Friday, July 16, 2010

The less-Reluctant Homeschooler: In favor of a natural approach to learning

We are contemplating much change in our lives right now.  Not the least of which is a move from our 2,500 square foot home in the suburbs to a smaller apartment in downtown!  That discussion aside, the next biggest change is an alternative approach to our homeschool.  As I wrote a few days ago, what we're doin' ain't workin'!

I've been researching curriculum and methods and thought I'd share some links to interesting articles with you.  Right now, we're (and by "we're" I mean "I" since I haven't discussed this with my hubby yet.  His usual response is "Whatever you want to do is fine with me"!) leaning towards a Natural Method, not quite as child-friendly as Unschooling, but not as rigorous as a Classical approach.

Besides the obvious appeal of not making lesson plans (yay!) this approach appeals to me on several levels.

For starters, I am a project-based person.  I like to throw all my energy at the topic de jour.  That's one reason I so enjoyed event planning.  A problem is presented, researched, solutions presented, decided, implemented and the fruits are enjoyed. - Then it's on to the next problem (er, event).  Is it just me?  I don't think so.  I think that the majority of people are wired this way.  It is a rare employee who can be satisfied to sit at a desk 8 hours a day, answer the same question or stamp the same papers day in and day out and ENJOY their job.  I think that most people LIKE to engage their brains, solve problems and enjoy the fruit of their work!

In a this model, an individual (or family) identifies an area of interest (say horses) and then builds the adventure ("education") around it. What are they?  Where do they live? What do they eat? How do they impact the economy?  Then you can put on your "what if" thinking cap (a favorite game of our house anyway!) and create a scenario (I'm going to be a horse-farmer - what do I need?) research, present, draw, write, figure out the finances, look at land in your area - the limits are really only bounded by your imagination.

Doesn't that sound more interesting than reading a textbook, memorizing answers long enough to pass the test, and then dumping it out of your short term memory?

Here's a great article that inspired this rant post!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Noel,
    I love how open and honest you are about your struggles with homeschooling. We're probably planning to homeschool our children to, but saying our first and only is only 8 months old, that's a ways down the road :)
    Being a teacher myself, before the baby, I'd say the most important qualities in you, as a teacher, are consistency and accountability. I guess those are good things to look for in curriculum too.
    Blessings on your endeavors!


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