What the heck is that supposed to mean? I see that phrase all the time on homeschooling message boards. I am sure that you have heard the conversation before. It goes something like this.

Mom 1:”My kids just don’t want to do their school work.”

Mom 2: “What are you doing for school?”

Mom 1: “We are doing what everyone does-reading, writing, and arithmetic.”

Mom 2: “Well, there you go. What are you doing to foster their love of learning? They will like school if you are doing that.”

This is where I get lost. I have to admit that when my oldest was little he loved learning about certain things. He learned to read quite young, and the world was this giant place just waiting to be explored. Then he became of the age where he had to do real school work, and it wasn’t so much fun anymore. Math? He just wanted to read about dolphins or his Harry Potter books. All. Day. Long. Consequently, the love of learning took a nose dive. How do you foster that?  I am just not gifted enough to devise an entire cirriculum around dolphins or Harry Potter. If three muggles are at the train station and two get on the train. How many are still at the train station? Please. See what I mean? Not that gifted.

There are times in our life that we have to do things that we don’t want to do. Sometimes these things are not fun for everyone. I like math. Not everyone does, but everyone has to learn a little math regardless. I could take a lifetime pass on history, but I know that my kids need to learn it. So I suck it up and discuss the Punic Wars with them.  (and oh, was it painful)

My kids do their work and they do it well. (most of the time, anyway) I listen to them count the days until Friday when they can put the books away for two days. They whine a little  a lot when I give them a writing assignment, and I tell them to get over themselves. Yet, somehow, they still manage to get excited when they can read the Latin in the hymnal or catch a reference somewhere that is familiar to them. My girl was thrilled when she diagrammed all her sentences perfectly today. How can anyone love diagramming sentences, right? She did today.

I am proud of them for trudging through the hard stuff. It might not be fun, but the reward is greater. I am not all that concerned with fostering their love of learning, though I have worried about it in the past. I do worry that they won’t find something that they love to do, but I pray that they find it. Until then they are stuck with what I give them whether it fosters their love of learning or not.

*ahem* I will step off of my soapbox now.  And yes, I am a card carrying member of the mean mom club.