You may think this post is going to be about letting your child get their sleep out. You would be wrong. 😉 While that is extremely important, this post is about letting those things you wish your child would “hurry up and do” rest sometimes. I’m not wanting to encourage laziness, and I’m certainly not saying to throw the algebra book out of the window. I’ve seen both and it isn’t pretty. No, what I AM saying (lol are you ready for this after all my disclaimers??) is that sometimes our approach to learning needs a break. Needs a “reset” button. Or a perspective shift. Don’t bang your head against the wall! If method A isn’t working, there is no shame in trying methods B, C, D, and so on.
I’m a pretty normal new homeschool mom. I want my child to be moving quickly and easily through her school books, and expecting very high standards of achievement with very little effort. My oldest daughter got the full dose of my scholastic excitement, and while I understood she couldn’t move too fast since she was, after all, only 3, I still pressed in to teaching her as quickly and much as possible. She ate it up for the most part. She loved learning quickly! But the parts she didn’t eat up sent me worrying to my mother in law wondering if my H was ok to not get this as quick as everything else, and she quickly set me straight. Back off and give it a rest. Try again later with a different approach when she’s actually ready! H still thrives on the fire hose method, but I have had to adjust my thinking with teaching math to her, specifically.
Let’s talk about my daughter S. She is very smart, a very active little girl with a very thick stubborn streak. Honestly I love this about her. It’s difficult to teach her sometimes, but I love that she has spunk. I really have no idea how to encourage this while also teaching proper submission to authorities. (I’m not just talking school work here either… but general life know how.) But JE and I are trying our hardest and praying quite a bit. She will grow to be a might woman of God.
S is super excited about school work right now. She is beginning to catch on to a few sight words, and last night I caught her writing a letter E that actually had the correct amount of “arms”‘ (Never mind that it was backwards! ;-). But the hard thing for me to figure out, is how to teach with that big independent streak often getting in the way. She wants to do things her own way on her own timing. Which can be fine in the proper context. The problem often arises that she only wants to do school if she can do it her way. She is supposed to only circle the biggest dog? How ludicrous!
Now I hear some saying, oh that’s normal for her age, don’t make it a big deal!
And you would be absolutely right. I know many children her age are the same way. She’s not a freak of nature. At the same time, I don’t want to sit still. She’s growing and moving constantly at some sort of pace. The idea is to figure out where she is and move with her development, building into her character and mind as we go along. With this in mind, I’m moving slowly in encouraging her to follow the directions. First off, I rarely give her a paper that has directions. Hard to rebel against rules that don’t exist. 😉 A great tool with her has been ABC coloring pages. You can’t go wrong with those. Also we bought a book of ABC mazes, and she loves figuring those out. She usually follows each and every path and gets super excited when she finds the end! She is having fun and loves showing me her completed work. Anytime she asks to do school work I try to jump on the opportunity to encourage her in enjoying learning… and to enjoy following the rules!
If your child is struggling with an area of life or learning, sit back and think. Maybe take a break. Try a different approach. Ask people who have been there. Don’t give up, and don’t push your child into fitting your mind’s idea of what they should look like. Get some perspective. It could completely change how you relate to your child and teach them. One of my children thrives on learning things constantly…. the other seems to want to take life at a different pace. I’m ok with that. And I have a feeling in 15 years I’ll look back at this post and laugh at myself. Because guess what? I’m still learning too. 🙂