Immersion Learning: Education in Pursuit of Passions
Immersion learning is more than just an approach to foreign languages...
Immersion is a familiar term to those who have studied a foreign language. Academic study, without practical and real life experience, is dry. When completed, the language is often partly, or completely lost, making the study nothing more than a checkmark on the list of things to do.
The former school teacher in me recognizes the system of education, which measures success in terms of points scored on standardized tests, but oftentimes, the results are as dispassionate as the tests, and the vibrance of the vast number of students, as frustrating as that inexpensive, generic loaf of bread, eaten after having consumed a rich, textured handmade loaf of artisan bread.
In fact, it is baking that has led to this homeschooling perspective, which falls within the category of unschooling, to some degree. Unschooling highlights child, or student led, focus in study. Immersion would simply be the emphasis on allowing a child to thoroughly pursue those areas that most interest and motivate, verses moving from one interest to another without much in depth exploration.
"An educational system isn't worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn't teach them how to make a life."
-- Source Unknown
You Can't Program Your Children's Interests...
...but you can expose them to interesting things!
Sometimes, kids get over programmed. Parents enroll them in music lessons, sports, and other activities, and life is an endless coming and going. It's not very satisfying for a household, if there's never time to be at home. On the other hand, some kids would love the chance to experience things, but have no opportunity.
In our immersion learning venture, the kids have the opportunity to express and pursue interests, and sometimes they are tugged along in Mom and Dad's interests. However, there is a limiting of the running about to outside events, unless the interest is sincere.
Immersion doesn't mean abandonment of the basics...
Immersion just means that we put the basics in context. For one child, it's a passion for science facts. For another, woodburning and sports are favorite endeavors. For another, every artistic, hands on pursuit she can think of. For the youngest, it's just beginning exposure to gardening.
We take our time, move at our pace, and when we hit roadblocks, we put the books away, coming back with a fresh look later on. In the meantime, there are all kinds of interesting things to do that don't require books.
Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.
Teach them to read, and they will learn much on their own...
Our approach to the formal stuff is eclectic. One math text works well for one child, not another. Computer materials can help with management, but a full slate of computer curriculum is wearing.
For beginning reading, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons has been my go to resource, but I've used it a little differently with every child. My youngest 2 children are 15 months apart in age, and learning to read together.
MCP Math: A great set of basic math workbooks....
MCP is simple to work with, and though the student workbooks are consumable, I find them simple and perfect for our needs.
Homeschool Blogger is Great for the Homeschooler who Blogs
You'll find my ramblings there...It's only in the last year that I've found some of the online publishing content sites such as Squidoo.
- Song of the Sagebrush
Life and Homeschooling in the Desert Southwest