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Sure-Fire Method for Teaching Kids

simple home schooling, minimalism and homeschooling, teaching children, feeding fish, family activies

Here is a picture of Ian and I when we took the kids on a hike and to feed the fish last weekend.

Want to know what has been burning in my head for the last few weeks?

It is the small part of this talk I shared a month ago on fear and failure.  Here is the clip again.

Here is the link

The whole talk is good but what has been bugging me goes from about 11:50-12:40 on the tape.  Really the idea starts around minute 9.  If you haven’t seen the talk yet it is totally worth 15 minutes of your time… and you might need it for context.  The whole talk is inspiring and entertaining.

It really has reminded me of the truth that the biggest way we can teach our kids is by what we do (if you homeschool or not).  Actions speak louder than words is true in so many ways.  So often we use this when we talk about showing love to our children or showing that we believe in them.  These are extremely important.  But this carries to education as well.

  • If I want to teach that math is practical and fun do I use it in day-to-day life?  How does it help?
  • If I want to teach that reading positive self-growing non-fiction books and never stopping the learning process is fun am I demonstrating it?
  • If I want to teach that confidence, self-esteem, and motivation are more important than book knowledge am I living the part?
  • If I want to teach that being a Christian and honesty is more important then popularity and money am I showing that?
  • If I want to teach that creativity is necessary in any subject area, testing and trying, looking outside the box am I doing that in my career?
  • If I want to teach that they can do a job they love and be successful at it am I doing what I love with passion and skill?
  • If I want to teach that failure is okay and is a stepping stone to success am I treating it that way?

unschooling, minimalist living, simple living, home schooling

Lily deep in focus feeding the fish.

This is not a new concept it just really hit home to me after listening to this talk a few weeks ago.  I spend hours and hours trying to figure out what and how to teach my kids.  There is curriculum and theories everywhere.  I direct lots of focus to what I want my kids to become, but the best way for them to learn any of it is for me to live it.

Beyond that there is lots of argument on the role of a mother (specifically not to leave out the men folk). Women have a curse in society today.  Our rights and abilities to work (which I love) crowd our historical roles and we feel we never have time to do both right.  Add on top of that the fact that we are always comparing ourselves to others who have better careers, cook healthier food, have more talented kids, and come up with cutter craft ideas etc.

What if we tried to live out the life we want our kids to have when they grow up – healthy, following our passion, growing, surrounded with healthy relationships, self-confident and with a reasonable schedule where they can enjoy life and not be stressed?  It is often said when looking for a mate that we should be the kind of person we are looking for but I think it works with kids as well.

Photo of unschooling, minimalist living, simple living, home school adventure

My handsome boy watching the fish. 

Be the person you are teaching your kids to become

The thing is we don’t really have a choice…because they will learn what we are living whether we like it or not.  If I/You are spread too thin, feeling guilty, stressed out, trying to live up to others expectations, not taking care of ourselves physically or mentally than that is what they will learn.

Really, I was thinking on this specific topic because of all the time I have spent getting my book out in the past few months.  I have felt guilty that it has taken time from them, that I have been more tired, that I haven’t been as good of a teacher.  The thing is that they are really excited about the book.  I just got a print version proof last week and even Ian (my 5 year old) was all excited that it was a book with mommies name on it and mommies picture.  Lily has picked up and read from it (print and kindle) several times and she laughs at the stories of us.   Lily has wanted to write a book for quite a while now and wrote out a 9 page story a few weeks ago in her free time.  I don’t know what either of them will become when they grow up but I am excited to be closer to living out the example of doing what I enjoy.

One Comment

  1. I watched the talk… so painfully true. I had always wanted to be a teacher and my parents pushed me into business because they thought I wouldn’t make much money as a teacher. I had to go back to school and earn the degree I actually wanted and become the teacher I wanted to be and may be again.. but writing is working for me right now. I now tell my kids pursue what ever interests you as long as you live within your means you can comfortably do anything you like.

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