Education Overhaul #5: Have Fun!
I’ve gone over quite a few insights and rants on unschooling and my general overview of education. There is one more nugget I really feel it’s important to share with you.
As a refresher, check out these posts on unschooling and life-long learning:
So what else? We need to be super intentional about teaching our kids. But…let go of the agenda. Let go of the status quo and the standardized requirements. Let go of your child being the perfect picture you paint in your head. Kids are crazy. They are unpredictable, volatile, and insanely emotional. They are quite frequently (at least in my house) a bit like trying to herd cats. Actually, cats may be a tad easier, because at least they don’t have lungs like a banshee (side note, don’t make that statement to your highly inquisitive children that want to google images – banshees are not pretty).
Back to teaching. You know what you want them to learn to meet “school requirements”. You have dreams and aspirations for them and know that essentials like reading, writing and arithmetic are important. You see what they are excited about and you just know Pinterest has a gazillion ideas to bring a lesson to life.
Here is your most important note:
THEY are not YOU.
They are individuals. They have their own likes and dislikes, needs, and things that they find funny. And the more we want them to do what we want them to do on our time schedule, the more frustrated we become. A few years ago I read How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. It’s an oldie but a goodie. I’m working on being patient. I’m working on letting go. I’m working on just loving on my kids, exactly as they are. And what I want to do….have fun with them.
I am not perfect and I don’t always get it right. But the bottom line is that when you are unsure of what to do to “educate” your child, or you are stressed and have a million things to do and the kids sense it and are going crazy, or maybe even if you are having a bad day…just have fun. I give you permission. GO PLAY. Step away from the computer and the chores and take even 5-10 minutes to just play with your kids. Go into their world and see what they are inventing. Play fairies and doctor and superhero to the rescue. Check out the world from their viewpoint – it may be that you’ll be the one who learns something new!
If you have thrown out the manual and learned something in a fun and engaging way with your kids, share below – we want to hear your stories and ideas!