Homeschooling what? What’s with this weird blog name? Well, first, I will say that my kids joke that they suck on lint, but that’s not what I’m saying! Gross! Like cotton candy that never melts, ick. So just what is behind my blog name? Kinda weird, isn’t it?
Succulent plants store water for later use. They grow in some of the most unlikeliest places. They have some of the most unique appearances, they are seriously easy to keep alive, and I love them. (Thankfully my mothering skills far surpass the green-ness of my thumbs!)
Talking about growing in unlikely places: My little boy, who I often describe to others as “upside down and backwards in his pj’s” when we do school illustrates just how wiggly and bouncy he is.
Early into our homeschooling journey I demanded that he sit still as I read and he listened. I did not feel as though he was listening if he was literally upside down on the couch!
Plus, I’ll admit, it drove me a little crazy.
But, when I asked him to tell me what I was reading, he could…with surprising detail.
And he would often tell me about things he learned that I would have no idea where he got the information from. He was just a little sponge.
I had to face the facts: I was the one who needed to change my thinking of what a learning environment was and could be.
It did not have to reflect the image in my head of children sitting quietly behind desks. It did not have to fit into the memories of my own childhood school career, which was spent behind a desk. It did not need to look like anyone else’s school — duh, Hello! This is part of the reason we were homeschooling to begin with!
Why was this conclusion so hard for me to arrive to?
I didn’t want any of that for my kids, but I had to make an effort, I couldn’t just fall into what was easy.
We needed to create “school” that was INDIVIDUALLY UNIQUE to them, no one else. And we are blessed with being able to do so.
This was a real struggle for me, but little by little I changed my thinking and used his wiggle to our advantage. He would do math by jumping onto a notecard with his chosen answer on it or spell words while jumping on the trampoline.
Homeschooling now works in the truck, out on the deck, on the trampoline, wherever! Thank goodness I allowed myself some flexibility to move towards this, otherwise our homeschool journey may have ended!
Speaking on uniqueness in succulents, well that is true in my kids as well – my little girl is just about as opposite from her brother as she can be!
She can sit still, and look like she is engaged and soaking up information like a pro…but, she’s a dreamer! Blocking out her surroundings is a skill she has mastered. And so, I have to make sure I’m engaging her in whatever we are doing to keep her “in” the task. Otherwise she’ll drift off to who knows where – horse-land, likely – and I’ll have to repeat or re-do what we’ve been doing.
Like succulents, these qualities are what I desire for my kids as well:
Storing knowledge for later use.
Growing no matter where they are or what their surroundings are.
Unique? You bet! I want them to love who they are and be different from anybody else. Love your “weird”, wear it proud.
Water them little by little, and they will grow into sturdy, strong people.
It is the ability, and the desire to learn that I want my kids to cling to, then they can learn anything they want for a lifetime. Like succulent plants, who store up water for later use, I want my succulents to learn skills that they can store away for later use as well.
Homeschooling Succulents – Teaching now for a lifetime of learning.
Teach them how to process the information they seek, and they will turn into knowledge-seekers and direct what they want to learn; they will start to direct their own growth.
So, not sucking on lint, but soaking up the desire/skill to learn anything they want at any point in their lives; that’s what I want for my kids, and that’s the inspiration for this blog.
Not following anybody else, not mirroring anybody else, being myself and being comfortable with that. Period.
I hope you soak up knowledge here too for your own homeschool successes.
What does your homeschool individuality look like? Are you comfortable in your journey, or do you need to give yourself permission to be different?