Let’s nurture our children into the adults our future needs-- critical thinking, compassionate, problem-solving leaders. Let’s also survive the week without burning the house down.
How do we accomplish this?
Here are our top 3 tips for educating your kids at home while maintaining your sanity.
These techniques come from over 30 years of home education experience. They are simple, effective and they WORK well. Adapting them to your own particular lifestyle is worth the creative effort.
1. Cater to the learning style and emotional state of your child.
No one knows your child better than you. Do they respond better to visual or kinesthetic (physical) learning? Is someone bored or frustrated? Adapting to your child fosters a love for learning and teaches valuable skills like time management and self awareness. The key here is flexibility and patience, for yourself as much as your kids. If maintaining attention is difficult, take plenty of dance breaks or read a short story. Irritability overcomes all of us from time to time, and the children feel it as well, and go through it as we do. Check in with your kids and adapt. Healthy food and clean water are essentials to our well being and learning abilities. Recently i read an article about how the soil in our regional area can effect our health. What about the water, the air, the food. What are we doing to ourselves, and how can we change it. Education.
2. Learn WITH your child.
To learn with your child is to inspire true knowledge through curiosity, excitement and honesty. If your child asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, don’t brush them off. Say, “I don’t know. Let’s find out together!” This is where the real learning begins, for both of us, for now we are exploring our world together. I have had more experience because i've been here longer than my children, but they bring a fresh perspective and sharp minds to solve the challenges we face. Admitting when you don’t know something sets an example of humility and vulnerability that cultivates confidence.
3. Every moment is an opportunity.
Our daily lives are full of math problems, interpersonal communication and even historical trivia. You might find fractions are easier to understand in the kitchen, where you'll learn them experientially cooking things where the exact allocation of ingredients has been studied for a long time, and too much, or too little of an element changes the outcome your hoping for.
Take some time to pay attention to the learning opportunities around you. Everywhere you will find them, and Everywhem. Some may be mundane, others exciting, with everything in between. We are learning all the time. How will you channel it with your children?
I think we all sing, out loud when alone, or quietly while working, or performing if that's who we are. Singing helps with memory and emotional health. Music soothes, heals, takes you away for moments.
Human relations will include arguments, which build critical thinking skills. These new minds will challenge you, as they should, and allowing that to unfold is one of the greatest exams anyone can take, student and teacher alike.
Create a log; jot down everything you’ve done in a day and briefly note the skills required for each task. You’ll be surprised by how many skills you will develope during ‘mundane’ activities like planting a garden, prepping dinner, playing a game, or sitting quietly on the porch swing chatting.
It’s important, now more than ever, that we are patient and gentle with ourselves and our children. I'm thinking of the Chinese symbol for danger, as we navigate this global trauma. The symbol is made up of two characters; crisis-opportunity, and depending upon how you interact with the challenge you face, it determines the outcome of the thing you are trying to accomplish.
What creative old or new thing are you doing to learn through the day? We've gotten into puzzles, games, reading, movies, building with wood or clay. We hope these tips were helpful and we’d love to hear from you. We’re going to get through this, stronger.