Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Unschooling -- A way of Life

Unschooling is the most fluid style of homeschooling. There is no curriculum and no set boundaries. Many parents feel a bit apprehensive about such freedom. But, even unschooling has certain guidelines that make it a great method of homeschooling. It requires more parental involvement than many of the set curriculums, but the benefits are inumerable.

Firstly, allow your child to express interests. Let her select the topic. If she wants to learn about flowers, tell her about the various flowers, their functions, parts of the flower, rare flowers etc. Read books about flowers. Allow her the freedom to explore the subject until she has had enough. This process of learning may take a month or a day. It is up to the child to decide how much she wants to learn.

Expand your child's areas of interests using videos, books, magazines, puzzles and games. Go to a
museum, the library or historical places. Simultaneously, broaden your own interests. The more you learn, the more interested your child get. The idea is to make learning a part of life and to create a lifelong love of learning.

My son got interested in mobile computing when he was 13. So, I had him do a presentation of the different phones available, benefits and drawbacks when we were deciding what phone I should upgrade to so he could get my old phone. Four years later he is developing for his mobile phone. He troubleshoots any problems we have with our devices. And he is constantly researching what is up and coming in the technology market. He used his passion to learn research and presentation techniques, improve his reading and math skills and learn programming languages. His ability to research has spilled over into other areas of his life.

Notice all opportunities for learning. When in the kitchen, point out the vitamins and other health benefits in fruits and vegetables. What makes tomatoes red, and why are leafy vegetables good? If you don't know the answers, great! Do a little research project. Work with your child to look up the answers. If you child learns to be a good researcher, she can learn anything her hear desires. Lastly, don't worry if the going seems slow at first. This is the way kids learn. Give them time and lots of encouragement.

Homeschooling really is more than just education, it is a way of life.

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