Learning to Trust with Boys & Baseball


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There's a Book for That, Day 10:
Boys & Baseball

Allowing learning to unfold naturally is a tightrope walk between anxiety and trust. At least it has been for me. I have often questioned my own notion of learning, and often done so multiple times in an hour. What I have learned is that whenever I allow trust to win out over the fear and anxiety, the result is beautiful. Always. The process is not always neat and orderly. Actually, it rarely is. But beauty and blessing can be found in every corner of trusting enough to respect your child’s voice in his own education. That’s the lesson all six of my children teach me daily. And among my children, there is no better teacher than our eight year old. This boy has pushed me out of my comfort zone in splendid ways that I thank him for.

boys baseball graphic

So when his love of baseball happily threatened to take over every aspect of his waking (and most likely dreaming) hours, I made the conscious decision to welcome the passion. Thanks to Julie Bogart over at Brave Writer and Lori Pickert over at Project-Based Homeschooling, this decision was easy. I suggested to my boy that he come up with a project about baseball. His enthusiasm for this ideas matched that of Christmas morning. Not only was he going to immerse himself in learning all about baseball, but he got to take the lead and he got quality time with me sharing his passion. All of these are immense benefits, but the latter is what this parenting gig is all about. Nothing says ‘I love you’ to a child more than spending time together focusing on what they love.

So now, on to the books….

These are just some of the books we read together. We also watched some YouTube videos documentaries about different baseball players and baseball history. And this boy amazed me every step of the way. He was focused and attentive and persistent. After some brainstorming, he decided he wanted to write a book. And he doesn’t mean just a little, easy reader book. He means a BOOK, and he is prepared for it to take him all year to do it.

jeter project text

This is the result of trusting my boy and being his partner in learning.  As recent as a few months ago, he did not want to learn to read or write.  Now he is doing both, with enthusiasm!

two paths

Throughout the process so far, he has learned how to read and spell several dozen words. He has learned how to paraphrase and re-tell what he has learned. He has learned how to ask questions and seek the answers. And he has learned how to go through a video or book with a fine tooth comb a second, and sometimes third time, to make sure he got the facts straight. And above all, he has learned that he is a reader and a writer. So if you ever  When you come to the fork in the road where you have to choose the path of fear or the path of trust, choose trust. Let’s make it the path more traveled.

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