We sat there. Makkedah and I. Dumbfounded and bored with the task before us. Her homeschool writing assignment was utterly dreadful. Filled with lists and research and rules and regulations.
I’m not saying everything has to be fun. I’m not saying that learning important skills such as editing and proper writing techniques aren't important.
But we sat there, and something I LOVE doing... writing.... was absolutely a chore. It wasn’t intriguing and magical like most of the time I feel when I sit down to write. It was painful and structured and robotic. And Makkedah felt that weight too. She just wanted to be done with it. Get over with the assignment and move onto the next subject. And when you are doing something "just to get done with it," what are you really learning in the process? Anything?
I had already set her up to just go through the motions of what we are told we need to learn and I stiffled her flow of creativity. And I realized once again, the beauty of homeschooling. I slammed the book shut and we were done with that ish. We went to grab one of our creative writing books which gives a prompt for any type of writing a story. And over the next days, I watched Makkedah pour her heart into her stories. And I’m not kidding you, it was beautiful writing. I had to ask her where she thought or saw to write these things and she said she made it all up. It was absolutely lovely. And she enjoyed it! (And then I felt a little bad I had assumed it wasn't her own original thoughts.)
Then I watched her pick up her Ukulele and write + play a song using one of her writing pieces (it’s all about peace on earth and all people going to Heaven- the most darling song an 8 year old can write.)
I walked into her a room a few nights later before bed to sing to her + pray with her and she had her journal out. She had been drawing. And it was good. Such creative pictures of animals and people and even a McDonald's McFlurry. Yep. She just rolls with it.
In a matter of a few days, I watched her creativity soar and her imagination thrive with the time and space to explore her God-given gifts and abilities. It’s been magical to watch and all I want to do is continue to create a place for her to do that. Allowing the Holy Spirit to move in her and inspire her and see all she can and will become in this world.
There have been other times when I’m teaching Makkedah homeschooling and I’ll be checking her work and she asks me, “Mom, why do you have to look up the answers?” And I’m like, well.... I don’t know the answer. And she says to me, “If this is something you don’t even know, why do I need to know it?” (These smart little 3rd graders, I tell ya.)
Cuz I have frickin’ no clue what the answer is to a lot of the crap we drudge through. And as I’m teaching it, I’m thinking to myself, “I’ve NEVER used this information in my entire life. Why does Kedah need to learn this? And study. And memorize. And get an “A” on a test. What does this prove for her intelligence?”
I’ve seen parents sharing their elementary school kids homeschool on FB and talking about how they have no clue how to help their kids with their homework. Listen... if the parents don’t even understand the work (THUS the reality that they have never USED that type of information in their life) why do we spend hours upon hours every day teaching concepts that may not actually add any value to their life?
Why do we run them through a system that might not have any validity in their life?
Instead, I would rather have them play, imagine and create all day long. And LEARN through the process of actually LIVING.