Freedom in learning is a good thing!
When we started homeschooling, it took me some time to accept that our learning at home would not necessarily look like the traditional classroom! Oh yes, I tried at first… to make our learning “look & feel” like the classroom from my years teaching in the public. I genuinely thought that was the “right way to do it”.
Oh how wrong I was!! Our older daughter, Shelby, (in this fun paddle board video) perhaps taught ME the most about learning in our first years at home! She thrived on thinking outside the box… as she illustrates here with her ingenuity using a boat dock & paddle board!! She was my student in elementary school who would sing every answer to me and resist with everything in her to sit down while doing her schoolwork! Thankfully, I can smile at these memories, but initially, as her teacher, I wrongly thought it was my job to conform her actions to the patterns of the “traditional classroom” believing (of course) we learn sitting down, raising hands, and reciting answers in a completely boring methodical fashion. UGH… I now see what a snoozer that was!
Isn’t it crazy how the world has turned?!! This very moment many, many kids across our country & world are on the sofa or their beds with laptops in hand completing assignments outlined by a virtual teacher and they’re still learning… AT HOME! Haha!! I like to say that we homeschooled WAY before it was cool, but how we accomplished it definitely morphed thoughout the years!
The reality is, today’s students don’t use books like we did. They don’t sit in classrooms as much as we did. And they carry the entire encyclopedia with them every single day calling it “Google”!
But here’s how I want to encourage you —> if given the freedom (ok, fine – or being forced by a nasty virus) kids will indeed learn wherever they are! So, like Shelby taught me years ago, I had to allow her the freedom to learn differently! She needed the freedom to explore life learning in untraditional ways (in other words, untraditional to me) … she needed the freedom to fulfill her curiosity with the paddle board experiment in Tennessee! And I am so, so glad I realized this strategy early on before she lost her internal drive to learn!
Yay!! Let’s encourage & empower our students with a little more freedom to learn in new ways & and more freedom to be curious, exploring what excites them in life … whether it be virtually or even outside! Either way, there’s no argument that education is changing and, in my personal opinion, it might just be a good thing!
Are you teaching at home? How is it going?