Inspire and Motivate Your Kids!

Becoming passionate, inspiring educators!

Dear Homeschool Mom - inspire motivate be passionateThis summer, we did a camping trip in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park 5On the way there, we stopped at the Civil Rights Center in Greensboro, NC.  We read about the sit-ins before-hand, but it was incredible to be at the Woolworths where the 1960 sit-ins began.

Civil Rights Center -- Woolworths Sit-Ins of 1960But that’s not what this post is about!

This post is about being a passionate educator, inspiring others, and encouraging our kids to become better versions of themselves!

At the Civil Rights Center, we did a tour.  Our guide was phenomenal.  She taught us a lot. She was passionate about her topic! Our guide gave us a glimpse at the historical struggle of this period, but in a way that had us on the edge of our seats, listening to every word. She showed first hand, the inequities of this period.  For example, she showed us a coke machine that faced two directions. The side that faced the white’s waiting room charged 5-cents; the side that faced the black’s waiting room charged 10-cents!

This tour guide challenged us to take a hard look at history.

It was a phenomenal, educational experience.  The passion of this guide shined through… which got me to thinking about our role as educators.

There are things we can do to make our school days inspiring & engaging in different ways.

The guide at the Civil Rights Center was passionate about her topic and drew us into that period. She knew her topic well. She drew us in with her insights. She sang. She showed us photos and films.  She shared her knowledge, and most importantly, she left us with hope and inspiration for the future.

Think about all the ways you can be a passionate educator too.

You bring energy and attitude to your homeschool!

You radiate energy.

You bring passion.

You set the tone.

Think about the ways you can inspire your kids.

Be prepared! Know where the books are, what supplies you’ll need. Print out the materials you’ll need the day before. When possible, have things set up ahead of time (for example, if you are doing an experiment or hands-on activity).

Your attitude matters. Do you harbor a secret fear of math?  Do you “hate” writing?  Remember, your kids see, hear and sense that!  Your kids connect to the subject matter with the positive (or negative) vibes you give off!

You have the power to convey and transfer knowledge. This is a great responsibility and an exciting journey.  Always be reading and learning yourself, to be able to make your teaching meaningful! When your life is full of new connections and insights (A-ha! Oh, I never realized that! Wow, that’s so interesting!), you can’t help but share those new observations with the kids!

Be sure to focus not just on what you should teach and more on how students can learn better.

Think about the different ways people learn..

  • visual
  • verbal
  • auditory
  • kinesthetic (ie. physical)

Challenge yourself to change up your learning activities. Incorporate all kinds of educational strategies

Dozens of Hands-On Activity Ideas

  • films & movies
  • field trips

It takes time… and as homeschoolers we have that time!! Students don’t always get things right away. That’s okay.  Just keep checking in with the kids. Go over things again. Circle back around to it in another month (or another year).  That’s been our strategy… we’ve been building our vocabulary and knowledge in history, science and math over time. We keep coming back to things, reinforcing what we learned previously, and then going into even more depth!!

Often time, a new subject has it’s own set of vocabulary (take science or math, for example).  Again, it takes time to remember terms/definitions and to be able to apply it in their learning. 🙂  Help them along the way.

Don’t present too much at once! Make your lesson focused and memorable. What parts of the topic are most important? Help your students grasp the fundamentals. Be aware of what parts are most complex or confusing.

As you plan for lessons remember the basic questions:

  • What do you want students to know or be able to do?
  • How will students reach this goal? (what method, strategy, tool, or activity will you employ to make sure they know what they’re supposed to know or gain the skill they’re supposed to gain?)
  • Why are students covering this? If your kids understand why they are learning the material, they will care more about it… and thus, learn the topic more deeply.

Be sure to teach the kids  1) mindset and 2) study skills along the way!

Mindset/How People Learn: Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset” where students believe in persistence, the malleability of intelligence.

Here are a couple of interesting videos about how people learn.

If you have older kids, you might share these with them and then talk about them. The first is from Khan Academy (check out the pictures that show difference in neurons of a brain at birth and the neurons at the age of 6):

This quick video shows how adaptable the brain is and how we can rewire and strengthen our brains over time.  We all have the ability to grow and change!

And finally, this Ted Talk is about the Power of Belief.

Go the extra mile! Your kids will benefit from passion, your enthusiasm, your time & energy!

Dig deep! You can do this!

Here are some other homeschooling articles you might enjoy!

Hands-On Homeschool Activity Ideas
Rewards and Motivation: Keeping the Joy in Learning
The Power of What you Do Each Day!
Why Hands-On Homeschooling is Amazing!
The Power of Homeschool Routines
Why Our Homeschools are Always Changing!
10 Ways to Overcome Homeschool Burnout
5 common homeschool mistakes to avoid
Taking Care of Ourselves
8 Things to Remember about Homeschooling
Mid-Semster Blues – Homeschool Motivation
Printable list of Hands-On Homeschooling Ideas
Exploring Motivation, Control and Decision Making with the Kids
Do You Have What it Takes to Homeschool? (Of course you do, read why!)
Hands-On Homeschooling – Video Post (with DD and ED!)
How Many Homeschoolers Are There? (And other Homeschool Stats!)
The Opportunity of a Lifetime! Today is the day…

opportunity-of-a-lifetime

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group.  Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. :) ~Liesl

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SubscribeHappy Homeschooling! ~Liesl

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