Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homeschooling: Focusing on Learning, Not Teaching

Example of unschooling (home-based, interesed-...Image via Wikipediaby Linda Dobson, Parent At The Helm: http://www.parentatthehelm.com

From One Homeschooling Parent to Another

"Get some of those great books from the library or bookstore on kids’ fun science experiments, and do them with your kids. Don’t even think about quizzing them on what they’re learning; just let them have fun and learn whatever they learn. The main thing they’ll be learning is how much fun learning can be".

"Lead them in relaxing and enjoying life. Toast marshmallows for no reason, read poetry aloud, make real hot chocolate from scratch - create memories. Extending an already long school day isn’t going to make your child a better learner but enhancing the quality of her experience of life will. I shudder to hear that people have passed on taking their kids on an interesting trip for a few days because they might “miss something” in school. What on earth could they miss in the course of a few days? I’ll tell you what - the joy and fascination of new places and experiences they could have had on that trip!".

"There’s a big, fascinating world out there, and all too few kids get a chance to take it all in. The most important part of homeschooling for us was being together as a family and exploring our interests together out in the real world. This can be done whether a child is homeschooling or not".

~ Lillian Jones, veteran homeschooling mom.

A key to effective learning, say homeschooling parents, is to habitually focus on helping your child learn. This is because there is a world of difference between the act of teaching a child and the act of assisting his learning process.

“Children don’t need to be ‘taught’ as much as they need a rich environment with tools and opportunities to learn,” says Lillian Jones, who began homeschooling her now grown son, Ethan, when he was seven years old.

“We all learn in different ways,” she explains, “and we are the ones who instinctively know the most about our own methods of learning” (see a collection of Lillian’s favorite articles on this subject at Best Homeschooling).

Carrie Morgan cultivated this habit at the same time she put together and began living her own definition of education. “I realized that almost everything on my list was much more a matter of appreciating and using what one learned than it was a matter of what one could be taught,” she says.

“Learning something, that act of discovery, allows my children to claim it as their own, a powerful incentive to keep going and really hone the skills they value".

See also Keep the Joy of Learning Alive Even If You’re Not Homeschooling

To read further, go to: http://www.parentatthehelm.com/8666/homeschooling-focusing-on-learning-not-teaching
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