As I get more comfortable with my kid’s ability to self govern themselves and take their learning into their own hands I am more and more amazed. I had heard so many amazing testimonies of families who had actually sat down with their kids and asked them what they wanted to learn for the year and how they could help them be successful in their quest for learning. These kid’s not only took their education and ran with it, they are still taking their education and running with it. Yet, even after these stories I was still apprehensive, I was still skittish of jumping off of the demanding of read this, write this, know this platform. But, I also knew that I wanted my kid’s to enjoy learning, I wanted them to be able to thrive in their learning.
This week our school days have looked like this, Monday attempted sit down school, relearned why we don’t do sit down work on Monday and went back to our normal clean up Monday routine. Tuesday looked like getting sit down work done and enjoying our read aloud books, then off to playing with the cousins in the afternoon. Today is Wednesday and today looks like my kid’s waking up and talking about how blue birds and squirrels both eat and store acorns. They put on their sandals and rain boots (because when you are four rain boots are AWESOME!) and went outside to explore acorns, make fairy teacups and teapots, and trying to collect acorns and learning that squirrels will probably not come and eat them out of your hand. Learning today looked like putting the books away and allowing them the freedom to smell, touch, and hear the acorns. Today, they needed to explore and so I let them! This will lead to Maddie read about animals and acorns, the twins will read books with me and be inspired to learn more about their world around them.
There are a few things I have implemented in our house that has helped encourage all of us, including Mark and I to encourage us to pursue our hobbies, interests, and to encourage self education. The first one was to make sure the books in our house where books that would encourage my kid’s in their interests. Maddie has a deep desire and passion for animals and I have been trying to load our book shelves with lots of animal info books. She is also into science experiments and I want to give her every opportunity to be able to explore the world around her, giving her books to help guide her through her experiments, and being patient when the water overflows, that too is learning.
The next step I implemented was something I prayed about for a couple of weeks before bringing to my husband and kid’s. It was something I knew we needed to do, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to go over. So, I prayed and prayed and then I pitched it to our kid’s first and I told our kid’s that they are not going to be allowed to watch tv during the week and on weekends it will be limited as well. This does not mean that we will not have special movie nights and educational movies, but it will not the norm in their day. Then, I pitched it to Mark, I told him I think it would be a good idea if we left the tv off after the kid’s went to bed at night. We have successfully accomplished this for two nights now and we both agree it’s weird to us right now, but we also agreed that we have enjoyed it at the same time. It truly is amazing how tv can take up so much of our time and how much we can learn, put effort into a hobby or learn a new hobby. It’s amazing the time Mark and I are finding we have together.
Giving my kid’s freedom in their world of learning has been incredible, they have taken the freedom I have given them and have dived deeper into a world of learning than I would have ever expected! I am learning to keep breathing and letting learning twist and turns happen and it really is exciting what awaits us around the bend!