“True teachers not only impart knowledge and method but awaken the love of learning by their own reflected love” Robert Grudin
I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and stopped when I saw an ad for a summer educational program offered online. The headline that caught my attention was the phrase:
Summer learning loss.
If you attended traditional school you probably know all too well what that means. You finish out the school year feeling elated. “School’s out! Woo! No more boring classes and homework! Time to relax and be a kid!”
The summer goes by and school supply season is upon you. As a student, it’s awesome. You get to pick out new folders, binders, pens, pencils and new clothes (unless you’re required to wear a uniform) and you’re ready and refreshed to tackle another year. You’re a grade higher, you’re older and feel on top of your game. Of course, you remember everything that you learned last year. You walk into school and sit at your desk. As the novelty of a new school year wears off and the repetition sets in, you realize as the teacher begins the lesson that you’re a little lost…
Wait… I know I learned that last year… What was it again?
I don’t remember learning that! What is my teacher talking about?
Should I be remembering something? I’m not getting it!
Anxiety starts to creep in and overpower the excitement of a new school year. It hits you.
This year is going to be harder… Maybe more boring than last year.
You try to keep up with what the teacher is talking about and before you know it it’s time to be tested on what you know (or remember), and you don’t do so well. Your excitement becomes anxiety, the anxiety becomes discouragement and the discouragement has now turned into reluctance. You don’t want to go back. Why would anyone want to be somewhere that makes them feel dumb, slow, unable to remember simple facts and formulas?
School is now a drag and you have to find a way to survive it until the last bell rings at the end of the year, hoping that you’ll be able to keep up with everyone else, because you don’t want your parents to find out that you’re actually dumb because you don’t remember everything you learned last year. The last thing you want is more school to catch up on what you “should have remembered” last year.
This should be used as a warning that children are being pummeled with too many facts and formulas, too much, too fast and too early.
Now ask yourself…
Have you ever heard of a homeschooling family experiencing learning loss of any kind, at any time of the year? Are homeschooled kids irritated and overwhelmed because they are being forced to memorize and absorb loads of information in a short amount of time? Do those kids get punished with extra schoolwork or “after hours” educational programs that continue to force more facts and figures into their already overloaded minds while convincing them that “You can do this! It’s easy if you try!”
There’s no race to the finish line.
Homeschoolers aren’t pressed for time and forced to cram as much information as possible into minutes a day for nine months out of the year. They’re not focused solely on test scores and performances. There aren’t hundreds of students they have to keep track of in a single day and the curriculum doesn’t have to be a “one size better fit all” for the school year.
If academic pressure isn’t already overwhelming children, bullying is getting much worse in schools these days and if kids are already struggling with schoolwork, a bully making their lives harder is going to devastate any progress that the child may already be making.
Please don’t misunderstand me. A lot of children do find a way to succeed in traditional school and they grow up just fine, equipped with all of the education, skills and abilities needed to maintain a successful career for the long haul. School was a great fit for their particular learning style and those children thrived in that environment.
Unfortunately, every single person cannot fit into a one size fits all method of education, which is what traditional schools provide for children.
So many children start out so bright and determined to succeed and to do something great with their lives. But in a traditional school they struggle. No matter how hard they try and no matter what they do they just “don’t get it.” Grades begin to slip. The stressed teacher who’s doing their best is already overwhelmed with the number of students and he/she just can’t focus on improving the loss of momentum and motivation with the struggling students. As long as the majority of the students are passing it’s okay. The struggling students begin to feel defeated and dumb. They lose confidence and determination to do great in school and try to get away with the bare minimum just to “pass.” The most depressing part is that the love for learning slowly fades into the shadows as well, leaving behind an adolescent who is frustrated and is at a high risk of dropping out or getting into trouble and losing that successful future that they once dreamed of.
It’s unfortunate and it’s not right.
A lot of parents feel lost and annoyed, not understanding what the true problem is. They blame their child’s lack of engagement, effort, focus. They ask their child what they can do and the usual response is “Nothing!” Your child doesn’t even understand why they aren’t getting it. It’s not their fault. No amount of effort or lessons will be able to replace the proper type of education that’s best for your child’s learning style. That’s the key. If you understand what your child needs in order to retain information and to learn easily and with interest and engagement you’ve got all the tools you need to secure a lifelong love of learning from your child.
That’s where homeschooling becomes the perfect fit for some families.
You have eighteen years of 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year opportunities for your child to learn. Learning doesn’t have to come from books or worksheets. Learning begins with love, patience, understanding, empathy and true dedication and effort from the parents to ensure that their child will have a lifelong love of learning. Education is not something that has to happen inside of a building with 30 other children who’s the same age and from the same community as your child. Education begins with the heart, the mind, the body.
Proper nutrition, proper manners, proper social skills. All of this is mimicked by your child starting in the very early years. YOU set the foundation for a successful academic future. If you truly care about your child’s education and happiness you will find a way to make learning enjoyable and fun for your child. It’s not difficult. It just takes patience and understanding of your child’s interests and abilities.
Parents have more power than anyone on this Earth to shape their children’s minds. There will never be a “loss of learning” and amnesia over what your child needs to know academically if they learn naturally, through methods and materials that call out to them and make sense to them.
No two people are alike.
Why should everyone’s education be the same?
No matter where you come from, where you live, or what kind of community you reside, every child should be guaranteed a solid and strong education that motivates them to WANT to learn more, to WANT to succeed, and most importantly, an insatiable dream of making a difference in this world and doing something great that will make their lives worthwhile and better for the lives of everyone they meet.
It all starts with education.
If your child is already feeling frustrated or is losing interest in learning you need to take a moment to ask yourself WHY?
What can you do?
What have you tried?
Maybe it’s time to try something new.
If homeschooling is not an option, try discussing with your child’s teacher what help they can offer to make learning more enjoyable. Teachers are passionate about education and they want to do the best they can to ensure your child is doing well in their class.
Sometimes all you need is to spend some one on one time with your child. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the daily grind and to lose that closeness you once had. A little re connection can go a long way.
If you would like to learn more about discovering your child’s unique learning style I created a free quiz on my website that will help you determine what our child needs in order to succeed and thrive with their education. Click on the image to take the quiz.