Happy New Years! It’s a great time to reevaluate your journey and make sure you are having the best homeschool experience possible!
Lots of times we tend to focus on the details of education, but I think it’s more important to look at the big picture, especially before those high school years. Here are my top 3 indications that a child’s education is going well! Please feel free to add your own!
Your kid likes to learn something! (Anything!) Kids need to know the feeling of what it’s like when they are in “their” zone. If nothing has that feeling, you’re in trouble. But if anything has that feeling, you are on track! If they know the feeling of loving to learn and having success in learning, they will be able to figure out how they got there, and how to stay there. If they have never had that feeling, learning will seem pointless and something that is forced upon them. So what’s the best way to get that love to learn feeling? Autonomy…. Scientists and educators alike have given this a lot of thought, and a lot of study.* When people experience control over their world (including their educational journey) they delve deeper AND wider, remember more, and enjoy the process more, meaning they will do a better job. Children of all ages can be given some level of autonomy over their education, whether it is the order in which they attack each subject, the mode in which they learn, or the learning they get to indulge in. While you may control the milestones, they can usually manage the way they get to the milestone. And what better way to prepare for life than to learn to manage yourself to a goal?
Your child wakes up excited to begin! If they are excited, they are learning. It doesn’t matter if other kids are learning more or test better. Anyone that is excited to learn will learn. Education is a journey, it is not a race. So prepare for a long and wondrous journey! I like to say “don’t get your knickers in a twist about someone else’s ideas about education”. Your family goals may be very different than another family’s goals. When I work 1:1 with families, the essence of what parents want for their children is always about feeling confident, wanting to learn, being kind, having good work ethics and having good morals. When we talk about the big things, parents rarely have goals around multiplication facts or test scores. If a kid can identify their gifts and what gives them joy, and they are allowed to pursue these gifts, they will succeed.
Your child knows how to tackle hard things. This is one of the most important reasons why children should be given some autonomy over their education. We all have to learn how to do hard things. No matter how smart a person is, there will be a time when the challenge is very difficult, so it’s good to build those muscles early on. If the challenges are in an area of a child’s interests, they will build those important muscles without even realizing it! Later on, they will know the feeling of what it is like to do a hard thing. They may not like doing it in an area that is not interesting, but they will know how to it. That’s a gift!
Not experiencing these aspects to your journey? No worries – it’s a New Year! It’s a great time to sit down and figure out what the New Year will look like, and your kids will love being part of that process!
* Drive, Dan Pink