Education is about laying out a delicious feast for your child and hoping they want to eat, and maybe even ask for seconds.
Every parent has experience the stress of trying to get your young chid to eat something. Teaching your child to eat well is a huge hassle in the early years. But as a parent you get to that point where you realize, I can cook and cajole and add incentives or punishment, but in the end I can’t make them eat. I can only create an environment where they want to eat the right things.
Education is the same principle. You can’t make someone learn something if they don’t want to learn it. The best you can do it to present the skill or topic in an appealing way. Lay out a beautiful feast and invite them to dig in. So your child looks at the table and thinks, that does look good and I want to try some! Our job as parents and educators (and I believe every parent is an educator no matter your choice of schooling) is to show our kids the world and model learning in a way that makes our kids hungry for knowledge and truth.
School has a negative connotation for kids. Somehow they get the idea that learning is boring, or a chore, or pointless. You can extol the deliciousness of guacamole to a kid who is sure that it’s just disgusting green slime. (Okay, in the case of guac, I hope they don’t like it. More for me.) But if they don’t want to try it, they will never know how very good it is. All you can do is show them how you enjoy it, talk all about it, pay good money for it, hoping they realize, why is everyone making such a fuss about guac?
Talk to your kids about what you are interested in and how you go about learning it. Talk about your own experience as a learner, how you went from being ignorant about a topic to an expert. The other rule about helping picky eaters is I once heard that a child has to be introduced to a food 10-20 times before he’s willing to eat it. Wow, so if you’re 8 month old doesn’t like green beans it doesn’t mean he will never like green beans for the rest of his life. Keep introducing it and be patient.
So true with life… sometimes the first time you introduce a subject, your kid makes a face and has no interest. Just because your child isn’t interested in a certain subject doesn’t mean he never will be. Just keep introducing it and maybe one day they do a double take and ask, “What did you say?” or “How does that work?” Over time, as you keep introducing it, you may find your child’s eyes finally perk up and show interest.
As you plan your homeschool, think about what it is you’re laying on the table. How can you make this appetizing? Even the fanciest of restaurants know that the visual appeal and the setting all contribute to how the food tastes. Presentation is important! So use your creativity to help make your kids excited about what they’re learning!