What kind of student were you? Did you enjoy school or just get through each day? Do you still love learning?
One of my top goals as a homeschool mom is to help my children to become lifelong learners, people who purposefully read, research, explore, and experience new things throughout their lives. "School" can sometimes feel like a separate entity to to be completed within four walls, and when you are done, you're done. A lifelong learning mindset views school as a starting platform for a lifetime of knowledge and experiences.
As a lifelong learner, I am often a student of my children. Aren't we moms fierce fighters and determined researchers when there's something we need to find out for or about our kids? If our kids are struggling, we search for the best solutions. We talk with other moms who are in the trenches with us. We read books, search online, or listen to podcasts. We look for the best curriculum to fit our family needs, our kids learning styles, and their current level. We seek out social connections and pray that our kids will find a genuinely good friend or two. And we try to stay up-to-date on the latest technology....but that's another blog post.
But let me remind you that as a lifelong learner, you must also be a student of yourself. I often claim that I've learned more while homeschooling my children than they have learned from me. I've learned new things from their curriculum that I failed to learn or retain when I was in school. I've learned about parenting, faith, marriage, community, and how I need to continue to grow in all of these areas. I've worked to improve my own physical, emotional, and mental health, because our bodies and minds continue to change as we age. I've learned a lot about ADD, adoption, trauma, birth order, sensory disorder, and many other challenges that kids might face...because my responses to these things are not always patient or understanding. There are triggers that make me angry that are rooted somewhere deeper and likely not in the behavior that made me frustrated. We can learn about our own learning styles, personalities, and behaviors in a way that makes us better wives and moms.
Each day provides a new opportunity. As you prepare for fall, and spend so much time choosing just the "right" curriculum for your kids, choose something for yourself. What will you learn about this year? Maybe it's a book on parenting or personal growth. Maybe it's a podcast that you'll commit to listen to regularly. Maybe you'll search out some free, online summits that you'll use as a platform for learning more about homeschooling, the teenage years, executive function, special needs, or parenting. Or maybe it's a renewed commitment to be in God's word daily or to join a Bible study. Be reminded from John 15, specifically in verse 5 where Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing." God will often use our learning or current challenges to connect us to others who are walking a similar journey. Learn, grow, share, and be available to those around you. If you are looking for anything specific as far as where to begin, please reach out.