Reason for Homeschooling #3 – Depth of Learning

One of the things I remember most about school was the bells, along with the other indicators that it was time to move on to the next class. I remember many occasions where I was sitting in class and finally “getting it” with a subject and then a bell would ring and a teacher would nonchalantly tell us to pack up our things and move to the next class.

What do bells in school teach us? When they ring, it’s time to stop what you are doing, put everything away, and move on to the next class, activity, or task. Whatever you’re doing becomes unimportant when the bell rings. It doesn’t matter how much you liked what you were doing; it doesn’t matter how much you were learning; it doesn’t matter that you just now had an “ah-ha” moment with the task; and it doesn’t matter that you wanted to continue with the task. School bells teach us that the interest we have in a topic and the amount of time we want to spend with a topic are unimportant.  School bells teach us not to delve too deeply into anything because the bell will ring and we’ll have to move on anyway.

Even if we are interested, we purposely try not to become too engrossed because we know the bell is not far off. When this happens all day, every day, we develop an inability to engage in a task deeply enough to become truly interested and passionate about it. We learn to just skim the surface of all topics; to do just enough to get by.

Over the years, many researches have asked the question “what would you do, if you no longer had to work?” and found that an overwhelming majority of people have no idea what they’d be interested in doing, if they no longer had to work.  There are a number of books available that are designed to help people discover what their interests and passions are because, not only don’t we know what we’re interested in, apparently we have no idea how to find that out on our own.

I want my child to be able to follow her interests to the level and depth she desires. If she becomes thoroughly engrossed in astrology and spends days and nights looking through her telescope and reading astrology books then I don’t want that interest minimized or halted. I want her to get as deeply involved as she wants and only when she’s ready to move on, will she have to do so.

It’s important to me that she learns to follow her interests, glean everything she wants to out of a topic, and then make her own decision about when to move on to something else. It’s of lesser importance to me, that she becomes adept at skimming the surface of multiple topics. It’s of lesser importance to me that she learns to quickly cast aside an interest at the whim of someone else. I’m not at all interested in putting her into an environment where she’s told that it’s extremely important to learn X, Y, and Z, but only during this particular hour and only until someone else says “time’s up”.

By homeschooling my daughter, I’m able to carefully watch her interests and allow her to delve as deeply into topics as she chooses. I’m able to see when she’s finally “getting it” and I can allow her all the time and space she needs to fully explore the subject. I send the message that her interests are important and she is free to spend as much time learning something as she wants.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>