I'm learning in homeschooling that I am making my kids do what I think they should be doing or what I think will benefit them in life. But I am not asking if this is what they want. Mainly bc I believe they don't know what they want or need because they are children. But why is that? My kids are very capable of knowing what they need and want to learn.
I noticed the other day Ameera and I were working on multiplication when I asked her to think about the answer to a problem we were working on and she started to cry. I was really shocked as she had given no hint beforehand to any struggles. When I asked her why she was crying she stated fearfully that "it's hard." I told her that it wasn't hard and that she had to think about it a little. Recently, she had taken to guessing a lot during our math lessons.
Her guessing game started to increase even when working on the simplest of problems. What was happening was that because she wasn't enjoying herself, she was no longer thinking about what she was doing, therefore she was no longer learning. She was just interested in getting the "right" answer so we could move on and be done with it. And if she couldn't produce the right answer then she knew I would eventually give it to her. The lessons became simply a drag. Something she had to do because I was telling her she had to do it.
What I hadn't stopped to consider was if she was ready for this next step in math and was it even necessary for a 7 year old to know how to multiply yet? The only reason I was doing it with her was because it was the next chapter in our math book. I was moving through the motions and checking off the boxes of "ok that's done, now what's next?" Perhaps if I had waited for the subject to be introduced more naturally, like in a real world situation, it might not have been such a painful experience, but one that sparked interest.
I realized that the way we are learning was not her style of learning. She is simply not a text and workbook type learner. She is more of an auditory learner . By continuing to observe my kids I am able to make adjustments as needed in our learning practices at home which is essential if we are to continue on this path.
As the parent I have to let go of my expectations of what learning should look like or be like. I have to deschool myself first in order to really let change set in the household.