Friday, October 02, 2009

Alternative Methods and Homeschooling

While we are here discussing the pros and cons of homeschooling there is an ongoing and revolutionary discussion taking place within a section of the homeschooling population. It involves how children learn and what methods are effective in transmitting knowledge.

Many parents who opted out of institutionalized learning decided to not utilize any of the methods used in public schools. Instead of setting up a mini classroom in the home some families took to worldschooling, unschooling, natural, autonomous, child-directed, interest driven, unstructured, informal, life learning... They decided to live a more natural non-traditional approach and to create an educationally rich environment instead of a school in the home.

A few of the heroes in the alternative homeschooling community started out as TEACHERS who tried to change the public schools. They found that the schools would not change.

Bureaucrats speak of raising standards and punishing teachers because even after increasing the amount of water poured onto the saturated sponge the sponge refuses to absorb. I doubt lengthening the school day will change the storage capacity of the human brain, Mr. President.

Instead of constantly trying to fill and measure the child some homeschooling families are changing the way they interact with children - questioning roles - teacher-mom, facilitator-of-learning, fellow learner, to mom. Some are even allowing children to be in charge of their own learning.

Anyway, I just had to share a tiny glimpse into a small part of the discussion among some homeschoolers. I love the discussion of alternative methods because it speaks to that optimistic "future teacher" who never became employed and disillusioned.

This video was circulating in the international alternative home education scene. It might strike some as radical but after living and learning with my own for 17 years it's "well that's just common sense!" It's from Education Otherwise:

Just a glimpse into what is going on out there in the alternative world of education. I know it's not a thorough account but at least I was able to get some rants squeezed in. That's always free therapy for me. =D


Anonymous said...

I think it's a good post. :-)

Corrugated Soundbite said...

It is a very good post.

Education cannot really be tailored. There's certain stuff we all have to know, but ultimately, it should be about opening the mind to fields that may or may not be related to one's future profession. To help one find their future profession or field of experitse. That can only be garnered by much investigation, trial and error.

Sometimes, the template simply doesn't fit.