When my oldest entered kindergarten seven years ago, I, too, went back to school. I quit my newspaper writing job and became a high school English teacher. So, each morning my daughter trekked off to preschool, my son hopped on the school bus, and I donned my badge and spent the day in my own classroom.
And then we came home. And school was over.
It was really very natural that the learning stopped. We had spent all day learning, after all. I was ready to make dinner and fall on the couch, and the kids were equally wiped out. I didn’t have the time, energy, or desire to keep teaching. And I didn’t have to, right? They had been learning all day, after all.
Then I began homeschooling. And I realized how much time I had wasted in the wrong mindset.
Because I spent so much time preparing to teach my students, it felt impossible to drum up another round of that for my own children. And my own children were struggling against me to just get their homework worksheets done. Surely it was cruel to add even more to their plate.
But then we relaxed. We read aloud together. We played easy and quick math games. We had time for conversations that led to exploration. And none of this took nearly the time or the energy that I had imposed upon it in my mind. It actually felt easy.
Now, please don’t misunderstand! I’m definitely not trying to paint the picture of a seamless day of learning where everyone gets along, and we all became geniuses in two weeks.
It is simply this: When I changed my own mind about how learning looks, a lot more of it happened in our home.
That revelation was so life-changing for me that I just wanted to shout it from the rooftops! And, so here I am, on my little rooftop, hoping to send some encouragement out from here.
Nicole is the creator and co-founder of Learning with Friends. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram!