Natural Learners? Or not?

Homeschooling resources and educational research repeatedly told me that children—especially young children—are natural learners. Reassuring for the mom teaching her child at home? Not always.

One evening, I joined moms at dinner before their monthly encouragement meeting. Friends, strangers, veterans, and beginners bonded in Homeschool Sisterhood. The newest member listened. During dessert, she joined the conversation.  Her posture, tone of voice and fearful glances showed she was going to divulge something shameful, so shameful that she was going to have to wear the scarlet “HF.” Homeschool Failure.

“My kindergartner resists learning,” she confessed. “He’s not a natural learner.”

We veterans spontaneously laughedtoo long and probably too loudly. Not at her. Thankfully, our good-natured mirth conveyed that.

We asked questions, and yes, her child did like to learn—just not reading and math. 

The well-known mantra was confirmed:  Children are natural learners.

Our guilt comes when children don’t love to learn what we expect them to learn at the time we expect them to learn. Some skills and knowledge can be delayed. Some should not. However, believing that natural learners will never resist learning is a myth I discarded along the way.

Have you discarded any misapplied truth?

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