Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fire Escape and Playing Poker...

Dr. Susan Canizares who actually writes for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt [public school textbook publisher] and an expert in elementary education and child development, would probably be shocked to know that she supports homeschooling! [See Summer is no excuse to take a break from learning.]

She had lots of ideas and says summer learning "isn't about erecting a chalkboard and having mini-lessons in your living room." Here are some of her tips for summer learning that really work:
  • Teach math through cooking
  • Take you kids along on errands so they can have "real world" learning
  • Let kids help plan trips and vacations--have them calculate # of shirts they will need for the trip, how long will it take to get to your destination
  • Use penmanship and critical thinking, work with maps
  • Read to your child, she says, "You can never read to your kids too much...it expands vocabulary and comprehension..."
  • Write--have your kids keep a journal
  • Use varied colorful language around your child
This sure sounds a LOT like homeschooling, doesn't it? When homeschoolers take our kids to do chores with us, it is called "sheltering them from the real world" --when they do it as part of school it is called "real word" learning.

Makes you wonder where and what this real world is. It is in school? Or at home and out in the marketplace?

When we use our home to teach we are called isolationists and are accused of having socially inept kids. When schools use "homey situations" to teach concepts it is called "bringing real life experiences into their classrooms."

I think homeschoolers and public schoolers agree on more than they think, perhaps it is more a question of semantics and location?

In all fairness, I think the good doctor has a lot of wonderful ideas and it is great that she is encouraging kids and parents to spend quality time doing enriching activities. I just wonder why the same experts that give this type of advice, who recognize that learning can take place in many ways and that parents are great teachers, balk at homeschooling?

Whether you homeschool or traditional school, the advice from a real bona fide expert says we should read to our kids, have them bake cookies and pack their own suitcases, who am I to argue? Enjoy the summer with your kids--honestly the years fly by [but the days can be really long].

Take care,

Photos--Real World Learning
  • Top-Practicing Fire Safety and escape
  • Middle-Kids on a trip--they always packed their own duffle--since they were about three years old. I would tell them how many days we would be gone and they had to pack that many "sets" of clothes. A set is one bottom, one top, one set of underwear all rolled up together. Then they had to add something to sleep in, something to swim in and their toiletries bag.
  • Bottom-Learning math skills playing poker with Grandpa. Notice the hats--they all had to wear hats and have a cowboy name--ahh learning cowboy history with Grandpa!

1 comment:

  1. .....we didn't have duffles, we had the cases beer used to come in painted. We thought that was so cool with the flip top lids......so the math was......at $0.03 per bottle, how much could you cash in the bottles for to be able to keep the case? Love ya Jill! Cousin Pammie