How do they learn anything?

As homeschoolers, we are not currnently using a prescribed curriculum, lessons plans or scope and sequence. We have in the past, but at some point it became something that was not enjoyable to either my kids or myself. When I began investigating theories and practices people were using to provide their children with an edcuation, I found lots of people who were living and learning happily using the world as their classroom. People use lots of words for this type of learning, but I don’t care much for labels.

Ethan, prefers the structure and predictability of school and we respect that. My other boys have never been in any type of school setting. It makes them very different from children who have experienced school – they view things very differently. The information my kids kids seek out is self-motivated and requested by them. It not only makes learning more natural for them, it’s much easier for them, because their interest is high.

The boys have not experienced someone telling them what to learn, when to learn it, how to learn it, and how to prove they’ve learned it. They pursue information with equal value –

They do sign up for classes at the library, nature center and museums, but they are of their choosing. Everything from yoga, to anime and amphibians.

Other than that, I will illustrate how some topics make their way into the day.

Several months ago we watched the movie A Knight’s Tale and Gavin asked some questions about Chaucer and then Shakespeare. We read  Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, MacBeth, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, and The Winter’s Tale all by Bruce Coville. That led to reading the biographies “Good Queen Bess” and “The Bard of Avon” written by Diane Stanley. They spent time online looking up things like this. I guess you could say we did a ‘unit study’ on Shakespeare. I don’t think it would have been the same if it was textbook driven when they had no interest at all in it. I did not make them color a picture of the theatre and label the parts (even though the discussed that when looking at this) or quiz them on the characters. To be honest with you, they learned this stuff with the same fervor that they pursue Pokemon information. It’s no different to them.

One morning Mikey brought Gavin his spy watch with a bunch of questions about using it. They figured out, using the internet, that the abbreviations that kept popping up weren’t cities, but major airport codes. They studied the codes, looked at charts, and that lead to investigating time zones across the country and then the world. They worked on how many minutes they had to set the alarms to get to a certain time. No lesson plan necessary! If they were not interested or ready to learn these things, it would have been like pulling teeth 🙁

The boys were very interested in Ninjagos for a few weeks. They are essentially tops that battle each other, made by Lego. They played for quite some time before they started asking why some were better than others and how the might work. We took several books out of the library related to motion including “Forces that Make Things Move“, “

spy watch
“a day” text document
food shopping
ninjago – statistics, forces

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