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Leading Littles to Love Life & Learning

By Lakendra Norwood

Doing life with littles is interesting to say the least. There is never a dull moment. They love life! And they love to learn. I have a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 15-month-old.

People often wonder how I have the time to homeschool 3 kids, and how I homeschool 3 kids, especially since they are so young. Well, it’s simple. Most of our lessons happen on the go, as we do life, in everyday situations. Life itself is a learning experience! Yes, we also have a sit down time of structured learning, but that’s minimal (15-20 minutes at the most), because they’re attention spans aren’t very long. A great tip is to make sure to set goals for your children so that you have direction during those learning moments.

I'm often asked, “How do you keep the littles learning and curious, without draining yourself?” Don't be so hard on yourself, especially when they are this age. If you need to take a break, take a break. Sure learning ABCs and 123s is fun and beneficial for them, but the most important thing that they need is love and security, and mommy needs to feel like herself in order to give them that. Having security gives them confidence they need to branch out and try new things.

Finding your child's learning style

As far as keeping them curious, they are curious enough without me pushing them to be. (My four year old is in her “why” stage, so I’m constantly bombarded with questions.) I think all children are curious about something. All I do is guide their curiosity. For example, my middle child used to color on the walls and tables with crayon. This is when I realized, she loves art! So now she has an easel where she can draw, color and paint to her heart’s delight. Also, when she was a baby, she wasn't interested in baby sign but she would just repeat the words I tried to teach her. So I learned, if I want to teach her something new, I can give her a coloring sheet to help her internalize it, or I can teach her a song and she will remember all the words. She's my artsy auditory learner.

My oldest, on the other hand, is very active. She has to move. She loves to dance and loves gymnastics, and can build just about anything with blocks. She was the child who picked up on baby signs the most. I have found the best way to teach her is with movement. She is a kinesthetic learner. If I can connect a move to it, she will remember it. We're still discovering how our 15-month-old learns, but that will come with time.

Knowing how your children learn will help you to teach them in the best manner.

And they will enjoy doing it. Whether you want to be or not, you are the example for your kids, so be a good one. They are watching what you say and do and are learning how to interact with life through your example. (This is why my middle child is now afraid of spiders.) There are so many things you can teach your littles, just by example. A few things we teach by example are taking care of yourself, doing housework, interacting with others, and our relationship with God. We don't have to do anything extra for them to observe how we carry out these everyday things.

As far as our relationship with God, my husband and I are intentional about Deuteronomy 11:18-19 where the scriptures say to keep the word of God before us, “teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” For this reason, scripture is part of our everyday life. We teach them memory verses, prayer, and tell Bible stories to teach our history through scripture. I am also teaching my 4-year-old about having a personal study time with God. I will share here the process for teaching memory verses.

My children start learning memory verses when they are old enough to talk. If they’re old enough to recite “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” then they’re old enough to recite Philippians 4:13 (or any other verse I would like them to memorize). I have found it helpful to teach them verses that will be useful for them in everyday life. Here are some that they have learned so far:

  • “You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37

  • “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” -Phillipians 4:13

  • “I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” -Psalm 139:14

  • “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” -Genesis 1:1

  • “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” -Ephesians 4:32

  • And my personal favorite for them: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the LORD.” -Colossians 3:20

We recite the memory verse during our sit down time, and I add movement to it (remember, my oldest is a kinesthetic learner.) After that, we simply recite it everyday, whether we have sit down time or not.

The children learn to apply the scriptures to everyday life when I use them in everyday life. I have an opportunity to use Colossians 3:20 often.Also, Ephesians 4:32 is recited at least once a week in our house, by one of the kids, (usually during playtime when someone is not being very kind). Applying the word to everyday life helps them to internalize it and helps to build a spiritual foundation for the future.

Doing life with littles has been eventful. Not only do I get to teach them, which I love, but I learn something new everyday.

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