A homeschool conference encouraged me to think about what is driving my homeschool. You wanna know what I was told? Can you guess?
Our needs are propelling how we approach our children’s education.
Kinda natural to be motivated by our needs: our baseline is ourselves. We understand the world through our eyes.
We have to watch awfully close at how our children function, what they might value, to consider what they need.
As an early homeschool mama, I needed Shakespeare. I generally disliked him in high school. I couldn’t understand why one would read suicidal/homicidal tales from England. I get it now. It’s not about homicide or suicide. It’s about human drives of jealousy, love and ambition. Shakespeare spins a tale like, well, Shakespeare. There’s a reason we know him 600 years later. My kids tell me to keep going when I close Charles and Mary Lamb’s version of Shakespeare’s Tales, though they typically prefer Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Pippi Longstocking, Owls in the Family or a Minecraft Planning book.
What form does my learning often take?
Auditory. I love to read out loud, with my kids cuddled in blankets at nine in the morning in our pajamas. This does not run counter to my kiddo’s preferences. They simply wouldn’t do it as often as I would.
One of them would just as gladly burrow in her room and read to herself. She loves reading — genetics and world history and murder mysteries and anything John Green. She can do it for hours and her independent streak is eager to do it by herself.
My need for quiet and perpetual peace interferes with my homeschool reality.
How I process my children’s frustrations and complaining on days when I need quiet? Not well. I have to bite my….nose…somedays, just to refrain from overreacting to complainy clamour.
Yet I know they need to be heard: the frustrations, complaints, requests, and joys (though they might have to be taught HOW to communicate them). When all of their frustrations, complaints, requests and joys are heard, they learn to process how to respond best.
Sometimes they need loud, mad dashing around the playground equipment playing grounders or creating videos with their songs and dances.
So I must balance my needs with their needs.
How can I help them get what they need so they can learn?
Usually it comes in the form of the “L” word. It’s simple and inexpensive. It simply requires paying attention, LISTENING. Listen to their frustrations, listen to their drives, and listen to their needs.