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A New Way to Look at Home Schooling!
Can we Learn Out of School?
So many of us have gone to Public School, and never even heard of homeschooling before. We have it so well ingrained into our minds that one has to go to school in order to learn. There must be a teacher. We must sit at a desk with our books, pen and paper. We forget that as adults we are learning every day...without being in school.
I think this may be one of our biggest stopping blocks to homeschooling our children. We think that if we homeschool, we need to recreate the classroom in our home. We suddenly think that we need to be a certified teacher to teach our own children! As if we hadn't been teaching them since they were born!
Reframe Your Thinking
Instead of trying to fit ourselves into the role of "teacher", maybe we should consider ourselves tutors, or perhaps a mentor would be even better. Consider how much you have to offer if you were to mentor someone. What could you teach them; what do you have to offer?
A simple answer is "years". You have been alive and experienced how many more years than they have? To them, you ARE Living History.
I loved going to visit my great-grandmother as a primary student. She told me the most marvelous tales about times before televisions, and refrigerators. Stories of friends and family gathering to spend an evening or a day together reading aloud or simply talking. She told me about how people behaved back then, with all their wonderful manners. And her friends were marvelous adventurers in my mind also.
I'm Not THAT Old... Seriously, I'm NOT!
We may be much closer in age to our children than I was to my great-grandmother, but we still have a lot to offer our kids.... Including knowing where to find more resources!
As a mentor, how do we provide schooling, I mean an education for our children? Simple. We live our lives and include them in everything we do! Provide them with a variety of materials to explore. Show them how to follow their interests. Show them how YOU would find out new information on a topic you want to learn about! Spend time with them.
Even better, let them spend time with you. let them see you make mistakes. Admit that you are not all knowing or perfect, and let them snuggle up to see your mistakes.
Knowing that you make mistakes, and watching how you recover from them, will be one of the best things you can do for your child. Then they can let go of needing to live up to your perfection, and will be free to be themselves, mistakes, learning and all.
Let Them Be Themselves
I know it is hard. As parents, we want to be involved in every minute of every day with our children. And some children really do like that. Most children really do want time to themselves though. Maybe they want to explore something new and make their first mistakes in private. Maybe they just don't want ANYONE peering over their shoulder when they try something new. They really do learn in these moments by themselves.
Get over it. It's not about you. They really do love you and will include you when they are ready. Just be there when they are ready. Give them your full undivided attention. Learn how they learn best, and provide them with more. Learn how to actively listen. And have fun with them!
Let them hang out and do nothing. Challenge them to a few rounds of their favorite game. Be a part of their "veg time", and sneak in a great friendship with a great person while you are at it. "Vegging" is actually a way to let their brain integrate what they have learned, and build the necesarry neural connections in the brain to make it make sense. Don't forget that the same is true for you too. Take your "veg time" guilt free!
Homeschooling Really Is Simple
Homeschooling really is simple. There are a million different curriculums, and a million different styles of schooling. Everyone is different, souse whatever works for you and your children.
The style of schooling we use is called Life Learning. It is similar to Unschooling developed by John Holt. It is simple, it is free, and it works. I have a 16 year old daughter to prove it... which I remind myself of on days that I am irritated with my 6 and 8 year old sons!
Life Learning is simply living life, and doesn't end when you grow up. It is what we continue to do as adults. And as we become available to our children, we become:
Livng History, Living Life
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