From our friends at Village Home Education Resource Center. Village Home Education Resource Center, founded in 2002, offers engaging classes without grading and testing, designed for and by homeschoolers.
It has probably been a few years, or maybe even a few decades, since you were a student in school, sitting dutifully at your desk, or goofing off on the playground. Most of us attended a traditional form of school (public or private) that was defined by standardized curriculum and rigid bell schedules. Since the pandemic began a few months ago, we have had the opportunity to think more about school days, and what learning looks like. Here are some lessons from long-time homeschoolers about school-at-home education that may have you seeing education in a new light, or maybe as a new light in the eyes of your children.
Learning does not happen on a schedule.
For those of us who are homeschooling, hitting the books at 8:30, breaking for lunch, and working until 2:45 is not necessary since you are not in a classroom with 24 other kids, one teacher, and a laundry list of curriculum. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average student is in school 33-34 hours per week, however, your student spends most of that time waiting, not learning. So, expect to spend a lot less time doing “schoolwork” at home. And, instead of seeing you as your children’s teacher, see yourself as their education project manager, helping to keep them moving forward, and being a resource when they are stuck.
Learning is fun.
Learning is a natural process that we are born knowing how to do, and it is inherently enjoyable. Take this opportunity to explore your child’s interests and passions, and watch how fast they pick things up. Follow your child’s lead, and notice how much fun learning is when you take away required worksheets and the pressure to perform for a grade. Homeschoolers are notably self-directed learners because they are used to experiencing learning as pleasurable instead of compulsory. Free up your child to learn what they are interested in, and watch their motivation to learn, and to stick with tough subjects, increase.
Village Home Education Resource Center, founded in 2002, offers engaging classes without grading and testing, designed for and by homeschoolers. Learners choose from a catalog of over 150 online, mixed-age classes.
Now that education happens at home, take advantage of the opportunity to learn together. There are things that all of us can learn, and when you spark your curiosity, it will be contagious. Plus, you have the added benefit of modeling learning for your kids. So, even if you don’t want to dig into the Greek Myths they are covering, find something that you are curious about, and learn in parallel — you never know what will spark between you.
Learning is more than curriculum.
Each learner is unique, and has preferences about how they learn best, and about what they want to learn. Start to notice your child’s unique education blueprint, and help them maximize it while also building up learning muscle in other areas gently. Because homeschoolers are not tied to a “box” of standardized curriculum, you are free to explore topics that interest your children to keep their intrinsic motivation to learn alive. It also becomes possible to explore topics in greater depth without pressure to “move on.”
There are an abundance of resources available to make learning at home easier and more delightful. Village Home Education Resource Center, founded in 2002, offers engaging classes without grading and testing, designed for and by homeschoolers. Learners choose from a catalog of over 150 online, mixed-age classes. At Village Home learners are encouraged to take ownership of their learning. Their model reinforces self-directed learning to maximize intrinsic motivation to learn.
At Village Home, kids are free to be themselves, free to spend time with their families, and free to learn what interests them. Village Home learners have been accepted to top tier universities around the world, and have won numerous regional, state, and national competitions. Village Home serves approximately 500 learners, operates three campuses in Oregon, and is a model for other progressive learning communities around the country. Village Home was featured in “Class Dismissed”, the #1 education documentary on Netflix, and was recently featured on the popular podcast, “Honey, I’m Homeschooling the Kids.”