It’s that time of year again… when the retailers fill up the aisles with tons and tons of school supplies! It’s a fun time to shop for sure! We all get so giddy when we stock up on new pencils, filler paper, crayons, notebooks, and all the other necessary things that make learning fun!
A key phrase is what I just said: make learning fun! Going to school to learn is supposed to be fun. Well, in our home, the first day of “going to school” is fun. The other 179 days are not so fun. Why does the novelty have to end? How can we make sure that our children enjoy learning without all the boring stuff of school?
Well, from my experience, I have witnessed that children learn the best when they are well-rested, well-fed, and filled to the brim with exciting things to do! Having a home with three boys is challenging, and when they were really little, I had to find things to keep those little hands and feet busy! Even little girls like to use their hands and feet for creative play, but I have noticed that they tend to follow momma’s footsteps and boss the boys around! So, I have to keep my little girl busy by listening to quality songs, reading books, and playing with baby dolls!
It’s so common these days to hear the dreaded phrase, “Mom, I’m bored!” Well, guess what, you are the only one who can change your attitude from boredom to a feeling of gratitude. This form of internal maturation takes many, many years to master. I know of several adults who claim to be bored, and they aren’t in school anymore!
So, what is true learning? Going to school does not guarantee that the children will learn. The process of learning always begins at home. If the parents become intentional in their duty as mom and dad, rather than just be a warm body in the same room that ignores the children, there are many opportunities for training the children to seek ways to escape boredom and truly learn.
Some of the things that we do in our home to encourage home-grown learning:
*turn off the TV or game system and read a quality book for 15 minutes
*ride your bike outside for a while
*play a board game (not a “bored” game)
*turn the living room upside with bed sheets, and make forts and tents
*imitate a teacher and play “school” with the stuffed animals
*help mom in the kitchen with baking or cooking
*wash the car with dad
*sort and fold the laundry
*play some trivia games or test each other with math flash cards
*sit around the family table and play “draw this!”
*look at old pictures in the family albums
There are many things that we try to do to incorporate creative learning. After all, learning should never be boring! If the children are getting bored in school, then they aren’t going to learn. It’s our job as parents to instill a love for learning through creative play, stretching our imaginations, and trying new things that will result in a potential interest for lifelong pursuits.