Do children really learn if we follow their interest?

 

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So I know I said I would keep Roses in public school in my “Being Present with Yourself” blog,  but over the summer her behavior had been better than it had been all year. My conscience just wouldn’t allow me to put her back in public school. Virginia doesn’t offer charter or magnet schools like California does…so homeschooling it is.

So here I am homeschooling for the first time ever and I decided to throw in opening a homeschool co-op as well— Child Led Homeschooling Group to be exact. We do projects based off the children’s interests and what they, (the kids), discuss during Monday meetings.

Homeschooling so far has been an adventure and it has made me a little crazy like I had predicted…although my husband, Super Man, would probably argue it has made me A LOT crazy. It’s challenging, especially with Roses’s needs, but it’s also so rewarding. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t cried from the stress… because I have. I have hide in my bathroom and cried…. and then later binged on chocolate.

But then THIS happens…

Roses has been working on a non-fiction book based on her interest choice of squids. She’s been going back to her book and adding pages as things throughout her day inspire her. Today she added a drawing of the layers of the ocean and last week she added an index and glossary. She has even written a page on bioluminescence since she found it so interesting. I just love how her book keeps getting bigger as she learns. She doesn’t even realize she is documenting her OWN learning! How could I not want to sacrifice my sanity just a tad so I can witness this amazing process my Roses is going through?? How could I not allow her the chance to feel successful? Especially when public school has made her feel so inadequate.

Today I decided to allow some TV and we watched a documentary on the creepy creatures of the Dark Zone in the ocean. Roses got so excited with what she was seeing and hearing that she grabbed her oceanography book and followed along in the book while watching the documentary.

“Mom! I wrote this in my Squid book, I know all this!” I teared up… I really did. Not only did she remember what she learned, but she was EXCITED… she was engaged and she felt proud of herself.

It is amazing what children can do when we allow them to take the lead and also accommodate their learning styles. This experience boggles my mind even more when I think about the standardization of schools today. We are getting more and more diagnoses of ADHD, ADD, Oppositional defiant disorder, and many other learning disabilities or mental health disorders as our society grows. I wonder if schools did a complete transformation into a child centered approach we would see a decrease in childhood diagnosis? Just a thought to ponder…

a serious thought…

 

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