Monday, October 15, 2012

Unknown Challenges and Rare Potential of Homeschooling

English: It's the three basic elements in the ...
The three basic elements in the learning process (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Karin Anderssen

Whether you are a parent or parent teacher, it's the charge of the guardian to ignite a spark that lights your child's inner flame with the desire to learn.

Children are in part the juxtaposed reflections of their biological parents. Environmental conditioning also plays a role.

In the learning process of home-schooled children, one aspect is often not addressed, i.e. can the parent teacher connect with the child beyond genetic and family conditioning and leverage complex dynamics from a coherent perspective?

Inspiring the desire to learn through example and emulation, while leveraging understandings reflective of individual attitudes is more achievable in a home school scenario, since parent teachers have the flexibility and opportunity to fine tune the process based on immaturity observed while tutoring their child.

As a parent teacher have you asked yourself if your child truly recognizes what is mirrored back to him or her, and does that child know and understand their own ability to apply reasoning and knowledge garnered? Especially when incongruences are observed which add elements of confusion to the learning process, since all humans bring baggage to the equation of life?

Stuff that clouds our vision and may cause a child to resist or reject what is taught; extinguishing the inner flame which requires constant tending by the entire family?

With integrity, acceptance, and self-regulation garnered through reasoning (principles that exist in addition to academic subjects taught) do you as the parent teacher recognize and nurture a mutual appreciation of these constructs in yourself and your child?

Is your child able to associate value to that which is garnered as they translate knowledge relative to the circumstances, coincidences, and consequences they encounter in their world?

In the end it comes down to a relational trust foundation between the child and adult. Without this foundation it's impossible for parents to live-up to expectations formed in youngness by the child who instinctively puts them on a pedestal.

Should you as the adult stumble, fall, or make a mistake begin by privately acknowledging this, and then take the time to uncover associated biased patterns. Better known as self-reflection, it's a key aspect of that intangible flame reflective of you and your child's unique brilliance and knowing within.

As the observing child begins to recognize that the person in-front of them is human too, facing the same circumstances and consequences they face, he or she begins to understand the nature of empathy and compassion, which is absent in biased judgments that so often occur when the child becomes calloused or removed by that which rings untrue.

When reasoning enters the equation - not just reciting, memorizing, and regurgitating - the observing child soon learns that information garnered and welcomed regardless of its nature empowers them with valuable skills that also help to establish self-worth. Not to mention the fact that true dialogue between adults and children inspires a desire to learn.

Dr. Parker Palmer - teacher and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal in Washington - brings some valuable assessments concerning trust relationships in education. His perspectives on teaching are palpable in this statement, "Anytime we can listen to true self, and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch... When we reconnect who we are with what we do, we engage in our lives and our work with renewed passion, commitment, and integrity."

Learning is to Knowledge as Light is to Knowing

  • Hone Ability to Reason: Help your child uncover biased attitudes in them self and others. Then leverage this knowledge by truthfully acknowledging associated feelings and emotions.

  • Practice Observation: Every morning have your child practice envisioning how a certain part of their day will play out. Example: A field trip to your local museum is planned for the afternoon. Ask your child to envision the steps involved with getting ready for the outing, necessary considerations while at the museum, and details about the trip home.This exercise helps your child visualize and observe their day before engaging. In time this practice will expand to include the visualization of their entire day, observed in their mind's eye before it actually happens.

  • End of Day Review: Every evening talk with your child about how their day went; was it as envisioned, what unexpected things happened, and how were they able to handle unexpected situations that occurred.

  • Hone a Perspective of Responsibility: Practice going through a reflection mode associated with decisions and choices to be made by the child on a given day. Ask your child to explain what role they have in the decision process; acknowledge possible associated consequences. As the child sees the role they play more clearly and the effects of their participation, they hone an ability to observe life from a perspective of responsibility.
Karin Anderssen is a current contributor to the information website Master Life Instructions @ She has been writing for adults and children for over ten years basing articles and children's fables and stories on her understandings of metaphysics and the humanities. The intent behind her writings is to encourage and support authentic, heartfelt dialogue between generations.

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