Before my husband and I had children it was settled in our hearts that we would homeschool them. We felt led by the Lord that this was His perfect plan for our family. Without any doubts, we jumped in with both our feet trusting Him every step of the way. We are now in our sixth year homeschooling and it has been an amazing journey, one that we will never trade for anything else in this world! When my friend Ana shared her idea of wanting to do a “31 Reasons Why We Love Homeschooling” blog party, I had to participate. It took me a few minutes to pick my reason because I found it quite difficult to just pick only one from my big list of reasons. I decided to ask my son who is seven years old if someone would ask you “If you can share one reason why you love homeschooling, what would you say?” He thought about it for a few seconds and said: “Mom, I would tell them that I love it because I get to have free time to learn about the things that I love and I probably wouldn’t be able to do that if I were in public school.” He smiled and ran off to finish a project that he had been working on for few days. I thought about his statement, and what he said was true: if he was in a traditional school setting, he would not be able to explore his interests in-depth. The fact that we homeschool gives him the freedom to follow his interests. I also realized that I have been nurturing that love of learning in him throughout the years.
You see homeschooling is a lifestyle, and in life, we are consistently learning about the world around us and learning about things that interest us. From a very young age my son was interested in nature and animals, so we did a lot of studies on those topics. He asked a lot of questions! I will never forget the time when he was just two years old and he saw a beautiful yellow flower. He asked me, “Mom, what is that?” and I said, “A flower, sweetie.” He responded “No, Mom! What is the name of the flower?” At that very moment, I realized that I too would have to learn alongside him. This mama here was not a lover of science but because of my son, I have converted. I realized that this homeschool journey was not just for my child but also for me. I recognized that I had to rekindle my own love for learning before I would be able to foster an atmosphere where my son’s love for learning would continue to burn bright and long. I wanted everyone in our family to become lifelong learners. So I asked God to lead me and guide me, and He did!
[Tweet “I realized that this homeschool journey was not just for my child but also for me. Jessica Anderson”]
Here is how I have fostered a love of learning in my own home. Let’s take that yellow flower from the story I just shared. In order for a flower to flourish, it requires nutrients from the soil, water, sunlight and strong roots. I see my children like that flower. The soil and its nutrients represent the environment that I provide for my children to feel safe, loved, accepted, and encouraged to learn. The water is the tools and resources I make available so they can find the answers to their questions and continue with their learning. The sunlight is the free time that I give them so they can discover their gifting, strengthen their talents and weaknesses and pursue their passion. The roots are the most important part of the plant. Without strong roots, the plant will not be able to succeed. The roots are our family, and within those roots are our morals, values, and our faith which we would live out and teach our children. If our children don’t develop strong roots in their lives, they will have a hard time thriving. In providing them the essentials that they need to grow strong, I need to create an environment that encourages my children to ask questions and learn how to find the answers, how to think for themselves, how to problem solve, how to be creative and resourceful, how to take ownership of their own education, and the list can go on. When I gently provide my flowers the right amount of soil, water and sunlight at the stage of growth that they are in they grow in a steady pace that is right for them. I have learned that you can not hurry them to grow up fast, but patiently care for them and enjoy the process. My children are still young but getting older with every day that passes, and I want to make sure that I help guide them in the path that God has ordained for them. By continuing to nurture their love of learning, they have been encouraged to want to learn, discover, explore and create. Many times, I let them decide what they want to learn about and have them be part of picking out the resources and tools that they would like to use to make that lesson come to life. In doing all of this, I am creating precious memories with my children that I will forever cherish in my heart. As I apply these concepts with a lot of prayer and guidance from God, I know that our children will blossom even in the driest of deserts.