Regaining Her Enthusiasm for Learning

My daughter Sophie felt like she was just drifting along. She’d lost her enthusiasm for learning. Do you remember how I wrote about this not so long ago? Well, I’m happy to report she’s back on track!

On Saturday morning, Sophie and I went to town together for some mother-daughter time. After we’d done a little shopping, I said, “Would you like to have morning tea in a café? Shall we go somewhere where they serve tea in teapots?”

A waitress delivered our order to our table: two white teapots of English Breakfast tea, two white and lemon china cups resting on matching saucers, and a plate piled high with apple crumble and a mountain of cream. We smiled.

As Sophie tipped a steaming stream of tea into her cup, words burst from her: “I love my life!”

“Because we’re having morning tea together?”

“It’s not just that. It’s everything. Life is full of interesting things to do!”

“You’re not drifting along anymore?” I asked.

“Oh no!”

“So what have you been enjoying doing?”

“I’ve been redesigning my blogs and doing those HTML coding lessons. I’ve been cooking and sewing. I reorganised my bedroom so I can find all my writing and craft things. I’ve written some notes for a new novel. I can’t wait until next month when Camp NaNoWriMo starts! Then there’s drawing. I’ve been learning how to draw realistic people. I enjoyed those history videos. And I’ve been exercising.”

“So you’re back on track?”

Sophie’s whole face was aglow. “Oh yes!”

“So how did you get your enthusiasm back?” I asked.

“Well, I got fed up of feeling bored and decided to do something about it.”

“You didn’t need me to push you along?”

Sophie sipped her tea and then said, “No when I was ready, I found all sorts of new things to do.”

Yes, I didn’t need to get anxious. All I had to do was be patient and give Sophie enough time to rediscover her enthusiasm by herself. Of course, that doesn’t mean I did nothing to help her. Oh no! While I was waiting, I did some strewing. I kept my eyes open for things that might tempt her. I shared my own interests and activities. But I didn’t apply any pressure.

After I’d written my post, Preparing our Kids for an Unknown Future: Can We Do It?  I said, “Hey Sophie, I found lots of Jane Fonda exercise workouts on Youtube. I wonder what other exercise videos are available.”

When she was ready, Sophie searched Youtube and found the Fitness Blender channel. On the days we haven’t gone running, she’s been star jumping and stretching and using hand weights. She’s been exercising even on days when the rest of us have decided to rest.

After I’d bought a new template for this blog, I said, “Hey Sophie, what do you think of this design?” Then I added, “There are loads of other blog templates available.”

When she was ready, Sophie googled free Blogger templates. Soon she was knee deep in HTML codes as she redesigned her own blog.

“Hey Sophie,” I said, “do you remember those Codecademy HTML coding lessons we were doing a while ago?”

When she was ready, Sophie signed into her account and once more began learning about HTML. “I’d love to write the code for a blog template of my own, wouldn’t you?” she asked me. I would!

I hunted out a few books with patterns for attractive sewing projects. “If you’d like to set up my sewing machine on your desk in your room…” 

I bought a few extra ingredients and placed them in the pantry. “I’ve put some new recipes in the Evernote planning notebook…” 

“I’ve also put some history and science links in the notebook.”

“If you’d like me to drive you to town so you can buy some new notebooks…”

“I found some interesting drawing videos on Youtube…”

I’d like to tell you Sophie followed my good example after I said, “Hey Sophie, come and look at my reorganised room. I’ve sorted out all my writing and art stuff. Now I can find everything easily.”  But that wouldn’t be true. My room is a mess. That idea was entirely her own!

Have you shared anything interesting with your children recently? And is your room organised like Sophie’s? Or is it a mess like mine?!

PS: The photo of my sewing machine was taken by Sophie. She’s also been busy with her camera!

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    • Hwee
    • June 22, 2015

    It's good to read that Sophie is back on track! I think we all experience the lull from time to time, as I doubt anyone can be on the go all the time without being burnt out sooner or later. The pause in-between is healthy and often necessary before the next big rush to learning comes along. 🙂

    1. Reply


      Oh, I do agree! We all need quiet times to rest and process things before moving forward again. Although I wasn't worried, I'm happy to see Sophie back to her usual enthusiastic self. Her excitement about learning is catching and I love sharing it!

    • San
    • June 22, 2015

    So lovely that you had a mum and daughter treat and I was bowled over by her love of life!

    Benedict has been drifting for a while and I could sense a frustration and anger building up largely as a result of his medical needs and associated restrictions. For weeks now I have been pondering and so we decided to once again use minecraft as a learning aid. We chose the celts, watched a time team history programme and now he is busy building a Celtic settlement! It is the first time in over a year we have both felt inspired. Maybe Sophie needs to set up a strewing list for you re organising!! Fly is pretty good 🙂

    Love to you

    San xx

    1. Reply


      My heart overflowed with joy when Sophie said she loves her life. Mothering can be tough at times, but when we hear our kids are happy, all those struggles fade away to insignificance.

      It sounds like you and Benedict have been enjoying learning together too. I'm going to look up the time team programs. Thanks for sharing!

      The Fly Lady? Oh yes, I should get better organised. Your strewing list idea makes me smile.

      Love to you too! xx

  1. Reply

    Sue, I have spent my adult years trying to be more organised. LOL! Reading about writing code for blogs always makes my eyes glaze over. I mean….that must be so hard to do! I guess in some ways young people are learning about such things at an early age so it is an advantage for them. I tend to just plod along with my blog and am not too adventurous. 🙂

    1. Reply


      I like how we can all blog regardless of our ability to keep up with the coding side of things. The 'behind the scenes' stuff isn't essential. And if we want something fancy, there's always people we can call upon. There are loads of people producing attractive templates if we feel like having a change of blog design. Yes, young people seem to learn such things as coding very easily. If I want to know something I just call for Sophie. She knows far more than me and is always willing to help me! Playing around with blog designs is fun, but it's not the most important thing. Good content is what matters. You've got plenty of that!

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