In preparation for writing this manual, one of the many books I have re-read this summer from years past has been The Five Love Languages for Children; based on the original Five Love Languages for Couples. As I refreshed my memory on the five languages (i.e. physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, and quality time), I decided to perform some "basic tests" in our home with our children serving as unwitting subjects. The first test came when I was chatting with our youngest child one night with questions like, "So, if you had a choice, would you rather get a small gift or piece of candy from Daddy when he comes home from work at night or would you rather play a game with him?" He answered without hesitation, "Oh! I would like the present, Mommy!" We went through several rounds of these types of questions and always the "present" won out. I had already suspected his was "receiving gifts" since he is constantly wrapping up things around the house and giving them to me or his stuffed toys; whoever seems the most interested at the time! Now on the surface, this "Love Language" seems shallow. However, the more I observed him that week, I noticed that he was the one to bring me a flower he had found in the backyard, to draw me a picture for no reason, and to share half of his Otter Pop with me when we were in the van going somewhere and he realized I did not have one to enjoy. Children with this love language not only love to receive but also love to give and see your reaction in return. In the homeschool setting, see if your "gift receiving" child doesn't respond better to you when you have even a small token to give to them for a "job well done"; pennies, tokens, tickets, or small pieces of candy are all suitable and don't take much to manage. Another great idea is to purchase a small Lego kit or some other multi-piece toy. Put it away and then over the course of the week or month, tell them that they can earn a piece out of their new kit each time they do a school assignment or a chore to the best of their ability with a happy heart. By the time that week or month is over with, they will have earned a new toy! Next time, we will chat about "Quality Time".
Homeschooling since 2000, Carol shares in her blog observations, confessions, and musings that help provide perspective and inspiration for homeschooling moms.