Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Real-Life Writing

Homeschooling has taught me a lot over the past few years. One of the lessons that I most appreciate is that learning in 'real life' is much more enjoyable than contrived 'learning opportunities' or planned lessons. Writing is a good example. I have tried, at different points in time and in different ways, to have my boys practice their writing. We have tried work sheets (I know, I know!!!) and journals, word lists and copy work. Although I know these work for many families, for us it was just not cutting it. The boys were miserable, and by extension, so was I. Then I realized something. William runs screaming from work books, but is thrilled to write down the grocery list for me if I have my hands in the sink washing dishes. They both love writing and reading little notes to and from me, and they dedicate themselves to producing hand written cards for the people that they love on birthdays and holidays. This way of learning is certainly not as linear as how writing would be approached in a traditional school. Some weeks they spend a lot of time with pencil in hand, and other weeks not so much. Still, the outcome is exactly what I want - they are developing the skills that they need in ways that are not only fun, but also allow them to contribute something important to our family life.

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