Last time I rambled about Mi Scheduling so following the resolution order lets dive into Mi Education!
“We” is used in the past blogs since “we” are all about team-work, but today I write from the point of “I”. This is because learning should be a unique experience for each and every person. Notice I said person – not child. Too often we view our kids as the ones we are teaching – but since we never stop learning let’s change that mentality. As a person who is breathing – you are learning – even if it’s just to remember to inhale / exhale. You can take the opportunity to be more & learn more… if you want. The possibilities are endless – yet many people admit they don’t “wanta” learn more. But, since I personally have been able to teach an old dog – new tricks, I challenge you to find something – anything to learn about. Just because it’s February, it doesn’t mean you can’t start a resolution! What interests you? What’s the last book you enjoyed reading? What’s the last sport you played? Who would you like to meet? If you could have ANY job – what would it be? Think outside of the box. Now think back inside the box. How were you taught as a child? Did you enjoy school? Think of your child or kids you work with – do they enjoy school? Do they enjoy learning? Have you asked them what they want to learn about?
As the director of Mi Families I’m supposed to act like I have all the answers for those I work with – or so I’ve been told – but here’s the thing, I’m not a good actor and don’t have all the answers, BUT I’ll try and help you find them! As a parent I try and do the same thing – teach my kids that I’ll help them find the answers, but won’t give them to the answer. Tough life lesson. Life lessons are the most important subjects though, life skills are worth more in a sense than book smarts, but the books are important too. I knew that – but I was the kid who didn’t like school. I survived and did ok, but it was reallllllly hard sitting at that desk … I’d get distracted by sounds, then lights flickering… I’d try but if I wasn’t engaged completely –my attention was completely gone. That is until I started to find my interests, learn about things I wanted to learn about! Dinosaurs were cool… space was fascinating… I liked science… as I got older that turned into an interest about how the mind worked, how we learn. I decided to be a teacher so I started taking such courses, but then realized that so many factors come into play for brain development before kids get to the classroom … so I went into early education. BUT again, we are molded at home before in daycares or preschools so I got another degree in Family Services. Nope – not tooting my own horn here – I’m simply trying to point out that learning begins at day one. I found that interesting and started learning more about it, started studying, started to enjoy school. SO you never have to stop learning and can start anytime – it’s never too late!
Thankfully it’s never too late because I’ve dealt with many kids who weren’t excited to learn … and then started to deal with my own son hating school. My oldest son was a very quick learner as a lil’ tot, then he went to preschool. He started experiencing some social anxiety ~ not because he wasn’t use to peers. He always had kids around as I was the director of a daycare. He was use to kids at church, has 15 cousins, etc… but the school setting was tough! He tried a couple different school environments but we found him regressing academically so we started debating homeschool. I never thought this was the plan for our family – I’m a teacher – we were doing the “norm.” But the norm wasn’t working. I had homeschooled other families children and foster kids, but hadn’t considered homeschooling my own. It was a good time to consider though as my 5 yr old was about to start Kindergarten and was letting us know that all-day, every-day kindergarten would be tough transition for him, a kid with TONS of energy and significant speech impairment – yet a kid beyond his peers academically. SO I was considering homeschooling and every other option.
I don’t have a problem with the school systems – we have some good public school, private school and charter school options – and I believe that kids need their peers for social development – especially when they have social and/or developmental delays or talents, but each kid needs their learning style considered when choosing a school … Since we had a choice and time we thought we’d move forward with the charter school, but use a homeschooling program for the summer and catch up academically (and pray school went ok in the fall). After all they’d be in the same classroom at the charter school – they might love that. BUT as summer progressed their academics progressed and so did their anxiety about school. We decided to continue with homeschooling and yup, the negative concerns from friends and family started rolling in… and yup, it made things tight financially –but we continued educating them at home anyways, and added on some extra activities with other kids through co-ops, lego clubs, gym classes, music programs … and today they are LOVING LEARNING!
Ok so they aren’t always thrilled to do a worksheet, but they are thrilled to learn. They ask LOTS of questions that take our subjects farther than planned…and to be honest, a lot of our work has nothing to do with paper and pencil. We live a learning lifestyle. We explore, investigate… PLAY! We have fun at school! And no, I’m not writing this to encourage you to pull your kids outta school. Whatever works for your family is the best plan. For us – right now anyways – that plan is homeschooling. People have been asking about how we spend our days and part of that schedule is posted in the previous article. People have been asking about curriculums we use and that info will be in future articles. If you are interested in homeschooling resources please let me know. If you’d like to join us for some academic or extra-curricular activities get in touch! Mi Families programs meet various days and hours to meet the needs of the ever changing family. I know every family’s needs and schedules are ever changing so there are no contracts or long term commitments. I built Mi Families as parents and providers of the children I worked with requested further services ~ and built such services with the mission that we can all learn together and from each other. Mi Families (“my families”) believes that as Henry Ford, a fellow Michigander, once said “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” In the spirit of Valentine’s day approaching I challenge your family to work together and create goals for loving each other more, loving life and loving learning!