Hey Mama Monday: Embrace the Wiggly Learner, Mama
Our youngest is now an active ten-year-old. He can’t sit still while doing book work. His body has to move. The chairs have to move (rock, shuffle, and fall over). The pencil has to fly. His body and hands and feet have to move. His mouth has to make noises. It can be exasperating . . . for me!
At a local thrift store, I just found an exercise ball that sits in a special round chair, and we are both so relieved. I knew he would be able to focus more on his subjects if he could bounce while working and get excess energy out rolling and bouncing throughout the day, especially if it is bad weather outside. We also just made slime that he can play with during studies.
We often think that if our kids would just sit still and stop fidgeting, they would get more done, listen better, and give us poor moms a break. But we have found that if they are spending so much energy trying to be still, then they are not able to listen and learn as well.
So, let them draw and color during devotions; let them play with putty during audio books or learning videos; and let them play with Legos or stuffed animals when it is read-aloud time. And if they can’t sit still for book work and you don’t have an exercise ball, then let them stand at their desk or lay on the floor, under the table, or anywhere they are comfortable and listen to classical or worship music while doing book work.
There are times that all the wiggling seems like chaos that needs calming. We can calm our own hearts knowing that our wiggly learners are still learning even if they can’t keep their bodies still. So, don’t stress . . . trust the One Who made them this active as part of His great purpose for their lives.
And rather than becoming frustrated at all the crazy noise and action, remember that they are free to be themselves right there in the safety and comfort of home.
This is the opposite of what traditional school offers children. Other schooling options have to fit the child into the school mold rather than opening a door for the child to learn in freedom. In my school experience as a child, I was never able to really rest or be free in body or soul, were you? But your children will have rest because you are doing what is best for them by keeping them Home Where They Belong.
Deborah Wuehler is the Senior Editor and Director of Production here at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. She would say she is a very ordinary homeschool mom–with one exception: she has an extra-ordinary God Who provides all she needs for life and homeschooling. She has eight children aged 11 to 29. Deborah’s mission is this: to point other homeschoolers to the Lord in all they do, think, and feel—and to confirm that they, too, can find everything they need for life, godliness–and homeschooling–in their knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3, 4).