If you’ve been on my website before you’ll notice that things look quite a bit different. My husband and I have spent a bunch of time converting my old website into a blog. During that process, I had to go through all of the articles and newsletters on my old site in order to move them to the new site.
As I read post after post, I felt myself becoming convicted. When my boys were younger, I made it a point to provide hands-on lessons. I worked hard to be sure they were enjoying their schoolwork. My boys used to think that learning was fun.
Somehow, in the last several years, both of my boys have turned into young men. Ben is finishing 8th grade this year and Sam is finishing 6th grade. As their minds and bodies have been changing, my lessons for them have been changing as well.
As they left the fun, elementary school years I have felt more and more pressure to conform their lessons to the way of the world.
I’ve been fearful that they might not be receiving as rigorous of an education as they would be if they were in school – and that has caused me to make their schoolwork harder and harder.
Somewhere in that process, both of my boys have decided that they don’t like school anymore. They would rather do just about anything than their schoolwork. I’d just about resigned myself to the fact that most boys don’t like school – so if my boys don’t like their lessons I shouldn’t take it personally.
Then I read through some of the older articles from my website. I heard myself say again and again that our children’s minds are fires to be ignited and not vessels to be filled. I heard myself repeat how important it is for our kids to love the learning process. I heard myself emphasize how we need to take the time to do the hands-on projects, reach our sons where they’re at, and do whatever it takes to make learning fun.
How did I lose the desire to do that for my boys? When did I start taking the easy way out? Why did I start introducing more textbooks into our homeschool?
I came to the realization that I have been institutionalized. As much as I’ve tried to fight it, I was a publicly schooled kid from K-12. (Actually, K-16 because I attended four years of public college as well.) As my boys have gotten older, I’ve started to think more about being sure they are prepared to go to college and get a job. I’ve allowed my fears and uncertainties to taint my boys’ homeschool experience. My boys have stopped enjoying school. How heartbreaking!
As I turn to a new page on my website I will also be planning our next school year with fresh eyes and a new determination.
Here are my new resolutions:
- To be sure that God remains the center of our studies
- To study each of my boys to learn what excites them at this age
- To make next year’s studies more enjoyable for my sons
- To focus more on my sons’ strengths and less on their weaknesses
- To help each boy become the young man that God wants them to be
I’m excited to take this step back to what I know is important. I will return to relying on God instead of my boys’ education to ensure their future success. I will remember that character is more important than academics. I look forward to doing the messy, hard projects that my boys have always loved. I will do everything in my power to put the love back into learning!
Question: Do your children love to learn? Do you have any tips you could share which help keep learning fun – even for older kids? Please leave a comment below.
11 thoughts on “Lectures from my Old Self – Put the Love Back into Learning”
I was just wowed by something related to this. My younger son (6) will allow our older son (8) to guide our choices for learning because he looks up to him. We have been covering marine biology for science this year, but I noticed that my little guy would want to be done when science rolled around. We talked about it, and he finally told me fish were not his favorite thing. He told me he wanted to learn about outer space. It was not really in our budget to get a new book just for him, but…… It was MORE money and extra work for me to divide the science, but he is just totally lit up and asks to do science first thing! I had no idea how good it would be for him. I am loving how much he is loving this, and it makes me much less nervous to alter things that are not working for us. My daughter was homeschooled for high school, and got so much out of having a job(she was a lifeguard and swim instructor ) It gave her a wider circle of friends and good work ethic. We kept it fun by meeting at night (after the boys went to bed) over tea and reviewing her independant work or I would teach. I think she appreciated my working around her work schedule and giving her space to just be herself. They were long days for me, but I miss them now lol
That’s wonderful, Angie! You listened to your kids and were able to make learning more engaging for both of your kids. Thank-you so much for sharing. Very encouraging!
I really needed this post today! I am just worried that my 7 year old son will not learn to read(though he is able to make all the sounds and sound out the words, he always needs to do this) I am printing out your steps and adding them to my prayers!
Thanks for your comment, Susie. I know how frustrating it can be when your child struggles to read. You may also want to read my post about that very thing: https://www.homeschool-your-boys.com/learn-to-read.html
Oh Susie, please hang in there:) That was me last year and this year is a totally different year for us. We are still going slow in some areas with a lot of content, but my son is really reading now. If he is sounding out, please don’t worry! I was using Alpha Phonics and was frustrated. I added in Reading Kingdom for extra sight word practice and still plugged along with the Alpha Phonics after a break. That seemed to be a good combo for us. Something clicked. My sons also benefitted from audio books before bed.
thank you so much Angie, I am glad I read this today, I will keep praying , I am more hopeful after reading these comments:)
Thanks for your comment, Lisa. I do love your blog and have been following that post. Very encouraging! 🙂
It’s a struggle, but so worth it. What about a mentor or work situation in the real world related to their interests? I plan to help my 9 year old in touch more & more with experts in his field of interest. Less “work” for you. You become the go-between!
Yes, I definitely want to do this for my boys, Lisa. I think that having an internship or apprenticeship would be wonderful. I’ve been having a hard time finding someone who is willing to take on this responsibility, though. Have you been successful at finding mentors for your kids?
Thanks for linking up at iHN!
Excellent article! I needed this reminder, too.