Homeschooled kids can have a lot to say! I notice this among homeschooled students all the time — do you? I also hear from professionals in different communities how inquisitive and conversational homeschoolers can be. (Has your pediatrician/veterinarian/dentist/hair stylist/others ever commented about the number of questions your children ask?)
We all know timid students, too. Though it would appear that some of the most conversational children seem to come from homeschool households!
WHY is this so? I’ll leave that up to you for now. But WHAT do these children have to tell us?
As homeschool parents, we learn so much from what our children say.
Listen carefully, and we may discover:
- the things our children are most interested in thinking and talking about
- the things our children still wonder about
- the things which perplex, frustrate or challenge them
- the things our children really, really love
- the things they like to share, plus the things they prefer not to discuss
- the things our children have already learned, and perhaps some of the things they appear to have completely mastered
How is this helpful to homeschool parents?
By listening to what our children say, we can learn things like:
- what topics they truly enjoy studying
- what subjects and ideas they simply do not like at all
- what courses/books/materials may be too easy or much too challenging
- some of the the different ways they would like to study and learn
- places they really enjoyed and would like to go again vs. which experiences were a waste of time and money
- the concepts they found particularly fascinating, which could turn into long-term projects or further studies
- what they have already learned, and perhaps do not need to review over and over again
- what they do not yet completely understand, and would benefit by reviewing some more
Listening to children offers parents valuable clues about non-academic things, too. While these are important by themselves, they may also affect homeschool efforts. This phenomenon may require clever deduction or “reading between the lines”. But by doing so, parents may discover things like:
- uncomfortable study spaces
- schedules that may be too rigid
- not having enough time to complete projects
- feelings of boredom or of chaos
- rooms that are too hot or cold
- bedtimes that may or may not be working
- exercise patterns which interfere with other activities
and so on.
Listening to what children say is more important than simply interacting and sharing time together. Parents gain much important information from these conversations, too.