Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
Most of us start out all wrong when we begin homeschooling. We rush around looking at curriculum; we panic because the kids would rather be playing outside, or building with Legos, than doing that boring worksheet.
But here’s what we’re missing when we allow all those other things to sidetrack our minds:
It all starts with us. It’s as much about our education as it is about theirs.
We are mistaken if we believe that our job as a homeschooling parent is to educate our child. On the surface that might sound surprising, but really it’s just common sense.
If you step back you realize that actually educating our children is impossible. Here’s the truth: You can force a child to sit somewhere, most traditional classrooms do, but you cannot and never will be able to force a child to learn.
Charlotte Mason, an educational pioneer from 19th century England, summed it up well when she said this:
“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.”
When we’re able to let go of this false notion and heavy responsibility, we’ll discover a new freedom. We’ll also discover what our job actually is: to create an inspiring atmosphere and to educate ourselves. This is where it gets really fun–because this is where we get to develop and nurture our own passions.
I am a writer, and because of that I have time carved out in my day for writing. My children know Mommy is a writer, they see me write, they see that I make it a priority in my day. Therefore writing is natural in our home—it has become a natural aspect of life that my children are interested in and want to do.
My two older kids regularly spend time writing and creating books of their own—asking for help with spelling, reading their books back to me, practicing their handwriting–and all from their own motivation as a result of seeing this modeled for them.
You may or may not be a writer, but you are something. Something valuable and important! Something that will naturally lead to all sorts of other beautiful learning opportunities for your family, if you only have the courage to let that something out.
You may be a baker, an artist, an athlete, a scientist—whatever you are, be that! This is part of the gift you bring as a guide and mentor to the children in your home.
It’s as much about your education as it is about theirs.
How are you continuing your education and living out your passions while homeschooling?