Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Homeschool Lessons

Even if you're not a homeschooler, I loved the lesson in this blog post on Pioneer Woman Homeschools.

The author's daughter at her first piano lesson is presented with a teacher who listens more than she teaches, and directs the learner to discover. Despite the time it takes for the girl to figure it out, she perseveres. The teacher's comment to the mother was that children past first grade who aren't homeschooled usually give up and ask to be shown.

The point then is this: how do we get out of our child's way to let him or her learn and discover? Facts can be memorized and quickly forgotten, but knowledge that's taken into our hearts for examination can lead to greater discovery and understanding.

Any ideas on how to make this happen? I feel like mostly it's a matter of presenting nature and reading and math and getting out of your own way and not interfering.


  1. I really like how she worded it. It makes it more concrete for me. I've noticed that I jump in to help too fast a lot with my oldest but not my second because the second will persevere no matter what.

  2. That's a hard one, and I'd love to hear what people say. Part of me hopes that freeplay/unstructured time helps with that self discovery and curiosity... for example, we're outside and he discovers lady bugs and is totally thrilled about it, and I try not to step in during this discovery, even if he's going to grab one off his arm with pinchy fingers and I'm afraid he'll kill it. That's learning too, and we learn about soft and hard... but I gotta admit, I'm sitting here thinking of how this applies to piano-- how do you let a kid figure it out? Plunking things out? I'll have to go read pioneer woman again- it's been awhile .:)

  3. I had a strong reaction to this before I read the post. I've seen too much of parents (or schools) using the "let kids figure it out" or "wait until they're interested" method, and the results are usually kids who can't add or are behind.
    But this sounds different.
    I think as parents we know when our kid can figure something out. There are certain math principles that we've done that on. Sounding out words (be there to correct that one!)
    But I think on most things (homeschooling related) kids need more guidance. There's too many weird rules in English, things that need to be explained with science.... But I really like this concept for music. I think it points to the importance of imaginative play, actually. Kids don't get any time for that in school.

  4. Kris, I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on that subject.

    I also feel uncomfortable about "unschooling" for this reason; I fear it might lead us to be more hands off than necessary.