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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Homeschooling Essentials- Promote Free Thinking


I grew up in a public school setting. Now I'm not going to say I had
the worst education because I didn't but there were many things about
It that I grew to hate. One was that I was lost in the system. There was no
creativity and the right answer was their answer. The systems answer.
Now I'm not one to conform my ideas to blend in with what others want
or what others think I should be and so my creativity was squashed. I had to
blend in there to succeed. I remember history classes being the worst for me.
I loved the stories but the classes were so boring. I had one teacher who
wrote notes on the board. Three boards all the way around the classroom
and I was to sit during that time period and just copy his notes. That was class.
That was history. What creativity is there in that. I had another who would
give me the answers to the test before the test the next day. So I didn't have to
think or give my opinion because there was one opinion. That was of the text
book. I could research no other idea or if I did it wasn't allowed or
considered a right answer.

Similar things occurred in my other classes. Math in particular. There
was one way to solve it. Yet there are a number of ways to solve math. I
often hear moms say why does the math book show us so many ways to
solve it. Why not just solve it the old way and its done. I don't believe in
that. Why show them  one way when maybe they can think of another
and do just as well. Conformity... We are teaching our kids not to
think. When what we should be doing is modeling and waiting...
Allowing them to ask questions and find the answers themselves.

Now again my school experience was not all terrible. I had the best
art teacher around. He was a free thinker. Even though he taught us art
he taught us so much more. He allowed us to talk and to think for ourselves
out loud about what we wanted in our lives. It was my favorite class and I
learned so much in that environment. I think of that teacher when I model
our school. Not the whole public school mentality but just the free thinking.
Allowing my kids to express their feelings and express what they are thinking.

Have you ever heard of Product Vs. Process in Art? If you haven't
Product are the cutesy little craft projects that have one end result. Everyones
looked the same. The art has a step by step instruction to say create a flower
and vase. In the end everyones art looks very similar. Then there is Process.
I experienced this awhile ago with my 4 year old daughter at the beginning of
the school year. I gave each of the children a canvas and left them go. She
began painting with orange, then yellow, then blue, then green , then pink and
so on covering the entire canvas each time . Maybe not in that order but you
get the idea. The paint sometimes painted over well and sometimes it
didn't She ended up with a grayish purplely canvas. Now that is process.
She learned so much there that I could not have taught her. She learned
about color and mixing color. She learned about using a paint brush
and washing .She learned about texture and depth. So much was going on
in that little canvas practice. That was process. It may not be beautifully
done but the thought process is what the child needs the most.

The great thing about Home education is that we can allow them to
explore what they need to to learn to the best of their ability. We
can allow that grayish mess to dry and can paint over it with the pink
she originally wanted. We can figure things out and learn at our pace
with our hands and our minds. This thinking is essential to our schooling.

I'd like to share with you an example from my little ones. ...

This is my little Sweet Pea. Over Christmas we found a link to Santa's
reindeer webcam. Sweet pea was taken by this webcam and watched the
 reindeer for hours. She wanted to know what they ate, how often they
ate. She wanted to know all about them and she wanted to learn to draw
them too. It was trial and error. She is four after all but she found her process.
She learned all about an animal and it was all her idea.  She was learning
and loving learning and didn't even realize it. 

Superboy last year wanted to learn how to make puppets and
put on puppet shows. I bought him the material and allowed him
to figure it out. He make elaborate Puppets now. I should take some
pictures for you I haven't shared them in awhile. The end result was
his own. It was his thinking that lead him to this new love. 

The last one I have here is my sons project on Recycling.
I kept it very open ended and he had to think. Use his mind and
be creative to find the end result. He even made stories up about his
robot. This is what I am talking about . One thing leading into another.

I guess what I am getting at is that something that is Essential to our
education is THINKERS.I don't want kids that routinely go through their
day . I want kids who know how to learn something new. I want them to
be creative in their ideas and to form their own opinions. This is essential
to our Education.

Warm Blessings,


I am participating in the Homeschooling Essentials Blog Hop....
You might want to stop by and read some of these gals from the hop.

Annette @ A Net in Time

You can read all of the post by click the banner below.

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials


  1. I was a public school kid. I hated going to school. I didn't learn a lot, because it was all so boring. History was full of memorizing dates and names. Science was learning terms and answering questions for tests. English was being given 50 words for spelling, knowing the definitions and writing sentences for a test on Friday. Spelling isn't even taught in public schools here, because they can look the words up on Google. It's so sad. Since I started homeschooling many years ago, I love history now. English can be fun learning how to write a poem and a short story. I so wish my mom would have homeschooled me. I did a lot of reading on my own, but never anything school related.

  2. I must agree with you. I absolutely love teaching history now. It is one of my favorite subjects. I also love adding art to it. You can do so much with it. It is sad spelling isn't taught. It is so important for others being able to understand you. Plus spell check only goes so far. You at least have to get close to the spelling. :)

  3. I love that homeschooling encourages thinking. In our co-op group, the kids were doing team building exercises where they were given materials and had to build certain things but weren't given any instructions. They had to think about how to accomplish the task and what worked better. You could just hear so much good thinking through going on. I love it!

  4. This is so true! A neighbor asked me to include her son in our homeschool part time this year and I agreed, even in a little 6 yr old, he doesn't have that, and I'm constantly frustrated by it. I didn't think I had "taught" my kids to think, I thought it just came natural, but either I taught it without realizing it, or he'd already been taught not to by age 6, without ever going to school. It drives me crazy that even a coloring page, he wants to know what colors to color it, and my 4 yr old has started following his lead.

  5. Leah Courtney there is a website out there called THINK and in it are challenges like what you talk about. I went and created index cards of all the challenges and we pull one from time to time. In particular I love teaching Science because they get to ask questions and try things out for themselves. This is really great. This also works for Math if you have the patience to allow them to explore the concept in various ways.

  6. LaRee I think that free thinking starts out that way but some people tend to squash the creativity because they were taught it should be a certain way. I remember in Sunday school I had a mother who would stay and help her child. She would "fix" the child's crafts because she wanted it just so. I felt so bad for the child. I soon suggested she give the child some space and allow her to try it herself. Whatever the end result . That child can feel accomplished . It really makes me sad to hear a 6 year old is this way. Try some free painting , or just give them a lump of clay . Things they have to figure out on their own. It's a process. :) Good for you for seeing it and working to help them be thinkers.


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