My kids are a constant source of learning for me. Recently, my nine-year-old son Tucker and I decided to do “homeschooling” one day each month. Although it’s been a bit less frequent than that, we both look forward to these days immensely. Last November, in preparation for our first day, I asked Tucker if he wanted to set aside an hour to discuss our plan for the day. As he climbed into bed, he said (without skipping a beat), “No, Mom. That’s your job. You’re the teacher…”
Out of the mouths of babes…comes the school-centered paradigm. I was startled to hear how matter of fact he was about his role and the role of the teacher. For him, “school” is what happens to you—teachers always know what’s best or, at the very least, are in charge. He simply does as he is directed, acting as a recipient of education and not a main actor in his own learning.
For the first day of homeschooling, I did as he expected: I planned the whole day. We had a blast! By our second “homeschooling” day, he’d already caught on that he could participate in the planning. Without any prompting from me, he opened up a Google Doc a month before our second day and asked me to start planning out the day with him. In our first conversation, he wanted two things for the next session: to learn how to buy a stock and to brainstorm ideas for a new business. Tucker wants to be an entrepreneur, as you can tell, and his first business of making and selling rainbow loom jewelry has slowed down due to saturation of his fourth grade market.
Over the course of the month, he tweaked the schedule to include more ideas like adding a half hour of DreamBox and another half hour of shooting hoops.
Once the second “homeschooling” day came around, we executed nearly everything we planned. Not only did Tucker learn about stocks, he actually purchased a share of Amazon stock (with most of his savings)! In the second half of our day, he created a list of seven business ideas to investigate further with the intent to pick one in the near future. Another successful “homeschooling” day was in the books, and we are already planning for the next one.
Many lessons have been learned on this new journey, and in my next letter, I’ll expand on what I think allowed Tucker’s mindset to shift so quickly.
We’ve got another great issue! Enjoy!