Do you wake up each morning with a delicious feeling of anticipation? Do you swing your legs out of bed quickly, anxious to get dressed and move onto the business of the day? Another day of learning with your children stretches ahead… Do you feel excited?
Once upon a time, I used to drag myself out of bed and reluctantly face the day. Homeschooling seemed like a chore, a duty I had to fulfill. I wasn’t full of joy, and my children’s love of learning was under threat. I knew I had to do something. We became unschoolers.
I like this quote from A Little Way of Homeschooling:
God will give each of us the time that we need to learn everything He wants us to know; this applies to both ourselves and our children. Why do we expect we must teach it all to our children in our homeschool? And why do we automatically assume that this burden of prospective learning will be painful for them, arduous for us? There is a less frightening way….
Learning doesn’t have to be painful for our children or arduous for us. Homeschooling can be enjoyable, fun, full of delight. Being realistic, I know some days are just not fun at all. I’ve experienced dark days when I haven’t been able to smile, even darker days when I haven’t wanted to live. But on an ordinary day, I don’t want to make homeschooling into an unnecessary burden. Why add to life’s sufferings when we don’t have to? I want to enjoy my children, storing away happy memories as we learn together. Unschooling has made it possible for us to live this kind of life.
Have you ever noticed how a feeling of delight is contagious? When I am excited about the day and all we will learn, my children pick up on my mood. They can’t wait for the morning chores to be finished so that we can all dive into the real ‘work’ of the day. Maybe homeschooling is more successful, and certainly more enjoyable, if a mother is as full of the love of learning as she wants her children to be.
It seems to me… If we greet each day with a smile and a feeling of anticipation, our delight can’t fail to ignite a child’s love of learning.
My youngest daughter Gemma-Rose comes to visit while I am still in bed.
“I’ve come to give you a hug,” she announces, as she climbs under the quilt next to me.
“You’re up early,” I observe.
“There’s so much I want to do today,” Gemma-Rose says, a big smile on her face. “I can’t waste time lying in bed.”
“I’d better get up too,” I say, disentangling myself from my daughter’s arms. “I’ve got lots I want to do as well.”
We smile. A whole day stretches before us. What will we both learn today?
Igniting a child’s love of learning? Perhaps we need to ignite ours first.