asked me to post about unschooling in their forum. I wrote about the definition of unschooling/interest-learning, the benefits, a typical day for us, and how everything worked out in the end. It's nice to have all that organized in one article
. Join the discussion!
A few years ago I started my master's degree, taught reading for one year, took one year off, then last fall started taking classes again. The coursework is over and now I'm working on my thesis. I hope to finish it soon. I'm reading 47 fiction/nonfiction books for middle level readers, all with LGBT characters or topics. My project is called a content analysis, and it's just what it sounds like. I'm analyzing the content. I hope it will be a resource for teachers, saving them time looking for books that might be useful. It's interesting and I'm learning a lot, but it's also taking longer than it should.
What will I do with a master's degree in elementary education? I don't know! I'd love to find a school that would let me teach with an interest-led approach. Or maybe I'll mentor homeschoolers or write a book, or all of the above.
My classes have been fun. I truly am an education nerd--there's nothing I like more than talking about the history and philosophy of education. One of the biggest surprises was to realize that education academia is all about letting kids follow their interests, take charge of their own education, and show proof of learning with real world application. Huh. Too bad it takes the outside world about 50 years to catch up with academia.*
I hope to write more about how research and classic education theory agree that interest-led learning really is the best way to educate a child, and why the public school system has such a hard time doing it. Wow, I get excited just thinking about that!
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it helps you find ways to help your kids.
*Allington, R.L. (2013). What really matters when working with struggling readers. The Reading Teacher, 66
Melissa posted this on Facebook today and I wanted to post it here as a reminder that when we homeschool, we have to keep the big picture in mind. What do you want your kids to say when they look back? My guiding principle was to maintain the joy childhood and the joy of learning
. She's 20 years old now:
A lot of Facebook posts are about how being a grown-up sucks, or how we all rushed to grow up and now regret it, etc. I feel very fortunate to say that I don't regret the pace at which I grew up, or feel like I missed out on anything. Quick shout out to my mom for homeschooling me, because I was able to explore the world and be a kid while everyone else was stuck in a classroom. So thanks ma, because of you I will forever be a kid and have an INSANE love of learning. — with Jena Borah.
I just found this TED Talk from a 13 year old student who has been freed from public school to follow his interests and his learning style. Love it! Also, check out Sir Ken Robinson
for more reasons why interest-led learning makes so much sense.
I've been writing at Simple Homeschool
for a few years, but today is my last post. I asked Peter, Meg and Missa to give their reflections and advice for homeschooling parents. It's pretty fun to hear what they think after living it!
Here's the article: Homeschooling advice from graduates who have been there
And if you want to read all my posts on Simple Homeschool, you can find them here