto this and thought it might be worth a try. The concept of completely removing school, as we know it, from our children’s lives, living as though there were no such thing. I was curious and yet also encouraged that perhaps this would bring to life my children’s natural desire to learn.
I have always believed that our children are born with a natural desire to learn; too often I think we stamp that out with all these programs and curriculum. Perhaps if we just encourage and inspire our children, they will continue to learn all that they need when they need it.
I admit to being a bit hesitant about giving my children complete control of their learning. Yet my fondest memories as a child, and the things I noticed vividly recall learning, were those things I sought out on my own.
If there were no books and no worksheets, how shall we learn?
This is when you have to get a bit creative; think outside of the box. Everything you think you know about learning, forget it. Start over and then dig deep.
If they don’t love to read, perhaps they will enjoy creating their own stories? Or listening to them as audiobooks.
Curiosity Stream is an amazing program we stumbled across, full of all sorts of educational videos, yes they are so amazing I don’t think our kids realize that they are learning while they watch.
Baking and cooking. These are two things all of my children enjoy and there is so much we can learn in the process. Nutrition, reading, critical thinking. How to plan a meal and even how to shop frugally for that meal.
Well this year winter in Wisconsin has lasted forever, we can still enjoy the outdoors (or outdoor type activities). How about ice hockey? Skating in general is great exercise and so fun for all ages. Tobogganing and skiing, snowshoeing can be a super fun way to explore the great outdoors in all the snow!
Board games and card games are great for building character and learning those cooperative skills. Life skills, geography, logic…there is a game for everything.
Start (if you aren’t already) exploring the area you live in. Museums and libraries, historic sites, parks and trails. We have found some small farms where we can help care for the animals, assist with planting and caring for flowers and foods grown.
There are so many lessons to be learned even in your own backyard. From wild edibles and natural medicines to first aid and fixing up the home. So many skills we can do and learn as we go.
Too often I know I have limited my children’s learning because of their age or lack of ability. I have denied then creative opportunities in the past because I felt we had to get done what everyone else was getting done.
Today I really stop to ponder if what we need to do, we really do need to do? Because there are some things that we just have to let go of and there are sometimes but when the work doesn’t get done we have to simply say, “ so what.”
Our children have a natural curiosity and desire. God designs everyone of us for good works. Let us be sure to not get in the way of The works He has prepared for our children.
A big thank you to Jennifer King of A Peace of Mind for writing this article.