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March 22nd, 2010, 10:34 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Hampton Roads, VA, USA
In a way, I like the idea. Being a homeschooled kid myself, it seems the most logical way to 'teach' but, I don't think the extreme method of just doing whatever the child is interested in doing is going to work in the long run. I've known three families who took the extreme approach to unschooling, and they all ended up cramming 12 years of mathematics instruction into one. Their kids struggled with everything mathematics related in the first couple of years of college as well. That makes me feel that the extreme child-led learning doesn't work past the early years, and guidance is necessary.
I'm leaning toward having a required 'core' for math and language arts, and 'guides' (by way of text books) for everything else-- history, social studies, science, health, etc. Those 'guides' would serve to tell me directions to steer the learning in a year, and I would probably read the text portion with them, and have books on the subject(s) available for them to enjoy in spare time. If it happened that the study of the senses took us 6 months, we'd take 6 months. If it only took us 3 days, it takes 3 days. That's the general way the child-led learning I want to do is leaning, because let's face it... while following the interests of a child is a wonderful thing, if they're not interested in doing anything math related for 11 years, there's going to be a problem when they try to get into college. Similarly, if they only want to do math, and have absolutely no interest in learning to read (and yes, it IS possible to do math without being able to read-- my sister did it!), you'll have major problems at the end of high school. We DO have to force children to learn to do things that they don't necessarily want to do. It's part of teaching a good work ethic. It just doesn't have to kill their love of learning in the process.
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