Thursday, August 18, 2011
Homeschooling: What We Wish You Knew (Part 4)
So...is there only one way to homeschool your kids?
The answer is.... NO.
For those of you who homeschool, this will just be a review. Or maybe, you will learn something that might help you educate your children better, according to their learning style.
Public schools are geared towards those who are more visual learners. But, what if your child doesn't learn that way? What if they are a more auditory (hearing) or kinesthetic (hands-on) learner?
If you homeschool your child, you can tailor their education to their learning style. Sure, there are textbooks. But, that is not the only way that you could learn something! For example, you could learn fractions by reading about them in a Math book, and then writing down the answers to the problems on paper. Or, you could bake cookies, actually measuring out the ingredients, and learning that 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup = 1 cup. In this way, you actually learn "hands on".
You could learn about WWII by reading about it in a textbook, or, you could interview your Grandfather, who was a soldier in the war. I did that with my own Grandfather, who was one of the first soldiers on the scene when the prisoners were freed from the concentration camps. I will never forget the way he described the camp to me, and the emaciated people that he saw there. The pile of dead bodies he saw stacked up, or the stench that permeated the air from the crematorium. He brought it to life. Even though I had never been there, I felt like I was.
Which way would you rather learn?
Do you wish you knew what learning style you, or your children, were? You can go here, and take a short test. It will then tell you what learning style, or combination of learning styles, you are. I took the test, and I am a combination of visual and auditory. This is not news to me. I love reading, but I find it hard to follow written directions. I work better by being shown, and hearing about how it's done.
I did very well in school because I learn best the way that the school system teaches. But, can you imagine if you didn't learn that way? How frustrating that would be? Maybe, you were one of those kids who struggled to learn in school, and wish things could have been taught a little bit differently. Then, maybe you would have understood it better.
By homeschooling, you can teach according to how your child learns the best. You can use a combination method, or you can just use one. If one child is a visual learner, and one is a kinesthetic learner, you can teach them each differently if you want to. The sky's the limit!
We wish you knew that we all homeschool our children differently. I tend to use a combination of different methods. I do use mostly textbooks, but I also use "living books" (books that are not textbooks) to learn. We also do "hands on" activities, along with visiting different museums, and other such places, wherever we are. Since we travel a lot (more on that later) we try to plan fun, but educational activities to do while we are there.
There are some homeschoolers who use a more "unschooling" method. This is not something that I do, but if you would like to read more about it, you can go here. Basically, it is a child-led learning method. This is the type that you often see portrayed in the media. It CAN work, and is a very beneficial style of learning, but it is often shown from an extremist point of view. Why? Because that is what people want to see. Extreme stories.
But, can kids who are homeschooled attend college? Are they equipped to go out into the "real world", or are they crippled for life from their "sheltered" upbringing?
Inquiring minds want to know....