I have one BIG homeschool goal this year: to rekindle a love of learning in my youngest.
Kathryn has always thought it awesome that I’m both mama and teacher. We’ve had such fun together as we’ve homeschooled! I can remember doing a silly song and dance about the continents with her in her kindergarten year, mimicking animals as we sang (penguin for Antarctica, elephant for Africa, etc). We’d get the giggles like crazy, but she learned the continents and hasn’t forgotten them.
In first and second grade, we read such wonderful books together as we snuggled on the sofa. Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Louis Stevenson became our oft-quoted friends. We explored nature together, did crafty things together, enjoyed each other and enjoyed what we were learning.
She loved learning.
In the summer before Kathryn’s third grade year, things changed. Our soon-to-be-adopted teen daughter joined our family, and I was desperately trying to figure out how to homeschool this new daughter I didn’t yet know: her strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, her learning style, her interests. Homeschooling was an entirely foreign concept to Lindsey. So I experimented, trying to adapt to something more “school-like” that might work for her.
In the process, I changed what I was doing with Kathryn, too.
It didn’t work because I’m not that kind of teacher. As a result of my trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, the issue of school became a source of great tension between us all.
Meanwhile, Kathryn lost her love of learning. Complaints about “having to do school” began, meltdowns were common, and tempers flared. We trudged along through her third and fourth grade years.
As I prayed about the decision to send Lindsey to public school, I finally had clarity about Kathryn. I’d been blind to it because she was still learning, but her excitement was gone — and that does not fit at all with my homeschool mission statement.
First and foremost, I want my kids to love Christ; secondly, I want them to love learning so that they can do so their whole lives long. I care little about how far we get in high school math, or if we ever touch a physics book. If she loves learning, she can learn those things later in life if they are important to her.
This year, it’s going to be different. We’re returning to the love of learning, and I’ll be sharing it all along the way.