Saturday, 24 March 2012

The world is a classroom

Yes, finally, I have decided to be helpful!

I know some folks wonder about this home education malarkey, so here comes a few posts to explain why we do what we do. It might be why you choose to do it, too.

The world is a classroom

Wherever you go, there is learning to be had, whether it's at the local park, through the woods, to the shop, at the bank, along the street.

As an adult, you're guiding, talking, offering ideas, opinions, wisdoms. You don't need to command all the answers, you don't need to feed all the lines, and you don't have to test for what went in Tinkertop's head and what fell out her other ear. Testing doesn't apply. If she's interested, she'll ask questions, listen, or suggest half-way through your analysis of the banking system that the world does away with money and trades in goats.

Trust me, this is not an age-specific activity. You can walk and talk with your child at any age (unless she's locked herself in the bathroom and is screaming obscenities at you) and you can both discover the world, all while going to buy three onions from the Co-op.

Here's our day's education in classroom world, taken at our local museum. Discussion included transport systems, World War II, intensive farming, why kids don't roll iron hoops any more, and the history of brewing (the bar was open).


Irene said...

I think your system of education must be exhausting and you must be very well informed. You do have to come up with a lot of the answers or at least be able to point them in the right direction. There's no lying down on the job for you. I hope all the home education moms are that smart.

Grit said...

thanks irene for your comment! yes, it is a full-time job, and it is child centred.

i don't have to know 'an answer' so much as be interested in finding out ways of looking at the world, and of course, keep on asking questions. i often feel that when we have a discussion, it's a genuine one, in that both parties are making up the route, the discoveries, the results. in a class or teaching discussion, usually one person has the route mapped out ahead which excludes genuine diversion or any rambling commentary. but that can in itself be useful and more creative than 'the teaching point'. i enjoy that type of talk with the kids - they take me into interesting places and give me new perspectives.

home ed mums are the same as school-choosing mums; we come in the mix of shapes, sizes, dispositions, opinions, intellects. but i'm not sure that our smartness is tested: home ed mums are able to spend more time with their kids, and that can be a test on the way you lead life.

Angela said...

I admire your energy, Grit, and I think this is how every grown-up should talk with children, AND listen, too! You are surely an inspiration to your own daughters, but also to others who listen to you!

KP Nuts said...

This is kind of how I am with my children. To me though it is more than home education really just being an attentive parent as it happens at any time and not just between 9am and 3pm as others might expect.

I totally agree about finding out together. Of course no one knows all the answers and, when you are not standing up in front of a class of 35 children, you don't need to pretend that you do or risk your credibility. In fact finding answers is a great detective skill and not to be underestimated. Spoon fed employees are not much valued in the work place.

Just this week we looked up magnolias together and found that they evolved before bees and were designed to be pollinated by beetles with fossilized remains 95 million years old having been found.

To be able to think like this though you have to first deschool your mind from those school created subjected boxes and acknowledge that many adults retain little of what was taught to them in schools, sometimes daily, for more than a decade.
That allows you to make peace with being interest led and most veteran home educators say deschooling adults takes a very long time!