If you’re looking for a unique way to inspire your children’s curiosity and interest in history, consider introducing them to genealogy. You can use your own family tree to make history more relevant and meaningful to children, strengthen their sense of identity, and help them to see where they fit in time and place in this world. Using your family tree to learn about the life and times of grandparents is a great example of “social history,” which studies the experiences of ordinary people. Notice the word experiences — if you portray history in terms of experiences rather than facts, it can help personalize the study of history. This helps children to make sense of the world around them. Continue reading »
Search Results for: interest led learning
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One thing that has remained consistent into the teen years for my kids is their need for hands-on learning. We’ve just updated and tweaked what that looks like these days compared with when they were younger. With some creativity, planning, partnership, and imagination, hands-on learning can be explored in a variety of ways. I’ve got nine ways you can cultivate hands-on learning for your older homeschooled kids. Grab your pen and planner, and let’s chat! Continue reading »
It’s almost summertime! Is a long summer vacation looming hot and bothersome in your mind? Why not transform that long and ordinary vacation into extraordinary summer learning? Many homeschoolers choose to continue schooling during the summer. Whether or not you homeschool year round, learning during the summer months is a great way to log in extra days, to spend quality time together as a family, or to just have fun—the more educational, the better. Continue reading »
What is interest-led learning, and how can it fit into your homeschooling?
Interest-led learning is just what it sounds like — letting a child’s interests lead the learning process.
This means parents take note of what a child is curious about, enjoys doing, and is naturally drawn to. Then parents help a child learn about that interest. Since this may involve field trips, library books, research, projects, and more, there are many academic skills which are practiced, and a lot of content knowledge is learned — just by helping a child pursue specific interests.
What might this look like in a homeschool? Continue reading »
I’m cautious about twisting every interesting thing into a “learning opportunity” that can turn off otherwise interested kids, but the Olympic Games are compelling, and your kids will probably want to know more.
Watching actual competitions on television or via internet is surely the hook. Competition is its own drama, and the personal stories of athletes who have trained for so many years are interesting.
But with the 2016 Olympics in Rio set for August 5 – 21, what are some good resources for additional learning? Continue reading »
When the modern homeschooling movement first began a few decades ago, the personal computer didn’t even exist, but now the majority of homeschooling families use a computer as part of their educational program. This not only reflects the growth of computers throughout our culture, but it also indicates that many homeschooling parents have assumed that computers can help children learn more effectively. But if we think that plugging every kid into a computer will transform education, we’re fooling ourselves – and potentially harming our children. Continue reading »
Interesting problems and exciting risks are life’s calisthenics. They stretch us in directions we need to grow. Children are particularly oriented this way. They think up huge questions and search for the answers. They face fears. They puzzle over inconsistencies in what is said and done around them. They relentlessly challenge themselves to achieve social, physical, or intellectual feats that (from a child’s perspective) seem daunting. They struggle for mastery even when dozens of attempts don’t provide them any success. It’s a testament to courage that they continue to try. Continue reading »
Young children seem to recognize that knowledge is an essential shared resource, like air or water. They demand a fair share. They actively espouse the right to gain skill and comprehension in a way that’s necessary for them at the time. Often children seem to reject what they aren’t ready to learn, only to return to the same skill or concept later with ease. This is not only an expression of autonomy, it’s a clear indicator that each child is equipped with an learning guidance system of his or her own. Continue reading »
In Instead of Curriculum: Math Games, I described some of the games I played with my sons to help them learn and practice their multiplication facts. Today, I’ll tell about some of the hands-on tools homeschoolers use to help their kids make sense of the basic concept of multiplication as well as related multiplication facts. Continue reading »
In my family, interest-based groups have been an important part of homeschooling life. We formed a number of these groups over the years. Some, like a history club made up of eager parents and not-so-eager young children, barely lasted long enough for a few meetings. Others have lasted ten years. The most successful has been our boy’s science club. It was started by five families with nine boys between the ages of seven and eleven. When we began it was highly structured. We met regularly at each other’s homes. Parents took turns planning a project or experiment, got the materials, explained the educational principles underlying the activity, and if things didn’t turn out as planned (actually quite frequently) it was usually a parent who searched for answers. Continue reading »
This year in my role as a homeschool evaluator, I met a number of tweens and teens who are interested in fashion. As we went through their portfolio of work and talked about their year, I was fascinated with the ways they had woven their interest in fashion with their academic studies. Two of the teens I met with had taken their interest in current fashion into the past — studying the typical dress and accessorizing of women and men in earlier periods of history. They also took their fashion interest international — studying the current typical dress of modern-day people in other parts of the world.
