Reflecting on How We Learn At Home
© Beverley Paine
I once wrote about our delight the day our children cooked a wonderful feast for us on our wedding anniversary. We were amazed by the quality of the meal and the team effort. It is easy to see how scaffolding, situated learning, zone of proximity (gee, you can tell I've been reading John Peacock's thesis can't you?) helped to mould these wonderful cooks. I can also understand the gentle role Robin and I have had in setting the stage for values and attitudes, which help to produce such magnificent results.
Maybe Thomas was right when he said "You know, Mum, we cook nice meals because you cook nice meals."
But it still doesn't really take into account the unseen, unspoken, unprovoked background learning that just happens. I am fully convinced now that education is just so much hoo-haa, a distraction, something we do instead of getting on with the job of simply living... I never taught me children to cook, they simply absorbed it, and they picked up far more along the way, because the 'interference', the distraction of needing to know how to do these things for reasons other than plain and simple necessity, wasn't there.
It seems to be a complete and huge combination of things, this learning process. I can't really look at one thing and say that it is responsible for the success we see in our children. And our children don't exhibit this success or their full complement of skills on a daily basis.
Watching how my children learn, trying to pick out how it is happening, is very interesting. I rarely have much direct input into their lives now, as I sit and type just about all day long. A word here and word there, a look in on them, mostly to remind them I love them. The boys are truly self directed and self motivated.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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