creating the five e’s

Nov 15, 2011

ToriAnn, from Utah shared this thought over a year ago on a homeschool discussion board and it has floated in and out of my consciousness ever since.

I create an environment where my kids are exposed to great things in an engaging way so that they can explore and experiment.

I love this thought and it keeps coming back to me, so I must need to revisit it. I love that it sums up my role in my home in a succinct, catchy way. It helps me know what to focus on. My job is to create the environment and to expose them. Their job is to explore and experiment. All of us need to engage together. I think that middle E is where I need to focus.

At first glance, creating an environment of learning and engaging may seem easier than creating a schedule and list of requirements, but it isn’t easier, at least not on the surface level. It is a much deeper, much more organic process that requires more thought, more heart, and more connection to really make it all come together.

It requires more me.

And that my friends is hard.

It is hard because I have to learn to give myself fully to my children and to their hearts.

I think I have a pretty amazing learning environment in my home. I have lovely books (hundreds and hundreds of them), math manipulatives, beautiful wooden blocks, dress-ups, puppets, hundred-number charts, letters, music, instruments, games, science kits, audio books, magnets, puzzles, lacing beads, rocks of all types, paint, glitter, glue, clay, paper, and so much more. We have a wonderful family devotional in the morning. We have learning time. We memorize things. We read books. We have family read-aloud time at night. We have deep discussions on issues of our day. We are immersed in learning. But, there is something that is sometimes lacking.

It is plenty easy to fill a home up with educational materials, to read to them, to make plans with them and for them about what their education is going to look like. It is another thing entirely to be present with them on their learning journey.

Presence. I think that needs to be my new mantra. The mantra that comes to me when my brain is thinking of other things while I am teaching. The idea that will pull me back to connection with their hearts. The concept that will keep me focused on the magic of learning.

Presence. For me this means, being present, not only with my body, but with my whole soul.

And that is what is sometimes lacking. I can be reading a story, complete with different voices for each character, and still find my mind wandering to what needs to happen next, what phone calls need to be made, what emails need written, what blog posts need to be written, what food needs to be prepared. I want to train my mind to stop all the focus on the future and instead be fully engaged in the present.

I think it will make a world of difference in our learning environment and in our relationships.

P.S. anyone know any Buddhist classes around here where I can learn this?

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1 Comment

  1. Tasha

    Oh, how I need to be reminded of this. Are you telling me that all my fancy schedules and checklists aren’t going to educate my children for me? Hmmm……