Whether it’s our children or ourselves learning a new subject, habit or a new skill, the effectiveness will increase once you put the book down and apply your knowledge.
Anytime you or your children are learning, a new skill is developed by putting the newly acquired knowledge to use. The reading, recall and writing prepares the foundation, then the real work begins as you step into the doing.
Reading is my favorite pastime, but all the reading in the world will not develop a skill other than to create a better reader. This is true about science, math, geography, art, music, cooking, sports, computers and business. You name it! One great thing about educating your children at home is the flexibility for them to read and almost instantaneously begin applying what they’ve learned. The open environment of home and family life provides the time and space needed for contemplation and application.
Step 1: Read it! Read from several sources regarding the topic you are learning. Research and seek out high-quality content, preferably from the original source or expert whenever possible.
Step 2: Recall it! Remember and contemplate what you have read. Think about how your resources were in agreement with each other as well as how they were different.
Step 3: Write it! Write about your findings, take notes, add your own commentary. With topics that are exact sciences it is beneficial to write to keep noteworthy information at hand. Once you have read, recalled and done some writing then you are ready to do it.
Step 4: Do it! Yes, just do it, as the famous Nike slogan says. If you never put the book down, you will not become the expert nor will you develop skill. Sure, you’ll make mistakes, but that’s part of your learning, and your mistakes will be fewer if you practice the first three steps prior to doing. Getting out and doing it can also introduce you to others in your field of interest, adding more knowledge to what you have learned.
Living an Inspired Education is less about having the children do prescribed work and more about providing the sources of excellence, guiding them and then stepping aside. What they are reading and studying today might not show up in today’s actions, but given time and the right environment you will start seeing their academics fleshed out in their everyday lives. A child’s education and development is an intricate building process. Be sure each step of the way they are fully supported with only the best building blocks.
Until next time, enjoy increasing in knowledge and skill by doing!