The Best Teachers
My three young children had been quite ill for over a week. Allen got an upset tummy from something he had eaten; he was just recovering when the viral fever then came around, putting him back in bed for the next few days.
Over the weekend, their health was picking up, and by the start of the new week, I thought we could start out slowly with some school, just to get back in the groove a bit. Usually school time begins around 10:00am for them; today it was noon before we opened the school books. I tried to keep in mind that it had been over a week since their last lesson and might take a bit of time before a couple young kids would “get into it” again.
Still, it was difficult to keep from becoming frustrated, as Allen spent most of the morning either staring off into space, or crying at absolutely-nothing-in-particular. It was quite a departure from my usually happy little boy.
Jessica, on the other hand, had decided that she needed to do the whole last week’s worth of school in one day because she had been sick, and kept insisting on it, so much so that she was accomplishing absolutely nothing. I assured her that we could go at her pace today.
Needless to say, it was not the most productive school day we had experienced.
As a home-schooling mother, it isn’t always easy to find the right balance between school and life. There are some inspired and wonderful teachers and parents who turn every moment in life into an educational experience for a child, without the child even realizing that they are “learning”. Life is just one great experience after another and the parent manifests that in every moment of the day. They just make learning fun, exciting, and an unforgettable experience on a daily basis.
It is great when a parent, especially a home schooling one, can make education fun for children. Especially when they are young, they need a bit more excitement, interaction and inspiration. I have been blessed to have some of these folks teach my kids classes and songs from time to time. I often feel I can’t measure up to this class of teacher. I have borrowed a few of their ideas and tips to make learning fun. Other than that, I tell myself it takes all kinds, and as long as I am dedicated and manifest patience and love, my children will learn that which is most important.
A few tips, for those of us who need them…
Start each school day with something special. It can be as simple as a bug you found in the garden that morning, or a funny song on youtube, or a sketch of the child.
Have a “star system” of some kind, for good behavior, or great performance, or completing something in school. Be consistent and fair with the reward system and children and students will look forward to it.
Be spontaneous. You do have goals and requirements, but at the same time, a dull and uninspired child will work slowly and perform poorly. If you notice they are slowing down or lacking inspirational, introduce a new idea, or a fun break, a live class, or something to bring new vision into their day.
Most of all, strive to be inspired and happy yourself, as well as calm and patient, and every day can be a wonderful learning experience—not only for your children, but you as well. Kids are often the best teachers we have, and their exuberance and wonder can rub off on anyone, of any age. Pretty fair trade, I’d say.
Image by © Tim Pannell/Corbis
Posted on June 23, 2011, in Activities, Education, Life Lessons, Patience and tagged children, education, educational experiences, experiences, home education, home schooling, learning, learning styles, life, parenting, sickness, teachers, teaching children. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.