Monday, June 16, 2014

When Children Love to Learn

At Blue Willow Cottage, we love to have LOTS of children running in the backyard, playing croquet, making fairy gardens, building forts, and just playing.  Our goal as homeschooling parents is to nurture our son's love for learning.  In the summer, we trust our child and those who visit us to know when they are ready to learn, and what they are interested in learning.  I love this relaxed method of educating, and while I am not comfortable using it year round, in the summertime it is a refreshing break from the scheduled schooling we do 5 days a week. 

I have noticed that children are naturally curious, and have a intrinsic desire to learn first hand about the world in which they live:
John Holt, in his book How Children Learn, describes the natural learning style of young children: 
"The child is curious. He wants to make sense out of things, find out how things work, gain competence and control over himself and his environment, and do what he can see other people doing. He is open, perceptive, and experimental. He does not merely observe the world around him. He does not shut himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it. He is bold. He is not afraid of making mistakes. And he is patient. He can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance, and suspense. ... Traditional school is not a place that gives much time, or opportunity, or reward, for this kind of thinking and learning."1
 In the summertime, there is no need to motivate children through the use of rewards, such as high grades or stars, which suggest to the child that the activity itself must be difficult or even possibly unpleasant.   
The wise parent says, "I think you'll enjoy this book",
not "If you read this book, you'll get a cookie."

I love to provide lots of projects and materials,  plus gobs of free time to allow the creative juices to flow.

Shrinkie Dink made from
a picture off the internet
for a key chain

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