Thursday, August 20, 2015

When you stop learning, you start dying.

Over the years, I've learned that what I do (or who I am) is way more important than what I say when it comes to raising my kids. Being a reader carries more weight than nagging my kids to read more. Not getting sucked into screens makes the invisible pull on them seem that much weaker. Thanking someone who does something nice for them goes a lot farther than the whole, "What do you say?" business.

And even though this does not always come naturally to me (because I'm stubborn and forgetful and HUMAN), as a homeschooler I think it's super important to just keep trying. I don't want to raise kids who think education is a pre-determined set of facts they're supposed to master at a certain age. I don't want them to think that learning happens August through May with breaks for Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring. It doesn't stop at 3:00 or even when you graduate. Learning happens ALL THE TIME.

To raise lifelong learners, I myself must be a student of the world. Which is great. Because walking the walk is actually super fun.

Over the years I've taken so many classes and pushed myself to do a lot of random new things. Photoshop, writing and illustrating children's books, public speaking, meeting new people, piano lessons (Liam and I did this together - we even did a duet at the recital!), teaching hula hoop classes, cooking, yoga, homeschool, caregiving, gardening...you name it!


Sometimes I try and immediately fail. Like when I recently tried to show Bill that it couldn't be that hard to ride the Vespa he bought.



{it IS that hard}

But other times I try something I'm not sure I'll like at all and happily discover that I love it.

This is definitely the case with my most recent endeavor: tap dancing!


I signed up for the class because a friend talked me into it. I really wasn't sure. I took so many dance classes growing up but tap never appealed to me. It's just so loud. And...nerdy. I mean, compared to hip hop. And it never seems to go with the music which makes me feel all spectrumy and weird.

As I was getting ready for class, Finn came into my room. I told him I was nervous. That I wasn't sure if I was going to like the class or not. "What if I'm really bad at tap dancing? What if it's not that fun?" He just kind of shrugged and said I'd never know if I didn't try. "Is that what you did with soccer?" I asked him, knowing full well he never really took to it. "Yeah," he said confidently. "I didn't know if I'd like it but I just went. And then I knew that it was really fun. You have to just go and try it and find out."


So I did. And I LOVED it! I seriously can't stop flap-toe-heel-heeling. I'm going to wear a hole in our hardwoods...

I hope seeing me try and fail and practice and learn will help my boys to understand on a deep level that education is a lifelong adventure. Actually, I hope I'll really learn this too. So instead of making them do this thing because that book said this is the year they should learn it, I can chill the F out and know that when they're ready, they will learn. Sure, maybe they'll be 37 before something really clicks. But you know what? Learning something new at 37 because you want to is way better than cramming it in at 8 because someone else decided it was time.


What Liam discovered last night when he got out of bed to go pee. "So...you're practicing acrobatics and guitar? Cool." 
Yeah, buddy. It is pretty cool.

1 comment:

Amanda Conley said...

You guys.... So cool.
I am super sad about your humongous bruise, but I will admit that every time I look at that photo of you laying in the grass, I laugh out loud.