Some days, this feels like the ONLY sentence I hear the entire day. Homeschool is a lot of things for me but for my son, some days, it is filled with nothing but “horrible, awful, lots of boring stuff”. (Said in the most dramatic voice anyone has ever heard…)
It makes me feel bad some days because I want him to LOVE school. My dream day is for him to walk in and say, “What do I get to learn today Mommy?” This never happens of course but the learning continues anyway.
It is tempting some days to just sat school aside and play all day. I read all of these articles and the homeschool experts tell me that he is just in first grade, after all, and that is best. They tell me that at this age, they don’t need all that “busy work”. Learning should be fun. It should be something they enjoy doing; something they want to do. But I struggle with this because that is not at all how life works or how I was taught about the importance of learning. I didn’t just love it immediately. It took time. It took work.
I didn’t want to go to school each day. I didn’t want to do the work. Yet, I got up each morning and I climbed into that big yellow bus and I got there. I did the work and I discovered a little more every day that I actually LOVED to learn. Some days I hated the work because I would rather play with my friends. We were taught that once our work was done then the reward of friendship was to follow. Life was not all about what we wanted or having nonstop fun. How true that is to our life. Even as an adult I find myself feeling that very same way about my laundry or dishes in the sink. I don’t like housework. I don’t want to do housework but I get it done. I get it done because life isn’t always about Netflix or taking it easy. Doing my housework is necessary for my family and oh how I love the feel of a nicely made bed or the smell of a fresh shirt out of the dryer. From a very young age I was taught that there are just some things in life that are necessary. You may start out doing them for just that reason but you usually find that as you do them, you begin to value them and feel glad that you did them. Some things in life are vital for our existence and education is one of them.
I look at my son now and see my former, tiny, self whining that I don’t want to do this or I don’t want to do that and I smile when I respond back under my breath, “There are lots of things in life I didn’t want to do but I did them because they had to be done.” I suddenly remember my Mom and I can’t help but feel like these are precious memories in the making. Some day my son will look at his own children and teach them the same principles. Learning takes time to fall in love with. My Mom taught me that. That is contrary to what we are told but it’s the truth. True learning is when we evolve past only doing what we want and learning to do so much more than we thought we would ever want to do or are capable of doing.
That’s what I feel like I am teaching my son. So, every day we may brave the “Mommy, is this the last thing?” moment. That’s okay. It won’t be the last thing but each day He will take longer to ask that and each day the things He thought were so boring and mundane become easier and more interesting. That’s the beauty in learning: it stretches us and our abilities.
Don’t be discouraged if your children don’t seem to just LOVE to learn. Don’t be disappointed if they aren’t coming in wide eyed and ready. Instead, remember that this is a journey not a race and they will grow to love learning a little more each day. Each task will bring more endurance and more knowledge and they will soon find that they are getting the necessary done because once it’s complete, it’s a great reward.
Onward hoe we go my Brave Mommas! For though the journey be long, at the end will come great rewards. If we want to see those rewards unfold, perhaps we should pursue our homeschool the very same way that we are instructed to pursue our faith:
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
We will not homeschool alike. Some will you will through play and some of you, just like me, will learn through “busy work” but if we are teaching our children that their love for learning is a gradual journey, they will begin to appreciate the steps it takes to get there more every day. In the end, we will all meet at the same finish line and share the victory.
In Christ’s Love,