Homeschooling, or more appropriately named, Lifeschooling, happens all the time, all day long.
Whether you are doing bookwork or bills or baking. We are schooling our children in life. Real, normal, not always ideal and definitely not always easy, life.
It doesn’t always look like the picture. Don’t fall for the facade of a single moment captured as perfection. Because minutes later the same child is whining or throwing a fit and the camera doesn’t capture that reality.
No, it doesn’t always look ideal…because it is real. Real life. We are teaching an older child patience when a younger child interrupts by throwing a tantrum or needing your attention as well. We are teaching conflict resolution and the power of kindness, when anger takes over. We are teaching the strength of putting another’s need before our own. We are teaching confidence and value in ones individuality and who they were uniquely created to be. We are building bonds that cannot be broken.
You see, life is more than academics. W.B. Yeats said that “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” We are raising our children to be lifelong learners, their own best advocate, diligent and hardworking, adaptable to life’s circumstances, to offer empathy before criticism, to be good human beings.
We are natural learners, us humans.
When we need to know something, we find it out. If we are interested in something we will pursue it passionately. Are there things we must know to be successful…reading, writing, arithmetic…absolutely, but we mustn’t let it become the sole pursuit. Every human being is so uniquely different. That is why we have artists and engineers who function on completely different playing fields. Why would we think our children would all learn the same way or should be strong in every subject. A creative person may find math daunting. Does it mean they shouldn’t learn it? Of course not. But they may not need higher math as someone who is pursuing engineering or to which mathematics comes easy. We will absorb what is needed when it becomes necessary for us to know.
Necessity. It is the inventor of creativity. Did you know that most of our countries greatest advancements came in war time? Interesting to think about.
For the child who struggles in math but wants to buy that special toy, well, then they must learn the value of money. How to add up all those coins and bills to equal the amount they need. They are learning math but it is relevant. Now it applies to their life. Not just equations on a paper.
So be diligent. When you see the spark, fan the flame. They will learn. And they will not stop.
Celebrate those moments. We are making progress each day. And we are making memories.
Good and bad. They will make us laugh and cry. But they will be ours. Our joy, our pain, our successes and our failures. These moments will make us stronger. And these moments will make us who we become. So learn from the hard days and cherish the easy ones. And listen. For while we are teaching them, they are most certainly teaching us.