Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HS FAQ: How

Your question:
Have you created the atmosphere of school at home and does someone come over and teach your children? I mean how does one go about homeschooling?

My answer:
Let us look at the preface to the National Curriculum Framework (2005) document and listen to what the chairman Professor Yashpal has to say about this:

Education is not a physical thing that can be delivered through the pos
t or through a teacher...
There is a mutuality to the genuine construction of knowledge. In this transaction the teacher also learns if the child is not forced to remain passive...
From personal experience I can say with assurance that a lot of my limited understanding is due to my interaction with children.

So bhai, the first thing that you have to understand is that nobody learns by a bombardment of information at them. What Professor Yashpal seems to be saying is that learning is a process internal to the learner, where the knowledge (2 into 2 is equal to 4) simmering inside the heads of interested learners forms mysterious internal connections that we call ‘learning’ and the learner then gains the ability to re-express it (2 plus 2 is also 4). So if learning is a process that even the interested learner doesn’t appear to have rational control over, tell me how a teacher standing and lecturing to 40 passive children can make it happen?

Haan bhai, I can hear what you all are whispering. Instead of the pen and paper type of studies I am talking general philosophy no? Ok, Let me talk about our current method. Our method has changed very much from the time we started and we think that it will continue to evolve. Right now we do about an hour to two hours of what we call ‘school-time’. The children choose any one school subject for the day and sit with the text book with their mother. We have bought all the NCERT text books from 1st standard to 9th standard and the children have this resource always available to them. Besides this, all of us learn a lot together through various extra curricular activities and reading and discussions and travel and maintaining a very simple lifestyle.

Take a look at this daily activity review sheet that our children have recently started maintaining. Notice that ‘studying’ is only a small part of the activities that make up the day so we always remember that the objective of all our studying is to learn to live our lives better. Let me clarify that the ac
tivities were going on even before the list was compiled and I added the categorization to make sure that we were touching all the bases in our bid to be holistic. Sounds like a good idea no? Remember this is not a military chart designed by parents to organize the lives of their children and if you are not homeschooling I would very very very strongly discourage you from adding this kind of chart to manage your already overburdened children. Understand no?

Now all the discussion above was just about OUR method. YOUR method- bhai you only will have to find out for yourself. There is a lot of information on the internet and you can read up more about the following popular methods of homeschooling.

1. Unlearning (Completely child directed learning)
2. Creating a small replica of the school at home
3. The Montessori method
4. The Waldorf method
5. Online studies and testing using the internet
6. Unit studies (Where parents research and create study material for their children)

…etc.

1 comment:

  1. I am more and more convinced Bhai that this method is the only method that works!

    ReplyDelete