I will never deny that I have moments when I wonder if we are doing enough learning activities. Am I providing enough learning opportunities but still providing the kids with free time to explore and play on their own ? Do I have a balance between written activities and hands-on learning ? Are we spending enough time enjoying the museums and workshops ? Are we spending enough time covering xyz – you get the idea. It is a tough. And I think all parents have moments when they think about this.
This past week was one of those weeks when I wondered have we done enough? (And yes I even went out and ordered a few extra books to use.) Then we had today, Saturday. I had a few errands I needed to run so I left the kids with their dad and charged out early to try to beat the crowds. When I got back home my youngest opened the front door and started explaining what Marsupials are and how there are two mammals in Australia which lay eggs (The Joys of documentaries this time The Life of Mammals series). He had so much to tell me that he even walked with me to the post office so he could keep telling me all the new facts – okay he did change into a dragon part of the way to the post office and start talking about his latest dragons (he loves creating hybrid dragons that contain some features of the dragons from the Hiccup series.)
By the time we got home my daughter had converted the “play area” into her office and she was busy sorting and ordering all the stories she has been writing recently into a new folder she had found. And then she started writing a new story. Not because it was a learning activity I had set for her but because SHE WANTED to write a story. She had some words that she could not spell so she dug out a dictionary and found the spellings herself. She wrote and wrote and when I thought she has about to stop she went back to writing. It was hours of her sitting and happily working away writing multiple stories.
And while she wrote her brother was designing town centres with his toys and then drawing maps of the town centres. Again not because I had set the task (it was something we did during the week) but he was doing it because HE WANTED to create some of his own maps.
And that sums up what I want. That sums up all the agonising I have done and I am sure will still do. That sums up my entire learning objective – For the Kids to enjoy learning, to have a desire to want to learn.
I want them to become lifelong learners. I never thought about this concept until we started on our home education journey. But the more we home educate the more I acknowledge that I am just the facilitator, I guide, help and encourage. But ultimately the kids need to want to learn and hopefully enjoy it.