Both of these girls (who did not know each other — they had arrived at this independently) had done extensive research to be able to portray the styles of other times and other places, and they could explain how the fashion reflected the culture, religious beliefs, gender roles, classes and roles in society, and daily life. They were articulate about the historical times and geography of the world as they discussed the observations they had made about fashion in these distant centuries and far-off places. Continue reading »
Many experienced homeschoolers have long valued the ability to delay formal academics to create a more holistic early childhood education for their young children, with the understanding that this creates a rich foundation for later academic and life success. Today, parents new to homeschooling are embarking on homeschooling at a time when public schools are emphasizing early formal academics and implementing standardized testing of very young children, despite lack of evidence that these practices enhance educational outcomes for the children.
As David Elkind (author of The Hurried Child and The Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally) writes in “Much Too Early” for the website EducationNext, “Why, when we know what is good for young children, do we persist in miseducating them, in putting them at risk for no purpose?” Continue reading »
One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can continue to help our kids build content during skills lags, customizing what works for each child. Experienced homeschoolers often fall into these techniques over time, but I offer a few of my favorite ways you can help your child get “subject area learning” before his reading and writing skills are developed to an extent that they can be the primary routes to learning. Continue reading »
It is pure, unadulterated joy to be wrapped up in a pursuit that is generated by our own interests and fully engages our abilities. For Cameron, as for most of us, the end product isn’t the reward so much as the experience. That’s true whether the work we’re doing is raising children, building a business, filming a documentary or creating a series of paintings. When we connect deeply with what we do it’s a continual process of growth, learning and awareness. We’re not invested in the judgment of others. The satisfactions are much richer. Continue reading »
Some people just aren’t textbook people! What do you do if your homeschooler learns by living, instead of studying textbooks? What if your child soaks up knowledge like a sponge, without being directed in any way? Can you still create a serious-looking high school transcript? Continue reading »
This is part 4 of 4 in a series about learning styles. You can read part 1 here. Does your child never stop moving? Does she like to get her hands on things and tend to “jump right in” to try out an activity? If so, your child may be a kinesthetic learner. A child’s Continue reading »
This is part 2 of 4 in a series about learning styles. You can read part 1 here. Does your child like bright, stimulating colors? Does she scribble or doodle during homeschool lessons? Do you find your child always wanting to watch someone demonstrate how to do something before he tries it? If so, your Continue reading »
Homeschoolers have the same challenge as any teacher; how to best teach children according to the ways they best learn. One popular approach to helping children grasp educational material most effectively and retain that information is through understanding the child’s learning style, or approach to learning. Continue reading »
I remember our first day of homeschooling like it was yesterday. In the beginning, we followed the traditional public school schedule. This was new territory for me, and I felt safe wrapped in tradition. Later, I no longer needed the safety net of tradition. I had evolved. It felt freeing. After a bit of trial and error, we discovered year round homeschooling. I was in love. Continue reading »
I don’t know about you, but we love to use YouTube videos to complement various subjects and interests in our homeschool. I’ve polled my kids and some of my trusted homeschooling friends to put together a list of 20 YouTube channels to add fun and learning to your homeschool. There’s something for everyone: art, baking, music, science, engineering, and random facts (our favorite). Continue reading »