Every year, it’s the same old story. We slack off a bit over the holidays and lose our momentum for all things school-related. We want to sit around and eat cookies and play with our new gifts and visit with friends and family.
Then January rolls around. The decorations come down, the house gets cleaned up, and we’re left staring at five months of lesson plans.
So we hitch up our now-tight waistbands, clear off the table, and tell the kids we’re going to buckle down and take school very seriously until it’s time for summer break.
At least, that’s how it plays out in my house. I refresh the lesson plans, adjust to outside activities again, and force myself to get school going each morning before I even dare look at Facebook. I love getting that resolve back. I wish it would last forever. But, we all know what happens in February- especially if you live in the frozen North, like I do.
This year, I’ve decided to make only one resolution for school in 2015. Sure, I’m going to get serious about school again after the holidays, but I’m not going to list out the things I normally do. I’m going to concentrate on one particular thing:
“Look it up.”
Yes. That is my resolution. I owe this one entirely to my mother. My mother did us a tremendous favor when my siblings and I were young by taking us to the library weekly and encouraging us to take out as many books as we could carry home. She also did us another favor: she made us look things up. If we asked how to spell a word, we were directed to the big, red dictionary. If we had a more in-depth question, we were directed to the grocery store encyclopedia she purchased one volume at a time.
Whenever she said, “Go look it up”, I inevitably groaned and thought, “Why can’t she just tell me?” It annoyed me to no end that I had to drag a book down from the high shelf and riffle through the pages until I found what I needed. But I always did it. I wanted to know; I couldn’t rest until I had the answer. I’m the same way as an adult. If I’m reading or listening to something and I hear a word I don’t quite understand, I look it up. If someone talks about a political, scientific, or social topic, and I don’t feel confident contributing to the conversation, I’ll go home and read several articles about it.
I don’t encourage this enough with my own children. I often just give them the information for which they have asked me. I think this is doing them a disservice. And now, of course, it’s even easier for them to find information. It’s all right there in their Nooks, on the computer, on Mom and Dad’s phone. A few keystrokes and they can have several sources of information regarding their specific query. I think it will benefit them greatly to do some more research on their own, now that they are middle schoolers.
So, kids, you may be just as annoyed with me as I was with my mother, but know that from now on, when you ask me a question, I may just tell you to look it up.
Lynne–Lynne has enjoyed homeschooling her two sons for the past 4.5 years, after their brief stint in the local public school. Her older son is a humorous fellow with high functioning autism who thrives in a home education environment. Her younger son is a sensitive soul with a great deal of patience. The boys, Mom, and Dad, along with the two guinea pigs, live in Northeast Ohio. Lynne holds a Master’s Degree in French Language and Literature. She is also a Harry Potter fanatic, enjoys line dancing and Zumba, spends hours scrapbooking, and loves organic vegetables. You can visit her soon-to-be revitalized blog at www.daysofwonderhomeschool.blogspot.com.