Love and Homeschooling Go Hand in Hand
Perhaps I’m sentimental – perhaps we are just having a good day today – perhaps both, alhumdulilah. Some days just work that way – other days you want to pull out your hair and ask yourself “why am I doing this?” Alhumdulilah – these days definitely balance each other out – and the good days (usually there are more of them) are always an excellent reminder of why you homeschool.
The baby of the family (now 12 months old) has been struggling to understand what in the world is going on in our home. Before school – she was the center of our world – and we were all there to share her “first moments” from first teeth to first smile, etc. Now, she hopes to at least be remembered and begs to be allowed to do something. Most of the time – her day is filled with – “hurry, stop the baby before she . . .” She is climbing chairs and getting into schoolwork. She is slamming on the computer keyboard and opening all kinds of documents or she is shutting the computer down. She is pulling papers out of the file cabinet and laying them about the floor. She is trying to eat everything and explore the world – but unfortunately, we are there to get in her way – and she just hates that! This morning, we spent time cuddling – we spent time laughing together – and she played (somewhat content) upon the floor while I made dinner and the girls were eating breakfast. After all this excitement, she took a nap while we worked on school work. Now she is back from her nap (the girls are eating lunch) and ready to take on the day . . . and needless to say . . . I am having trouble writing this post without her banging again on the keyboard 🙂
My middle child is starting to learn a little bit about independence. She is enjoying working on little projects of her own. When taking breaks with my oldest daughter, we usually also sit down to work on learning to read (her goal – not mine) or math. She enjoys the individual attention! She has just amazed me at her creativity with artwork. She also amazes me with her imagination. She now leads her older sister in acting out stories they hear either from story books or on audio. Her favorite is to re-enact “We Share Everything” by Robert Munsch. They usually even add parts to the story and love to come show mom that they have “exchanged” each other’s clothing (again)!
My oldest daughter has had some problems with learning sight words. She is not really a fan of memorizing stuff just for the sake of remembering. However, she learns things well if she makes use of those skills. Essentially, she is a tactile learner – she likes to get into any topic she tackles or else she doesn’t feel it’s worth it. Boy, we are just finding this out now – masha’Allah! I put together some games for her to learn the sight words this week. I also found other ideas online that will help us with this – a word book, etc.
Anyway, today while learning Phonics we had an assessment to see how well she was doing (we usually have one after each unit). While working on the assessment – she was so thrilled – I let her sit in my lap. I know this may sound strange to some – but it made her feel so good – and confident. She did well and would often hug me back whenever she realized that she had greatly improved – even remembering many sight words that she could not remember before, masha’Allah. The point that I’m making is – how many parents have the opportunity to share such moments with their children –
A warm hug to encourage them to go on – when they don’t feel confident . . .
To sit on their parent’s lap – to feel connected to the person teaching them . . .
To earn a squeeze of delight – when they grasp what they have been struggling with . . .
This is connection – and this is definitely a reward to remember whenever you ask yourself “why”. Today, while my daughter was learning Phonics – I was able to embrace her – I was able to hold her close – to smell her hair – to encourage her and support her in ways that she needed. Now, is it necessary to always school with your child on you lap? No, but when it is necessary – when they need it – they know that they have the love and support they need to keep going.
These days – at least it seems to me – people are not as connected to family as they used to be – or should be. We all seem to be entrenched in the rat race called life – and always seem to keep trying to hurry and get things done. When is the last time we just stopped and smelled the flowers? When is the last time we just sat and listened to our child – I mean, really listened . No, simply nodding and saying “yes” without really HEARING what they said does not constitute listening. Really – – if we think about it – – when have we last had a chance to even listen to our spouse, much less the children? Of course, perhaps not everyone’s life is like that – but is yours?
Now, the thing that I want to reflect on is . . . my daughter is now in first grade. My middle child is preschool and, of course we have the baby. How many parents (myself included) get a chance to even show affection to their oldest when they are so busy trying to manage a house, cook and clean, and run after a busy preschooler and toddler? A lot of times (myself included) the oldest doesn’t get the same amount of attention as the younger children – the attention they really need. Instead, they are often (myself included) forced to help out a harried mom in search of some semblance of order in their lives.
So, today, instead of just doing “school” we were able to accomplish three important things. We were able to get the necessary work completed – we learned a lot – and, most importantly – my daughter felt loved.
What more could anyone possibly ask for?
Sumayyah Umm SAA