Many of you are planning your final homeschool purchases this month, so I wanted to offer some inspiration for your homeschool.
“We have forgotten that children are designed by nature to learn through self-directed play and exploration, and so, more and more, we deprive them of freedom to learn, subjecting them instead to the tedious and painfully slow learning methods devised by those who run the schools.”
Peter O. Gray
Peter O. Gray
This highlights that it is better to under plan than over plan because children need some time for self directed play and learning.
“As society rapidly changes, individuals will have to be able to function comfortably in a world that is always in flux. Knowledge will continue to increase at a dizzying rate. This means that a content-based curriculum, with a set body of information to be imparted to students, is entirely inappropriate as a means of preparing children for their adult roles.”
John Taylor Gatto
This highlights the fallacy of “covering all the bases” or “teaching to standards”. The standards and core of information that schools consider important changes all the time, and instead we should decide what we want to focus on according to our own family vision along with imparting basic skills.
"Textbooks, workbooks, syllabi, and standardized exams bury children in often meaningless and context-less busy work that on the surface appears to convey knowledge to children, but more often breeds resentment, frustration, and an increasing intolerance towards the very information they might otherwise be thrilled to learn.'
This highlights the importance of avoiding worksheets and busy work, and instead connecting over meaningful stories, narration, and projects. This creates happy memories, a connected family, and deeper learning.
“Give your child a single valuable idea, and you have done more for his education than if you had laid upon his mind the burden of bushels of information.”
This highlights the importance of teaching through living books which exemplify heroism and thoughtfulness, rather than tedious textbooks that just give information.
"Some of the most brilliant, creative people I know did not do well at school. Many of them didn’t really discover what they could do—and who they really were—until they’d left school and recovered from their education."
And finally, this highlights the truth that school performance is not a predictor of future success, so we can enjoy learning with our children, and record their progress, without worrying about them “being behind”.
As you are planning your homeschool year, it might be tempting to load your children up with workbooks and textbooks so you have proof they are learning, but when you diverge and instead read great books to them, talk about what you read, and then let them express what was meaningful to them through notebooking and narration, the learning becomes theirs.
They internalize it, and it shapes their character, their critical thinking skills, and their worldview.
So make that leap. Grab one of the Peaceful Press elementary resources, an IEW writing or grammar resource, and a math curriculum and see what happens when you make space for great conversations, child led explorations, and peace.