Thursday, July 18, 2013

Child-directed learning

Amen to everything you said Marilyn.  I am much more of a fan of child-directed learning now than I was before I started to homeschool.  My children are curious about everything and I can see how learning one thing would lead them to be curious about something else and from that to something else and on and on.  Finding subjects to study wouldn't be a problem.

I also think the school the guest kept talking about sounded awesome.  I am completely convinced that if a person is motivated he learns faster and more effectively than if he is forced.  I can totally believe that someone could avoid learning any math for years and then learn everything necessary to score well on the ACT in a few months (with a good mentor).  Plus, you'd get a better score because the information was fresh.  The longer I stay out of the traditional model of education the less I like it.  Not to say that it doesn't do an adequate job of educating or that teachers aren't awesome.

As for my loosening up and approaching my children's education in a more flexible way: I have such a hard time with any lack of structure. I have finally managed to let go of "we have to learn" and have embraced "we'll get around to learning everything important eventually."  I can't, however, let go of the "you have a talent in this area so you must work on it" and "you will be useful in the Kingdom so you will learn this."

Maybe someone with my personality just plain can't unschool?  I can, however, take back every uneducated thing I ever said about unschooling.  I really believe it could work and children could thrive  with parents that use that approach.

Free to Learn

Andrea, I listened to that program. I thought it was really interesting. I went to the guy's website too and he has some interesting ideas on there. I guess it's hard for me to let go of the "curriculum" idea completely (hence, I am a homeschooler not an unschooler) but I see a lot of value in the child-directed learning model. I guess I try to do that to some extent, by focusing more on what the kids seem intrigued by as we go along. But I also think that the kids might not KNOW what they like until I introduce it to them.

It reminded me of the "non-compulsory education" bill someone is trying to pass. It will never get passed, of course---the education system is too engrained in all of us, and we can all imagine the horror stories of neglectful parents etc---but I think it's kind of logical, actually, that without the full weight of The State behind our current education model, more people would be brave enough to explore other options.