- Socialization. While it remains true that school is an atrocious (verging on evil) social environment, it remains true that the primary task of children between ~8 and ~18 is to become social beings that play well with others. The far and away #1 error made by homeschoolers everywhere is insufficient attention to the social NEEDS of their kids. By 14 or so, it becomes intolerable, and they frequently begin to attend school because of the gap. It's a reasonable assumption that a 15 year old needs 8+ hours a day of social interaction with peers, and that 15 is near the peak for most kids....falling to maybe 3 hours at 10 or 20. While online friends and interactions can substitute for part of it, it's very important to find ways to get kids in person with peers for LOTS of hours, most every day.
- Boredom. This is 100% essential to becoming self-directed, independent learners. I've seen it take a year after exiting the school system before someone got their hiney up off the couch and decided to learn something herself...but it happens. Boredom is the mind-expander. Allow boredom, and DO NOT intervene to prevent it. Interestingly, both video games and TV are significant boredom-mitigators, and seem quite able to make this process longer...while making folks more irritable. Especially, if someone has only limited access to TV/Video Games, they can eat HUGE amounts of boredom. It may be the case that unlimited access will eventually bore a person out of the approach, but both TV and Video Games are increasingly designed for addictiveness (Farmville, WoW, Lineage).
The virtue of excellence
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Education counterintuitives -- Part 1
Having been in education and the homeschooling community for a long time...there are a lot of things that folks know that are HIGHLY non-intuitive to a lot of folks without that 20 years of experience. Here's a couple: