Monday, June 11, 2012

If I could tell a new homeschool mum one thing...

If I could tell a new homeschool mum one thing, it would be... to give it ( whatever it is) Time.

Time. The biggest secret in homeschooling/unschooling.

Time for a child to mature, so that the boy who hates writing at age six
("why do I have to do this") is just given time to mature, no pressure to write, just sharing books together until one day he finds his voice and writes and blogs.

Time for the shared experiences to be shared, to shape the child, to allow him to explore, think, play, be a child...so that he chooses, as a teen, to study ancient languages at a university winter school and needs no nagging about homework. He has had time to find out what he likes and how he learns.

Time to spend with family and friends, exploring persona (today it's Batman, tomorrow it is a Roman soldier), learning how to interact with others, to control temper, to think of others, to learn about self.

Time to read and read together without school schedules and have-tos.

Time for that stubborn toddler to grow into a self disciplined, determined young man. Time for that  very sensitive child to grow into a young man who thinks deeply and spiritually.

Time to cook, to do crafts, to play games, to climb trees, to visit and re-visit museums and libraries, to learn.

And time for mum to realise that things that seem major and  crisis making and overwhelming now will pass.

Time has been my homeschooling secret. Regardless of circumstances and living situations, I have learned to give myself and my kids time.

7 comments:

Beate said...

This is such a great reminder. I found it easier to give time when there seemed more of it. As the children grow towards adulthood and yearn to spread their wings, it's a bit tougher. There are still academic mountains to be conquered and they have less patience with this.

Leonie said...

Yes, though I do think the time to be kids and explore pays off when they are young adults. It's like they have a build up of memories and experience and haven't spent their childhood stressing about homework and so often seem to approach university almost refreshed. Most of the time! Lol

Amy Caroline said...

I was so scared my daughter had a learning disability. She would never read and if she did she would never remember what she had just read. I was panicked. Then out of nowhere this last year she started reading like mad. I actually had to ground her from reading once! So yes, time is so important. Time, patience, and faith!
God bless!

Leonie said...

Amy, I love stories like your daughter's story!

Anonymous said...

Leonie, will a boy eventually want to write and to do a good job at it if I don't pressure him?

Jeanne said...

I loved this Leonie. Thanks.

Leonie said...

Thank you, Jeanne.

And Anon - the true answer would be...I don't know. Why? Because there are so many variables. I don't know who you are, I don't your child or if this is a hypothetical question, I don't know your child's history with writing and pressure up to now, I don't know the kind of home and experiences that are in tow.

What I do know, from my teaching and work with children and my experience as a homeschooling mum, is that lack of pressure can create a safe environment for children to try things. Pressure can create resistance in a child. Example, a parent who writes and values writing, a parent or other adult who reads and share books, a parent who creates nice journal and art areas, who talks about these things, who makes writing a natural part of every day life, who is relaxed, who gives a child a time, these things have seemed to matter more than a particular writing curriculum.