Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Allow Kids to Explore

Image by Maricel Cruz

"As so often happens in science, two studies from different labs, using 
different techniques, have simultaneously produced strikingly similar 
results. They provide scientific support for the intuitions many teachers 
have had all along: Direct instruction really can limit young children's 
learning. Teaching is a very effective way to get children to learn 
something specific—this tube squeaks, say, or a squish then a press 
then a pull causes the music to play. But it also makes children less 
likely to discover unexpected information and to draw unexpected 

...with one group, she acted as if she were clueless about the toy. ("Wow, 
look at this toy. I wonder how it works? Let's try this," she said.) With 
the other group, she acted like a teacher. ("Here's how my toy works.") 
When she acted clueless, many of the children figured out the most 
intelligent way of getting the toy to play music (performing just the two 
key actions, something Daphna had not demonstrated). But when Daphna 
acted like a teacher, the children imitated her exactly, rather than 
discovering the more intelligent and more novel two-action solution."
- Why Preschool Shouldn't Be Like School by Alison Gopnik, Slate

Children of today start going to school at a very young age. Some play 
schools will accept kids as early as 6months old. We decided to forego this 
and to homeschool M instead. 

The article Why Preschool Shouldn't be Like School really struck a chord 
because of three things:
1st - It made me realize the importance of allowing kids to exploreChildren 
are smart and can figure things out on their own. It's the adults who're 
impatient for them to get things done now. Apparently, rushing the learning 
process has detrimental effects. Patience has its rewards.
2nd - As a homeschooler, you have the opportunity to decide on what 
your children are learning. Now, you also have the opportunity to decide 
on HOW they are going to learn. Make it count.
3rd - If your child/ren are enrolled in a regular school, it would be good to 
look at the manner by which your child/ren are being taught. I have a
friend who transferred her Gr.1 son to another school because she wasn't
satisfied with the way her son was being taught at the other school. Bravo! 
Parents should be the first persons looking out for the interest of their child.

I'm thankful that at this point homeschooling is not yet rocket science. 
In a nutshell, the emphasis has been to provide varied fun learning 
activities for M. These activities are aimed at developing his skills and 
discovering his talents. 

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