What’s the Secret to Supporting Self-directed Learners?

If you’re a parent who wasn’t homeschooled, you probably find yourself wondering,

“How can I help my child be a self-directed learner when that’s not how I learned?”           

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Olympic Learning and Letting Curiosity Lead

When we started homeschooling, even though I’d been a teacher, I remember wondering how in the heck we would manage all the learning I thought we had to do?

When we started moving from homeschooling to unschooling, I still wondered if it would really work to let a learner’s interests and curiosity drive their education.

I was still in the schooling mindset; that learning was somehow separate from life. And that it only “counted” if someone else told you what to do and how to do it and then measured it.

It took awhile for to deschool myself.

And then a wonderful thing happened, I realized we’d always done tons of learning on our own –it just didn’t look like school.  We’d already created an environment with time and space to ask questions and then try to find the answers.

I realized you can allow wondering and curiosity to evolve without having to preplan and control the outcome, and learning will happen.  Amazingly motivation that had gone missing can return.

If it seems hard to imagine, here is a little snapshot of unplanned, natural learning that can happen when you make time for wondering, curiosity, listening, and space. 

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Books = counselors, teachers, friends. What are you reading?

  Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; the are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot, Harvard president (1834-1926) Of all the books you have read, which book has been your most constant friend? Your wisest counselor? Your most patient teacher? What book … Read more Books = counselors, teachers, friends. What are you reading?

Review: Class Dismissed: A film about learning outside of the classroom

Class dismissed a film about learning outside the classroom

Go see it.

Host a screening and discussion.

Spread the word.

Not just to promote homeschooling, but to bring the discussion of how to make the best options for learning available to all kids to the community at large.

Options. Choice. Multiple paths.

Not one size fits all. 

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A Real World Resource that Rocks: Your Library

If you’ve been here before you already know that I love libraries! Libraries were a favorite resource for me long before starting down the homeschooling/unschooling/uncollege path. Libraries have been a mainstay of knowledge, information, friendships, free and low cost books and other learning materials, and access to the internet. They provide low cost options for … Read more A Real World Resource that Rocks: Your Library