What is my child learning? The content of the subject or resentment of the system that teaches it?
Learning happens whether you want it to or not. What the child is learning? That’s up for grabs.
I like to compare the school subjects to learning a hobby. What’s the difference? When I taught Noah to knit, I had tons of patience. We only worked on knitting when he wanted to knit. I used books, I modeled, I didn’t set a time of day called “knitting.”
He knit when I read aloud, he knit during movie time, he knit during afternoon hours or before I got up in the morning. When he got stuck, he asked for help. He taught himself some skills by reading a book about knitting. I bought him yarn and needles for a Christmas gift. He was delighted to receive them because knitting, for Noah, was an experience and activity he valued.
It’s amazing to think about how easy it was for Noah to learn to knit in part because I felt zero stress over his performance. I didn’t worry that he hadn’t finished X number of rows in an hour or that he lost interest for a week or two or that he needed more help sometimes than others. I didn’t ask myself if he would be a professional knitter or if there was a career path that depended on knitting.
We simply knitted together until he got what he wanted from that experience and moved on.
A great question to ask ourselves: How can learning math or grammar be more like learning to knit? What would we do differently?
If your kids are balking at subjects you consider essential, focus on the how—what is it about the system you are using currently that leads to resentment? Shift the how, and shift the value of the subject for your kids.
Psst: this is how we teach grammar in our program, by the way. We bypass all that stress by making it as easy to learn as knitting.
This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!