In order to make real learning happen we need to awaken the New Educators Mind. You are embarking on a journey to live your whole life and with a love of learning. For most of us, a love of learning is a foreign concept only because of the relationship to the past many of us hold on to, going back to our public schooled youth. A love of learning is not just for the children but for you, your spouse, your community, and the world. This means letting go of our old ways of thinking and opening our minds to broader possibilities. I came from a place where I didn’t know anything about education. If I can do it, you can too.
When most people think of homeschooling they see a picture of a school practiced in the home, fully equipped with desks in a line, chalkboard, globe, flags and a teacher to give lessons and grade papers all day long. Recreating a “school” in the home is creating a full-time job. The way of learning begins by letting go of old habits. You will learn to follow inspiration, educate oneself, inspire and mentor your children while they learn to educate themselves, building self-confidence and leadership mindsets along the way.
You are responsible for modeling that which you want to see in your children while you provide, guide and step aside. You will not be standing in front of the room lecturing or even “teaching” lessons, instead you will be inspiring your child. The student’s responsibility is to work at educating himself. Your responsibility is to point them down the path and encourage them to keep going. You will provide them with the tools necessary for their education as well as an atmosphere that is conducive to their success. Next you will guide them and then step aside so they can do the learning.
You will be their mentor, which is the very first organic model of educating. A teacher in a classroom is an artificial model which separates the child from the real world and creates a void. This void or interrupt in the natural learning process of self-education and creates a learning dysfunction.
When you begin to understand the differences between institutional style schooling and real education, your homeschool will begin to flourish like never before. If you have ever suffered from burnout, it’s simply the remains of trying to create a teacher/classroom artificial environment. Mentoring and self-education are organic styles of learning and each supports life. We learn because we love to learn, not because we “have to” learn.
Life is messy; it’s cooking and cleaning; it’s caring for one another, being involved with infants, toddlers as well as elderly, experiencing the birth of others, as well as death, growing and gathering food, experiencing daily discoveries and adventures with siblings of all ages. It’s about a parent gently guiding their child in the direction they need to go. It’s being available and present when a child seeks wisdom or guidance. And sometimes it means letting go of the “should’s” and allow the child to flourish in their self-guided interests that lead to their purpose.
In your home, you already have the assistance of many Greats right at your fingertips. A child can gain an excellent education spending their days with Jefferson, Plato, Goethe, Shakespeare, Milton, Gandhi, Emerson, and the like. If allowed, these authors speak directly to your child, educating them into greatness.
When the mind is turned to real learning the mind is open, a love for learning is ignited and the student cannot help but become a great thinker and leader. Our duty as parents is to keep it as simple as possible for the child so as, not to overburden them, but provide them with enough keeping them challenged and progressing forward in their pursuits.
Every child’s purpose is different so each child’s learning and curriculum will look different, sometimes greatly and at other times only slightly. That’s why it’s so important that you mentor according to inspiration so as to provide just the kind of tailored education each child needs in order to fulfill his unique education in preparation for living a life on purpose.
Remember, the child can only learn that which he chooses to learn. It is our responsibility to respond to the child in an encouraging way, positively, smiling and discussing with honest warnings. At times the Law of Cause and Effect will have to come into play as they learn; if you do this that will happen. You can be the example and set the tone by doing your own studies. When the child witnesses you enjoying reading a book, taking notes and writing about it, talking about marvelous stories you’ve read or sharing new discoveries throughout the day, the child can’t help but want that excitement and adventure for himself.
Self-education cannot be emphasized enough because it is through the child learning to teach himself that he will be empowered to a lifetime of success. No matter where he goes, what he has to do, he will be able to teach himself what he needs to be successful. He will be able to adapt to whatever situation he is faced and creatively succeed. This is true freedom when you can teach yourself anything and not have to be dependent on others to tell you what to do. Through this freedom, one can live creatively and happily, making a real difference in the world and enjoying life to the fullest.
Children learn what they live….what are they living….what are they learning?
Here are 7 ways you can make learning happen and it’s not to teach. You will inspire by providing many opportunities for learning through these different ways listed below, then guide and step aside as your child soaks up the learning.
2. Community Service
3. Field Curriculum
4. Independent Study
5. Parent Partnerships
7. Critical Thinking
Not all of the seven ways to make learning happen will be experienced at once. They will likely occur sequentially over the course of your child’s education. For the younger children, you will want to walk beside them more closely than the older ones, guiding and gradually decreasing as they get older and more capable. Children thrive within these ways of learning because they are empowered to move about freely and experience real learning.
As you become more comfortable in breaking the chains of your old school ways, you will feel free and begin to see the world as your classroom. By removing the artificial education methods from your homeschool model you will move from striving to thriving and burn out for student and parent will be a thing of the past. The love of learning will be on fire for the entire family and you will be carried to new heights of wisdom previously unimagined.