How do you know your children learn to read/write/add/etc?
One question I am asked when people learn that we homeschool (and especially if they know we Unschool) is “How do you know your children learn to read/write/add/etc?”
My answer is usually something simple like “Children are curious” or “Children love to learn”. Which is true but also doesn’t really answer the question…
The answer is truthful, we don’t know — but do schooled parents? There are no guarantees in life. I guess it comes down to trust. I trust they will learn.
I trust that children (including my own) are curious and really want to learn. Trust that my husband and I are showing WHY they need to learn. Trust that we have the ability to show them HOW to learn. Trust yourself that you are already doing the best you can for your children.
We (my husband and I) feel that the most important thing you can learn is how to learn. How to find out more. How to be curious. If you know how to learn you can find out anything. I am happy to tell my children that I don’t know the answer. I can’t know everything ( I am a different person with different interests from them) so if I don’t know I need to say “I don’t know, but let’s find out” (and then follow through!).
Show them that I can learn too. Sometimes we won’t be able to find the answer by ourselves — we will need to find an expert and that is great too! I hope my children understand that no one knows everything but that you can usually find out if you try hard enough. Knowing that it is okay not to know gives them the confidence to try and possibly get it wrong (until they get it right).
I trust they will learn because we put lots of learning opportunities in their path. Although we personally don’t follow a curriculum ( lots of homeschoolers do) we are always thinking up, interesting, googling, and discussing new ways to learn and teach. We do something called “strewing” which put simply is leaving material of interest around for our children to discover (I could write posts and posts about how awesome strewing is, but that is later). We listen out for their interests so that we can expand on them.
We suggest things we hope they will find interesting. We don’t push them to learn something they are not ready for but there are also times that we say “No sorry, you need to give this a proper go” when they are wanting to quit something they are finding hard.
Scientifically, Children use symbols, combine their oral language, pictures, and play into a coherent mixed medium and create and communicate meanings in a variety of ways. From their initial learnings and interactions with others, children begin to read words, process sounds, and acquire knowledge of the alphabet.
Children and teenagers learn by observing, listening, exploring, experimenting, and asking questions.
And as your child gets older, your child will enjoy taking more responsibility for their learning and getting more involved in making decisions about learning and organizing activities.
I believe that every child needs time for independent practice. Children also learn better when they are doing a one on one learning. I believe that every teacher and parent should know their student’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to their learning. A Child should not only practice at school they should also take the time to study at home as well.
So I guess the answer is pretty simple “I trust they will learn because they want to and we are here to support them”
Thanks for Reading!