Wednesday, 14 December 2011

What Is An Education?

I sat wondering this today as I watched Ben (aged 9) reading Captain Underpants to Laura (aged 5).  He read with such enthusiasm and invoked different personalities into his voice for each character that Laura was riveted and I could see from the expression on her face that she was enjoying the experience of being read too.  I asked her what she liked about the story, she said what she liked best was the way Ben told the story.

Since beginning our journey into Home Education more than 7 years ago, what is an education is a question we have frequently asked ourselves.  For me education is about planting seeds of possibilities for themselves as individuals and members of a community.  I don't see my children as empty vessels that need to be filled with information or that need to be tested on that information on a regular basis.  I see them as diverse individuals whose particular talents and interests are to be nurtured.  I want them to be life long learners.  That learning isn't confined to a time of day or particular day of the week.  There are no time restrictions placed upon it.

In order to create life long learners its so important that children are nurtured in their learning.  We read aloud to our kids every day despite the fact they are able to read themselves.  Sitting and reading side by side with your children on a regular basis nurtures them in their own learning.  We call it a ruddle - a read and a cuddle.  I think its why Ben enjoys reading to Laura because its always been a great experience for him.

  For us, the emphasis is about the development of our children not the adherence to a certain curriculum.  Don't get me wrong, we do use some curriculums some of the time.  But for us a homeschool education is about learning from real life and creating life long learners.

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