Homeschool and Natural Learning

Human beings were created with an instinct of curiosity. That is the prime factor of all learning. Keep that in mind as I share these thoughts of mine with you.

Advantages of homeschool. 1. Kids can start the learning day when they had all the sleep they really need and had the good breakfast they should have in a fair amount of enjoyable time instead of limited time. I see kids come in late for the free breakfast program and they are told to have it done within the five or ten minutes left for breakfast. Not the kid’s fault but the kid pays with lacking nutrition by limited breakfast and added emotional stress. “They don’t need that much time to eat, and breakfast isn’t for socializing”, is what I have heard at times, and that is wrong.
2. You can hang on to a subject your kid is really interested in and stretch it out into many areas, even study that subject for the whole day or week if you want to. When your child is “sparked” into excitement about something, that something should be the center focus for as long it can stay in the lime light. In a regular class, the “spark” is stunted by the clock. “We have to get in so many subjects “within the time” we are allowed and thereby have to stop one thing no matter how the kid feels about it. And if they are not done with the assignment “in time”, they have to do it later on their own or at home. We have “a schedule” to keep and “only so much time” per chapter of every subject. We can’t stay here all day.” THAT is the way a regular class is run. Stunting the mental sparks we teachers claim to ignite. Counterproductive and a paradox.
3. Home school allows private time, meditation/relaxation time, quiet time at your own choosing and at different times on different days. No interruptions. In public school there is no private quiet relaxation time. It’s as if kids are supposed to have different neurological systems than adults. Not so. Calm and quiet relaxation times are part of what makes great minds work. Every class has noise all day long. “Quiet” by public school class definition means “shut up” or it means you hear only whispers and paper crackling and pencils scratching and kids coughing and giggling while you try to focus on the day.
4.Last one here. You can take time off for trips out of town and out of state whenever you want to without being reported to authorities. Schools now are cracking down on attendance. They seem to become a forced family member that you did not invite. They feel they can own a part of your family and dictate how your life should be run. It’s not conspiracy. It’s the extension of a fad I’m calling “social control”. That’s all for this session.🙂

Long before public school became mandated and a cultural norm, every country’s population learned what their family wanted them to learn which was usually the family business, whatever that meant in the range of homesteading, store owner, traveling by land or sea, politics, university specific studies if one could afford the luxury and connections. Most of the education was homeschooling. The idea of “well rounded socially” was simply being around people in different social settings. No one was considered odd or deranged or not normal because of having only siblings or church friends as their main social connections while growing up. Most young people experienced some social dialogue with others in different settings. I teach for a living. I know families who homeschool successfully, and their children through family and church associations have always been “normal well rounded” children. You cannot distinguish a home school person from a public school person by sight nor any means other than asking them. So, I want to say that the idea that children must have public school experience in order to turn out normal and in order to know how to get along with others, how to make friends and how to handle challenges among playgrounds and in class rooms, etc.is a false belief. Not true. In some cases it IS true for certain children because of the dysfunctional homes they are being raised in. However, that’s not the norm. So, if you wonder how your kids would turn out if you home schooled them or did so with a collaborating effort with other parents, it will turn out great with a good team.

One of my University teachers told us the learning process formula. he said to remember MPCB. Motor skills first. Then Perception skills. Then Concept skills. These lead to Behaviors. He said all of these depend upon the first. If anything is short circuited in the motor area, it will affect the perceptions, and any short circuit of the perception area affects concept understanding which results in short circuited behaviors. Children must have lots of physical experiences with play and nature-just being outside to run and explore and know this world they live in. Television and video games can short circuit perceptions and understandings of concepts in real life if they replace reality for too much time of a day. Food for thought.

Here’s a little note about “scope and sequence” when it comes to presenting concepts according to the sequential order of understanding any process connections. First you learn number one which helps you understand number two, and so on. I learned that it is not true all of the time for learning to take place. Years ago I was surprised when some of my students understood steps 3 and 5 but not the ones before those, and they were still able to figure it out “their way”. I called them the “swiss cheese” kids because they still ‘got it’ even with holes in their understanding, as I saw it. Now I see it that the learning process has different ways of connecting the pieces. Real learning has always started since the day we are born; by taking in through our senses everything in whatever order it comes. What happens to all that information depends upon our natural capacity of intellect combined with the awareness of our families to provide opportunities for experiences of many levels. Learning “happens” unplanned / naturally yet can be made stronger with specific planning / training–showing how that information can purposely directed to create things and events. So, when you help your child with homework, or if you are homeschooling, do not be shocked, dismayed nor bothered when they come up with another way of doing things. Honor them by telling them their way works. And remind them that public schools are very restrictive in their process and should NOT be the main measure of their intelligence nor of their value as a worthy human being, nor of the value of how successful they can and will be.

A recent article on yahoo about the common core and some educators points of view was interesting. They said the big difference between common core math and the ”usual” math is this; the ”usual” math is procedural while common core math is conceptual. Ok. That explains why it takes much longer to get through common core math challenges/problems, because they want the kids to know WHY numbers do what they do, not just how they get along but why they dance in the patterns they do, so to speak. And the reason they want the kids to know the concept side better is simply so they will be better prepared to enter college. THAT’S IT! Not so the students will be able to handle money better, make better budgets, know how to invest for their future benefits, or know how to understand contracts and bank dealings, etc. NOPE. That doesn’t matter. Just be able to show off how to to get the right answer for a problem that has nothing to do with real life experiences, so they can be in the top ten on the college list. I’ve been in education for 21 years now. The most frustrating element of all is the refusal of the education system to tie education into real life needs for the individuals as well as for the communities. I do not believe the education system is supposed to be a separate ”specialized” field such as the military branches or the government. Who cares how we rate with other countries in terms of math-smart kids, and science-smart kids ? What difference does that make in the scheme of things ? Nothing, really, except being able to show off how high up a country is in the specialized top ten list. Besides, it is the students doing that work–not the congress, not the big wheels in the government. Education should be designed according, first of all, to basic communication needs(listening, speaking, reading and writing), basic math needs ( the four basic operations, money and time)and basic understanding of social studies (including social skills behaviors) and science. That can all be covered within the first 5 or 6 grades. From that point on you find out a student’s talent and group the students by their directed interests. General business studies, science occupations, entertainment occupations, entrepreneurism, chef, mechanic, mathematician, writer, health services, etc. Teach all further language and math as designed for those occupations. Our kids are much smarter at age 10 on up than we credit them to be. Our country cripples its own capabilities and progress with the system we use. Common Core is a reflection of a breed that won’t die easily; the ones who want to control what the majority of the population will learn and where they will go. They want to maintain only two routes: the wide base of workers for the necessary maintenance of making and shipping the products, and the leaders and inventors they accept through their gauntlet of high thinking gibberish. I know there is a lot of gray areas between all of this. But the basic system itself is so ridiculously repetitive and self-defeating, it is like playing the same tune from 80 years ago when music has changed direction to another higher level. End.

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