When Mom Kills the Love of Learning

Have you ever wondered if you are the cause of tension in your homeschool day? What do you do when mom kills the love for learning? Veteran homeschool mom, Kendra Fletcher, realized she was the culprit when her reading lovers became reading avoiders.

She shares her homeschooling ventures in the popular blog Preschoolers and Peace as well as the podcast Homeschooling IRL. You know you are in good company if she is in the trenches with you!

Her story is not uncommon among homeschooling moms. It’s easy to become buried under the details of homeschooling and easier to fall prey to the desire for our children to excel.

Let’s be honest. We fall prey to the fear our children will fail because we have not set the bar high enough. So, we become more demanding and loose sight of the goal we had in mind when we started our homeschooling journey.

Didn’t we start out envisioning children who loved to learn and were allowed to express unique talents as they learned? Somehow, we lost sight of those goals as we pursued what is ‘better than’ in fear our children might end up ‘less than’.

Before we realize what is happening, we start to feel subtle push back from our learners. Children who were once receptive to, if not down right enthusiastic about, the homeschool day begin to dawdle. As we become more demanding, they become more resistant.

[Tweet “We realize we are in a tug-of-war and wonder why the relaxed nature of our schooling has changed. “]

If you find yourself in a similar situation, take the time to slow down and remember your original goals. Are your expectations reasonable given those goals, or has fear of being ‘less than’ overtaken you?

Yes, as our students mature, expectations and requirements become more complex. The balancing act between reasonable expectations and respecting our learning goals can be a delicate one as it was for Kendra when she lost her way.

Young moms fall under the spell of perfectionism as often as veteran moms with older students. I recently fielded a phone call from a mom in her first year of homeschooling. She and her second grader were already in a tug-of-war over writing.

She was giving him writing assignments. He was dawdling, resisting, and complaining. But, he was also doing something she failed to notice as she was struggling to insure the successful outcome of their educational journey.

He was asking if, instead of writing about her topics, he might instead write about one of his own choosing.

When I called her attention to his suggestions and how she could fire his love of writing by turning him loose to write, I was met with stunned silence. Then, “But . . . but . . . but . . . I won’t be teaching him if I don’t give him the assignment? Will I? I mean, I’m supposed to teach him.”

What followed was an enthusiastic discussion of interest-led learning. I helped her see how letting him write about his own topics would lead to a more successful experience for both of them. We talked about how she might teach editing skills, strengthen topic sentence, and move from writing one simple paragraph to a longer 3-paragraph paper.

I mentioned a mind-map only to have her exclaim she had seen one on the internet. She hung up no longer stressed and fretful but excited with the new tool she could use to teach writing skills while letting her son use his own topic ideas.

When mom kills the love of learning in her homeschoolers, a few simple tweaks can be enough to bring energy, enthusiasm, and love for learning back home where it belongs. If you know a mom who is feeling frustrated because her homeschool day feels like one struggle after another, show her this article? It may be just what she needs just in time.

Image courtesy of photostock at freedigitalphotos.net

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