My kids aren’t interested in anything!
They could sit around watching TV or playing video games ALL DAY.
A museum. . . . My kids never want to go to a museum.
When I hear these things, I get a little sad, but I also don’t believe it. Maybe it’s possible, but I find it hard to believe that there is a person not interested in anything.
Nothing? That seems impossible.
But let’s go with it for a bit. You have a child that hates everything and rejects every interesting idea or thing you strew his way.
Why and what can you do about it?
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A Distaste for the Contrived
My children have a severe dislike of contrived lessons and activities, as do I. It always seems so fake and manipulative.
I would venture to guess the child who hates everything is just a person who is offended by coercion, especially when attempts are made to shroud it in “fun.”
They may have numerous interests, but their visceral reaction to being told to be interested right now overrides their curiosity.
So maybe consider whether the strewing was too blatant and demanding. Could it be more subtle, more inviting?
Perhaps we should consider whether we were strewing something because it’s our interest and not theirs.
Strewing in a Moment of Panic
Oh my goodness, we haven’t studied the Middle Ages!
Panic always gets me into trouble. I load up the Netflix cue, clean out the library of every relevant book, and my Pinterest feed is overflowing with chain maille and coat of arm’s crafts.
I don’t do this because my children have shown genuine interest, I succumb to a moment of homeschool mom panic.
The panic that wakes you up at night wondering how you’ll ever cover “it all,” as if that’s even possible.
This isn’t the time to start strewing plans for graham cracker castles and Joan of Arc dolls. Our kids see right through this, and we know it too.
So take a deep breath and pace yourself, your children will thank you.
Don’t be the Uncle at the Christmas Party
Don’t be like the Uncle at the Christmas party who finds it necessary to give your homeschooled children a multiplication pop quiz.
If in the majority of the interactions with our children we’re trying to teach and dispense knowledge, they will soon learn to tune us out.
We begin to sound like the teacher on Charlie Brown.
Grace in the Face of Rejection
It’s crucial to maintain poise when our children reject our strewing efforts.
So they didn’t love that new game. It’s alright.
The new exhibit at the science museum wasn’t that interesting, but we got out of the house.
We started a new read aloud but no one was enjoying it, so we quit. It’s okay to stop.
Some things flop, that’s just part of the strewing territory and life. We need to pick it up and put it away for another time. In six months, it might be excitedly received.
However, when this happens, we shouldn’t give up. It may happen several times in a row, but we keep trying.It's easy to slip into the mindset of making everything 'count,' but that's pointless because everything already does count. When we try to turn everything into a teachable moment, we quash their curiosity.Click To Tweet
Take a Break
If everything is repeatedly rejected, maybe it’s time to take a break and release those expectations
Our children may feel the pressure we’re exuding, which causes them to run the other way.
Sometimes I need to take a break and think about how I’ve been strewing:
- Have I had a lot of expectations?
- Am I strewing things they’re interested in or only things that are “educational”?
- Am I trying to manipulate their learning?
It’s easy to slip into the mindset of making everything “count,” but that’s pointless because everything already does count. When we try to turn everything into a teachable moment, we quash their curiosity.
Pursue Your Interests
After everyone has enjoyed a break, why not dive into your interests?
Don’t strew in hopes of your child taking an interest, do what you find enjoyable and see if they join in. Time to pursue our interests is one of the most significant benefits of being a homeschool mom.
If we allow ourselves, we have the time and opportunity to dive into our interests and make them a part of our families life of learning.
It never fails that if I’m holding a book, my oldest will ask me what I’m reading.
Seeing my blog has spurred my 12-year-old’s interest in photography and photo editing.
Someone is always willing to join in if I pull out the paints and canvases.
Fill your time with interesting things you want to do and see what happens; you may be surprised.
You Reap What You Sow
It may sound cliche, but it’s often true, moms set the mood of our house and homeschool more than we would like to admit.
If we strew with anxious expectation, it’s likely to be resisted.
If we strew with genuine interest and wonder, we sow the seeds of curiosity.
Strewing should be smooth and effortless, a part of your educating life.
Here are the other posts in my strewing series:
This is part of the 5-day iHomeschool Network Hopscotch. Go check out all the wonderful encouragement and inspiration.