Many Homeschoolers Are Teaching Their Children Through An Approach Called Unschooling.

1060 words - 4 pages

Many homeschoolers are teaching their children through an approach called unschooling. As the name implies, it is opposite to all that traditional schools do. Some people believe that unschooling is unchristian. I dont think so. Let me explain why.When people ask me what unschooling is, I tell them that it is where we "create a learning rich environment and then let the kids go." Kids are naturally curious. I believe God made them that way. Let them loose and they will rush headlong into learning.We don't need to do anything to get children excited about learning. The only reason any child doesn't see learning as a pure joy is because we make it a miserable experience. We take a child who was made to be active and tell him or her to sit there for six hours in the name of learning. Then we wonder why they dont like to learn. Its like taking ice cream, pouring used motor oil on top of it, and wondering why a child doesnt like ice cream.Around our home, our learning environment consists of three components. First, we have a compulsory component. We are not pure unschoolers because we do force our children to learn certain things. But this is the smallest part of our educational experience. We only do this in areas where the child might not see the educational value before the learning experience. Perhaps I am of little faith, but I can't see our children memorizing their multiplication tables "just for fun.Second, there is an environmental component. We create a learning rich environment. Everything in our home has educational value. Some of what we have fosters creativity. Other material presents facts. There are shelves and shelves of books. We have many educational CDs for the computer. Our walls have posters and maps. Arts and crafts supplies abound (I know, I trip over then all the time). We have one whole closet that is nothing but supplies needed for science experiments. We don't need to lord over our children to get them to learn. Just let do whatever they can find to do. We know it will have educational value.Third, we have a social component. We are active participants with our children in the educational experience. Education is what we do WITH our children and not what we do TO our children. Our children like to read because mom and dad like to read. Our children like math because mom and dad like math. Our children discuss geography because mom and dad discuss geography. Our children like science because mom and dad find science interesting. Kids love to be "part of the action" and, around our house, the action is learning.Unschooling emphasizes the second and third of these components. We can argue about whether or not the compulsory component is necessary. I don't see a clear Biblical mandate that it either is or is not. But even if the compulsory component is important, the environmental and social components are clearly superior in helping our children learn. Children will keep their love for learning alive when they are having fun...

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