Tuesday, June 08, 2010

But if you don't force them, they'll never want to learn anything..

I just emailed a variation on this to our natural learner's group...  This is how learning happens in our house without me "making him learn things".

Just to set the scene, I have a whiteboard / corkboard combination in our main living area that I use to write up word & maths puzzles, and sometimes I’ll pin stuff on that I’ve printed off that he might like to do.  There’s no coercion to do any of it, and Billy enjoys doing them.

Anyway 8:30 tonight when he was supposed to be getting ready for bed, he spotted a maths ‘worksheet’ I’d pinned on there a couple of days ago with pyramid puzzles on.   “Can I do those now?”  (Me thinking ‘I just want to get him to bed so I can have an early night, but he wants to do maths… hmmm…’) “OK, if you’re quick”

So he did the 4 on the sheet, got me to check them, awarded himself a red tick next to them (?!) and then went looking for the “Good work” type stickers I’d bought and used a few times when we were doing “school stuff”.  Lol, sometimes I wonder…  If I’d suggested he do the worksheets then and there,  he’d have dug his heels in, I hate to think what he’d have done if I suggested marking his sheet too?!

Speaking of maths, I came across this great post the other day that may interest some of you "But what about Math?"..


Kylie said...

You know I am in awe of that Kez, truly. I would so love to be able to get to that stage with my kids, where you are at Billy...how did you do it?

Do you have any educational requirements in your home? You kmow hemust read for at least an hour a day etc etc?

Have you shared posts on your journey into natural learning before?

I do try at times, but we always do the basics whether they want to or not, at least 3 times a week. I'm just so damn scared of my kids doing nothing if I let them, apart from painting and playing lego!!!!

I understand and I get unschooling as a concept but I just can't put it into action.

Risa said...

Great story, Kez, and it's the same here. We operate from the education principle of "offer, but don't force" and my kids are keen learners. They don't do "worksheets" every day; sometimes they seem to go off "schoolwork" for weeks or a month or two. But they always come back to it, and have jumped several levels in understanding when they do. I used to panic about them "doing nothing", but now I think of it more like a slow computer program loading: "processing, processing...53% complete..." :-)

Suji said...

Woohoo for Billy :)

Eventhough I assign about an hour's (give or take) worth of work, we still see similar stuff in our home. I would attribute it to the power of natural learning (something Kerrie encouraged me to try), plus trying to use more fun materials. He digs heels in often but also insists sometimes on doing more work (go figure). It was very different when we first began though, when I'd be very strict and firm about it. We burnt ourselves out. But after letting go and trying to add as much laughs as I can into the materials we use, it's become easier. I guess what I'm trying to suggest without writing a novel is that any method can work as long as it is not too rigid and appeals to a child's interests and sense of fun.

Give B a huge high 5 from us!

Alicia said...

Wow that's excellent!

I am wondering whether this idea would also work for a child who attends school. My son is in Kindy at the moment but maybe this is an idea to keep in mind for the years to come.

Louise said...

LOL, kids are so amazing, especially at the end of the day when we want some quiet time to wind down. Well done Kez and Billie.

Korina said...

I felt like you wrote that post just for me! lol

Love it.

Stuff On My Blog said...

I hear ya Kez! I am sorta like Kylie... basics done at the very least. I can't let go and trust that they will learn the things they 'need' to.

Then, I have a day like today where I am dog dead sick.. and Frodo says to me 'Mum.. since you don't feel well can I play TimezAttack for maths?' LOL

They show me VERY often that they will learn things.. I guess *I* am the one that's not 'there' yet on this journey!

Five Bears A-Blogging said...

Thanks for the link, Kez. I printed out some Pyramids for the kids, and they spent an hour playing with them. Funny thing is, the boy's cousin is here. She's the same age as our oldest (10), goes to PS, and has been hammered with math drills for the last year so she can "keep up". Our oldest doesn't do math unless he feels like it, and the two of them were completing the same level with about the same accuracy. Go figure. - Mo

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Good post! We don't have a board like that - I leave things I want the kids to read, or notice, on the back of the toilet - then I don't say anything about them at all. It's amazing how quickly they absorb all the material - and, they think they found it themselves :)

Kylie said...

Kez, I have an award for you on my blog. :)

Almost Unschooling Mom...love the toilet idea ROFL!!

jugglingpaynes said...

Thanks for the links, loved the article!

Peace and Laughter,

Lauren said...

I loved the link, too.

I'm just embarking on this adventure of unschooling and I'm always looking for people who have walked the path ahead of me to see which way they went!