Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Teacher - just one of the roles of a mom

Being a home-school mom, I have tried various tactics to get my kids to learn, to get through school work and to grind that information into their little heads.  Sometimes I felt that the standard way of teaching was the only correct way, but it often became so tedious that it resulted in more headaches, frustration and tears than actual learning.  Other times I felt guilty taking more time to teach smaller lessons thoroughly with more attention to detail, and not stopping until they really internalized what was being taught.  That resulted in lessons that really stuck and are remembered with fondness, even though they slowed down the school year quite a bit.

Through the mistakes and successes year by year, I got one through till graduation with even a year and a half of community college under his belt before he went off into the big wide world to find his own direction.  He seems bright, well read and capable, so I suppose I can chalk it down to a success, though in retrospect I can see how I could have done even better.

One problem I see is that many mothers and even school teachers never learned to enjoy the process of learning.  They don't like to read, they don't enjoy correcting their mistakes or learning new vocabulary.  When it comes time to helping their children learn, they already have a negative attitude in their minds that school is a drag, which naturally spills over to their kids.  That's right, even teachers!  Go figure...

Even if your child is not a homeschooler, the job of educating him or her lies squarely on your shoulders - not the school.  It's up to you that he does more than get his work done, but that he understands and appreciates it.  Of course he may be more talented in one subject over another, but you are the only one who can help him appreciate the value of them all.  Sometimes the time-consuming effort of you sitting down with him to talk him through every step of his homework is an investment that will reap life-long rewards.  Naturally you don't want him depending on you for this all the way through high school, but there are times when close, one-on-one care is exactly the motivation that he needs.

When children are feeling stressed out, are struggling with inner problems of insecurity or confusion, no matter how smart they are, they cannot focus their attention on simple school work.  Little ones are so easily coaxed out of this with the wise direction of parents who can calm that confusion.   The older they get, the tougher.  You have to transmit a love of learning to them that they will pick up and build upon, even when they're not doing traditional school activities.  The question is, are you the cause of those inner struggles they have?

You can spark that sense of discovery and fun in your daily relationship with them - when they need to help you make a budget for the groceries, figure out how much they can save to buy that special toy, enjoy the history of the town where you live as you pass by famous landmarks, and so much more.  Pick up on the simple questions they ask, like "Where do clouds come from?"  Right there you have a mini science class ready to be taught on the spot.  "Why do dogs howl?"  Pull out your computer, type your key words into your handy Google search engine, and class has begun.  As they have to face the more mundane class work that is required of them, these moments of learning with you will color all the rest with a more pleasant relaxed feel.

Believe it or not, even you will start to love learning too.


Leeanne said...

Hi Mrs. Evelyn I love you'r blogs so, so, so, so much!!!
I have tried out the 1 on 1 time alot more with my daughter and in such little time I can see a brighter smile on her face!! It is great, now studying is funner to. I have been doing more 1 on 1 time with that as well and I love it.

My daughter has a really big test
next week and instead of Me getting fustrated I have taken this test as a chance to make studying fun...It is really nice to see her enjoy learning from me!!!
You'r blog's and advice on Being a mom, and Great rolemodel are really helping me out alot!!
Thank you so much I am a faithful reader to you'r blog's!!!

Cindy said...

Yes I agree in this post Mrs. Evelyn,
I remembered the perseverance of my mother in teaching us when we are in grade school. and appreciate that so much. with her dedication and fondness for us to learn and be educated, we her children strives to finish our study.

if one would like to be a mother, she must have idea about being a good teacher.

Being a mother is amazing coz they must be flexible and must be able to do multitask. :)

God bless.


Alicia said...

Well i don't get homeschooled or have kids to teach but I would love for my mom to be more caring when it comes to my studies, or at least when I was little, why didn't she read this a long time ago? lol

cool post!