Sometimes I forgot I was a parent when I got very busy with the demands of life. I also forgot that I was a parent first and a home educator second. I forgot to keep it that way round.
I’d be so engrossed in my own little agenda for the day and ‘doing something educational’ that I went into some awful teacherish mode, trying to fulfil objectives and suggest the kids do something schoolish. Forgetting that the reason we home educated was to take a non-schoolish approach to their learning. You’ll be able to read (and laugh) about this in the new book!
It never worked well when I did that. All I had was mega exasperation, miserable children, a grumpy cloud over the house and nobody learned anything. Except perhaps they learned to avoid mum when she was in one of these kinds of modes.
So I just wanted to say; remember you’re a parent. And remember to do the things a parent does with their children, and try not to be a teacher. That’s one of the worries with home educating – you think you have to behave like a teacher. You don’t. You have to behave like a parent because children learn a lot from a busy, contented, inspired parent. They learn without teachers, without ever having been taught at. And without being coerced into it, surprising though that may seem. So just by being a parent your children will learn. I just wanted to remind you of that.
So if you’re tired of thinking it up here are 5 things you could do today as a parent –
– Enjoy some snugly time on the sofa with books. Read to them. Read to them however old they are. (Don’t try and get them to read to you though – hard though it is not to!) Read to them for as long as you both want it. Time is never more valuably spent than in reading to your child.
– Bake something together. If they’re not old enough to manage just give them some extra pastry, or some ingredients in a bowl to mess with, while you bake alongside then enjoy eating the bakings together. Messing with stuff develops understanding of their properties and increases skills ( – ooops, getting all ‘educational’ again!)
– Go on an expedition together. It doesn’t have to cost to explore your locality; parks, gardens, riversides, bridges, backstreet gardens, churches, shops you haven’t been in (charity shops are great so are shops like The Works), libraries, recycling centres, garden centres, museums, craft centres and galleries. Or go on a bus to somewhere new.
– Start something growing together, whether out or in. Even the most inexperienced growers among us can plant a bulb in a pot ready for spring.
– Go outside and run about and be silly! Or play games.
– And I just thought of a sixth – enjoy some time apart too, each engaged in separate activities, perhaps alongside each other. This is an important part of being a parent too!
Above all enjoy your children. Enjoying things together as parent and child teaches children about the give and take of relationships and it’s relationships that build happy and educative lives!