Welcome to my homeschool blog, which offers insights into loving learning, loving your family, loving history, loving homeschooling, and enjoying your life! With your cup of coffee in hand, take a break to laugh with me, to have your heart refreshed, to be reminded of how cool your kids really are, and to consider the amazing adventure of being a homeschool mom. AND, if you are interested in the History Revealed curriculum, be sure to check out my Teaching Tips!

Freedom to Love, Assure & Accept

loving environmentLast week, we considered the freedom we have as homeschool parents to slow down the pace. Today, let’s talk about how we are free to wrap the learning experience up in a blanket of love, assurance, and acceptance.

The model in our memory of how teachers act and respond will greatly affect the way we homeschool our children—unless we intentionally choose a different path.

Take a few minutes to go back through your own experiences as a student, when others were teaching you. Did they appreciate your sense of humor, your questions, your insights? Did you feel encouraged, engaged, and enabled to learn? Did the learning environment help you soar or was it an uncomfortable place where you tried not to be noticed?

What was it like for you? Is it the kind of experience you want for your own children?

Obviously, even the best teachers in a classroom have many factors that impact an individual student’s encounters with learning (like pressure to “teach to the tests,” the demands of the chosen curriculum, how many students are in a class, and the attitudes of those other students). But one of the amazing aspects of homeschooling is that we have FREEDOM to create a different environment.

Freedom to Love

Generally, parents love their own children more than anyone else loves them. There is a willingness to sacrifice on their behalf, to go way beyond the call of “duty.” It’s part of being a parent, right? And, you do this because you love them!

Now, when you combine that kind of sacrificial love with being a child’s teacher, something remarkable can occur. When a child is upset, not feeling well, or disheartened, your parental love cares more for your child than for the page of math problems.

“It’s okay, sweetie. Don’t cry. Let mommy get you some orange juice, and then we can figure out what to do.”

That is an example of what it looks like to parent in the midst of teaching. It’s a blanket of love that you wrap around your child.

Freedom to Assure

One of the most valuable gifts we can give our children is self-confidence in their own ability to learn. And that is more easily said than accomplished! You have undoubtedly had the experience of saying to someone, “No, honestly, that looks GREAT!” as they complain about the inadequacy of their work. And it doesn’t seem to matter how many times you say it, right?

There is something very precious and unique about how each individual child learns that it is safe to try, to stretch, to attempt something new. For some, the challenge is in the area of language. For others, it is in the area of math and science. For still others, it is in music or games or sports.

Again, this is where your parental love comes into play. You take the time to listen to your child, to observe where they run into obstacles, and then help them past those obstacles. (We will look at this more deeply in Part 4 of this series.)

Freedom to Accept

If a child senses that “who” they are is accepted and enjoyed by the teacher, it has an incredible effect on their ability to learn. And, if you are homeschooling, YOU are the teacher. That means that it is critically important for you to accept and enjoy each of your children, with all of their strengths AND weaknesses.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t correct them, or that they don’t need to learn how to grow into considerate, thoughtful, loving adults. It does mean, though, that your basic approach is to like, appreciate, and enjoy each one.

(For help on this, please watch this issue’s video on Awkward Kids, AMAZING Adults.)

Remember, stay relational!

 

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