My children, especially my oldest daughter, continually push me to think outside the box.
I remember when she was very young and just learning to color pictures, she showed me what she was doing and I (unfortunately) let habits lead my thoughts and actions and said, “Are you going to try to color in the lines?” Fortunately, being the ever independent thinker, she, without missing a beat, said to me, “What lines?” I almost laughed out loud!
This experience really caused me to do some serious re-thinking of my teaching methods. Don’t get me wrong. I think rules, and guidelines are a very necessary part of education and life. Especially when it comes to morality. But there are so many other things, especially when it comes to education that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it, just different ways.
One of the main reasons we homeschool is that I didn’t want my children to be leveled out to mediocre or feel they need to be like everyone else. The irony of this is that I have to constantly fight myself and my own habits so that I don’t fall into the trap of being “by-the-book” when it comes to schooling.
So now, when I find one of my children doing something that I think is “not right” in terms of their secular education, I try to bite my tongue first and ask myself, “Is it wrong? Or is it just different?” If it’s different I let it be.
Besides, how can I inspire creativity if I tell them they have to be creative in a certain way?
How have your kids pushed you to think outside the box?