When I Dropped the “Reins” and Let Learning Flourish

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Left-brained, right-brained…. paths to learning… modalities… learning styles.  We are so many of all of these.  Do we actually know what our kids will do when we drop the controls and let them go?  I learned the other day and it was LIBERATING.

Several weeks ago (uhhemm… I say to my “bad blogger” self), we received a huge box of SWAG!  See all that color and art?  See the learning launchpads spilling all over my counter?  See the shrieking and jumping children?  Oh, no… that would be hearing and you can’t blog that.  Well.  Trust me.  They were shrieking.

Immediately dividing us said “swag,” my kids began to tear into spelling, field trip plans, journals… and we were off to the library at 7 pm for “Nine books for each of us MOM!”  And I was under strict orders to zip-it.  I have no problem zipping it.  We reached the library and every child took off like a swirling dervish, which actually makes me a little anxious.  Books are precious things, People.  My children ingest them.  Two hours and 9 x 3 (plus an additional 23) books later, we were loading up the roller cart – you must have one of those in the car for trips to the library, too.  We’ve broken 3.  Home, again, home, again… jiggity jig.

9:30 until I fell asleep and Rocky came home – we have a MILD Rocky thing going on in my marriage -Yo, Adrianne!  Love that man!  Anywhoo… kids, books, pencils, pens, paint, tape, stuff… everywhere.  Hmm… lack of sleep was going to effect our “official lesson plans for the next day involving soil and American history.”  Quick prayer.  Oh well.  I awoke at 8 AM to 3 sleeping bodies amidst a vast array of creative debris.  Yes, debris makes me anxious, too.  I drank some kombucha and started the day.

As I looked around my AM house, the kids were RIGHT BACK AT IT.  And now, somehow Snap Circuits, Legos, oil pastels (eek), books, kids, everywhere.  I just remembered to breathe and let go.  Somewhere my frontal lobe was shouting… hmm… more learning going on here.  Child and delight directed.  Schemas.  Scaffolding.  Meaningful.  Purposeful.  “Mom – kinetic energy is a lit match.  Potential is when you are just holding it.”  “Mommy, did you know that SLAVES built the White House?  Twice?  For free?”  “Mom – when I join the photojournalists, I am going to need a good writing book.  Do you know what I can use to check myself?  Book not Internet.  Remember… Google is a company not a verb!”

WHAM.  Ok.  Let them go, says my frontal lobe.  Let them create.  Let them put it all together with tape and it may look ugly but it’s true and uncontrived learning.  I didn’t print a math game, contrive to complete a objective.  It was ALL THEIRS… and in the end … who owns it?

I never really held the “reins” on my kids’ learning.  That was just a fantasy… but I sure did have the amazing grace to watch it flourish!  Thank you, The Thinking Tree (Dyslexia Games).  I have another journal for mom and son on my Santa list!  “6 to 9 Fun Schooling!”  That is a topper on JJ’s list!  The mom one looks good, too!



Thank you, Sarah Janisse Brown!  You have given us a true gift.  And we are all the better for it.



2 thoughts on “When I Dropped the “Reins” and Let Learning Flourish

    • I’m so glad someone read it and it was meaningful to them. I am always trying to clean off our plates and this is perfect!i want two more! Xmas!

      Glad you love Sarah’s work. It is so beautiful and effective. My kids love it!

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