Inspiration Station
May 2017, Issue 10


“This Summer, Throw out the ‘Have-to’s'”
by Homeschool.com’s Rebecca Kochenderfer

During the school year, even the most creative teachers and home educators have a certain amount of required ‘stuff’ we just have to plod through. In the best-case scenario, we find ways to bring this learning to life through a range of engaging practices. Still, as any child will point out, an adult usually determines what students learn during the school year.

In the summertime, all of that changes! It’s time to hand over the keys. Let your kids take the wheel and steer the course of their own learning. Ask them what they want to know more about, and help them find the tools they need in order to pursue those interests. Then sit back and enjoy the ride.

Here’s a story I tell often because it perfectly captures the great learning that is possible when we ask kids the right questions and really listen to their responses. When my son was quite young, I asked him what his #1 goal was. ‘I want to learn to drive every kind of boat,’ he told me. Since I knew absolutely nothing about boats, I was uncertain how best to support him. However, as I’m sure you understand, when your child has a dream, you can’t just stand there shrugging your shoulders. You have to do something!

I hunkered down and did my research. Sure enough, the local university was offering a children’s boating camp. Each day, campers took turns driving a different kind of boat. Canoes, kayaks, wind surfers and mini sailboats were all part of the fun. My son attended the camp and enjoyed it so much that he returned for a second summer the following year. He is twenty-five now and though he did not become a sailor or a sea captain, he did grow up knowing that his parents take his dreams seriously and that we believe he can accomplish anything he sets out to do.

For more ideas on getting rid of the ‘have-tos’ and focusing on the ‘want-tos,’ please see Rebecca’s newest book, The Summertime Survival Guide for Parents: How to Create a Summer of Wonder, Discovery and Fun!

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