After homeschooling for over ten years I can tell you the simplest trick in teaching your kids. You need to have a good relationship with them. That’s it. Everything else can be figured out if the relationship is there first.
When I started homeschooling I did all the cutesy stuff, we made elaborate projects, and I would study before each lesson to make sure I was really teaching my kids as well as possible. But the funny thing is, they don’t even remember those lessons. What they remember are the times we had fun, the times that we bonded, and they remembered any subject that interested them.
How does one connect and make that relationship with their own monkeys? For myself, I already felt overwhelmed, too many kids, too many responsibilities, how in the world could I fit in anymore? That is when I created Minute With Mom.
The more I write, the more I realize how many weird names I have for things. I created Minute With Mom several years ago as a way to check in with my kids and their schoolwork, but it has ended up turning into so much more.
Every school day I have a Minute With Mom. I do my best to have my kids do as much as their schoolwork on their own as possible. During Minute With Mom they would go through every subject from the day before and they would tell me about what they read, we would check their math, and go over anything they needed help with.
What I didn’t know was how much my monkeys loved their one on one time. People are not supposed to interrupt us, we’re still working on that one, and it is your time to just be with mom. Most of the time it’s just us going over their school, sometimes it’s deep conversations about something they love or something they’re struggling with, but mostly it’s just us, cuddling on a couch talking and enjoying one another.
Minute With Mom has NEVER lasted only a minute. it can range anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Sometimes it’s super rushed and sometimes we take our sweet time, there is no exact science to it.
But oh my goodness, I am seeing the fruits of my labors. I have three teenagers and two tweenagers. I have only heard horror stories about how awful teenagers are and I braced myself to get through the teens years without losing my mind, but it’s been quite the opposite. I freaking love my teens and tweens. I have a great relationship with all of them.
I am not trying to pretend that they are perfect; they are very human as am I, and both of us make mistakes. I worry about them, especially now that their choices effect them a lot more than they did when they were little, but we have built a really solid foundation, and even though we each may get frustrated with one another there hasn’t been anything that we haven’t been able to get through.
On my last birthday everyone was going around the table and telling me what they loved about me. Every single kid (that can talk) said they knew I loved them because I spent so much time with them. Ah, melt my mommy heart!
Connecting with your own monkeys doesn’t have to be grandiose. It can just be those small and simple things. Reading with them, talking to them late at night, playing with them, basically it is just spending quality time with them.