Oops? Mistakes?


Plans can go wrong!

Ever had an “Oops!” in homeschooling?

I recently saw an accordion-fold timeline at Get in the Fold (a really clever, neat idea here), but she discovered her “Beautiful Oops” when the timeline space was not big enough for the project.  She turned the miscalculation into a wonderful student-led challenge to make their own foldables so that their presentation would fit in the folder.

Rebecca and Donna’s post led me to Margaret Berry Wilson‘s Fruitful Mistakes at Responsive Classroom.

I loved her suggestions for “bouncing back from mistakes” and helping children develop confidence and problem-solving skills in their “Oops” moments:

  • Respond carefully when students make mistakes.
  • Share children’s books celebrating mistakes –Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg and for older students,  Accidents May Happen by Charlotte Jones.
  • Do more open-ended projects and ask more open-ended questions. 
  • Share your mistakes and the lessons learned from them.
  • Encourage children to share and reflect on mistakes. 

So, when plans go a “pear-shaped” (yes, fruity-pun!)


let go of perfection,

resist self-condemnation,

and trust the Lord to lead you and your children

to discover unexpected fruitful  solutions.


3 thoughts on “Oops? Mistakes?

  1. Wonderful! I have done many mistakes only realizing it as I am introducing the lesson to my kids. But Kids are forgiving and you are right it has often led to them coming up with good solutions and the project or lesson becomes more their own. Even more so they have seen me as a learner, and our relationship is better for the observed failure and my gracious response to it and myself. In the first chapters of The Handbook for Nature Study the athor write is it is good to say often to children “I don’t know” and then seek together to find answers. It leaves the world a place to discover and allows them an example of how to do that in you.


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