Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer Learning Challenge Week 6

Starting week 6 of our summer, I am recognizing a need for a slow down.

We have been go-go-go for the last few weeks, with scout camps, VBS, visits to two state parks and an astronaut memorial, and theater. This week, it's about slowing down for a few days and savoring summer vacation.

My kids are tired. Tired from heat, tired from running around, tired of not enough sleep. But behavior wasn't a big enough clue for me.

Today, I was reminded at church about the need to slow down, recharge and create memories. I was given the added reminder of the need to slow down in my inbox, right as I got home.

So today, I called it.

I turned off the TV. Said we were going nowhere but the church service (and possibly the grocery, but given that it's 3:30 p.m., it will be unlikely as well). Demanded that the kids rest in a way.

My son went for the Legos; my daughter, a book. Then they came up with a creative lunch.

Next, it was an impromptu religious lesson as I shared what I'd learned about the Miraculous Medals someone was distributing during Mass. (We'll also be working on this scout patch about the Miraculous Medal, as well, but we'll be doing this at our own pace.)

I watched their interest levels, and let them move on to other ideas as I saw their interest fading. The kids are now on to painting the birdhouse built at camp and drawing pictures.

Learning to rest and pace yourself is a tough challenge in today's society. I'm glad I had the grace to get that opportunity today.

This week, our learning challenge won't be about books or math facts or whatever, I'll be listening to their interests and their hearts and guiding them through what comes naturally. Consider it unschooling or what have you, I consider it teaching them to breathe.


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