Our home education has recently looked a lot different lately than it has in the past. I used to set up all the children's assignments for them every day. I haven't had time lately to oversee every bit of the learning as I had previously and I struggle with that reality, wondering if they are at a disadvantage now, if they would be better served in a traditional school, if children truly need adults to tell them everything they should be learning.
But I still balk at the idea of traditional school. I like having my kids at home. I like seeing what they are working on. They like being here. And I think that education can be more than me giving them lists of workbook pages to accomplish and choosing their books for them. But I'm not the nature-study-science-experiment-hands-on kind of teacher either. Never was, even when I taught school. I'm more pencil-and-paper, more books-and-internet.
So, what's the compromise? We've been trying to hit the right balance of self-directed learning. It hasn't quite happened yet. I am still struggling with it. What I WANT is them to love to learn things and love to read and love to write and love to spend their time in productive enterprises. And I see glimmers of it. But it's not as much as I'd like nor as rewarding as I thought. Maybe that's just life, eh?
Here are some things I've been looking at about self-directed learning.
From the Older Kids column, by Cafi Cohen, originally published in the May-June 1996 issue of Home Education Magazine.
Beach High School: Freedom for self-direction
Life Learning Magazine
I'm trying to get a sense of what it looks like for other people, especially in the high school years. Isn't this when a student should find a passion? Something that grabs all his interest and that he wants to master? I want to see that happen. I'm tired of apathy and tired of "this is the stupidest book ever".
Any thoughts? Input?