So this is my reason to home educate No. 9: to make education a happy experience. It was a fellow blogger and friend, Ross Mountney, who pointed this one out to me. It is such an obvious one really; a super duper massive BIG one! The others I have written have kind of danced around it in a way. But it deserves it's place and to be honest I think it should be way higher than 9th but really it's the 9th one I've thought of, well in this case Ross thought of. Anyhow, enough of my waffling...
Ok, now I'm not saying that school can't be a place that can produce a place of happy learning. For some children they love school and very much succeed in it’s environment. What I am saying is it isn't for all and, in my opinion; home education is an environment where a parent can ensure that their children are provided with the sort of learning environment that makes learning a happy experience.
In my opinion the best sort of learning happens out of a traditional school environment. I don't know about you but the things I learnt at school and that actually stuck were taught by teachers that not only were excited about the subject they taught but taught things in an 'out-of-the-box' way. My favourite French teacher made up fun songs that we even enjoyed in our teenage years and had such a laugh! I remember more from my French lessons than I ever did from my German lessons, which I found so tedious I was once found asleep on my desk - I woke in such a fright to the teachers bright red face of pure anger! And to think it was a subject I had really wanted to do for my GCSE, the teacher’s style can make such a difference to a child’s learning.
Pen and paper has it's place but children find pen and paper a lot more fun when they understand why they are putting pen to paper in my experience. For example you could give a child a workbook, one they like and they will get on with it, sometimes slogging sometimes. Now instead of going straight to the workbook go and do lots of science experiments first and notice the difference. The book becomes something else, much more exciting because they know more about what they are writing about. It has more purpose!
There are so many ways a child can learn. We are all different and therefore prefer different learning styles:
- Some children simply want to read and read and read, this is not always possible in a school environment but when home educating it is.
- Board games and card games! Fun and educational!
- Sometimes a child learns best from practical learning or going out into the big wide world. There is so much a child can learn from the world and you don't have to travel the world either - although that would be an amazing learning experience and one day perhaps the husband could actually win the jackpot on the lottery and we'll do that, but for now our museums, art galleries and walks through the park is a good start.
- They can also learn through art and creativity too. It's truly amazing what a child can learn through art: science, history, English, French, geography, cultures...
- Technology! The computer too very much has it's place in education, as well as the TV for documentaries and films mostly but it has it's place!
- Learning through music!
The list is never-ending. That is the beauty of home educating that you can, albeit by trial and error, find the way your child loves to learn and you can build an environment that makes learning the happy experience it should be. In our family we do a bit of each of these styles, each of my children learn slightly differently from the next, but it works and what is best they are happy and they love it.
Learning is a game and adventure and they love it so much they often ask: What are we doing tomorrow? Or what adventure are we going to have today? We have our down days as a family but learning is always fun!