Thursday, May 15, 2008

On Education and Structure

I'm a bit late in coming to this due to having family in town and other end-of-the-school-year pressures, but Dana over at Principled Discovery has a really great article on education as a way of introducing our children to structure.

She quotes from another blogger who points out that homeschooling doesn't provide our children with the same kind of formality, structure, routine, and respect that kids learn in school - and then goes on to tear apart that argument. She even manages to work in a discussion of Robert Fulghum's All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, pointing out that if we wait until kindergarten to teach our kids most of what he talks about in his book, we are going to have major problems teaching it then.

Among the best quotes I found in Dana's post:

Home education, in its ideal, also provides a structure for children although it is different in form and function. The point is more about inspiring the child and teaching the child to take responsibility for his or her own learning. It is about seeking real-world connections and developing a habit of scholarship, wonder and, most of all, ownership.

Many of us do finish the school day in less time than the public school because we have the advantage of more individualized instruction and fewer interruptions. I can see where this question comes from: "What job can you work for an hour and then go out and hug trees?" (Grove Street’s Weblog)

But it really does not follow. I can as easily ask what business expects you to sit quietly and wait until everyone else in the room finishes their work before you can move on. What happens after that two to three hours it takes to finish what is in the book does not mean that education has ended. It is in this extra time that home education has the opportunity to assist a child in discovering unique talents and real world experiences.


I won't spoil it for you by quoting any more. You've really got to read it for yourself.

1 comment:

Dana said...

Hey, thanks. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.