Today I got a bit fed up with trying to help my youngest engage in learning. Lately she has been working on learning to read using various early reading books and working through a maths workbook. We have also been doing some handwriting. But the last few weeks, everything has seemed like an uphill struggle.
I remember back to moments when I had felt the same way with my oldest. In those moments the solution was almost always to change our approach to learning. I remember a time when my son had got to a stage where he didn't want to write, didn't want to sit to do his workbooks and was really lacking motivation to learn. We had been working through a series of progressive workbooks for English and Maths and that had been working really well, he had been making loads of progress and had really enjoyed it, but then it just wasn't working any more. He had reached a place where he needed to be challenged but his writing skills were not yet good enough to keep up with the books we had been using. I did some hunting and that's when I found The Good and the Beautiful home school curriculum that we have been using for the past few years. Making this change got us out of our rut. My son became excited about learning again and it was a joy to teach him.
So what is happening with my daughter? Well she finished a great preschool course just before Christmas. It had a good mix of worksheet type learning and learning through play. We tried moving onto the next level course at the start of the new year, but she just wasn't ready so I dropped it and decided to focus just on the reading and started using a simple math workbook. I think things had just got boring. The work was perhaps a little difficult. She can add simple numbers but can't write down the answers, so the math book was a bit daunting for her. We had lost the fun, creative play that is so needed at her age. So today I took stock and decided to let go of what wasn't working and endeavour to find something that would bring back that excitement in learning. I went back to teaching through play and guess what? She loved it!
Sometimes when children don't want to learn it doesn't mean home education was the wrong choice, it might just be that it is time for a change. Experiment, think outside the box and seek out what your child needs next. When you have lost the joy, don't lose heart. See it as a teachable moment, an opportunity for a new direction. As you discover what learning style, approach and level your child needs at this moment in time you will rediscover your joy and your enthusiasm for home education.
I hope this has encouraged you. Leave us a comment below if it resonates with you.