Personalising Homeschool Curriculum: From the Learner's Perspective
© Beverley Paine June 2006
Efficient learning arises when learners have meaningful and considered input into designing curriculum.
Sitting down and asking your children what they expect to get out of their homeschooling or unschooling experiences is a good starting place for involving your children in the process of deliberately personalising their educational experiences and learning plans.
Record their thoughts and feelings as you go. I'd do this on a large sheet of paper at first, doodling and decorating as we go, using different colours and letter sizes for emphasis etc. It's a brainstorming trick that activates different parts of the brain and helps to get a holistic overview of the task. :-)
The following list of expectations offers some food for thought while thinking and working through this exercise. Be sure to use your own language, and that of your child, to fully personalise and make meaningful the list. That way it will serve you and your child's needs best.
"As a learner I expect:
-- to be considered as an individual with far-reaching potential irrespective of age, gender, disability, ethnicity or socio-economic status;
-- to take joint responsibility for my learning;
-- to have a say in determining what, when, how and why I learn;
-- to be offered choices which are meaningful to me and in context with my life experiences;
-- to receive guidance in developing the personal and social skills and attributes necessary to make sensible and useful choices about my education;
-- to be supported to co-design my own curriculum and learning goals;
-- to make and use connections between the skills, knowledge and insights I develop as I grow and learn;
-- to be supported to take risks as I learn;
-- to have access to learning that will prepare me for full participation in adult life;
-- to have access to different teaching and learning approaches and resources, including people, which meet my intellectual, physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs;
-- to reflect upon what, how, why and when I am learning at times and the resources I use to learn so that I can make informed decisions about my future learning;
-- to achieve recognition for learning that enables me to progress within the wider community.
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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 supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since 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. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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