Sunday, August 17, 2008

How we go about it

We live our learning. This is what works best for our family. We don’t do a lot of fill in the blank worksheets or any busywork. We prefer a more active, advanced level of learning at all ages.

We don't rely too heavily on textbooks. Whatever we want to learn, we do so by researching and reading living books on the subject. We read biographies, and lively informative books written by experts on our topics. We do Internet searches and dig up whatever we can find. We also find ways to experience what we are learning. This can be through field trips, experiments, interviews, observations and projects. We do a lot of discussing, documenting, exploring, researching, and writing. We have notebooks full of data, sketches, and research papers.

Everyone is actively involved in the process, not sitting back just listening to someone spoon-feed information to them. We have found that this higher level of thinking makes our learning meaningful and interesting and much easier to retain.

This method helps us own what we are learning. We cannot just sit passively by because we are right in the middle of figuring it all out.

We do occasionally use quality textbooks as resources. Don’t get me wrong, our kids are quite capable of learning textbook-style, and they do so when they take outside classes that require textbooks. Obviously we use workbooks for math. Math is math. But as a general rule, we prefer to take it a level beyond that. We just get more out of it that way!

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