|Collecting rocks at the beach|
A common question I get is “How much time do you spend on curriculum planning for your homeschooled children?” Well, the answer to that is really “none.” There isn’t much planning that happens ahead of time, it’s all in the moment. Most of our learning happens organically. Curriculum naturally unfolds when you follow your child’s interests. This is a truly powerful process. What does this look like? I’ll walk you through a real life example.
How to Follow your Child's Interests
|Attending a rock and mineral identification class|
How Science Supports Natural Learning
When you spend time with your child and pay attention to what she likes, a deeper learning naturally occurs. This is arguably, a more effective approach to learning as the child has an authentic interest and wants to learn, it isn’t something that is forced. It has real meaning and connection for the child, thus the child is more open to learning, more engaged, and retains the information better. This is analogous to the research on corporate training. Fortune 500 companies around the globe know that “on the job” training, and “in the moment” coaching is a much more effective training and development approach than scheduled, structured training classes. The field of corporate training discovered this 20 years ago and has shifted their mindset, yet schools are still following outdated approaches. In my 15 years of experience in the field of corporate psychology I’ve conducted research on how people learn, how they are motivated, and what leads to high performance. When you spend your days focusing on a curriculum that was designed or selected months ago you can miss out on opportunities to dive into interests as they emerge.
If you'd like to learn more about unschooling check out Pat Farenga. He worked closely with John Holt and continues to be an advocate for self-directed learning. Follow Pat on Twitter and learn more about his work through his Blog.