Home-ed children benefit from their own personalised curriculum
One of the great advantages of home-ed is seeing how your children learn: what stimulates them and what doesn’t. Having them around you 24-7 enables you to adapt their learning methods to suit their particular needs. In doing this you are in effect devising their own unique curriculum. Observing and modifying their learning environment is an ongoing process because they are constantly growing and changing. This is where the school system lets many if not most children down. A one size fits all approach to the educational development of millions of children is doomed, and a total travesty if you consider the early learning and development of babies and toddlers, who despite no direct teaching at all, learn how to walk and talk in the comfort of their homes.
Doing science experiments on the allotment to solve real problems
Kai recently came with me to our allotment and watched enthusiastically as I tried to create a fire to burn the trolley load of weeds sitting on the plot. But despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get the fire to stay alight. We got a newspaper and mixed it in with the weeds–which helped a little. Kai even put Weedol onto the paper, but this didn’t work.
On the way home, we discussed what we could do to get the fire to burn; a fellow plot holder used diesel mixed with petrol but we didn’t have any. Kai suggested using Vaseline “…hmm, not sure, but we could try; It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work, we will learn something from it either way,” I said. And at the very least Kai would learn the importance of trial and error in the learning process; trial and error is how we learn what works and what doesn’t. It’s not about right or wrong answers.
…back to burning the weeds
Following Kai’s idea of using vaseline( petrolatum) and a grocery shop owner’s tip on using white spirit, we took these down to our plot and tested them out.
Okay, so Vaseline didn’t work too well, or perhaps we just needed more of it.
White spirit is the winner!
Home-ed allows children to participate in solving real world problems as opposed to the ‘staged scientific experiments in school.’ So there is a natural enthusiasm rather than the usual indifference children often have in response to classroom experiments. A problem has sparked their curiosity and they too become interested in how it might be solved. There is no pressure on them to provide the solution and so they can opt out and simply leave it to you, the parent, if they want. But, I have found this is rarely the case. Children are naturally curious and want to learn. Without pressure their thoughts are free and they often have quite ingenious ideas.