I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and saw a question on one of the homeschool groups I follow. The person posting was expressing concern that their young child was fidgeting during school and asking how to get the child to stop.
I didn’t comment, but I wanted to say, “Let him fidget!!” I think the child in question was five or six.
Oh … please dont try to discipline the fidgeting out of them…. don’t stop them from moving!! You are homeschooling… you have the freedom to fidget!
When my older two were little and we would do read alouds, I would gather them to me and have them sit quietly by my side. I would tell them to be still and listen. I would get so angry and frustrated if they moved.
Read aloud time was not a sweet moment in our day.
I had to learn to let go of my expectations and let my children wiggle and move… within reason… while I read to them. I began to let them spread out in the room, play with Legos, brush doll hair, do puzzles, draw, etc. As I let go of my expectations, our read aloud time became so fun and something we all looked forward to. Even now… when I call my children together (ages 16, 14, 11, and 9) to listen as I read… they will bring their drawing supplies or quiet toys. They began to absorb more of the story and I was able to relax. Let them fidget.
Children are unique individuals, designed uniquely and gifted in different ways. We simply cannot expect them to all interact with the world in the same way. You will find auditory learners, visual learners, and kinesthetic learners. Some children ask questions all day long to learn about their world. Some children observe and soak it all in. Some children learn through movement. One of my children often has to stand while she is doing her work because if she is sitting, she rocks in her chair or closes herself up in the folding chair or simply falls out of the chair. She is much more successful when standing at the table or laying on the floor.
Let them fidget. Let them wiggle. Let them move.
I was a child who could not sit still. Because I was made to sit still at my desk, my mind would wander and be active in the way my body could not. I would day dream and miss an entire class or lesson. This happened to me even as a college student. It wasn’t until my senior year of college that it was suggested to me to record my classes so I could listen to them again later and pick up what I had missed.
Some people need to move to retain information. My husband listens to the Bible on his daily runs. It has opened Scripture to him in ways he never had before.
Our bodies are designed to move.
Children, especially, need space to move.
Remember that homeschooling isn’t recreating school at home… it is educating your children and providing space for them to flourish as they need. Let me say it again for the people in the back.. Let. Them. Fidget!!