U-Build Monopoly, Snap Circuits, Playmobil and Magnetic Tiles have been taking over the floor of the living room. In all of these, the kids are involved in creative problem solving, negotiation, cooperation, and navigating social situations. I’m constantly amazed at how much the kids learn and stretch themselves in the context of play. To read more about how we play and what we prioritize, check out my post over at My Little Poppies.
Lately, my kids have really been enjoying intricate coloring patterns with a nice set of colored pencils (thanks, Grandma!).
As they’ve been contentedly creating, I started thinking back to all my concerns about J, who is now 8, because he wasn’t meeting the coloring milestones when he was younger the way I thought he should.
Every once in a while, though, a student came along who was so disenchanted by the educational system, so convinced that it was irrelevant, that he did everything possible to declare his independence.
By the time they got to me, at age 15, it was almost too late.
What can we do in the early years to help kids stay engaged and motivated so they don’t reject the system and end up failing out of school?
Homeschool, although still called school, should NOT seek to emulate a classroom designed for challenges that home environments simply do not share.
The problem is: boxed, do-the-next-page curricula don’t work for us. Based on our kids, their learning styles, and our family rhythms we have chosen an eclectic, unschool-y approach. So far, it’s working pretty well.
For a year now, my seven-year-old has been in love with chemistry. He has other interests and will participate in other activities, but on an average day, he probably spends 2-3 hours in chemistry-related activities, just because he loves it. He tells people he’s going to grow up to be a chemist. I don’t know…