[feature_box_creator style=”1″ width=”” top_margin=”” bottom_margin=”” top_padding=”10″ right_padding=”10″ bottom_padding=”10″ left_padding=”10″ alignment=”center” bg_color=”#f5f5f5″ bg_color_end=”#f5f5f5″ border_color=”#edebeb” border_weight=”1″ border_radius=”4″ border_style=”solid” ]Felice Gerwitz is a wife, mother of five graduated homeschoolers, and grandma to eight. She began Media Angels® Publishing while pregnant with her third child and went on to write and produce many books and online conferences. Felice is the founder of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network and the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network. Felice invites you to join her on her show Vintage Homeschool Moms, celebrating its 400th episode!
At the beginning of every school year, there is excitement, and usually, something happens mid-year to squelch all the fun of learning. Lessons get dragged out, paper due dates pushed back, and tests pile up.
And those special projects you had planned so diligently at the start of the year? Um, yeah, those never happened! Read on to learn how to bring excitement back to learning in your homeschool.
So, here we are at the end of the year for some, the beginning or middle for others. How do you get your kids excited about learning? Well, partially by your educational philosophy. Do you think learning should be fun?
Your attitude has much to do with the enthusiasm level in your home.
A mom once sneered at the name of one of my books, Teaching Science and Having Fun, stating that learning was not fun. I beg to differ. If we are not enthusiastic about teaching our kids—no matter what the method, they won’t be happy campers.
Learning is not fun all the time, but learning should be inspiring.
The truth is, sometimes we want to get “school” over with so we can get on to all of the other things we need to do. Other times the curriculum we’ve picked out doesn’t give us much wiggle room.
It can be a combination of frustration, difficultly learning, or a mixture of many different elements. Whatever the reason, there is a solution, and it begins with us.
Let’s take science for example.
I didn’t like science when I began homeschooling my children because I disliked science as a kid. The reason? I learned using a very dry textbook, and there were many, many tests. If I learned anything after the test, it was soon forgotten.
Yet, I began teaching my children with nature science and changed things seasonally. Star gazing in the winter months, I live in the south with warmer winter climates. In autumn we learned about trees and fall leaves and coupled it with a trip out of town where the leaves actually change.
We joined nature groups and bought state park passes.
Fast forward to the high school years, and it was time for deeper studies, like Biology and Chemistry for my college-bound children. One of my children opted for Oceanography and basically taught himself with little input from me—I couldn’t keep up!
He kept earmarking pages with sticky notes and telling me to read sections to the “younger” kids. Why was he excited?
Well, beforehand we took a family trip to the Florida Keys and studied the ecosystem, and it encouraged his love for fishing. He had a working knowledge about oceans, tides, and marine animals but not the scientific reasoning and the experiments solidified the concepts for him.
I had him teach the younger children what he learned, and again, the enthusiasm level went sky high.
Pay attention to what your children are interested in.
In our hurry to get finished with school work, we miss the cues from our kids. What are they interested in, and how can we nurture this interest?
If our child doesn’t express an interest in something specific, try mini-units. This is also a good time to take a short break and use field trips as a place to begin inspiration.
The truth is once your child is hooked on learning, the sky is the limit – they will give themselves assignments and be the first to get started in the morning. They will research on their own, and you will find their excitement lessens your load, especially if you encourage them to share what they’ve learned with the family.
For everything there is a season.
I know that life happens, and with everything, there is a season. We had illnesses in the extended family, breaks to study for SATs, sports and travel teams to contend with. Those cut into our sparse amount of free time for school. So, we adjusted and learned how to homeschool during a crisis.
The kids were still able to share their learning with their siblings but in shorter amounts of time. Do this when your children are younger, and you have more flexibility. Whatever you do, begin each day with a smile instead of frustration, and you will see a difference. I promise.
Do you need help with encouraging enthusiasm in your home?
You don’t want to miss this month’s subscriber freebie. Every month we offer free character planners for your family. This month the theme is Enthusiasm.
This planner will give you the tools you need to teach your children to be enthusiastic and have a positive happy attitude. There are reflection sheets for you as the parent to journal about your children and to note their strengths and weaknesses. It well help you see how you can help them and encourage them in specific areas that they struggle with.
You can download this planner, and a new one each month when you sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!