Man, it’s a good thing that I keep a notebook with notes on what I want to blog about. Otherwise, there is no way I could remember what I learned in February (however reluctantly). I mean, I can’t really recall what I did yesterday so casting back to February 2016 would have been an exercise in futility.
So, without further ado, here are some of the lessons I learned in February 2016.
1) It’s OK to quit things.
Cookie Monster was super discouraged at swimming because it took him over two months to earn the last sticker he needed to get a ribbon (something about arm strokes) and even after several extra private lessons during the winter break, he still didn’t get his ribbon so making him go to swimming lessons every Monday afternoon was starting to break my poor boy down.
Wow, that was quite the run-on sentence.
He would cry after every class and sit dejected in his car seat. He begged to stop going. For months, he begged.
Finally, I told him he didn’t have to continue swimming lessons after the winter session ended and his whole face lit up. Even now, he still doesn’t want to re-start swimming lessons for the fall. I told him he wouldn’t have to take lessons again until the start of January 2017.
For a long time, I made Cookie Monster go to the lessons because hey, I already paid for them and persevering through things that are hard is good for you. That’s a huge lesson we’ve been teaching him for the last year through kungfu classes, different sports classes, and piano lessons.
But after a few months, I realized that yes, persevering through hard stuff is a good thing. However, it’s also okay to quit things.
Knowing when to stop and take a break is also a lesson that needs to be learned. And knowing that you’re not a bad person or a failure despite quitting, that is also a good thing to learn – especially early in life.
After all, isn’t life just a fine balance between saying Yes and No to different things until you somehow muddle into the life you have now?
Obviously, I don’t want my children to quit at the first sign of difficulty. But I don’t want them to stay and continue in things they don’t enjoy, aren’t good at, and are making them feel like utter crap just for some arbitrary notion about “quitters being losers,” either.
2) I put some Mandarin posters up at eye-level for my kids and it made a big difference. You can read more about that here.
3) I started the Read 100 Challenge for Cookie Monster to motivate him to read for Minecraft minutes. We’ve fallen off the wagon since then, but it was fun at the time. You can read more about that here.
4) We stopped doing Singapore math and I know we really need to re-start that up. Mostly because like all things, if you stop practicing, you forget. (And this has definitely happened to Cookie Monster.)
I didn’t end up re-starting math in February. Or March. Or April. I kind of restarted in May, and I will post more on that later.
Alright. Short post because guess what? Since I got pregnant, I’ve done almost zero “homeschooling.” The only reason my children are learning anything is because I outsource a lot of their education and have them signed up for a lot of classes.
Ok. That’s it for today. Short but sweet. Don’t get used to it (unless it’s for these Homeschooling Lesson posts specifically. Because again, laziness.)
Yeah, there are some things that were hard that I quit as a child that I now wish I had continued. But they weren’t ruining my day. I just quit. And now as an adult, I’m trying to pick them up again. Taking a break is a good thing. Gives you a little perspective. And maybe those arm strokes will turn out to be a piece of cake sometime down the road. Kind of like how my son just learned to skip or pump a swing one day. The switch flips and there it is.
Yes! I hear that some times, it’s merely a matter of physical development. Once they are strong enough or there physically, it’s a cake walk.