Monday, April 23, 2018

Homeschooling Victories ~ a love of learning

Today begins the Homeschool Review Crew's annual Spring Blog Hop. This year we decided to let each member of the blog hop team choose their own home education related topic - so you are in for some real treats! Everything from planning your first year of homeschooling to what happens after graduation! For our part, I choose to look back over our 15 years of educating our girls and choose some homeschooling victories to share with you. I hope you enjoy this week's posts. To see what everyone else is sharing, just click the links at the bottom of this post.

homeschooling victories, a love of learning, hands on learning, nature, art

Day 1 ~ a love of learning

Our first goal was not to re-create school at home, but rather to offer our girls an education tailored to their needs. One that helped strengthen them in their weaker areas, while allowing them to excel at their strengths. As such, our days were widely varied, and we rarely used a desk, unless it was to hold our art supplies! Our goal was to instill a love of learning, and I truly believe we succeeded! Not only do our daughters love to learn, they also love to help others learn.

Emily is almost 20 and studying to become a librarian. Her goals are to help adults overcome illiteracy and to make libraries more user friendly for those with learning challenges like dyslexia or dysgraphia. Besides sharing her love of books, she enjoys teaching children about spinning wool into yarn, about animals, and about superheroes.

Arlene is almost 18 and in her last year of high school. She excels in textiles, particularly spinning and weaving, and is always wanting to learn more, plus share what she already knows with others. She is a huge cheerleader for the youth spinning teams at Conner Prairie and is always trying to mentor younger spinners and weavers to help them improve their craft. Arlene has been learning about Indiana's Civil War history for several years and shares her passion for it on the grounds at Conner Prairie, both in first and third person interpretation areas.

Where does a love of learning come from? From God. Our children are born with a fascination for exploring new things, and it is our job as parents to not snuff it out! 

But wait...what if my kids are bored with learning?

Fear not! You can rekindle that love of learning in them. It just takes patience and time and room to grow. You need to stop thinking about how your children compare to the kids down the street or how they compare to their cousins and focus on making learning fun again. Our favorite ways to enjoy learning include art supplies and time spent outdoors. 

Have you ever heard of square foot exploration? You take a 4 foot long string and make a one foot square out in the yard. Now give your child a paper and some crayons or colored pencils and let them record what they find. It is not a race, just a fun way to sit outside for 15-30 minutes and learn how to observe. Maybe all they think they see is grass, or dirt, or sand. Give them time and let them find the worm, the ant, or the tip of a blade of grass. Let them look for tiny flowers or aphids on the back of a leaf. It is time to not be rushed. Maybe hand them a magnifying glass and walk back over to your own square. Too often we want our children to hurry up and finish a lesson so we can move on to the next thing.

What if the next thing is really doing nothing?

Sometimes our children's greatest need is to relax. 

To just be

To watch with their eyes and listen with their ears and see what God has placed around them. This learning to be at peace in a natural setting is a great lesson to absorb when they are young. It grounds them to the natural world and can be used to make them better stewards of the resources God will someday place in their hands. 

Will your kids get dirty? Oh, I hope so! God made them washable for a reason! Let nature soak into their souls at an early age and God will use it to speak His lessons to them as they grow up.

I still have a love of learning inside of me. My parents cultivated it by letting me explore: the backyard, the art museum, the beach, the woods. Kurt and I have tried our best to create a home environment where everyone is free to explore new things and learn at their own pace. 

Do you have enough down time in your schedule for your children to explore? If not, it is time to re-think your schedule and add in some margin. Some unplanned time each week where a love of learning can flourish. Allow yourself some time to learn something new as well. Our children learn more from what they see us doing than what they hear us saying. 

When did you last learn something new? Just a couple weeks ago Arlene started teaching me how to use a drop spindle to turn wool into yarn. It is not easy, but I am having fun learning! If you want to see how it is going you can check out our Instagram feed.

Stop back by tomorrow to hear about another great homeschooling victory!

Now where is my wool ...

homeschooling victories, a love of learning, hands on learning, nature, art

*********** ******


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. The square foot looking is a great thing to do.

  2. Great post! I too have tried to focus on instilling a love of learning with my boys. Pinned.

    I co- host a weekly learning linky and we'd love to see you link up some homeschooling posts with us. Each Tuesday at