Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The joy of learning!

Learning is fun! And if learning isn't fun for you or your children, then it should be! Think back to your school days (I know, it hurts!) Think of what you most enjoyed learning. Then think of what you least enjoyed learning. When I do this I come up with: favourite - Art. Least favourite- Mathematics.

When I think of Maths at school I think of monotone men in dorky shirts and ties. I think of a class I could easily sleep through if allowed. I think of how little attention I payed. It was mind numbingly boring and I understood very little of it.

Move over to Art. I think of a teacher who was a bit of an outsider and a little unstable. Who sometimes did "art theory" with us when the inspiration overtook or when he felt guilty - about once a year. And the rest of the time? He was, well, not there for most of the class. This was the great part! I could grab a camera and go take photos for 2 hours. Or I could spend that time in the dark room, which I frequently did. Sometime I stayed at the long table and worked on drawing murals with other students. Sometimes I painted.

Can you see the difference? One was formal instruction in a completely non passionate format. The other was free reign, and ultimately, bliss for a creative person.

So what is it I'm saying? Children, young adults, and adults alike need time to figure stuff out for themselves. They need time to follow passions and interests, even if they don't seem to lead anywhere. And if someone is not learning effectively, then the format may need to change.

Let me give an example. My 8 year old finds lessons from a writing or English textbook decidedly dull. But, left to her own devices, she is an avid story writer. One of her favourite past times currently is writing to pen friends. In essence, she can write for hours each day without opening a single textbook.

This is where the wonder of learning at home comes in. A child is not restricted by grades or timetables. If one of the children is immersed in an activity they love and they're learning from it, why on earth would I stop them right in the middle of it and tell them they need to do something more important, more academic. 

It is so important to me to not fall into the trap of holding "school at home". Yes, I think it's important that the children learn certain things but in the quest for knowledge we must never crush the joy of learning.


Sue Elvis said...


This is a great post! Yes, learning should be fun. I feel very sad when mothers and children seem to be bogged down, not enjoying their homeschooling, but they plough on anyway because they think it's their duty. There are better ways!

Your daughter looks like she is very absorbed in her writing. She's hardly touched her raisin(?) toast!

Kelly Casanova said...

Absolutely Sue, and that was how I had been feeling for a while, just "ploughing on".

She sure does get absorbed, I usually have to tell her to stop and eat, same with if she's reading a good book :)