Our (rigorous!) learning philosophy. Any thoughts?

Discuss unschooling, eclectic, the unit study approach, or any other "unusual" homeschooling method.

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Our (rigorous!) learning philosophy. Any thoughts?

Postby Munchie33 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:29 pm

Education, for us, has three parts/benefits to it. These are good learning habits, sustainable learning, and ultimately, success in life. Each of these three aspects has a number of criteria which must be met.

Basic learning habits:
1. learning is forever. It does not stop once a child leaves the classroom, nor in adulthood. Children should be encouraged to follow their curiosities at all times. Anything they wonder during the day should be looked up when time permits to encourage the habit of wanting to know and finding answers.
2. learning should be self-motivated whenever possible in order for it to be sustainable into adulthood. A growing child should be weaned off excessive external rewards so that they have the space needed to learn to provide their own intrinsic rewards and enjoyment.
3. Children should make a permanent habit of checking their work. After every worksheet, every essay, every project, a child should automatically check over the work (not just by re-reading) before considering it finished or ready for assessment. Few things are perfect the first time, and by always checking, the quality will rise perceptively.
4. Higher level thinking (creativity, evaluation, etc.) on any topic cannot truly be done unless children first understand what the topic is. This requires them to have a certain base level of knowledge on that topic. Thus, it is usually appropriate for children to spend a brief spell memorizing or exploring a topic before other forms of learning take place.

Parents cannot always be around to help children learn things. They need to ensure that their children can learn independently. This sustainable learning requires:
1. Children should want to learn. Their natural curiosities must be nurtured so they spend a certain amount of their day learning about any new ideas they come across.
2. Children should have enough general knowledge to understand where to look for information on a new topic.
3. Children should be able to research and learn about a new topic by themselves.

We learn for many reasons. At least one of these should be to enable us to live the best life we can. The criteria for success in life are thus:
1. Children should have enough general knowledge about the world to be able to quickly evaluate whether or not they are being misled (by advertising, by biased media, by colleagues, etc.) (maths, science, history/geography)
2. Children should be able to express themselves in a convincing and understandable manner so as to explain things to others, dispelling confusion or unfounded knowledge. (English/rhetoric)
3. Children should be able to recognise when they are wrong and be able to adjust their views when they find that their understanding clashes with reality.
4. Children should know the limits of their own knowledge.

If all these points are met, a child should have a foundation of good learning habits upon which to grow into an intelligent and curious independent learner. They will avoid many traps in life and overcome the widespread problem of unclear communication. This child will be successful in whatever avenue he or she chooses in life.

I'm interested in any thoughts people might have on this. I've kept it as general as possible, since all children are different, but this is basically our philosophy of learning. If we do not meet any of these points then we know that more work or a different approach is needed. What do people think about this?

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Postby ardeur » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:16 am

I love and agree with all the points you made. Your philosophy on learning seems to match Art Robinson's philosophy (http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/).

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