What we are using

29 March 2009

Climbing and Learning

Last week, I read an article about encouraging kids to work harder to achieve. I was inspired because I want my kids to work hard and be self-motivated. As I read through the article, I imagined myself teaching my kids to get themselves up early, make their own breakfast, spend hours doing schoolwork, then doing some chores and .....

Okay, reality check. I work shift work - kids up early. Please no. Both of my younger kids can make their own breakfast, and the oldest went off to college knowing how to cook many things and even managed to teach his sister how to make his yummy, homemade sauce before he left. Spending hours doing school work independently? I already have to force the 8yo to turn off her lights when I go to bed because she is usually up late reading. She also spends a fair amount of her free time working on a story she is writing, or making books and trying to teach the 4yo to read, or doing something creative. Hmm, why was I thinking I needed to change something?

I am glad that I have been homeschooling long enough to not question my choices every time I read something about education. We are happily following a path in education that we are comfortable with. Self-confidence comes from experience. We try to give a variety of experiences so that they can grow and learn and become confident. Self-motivation is the only true motivation, and it is easy to motivate a kid to learn something. Perseverance is harder to acquire, but it comes with experience too. It doesn't come neatly bundled in package from UPS or in a workbook. Hiking a long path, climbing a steep hill, digging a hole for an apple tree, feeding the dog everyday, gathering the eggs everyday, solving that hard math problem, memorizing the long-hard poem, perfecting that magic trick, stepping onto the ski lift, sounding out a word, reading your favorite story to yourself, baking a cake from scratch that is delicious, folding all the washcloths into perfect little squares, learning to draw a picture just the way you imagine it - all these little things add up to make a richer life and in the process teach the values that we want to teach in our little school house.


Ami said...

I agree with you completely. The longer I homeschool, the more value I see on just living life. I feel joyous to have children who are self-motivated about learning.
BTW, those pictures are awesome. I want to come stay with you LOL!

Julia said...

Great blog post! This is just what I needed to read today.