Updated: Jun 5
Bringing back the wonder to our children’s lives... It sounds so whimsical, right? Wonder, imagination, and exploration, but I bet if you're reading this then you can find one moment (or maybe a whole bunch) that represents your own childhood. Mind you, I did not grow up on farm land, but there were still adventures to be had in suburbia. I remember, after a big rain, if you rode down the hill to the back side of our street the gutters would fill up. We would hunt tadpoles while wading in water up to our knees. I remember watching our favorite movies (Star Wars/Indiana Jones) and acting them out for hours with our neighborhood friends. We would invent new characters and plot twists.
I remember waiting for cool and windy days in the spring to take all of my mom’s sheets to the backyard to throw over the clothesline. We would make a giant tent with rooms and houses and play in it all day until she forced us to come in at bedtime.
I remember learning about different layers of dirt when we made mud pies and mud cakes in our giant dirt pit that our Golden Retriever dug for us. The sand was the sugar, the white layer was the flour, and the dark dirt was chocolate. And those are just a few of the defining moments of my childhood in my own backyard.
This doesn’t count vacations or day trips. My mom loved a good adventure even if we usually wound up lost or on a single lane road on the side of a mountain where my dad got his thrills driving onward. When I look around at the world today, we’ve effectively stamped out the wonder. It takes effort to bring it back; purposeful choices to say, "I’m going to do things differently!" To let our kids wander aimlessly, to allow them boredom so they can discover new things, and to get down on their level and wonder right along with them. But I encourage you to do so. If math is taking its toll then put it away (the beauty of homeschool) and go for a walk, have a snack, or read a book. You might be surprised how much more they learn in your “breaks” than during actual "school plans." Don’t be afraid to let them be free, to let them roam, and to discover life at their own pace. The wonderful thing about homeschooling is figuring out what works best for your family and then doing it.
The best recipe for wonder is for you to wonder right along with them. You don’t have to be an expert on every topic. You just have to be curious and help them find the answers. You might even find your own wonder coming back to you after a while. Keep wondering friends! It's the best education system there is!