Sunday, January 29, 2012

What Horseback Riding Lessons Taught Me About HomeSchooling

Recently I met another woman who was in her 13th year of homeschooling. 


Thirteen years!  She must know everything there is to know.  She must have it all down.  I was so intimidated.  Then I thought, “gee, how long have we  homeschooled?” 

Thirteen years. 

I laughed.  I certainly do not have it all down.  Nor do I even come close to knowing everything there is to know about homeschooling.  I bet she doesn’t either.

My sweet girl is taking horseback riding lessons.  Her teacher, Mrs. Melanie, is an excellent horse woman.  She’s teaching Abbie natural horsemanship, and it’s amazing.  When Melanie first introduced us to some of the concepts, she said, “Horses teach you so much about people, and about yourself.”  And I was a little bit … huh?

But this week it clicked.

As Melanie and Abbie prepare Bear (the horse) to ride, Melanie always tells Abbie, “Take your time.  Don’t rush.  If you have to rush things, you don’t have time to be riding.  Go do something else until you really have the time for it.” 

They pet Bear.  They tend his feet.  They talk to him.  They observe him.  They brush him.  They lead him gently into the yard.  And they curry him.  And they rub him.  

And then … it’s time to get in the saddle. 

Later, I was sitting at the table with Aaron doing a math lesson with him.  And I was rushing.  Because, you see, today I need to get this lesson done in 25 minutes.  And he’s not understanding the concepts.  And he’s frustrated. 
And I hear Melanie saying, “if you’re rushing, you don’t have the time … ”. 

So I slowed down.  Not a lot.  More than anything else, what I slowed down was my own attitude.  Mentally, I took a breath, stepped back ever so slightly, and stopped push push pushing … I relaxed a little bit. 

And then Aaron relaxed. 

And we connected.  

And … lo and behold … he got it.

He was reacting to my pushing.  My pushing was in the way of learning.  And when I loosened up, relaxed, and considered him … the lesson started to flow.  And it was A LOT easier for us both. 

I was amazed.

And guess what?  Surprisingly, we got the lesson done in 25 minutes after all.  Because he didn’t have to deal with me trying to rush him, and I didn’t have to deal with him digging his heels in because I was rushing him.   

My new advice as a 13 year homeschooling veteran?  Horseback riding lessons.  Because horses teach you so much about people, and about yourself.  :o)


I'm linking this post to Proverbs 31 Thursdays @ Raising Mighty Arrows


and also to Hearts 4 Home, Thursdays @ Our Simple Country Life

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