I used to think that learning consisted solely of large piles of textbooks stacked high, one right on top of the other...and of course the more you that you read the 'smarter' you became...
A new concept that I've encountered since beginning my homeschooling journey, is that learning can take place almost anywhere, and anyplace. In fact many homeschoolers promote, and live out, the ideology that learning happens naturally for children without much outside interference...this has been a relatively new thought for me.
As we've dared to dive into this homeschooling lifestyle (NOTE: you can read more about that in an earlier post :http://thelearningcurveparent.blogspot.ca/2012/11/homeschoolingits-like-going-on-trip.html) I've found many of my pre-conceived notions melting away...
It's not that I think books and structured learning don't have their place... I believe they do...
...but I am slowly beginning to appreciate the thought processes behind encouraging your child to learn through life's wonders and experiences as well.
This year I have found that my most treasured teaching experiences have not come from our curriculum...but instead have consisted of unplanned discovery 'sessions' within these three realms: being out together in nature, out together in regular everyday life, and during group reading or discussion times.
When I think back upon my own childhood schooling experiences the most memorable aspects were:
-the interactions with my teachers and school mates
-class trips that made a lesson really come alive (Pioneer village was actually one of my favs!)
-hands-on classroom activities
-assignments where we as the student had the opportunity to pick our own topic
It wasn't that the school textbooks weren't satisfactory...they were in many ways. However, now that I have been homeschooling for just over half a school year, I am starting to see the value in the real-life learning opportunities that present themselves each and everyday!
...for the most part as a child I was never aware of, or appreciative of how fun learning can actually be!
One of my new goals this year is to help create a greater thirst for 'real-life' education by supplementing our school curriculum with:
-reading stories together
- and by simply allowing opportunities for my children to ask questions
I am still a newbie...but a newbie with a far greater appreciation of day-to-day discovery than I ever have before :)