Kids, Why Will You Learn From Your Teacher But Not Me?

The school year has come to a close, but I don’t plan for the learning to stop. Au contraire – we learn year-round. (Don’t we all, in one way or another?)

I don’t mean I’ve developed lesson plans and subject units to pore through from now until September.


The list has grown by now!

But there are things we work on all year round, such as:

  • scissor skills
  • gross motor skills like balancing on one foot, catching a ball, or doing hopscotch
  • drawing new shapes and objects
  • reading new books
  • a new French word a week because Toddler wants to!
  • counting higher and higher

Other things are simply learned spontaneously … because Always Be Teaching:

  • new words (because I keep saying words I need to define for my kids)
  • random knowledge like how rain happens and why the sun goes down
  • how to cook new foods – because Toddler helps in the kitchen randomly
  • which planets have rings

Yet … I’ve discovered a theme since Toddler began school in January: she learns much more readily from her teachers than from me or my husband. She’s more persistent and pays attention longer.

Why does my child give up so quickly sometimes when I try to teach her something? Even with my encouragement and praise at her accomplishments, even a small one, she often won’t want to finish the art project or whatever we’re doing. (Yet we do have a lot of successes – I’m not saying it’s always a failure around here.)

Yet she always came home with completed work from school and told me all about what they learned during the day – and never sounded frustrated or indicated she couldn’t do something.

(I realize she might lose attention during her school day as well, and since I’m not there I don’t know everything that happens. But when I do peep into the room if I arrive early for pick-up, I see her paying attention and working diligently.

Are non-parental authority figures that much more able to hold a kid’s attention? What is it about teachers that automatically command obedience – at least from my child?

I wish I had more answers to provide here; this is more just a complaining post! Going forward, I’ll keep trying to set my children and I up for success when we approach a learning opportunity by:

  • being totally prepared beforehand with materials so the kids aren’t kept waiting
  • not bombarding Toddler with too much information
  • keeping explanations as succinct as possible
  • having patience with Toddler if she doesn’t do things quite “as they should be done”
  • avoiding distractions like extraneous toys hanging around or Baby waking from a nap soon
  • focusing on having fun!

Do you have any tips or ideas for making learning at home go more successfully?


18 thoughts on “Kids, Why Will You Learn From Your Teacher But Not Me?

  1. I applaud your on-going teaching, this is really where you get to teach them what you want them to know. They tend to pay attention better in school because they see other kids doing the same thing. And what kid doesn’t want to go to school when they are so curious little beings right now? After they tell you what they learned that day, if you need to give another version of it, now is the time, while it hasn’t imprinted on them totally. I also think they see the teacher as a person of authority, and tend to automatically pay better attention. Viva la France!!!


    • True – having kids all around who are learning does help. I wonder sometimes if the teacher disciplines better or something, but maybe it’s just an automatic assignment of authority because they’re “in school to learn” versus being home to play and do all kinds of things.


  2. The environments children are in plays a huge part in their learning. Children can veiw school as places to learn new things and home as a place to relax. Try using the outdoors as a tool for learning at home, counting twigs/leaves, maybe find out french words for the sky/ trees etc, that way you have a plan but the children think they are just playing and having fun. Planned purposeful play is fantastic for learning.
    Student Mummy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The #1 rule in our teaching program was to be flexible. Make plans, sure, but also let the kids guide things a bit and see where it takes you. Sometimes the best lessons end up being the ones that weren’t planned to a T. That’s my official (and cliche) answer. 😉

    I took Little Man’s cues when he was that age. He loved math, language, and science, so I went with his interests and built on it. (And building on them too much can make them bored in class for the first three or four years, sigh.) Baby Girl couldn’t give two craps about most of the stuff I’d like to teach, so I plant seeds in our imaginary play. She might think we’re just playing Batman v. Joker again, but we’re also covering other school-type things (official terms).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Flexible lessons … yes! It’s true that sometimes the best lessons are unplanned!!

      Ha, true that kids can get bored in school if they get a headstart in learning a topic. 🙂 But they’re excited at the same time! I like that you put learning aspects into your imaginary play with BG. That’s a good way (maybe the only way?!) to get her feet wet with learning.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Do Kids Have To Be Smarter Nowadays? | welcometothenursery

  5. Our first child attended a Montessori school for two years before we moved back to France. His teacher used a lot of made up songs to teach all kinds of things. I specifically remember
    “What goes up must come down
    Gravity makes it all come down” 🎶
    “A camel is a mammal, and I’m a mammal too,
    Like a monkey and a donkey and a baby kangaroo” 🎶
    How about you teach your kids some French using French baby songs? I am sure they abound on YouTube… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes, the song trick! I always forget about that! (And I enjoy singing, too….) What a great idea! She would love that. Right now she seems to remember the words well, but we’ve only just begun – it’ll get harder. If I can’t find the song I need on Youtube, I’ll make one up. Thanks for the tip!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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