curiosity, the staple to an education: how to facilitate it

Bringing your kiddo home this fall?

Here are four things you need to consider when beginning homeschooling:

Your goal is to consider what an education is anyway and read about unschoolingdeschooling, and learning

I compiled a Homeschool Mama Reading List just for you! These books are ones that have taught me everything that has helped me structure my homeschool.

“If you can imagine it, you can create it.

If you can dream it, you can become it.”

William Arthur Ward

Two guys played in their garage tinkering with computer stuff for years: they became very successful. Do you know who they are? You’re likely holding their product in your hand.

A good long while ago, a curious artist and scientist wondered why the shifts in constellations occurred. In fact, the church-government was ready to have this man’s head, literally, if he continued his blasphemy against the Scriptures: clearly the Scriptures declared the Earth was at the center of the Universe. Despite blasphemy accusations and living under house arrest, he overcame and his seemingly “questionable” theory that the earth was rotating around the sun became a scientific fact.

Let curiosity reign and education be individualized.

In a TED talk titled, “How to escape education’s death valley,” Ken Richardson had a lot to say about how schools kill creativity.

If you sit kids down, hour after hour, doing low-grade clerical work, don’t be surprised if they start to fidget. Curiosity is the engine of achievement. Teaching is not a delivery system…education is about learning…

Ken Richardson

Kids are naturally learning animals.

Maybe they’re not interested in the topics we want to share with them. Maybe they have different interests than ourselves, but they are curious. When provided large swaths of time to pursue their interests, they do pursue their interests.

Though I have plenty planned for each study year, I know that the best avenues to pursue are those aroused by the ones I hope to engage, my children. If they’re interested in something, they will learn. The role of the teacher is to facilitate learning. That’s all, folks.

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.

Albert Einstein

If they ask questions, I should listen and help them find the resources to answer their questions.

If they’re asking questions, it means they’re thinking. They’re digesting something about what I’m sharing with them or they heard somewhere that they want to explore.

Let them be explorers.

Give them plenty of time to free play and when you’re doing any formal lessons, watch for signs of overwhelm. Too much lap reading time, too much writing, too many math pages, or too much of pretty much any activity (even television) is just too much if it’s not dictated by them.

I am a mother of four. It is not possible to answer every one of my kids’ questions. I can’t incarnate Google or God. However, I can recognize that their constant questions and curiosities can be used as starting points to introducing geology or logic or world economics, or any number of interests if I encourage their curiosity and questions.

Are you worried that you don’t know everything? Well, of course you don’t!

No person does. Teach them how to answer their own questions and lead them to resources. But definitely assume that their curiosities are the starting point to their education and let them do their thing.

Your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself.”

Chinese Proverb

When the cup is full, stop filling the cup!

Add just a little bit more grammar, or French, or history, and that little bit might be too much. Anything more will not be received into their comprehension or memory. So don’t overwhelm their system with seatwork or bookwork or formal lesson plans.

Overwhelm the system with too much social interaction, too many activities, too many lessons, and it’s just too much. How much is too much? Oh mama, you’ll know. You will see it in their fidgetiness, resistance, or unhappiness.

The busier and more active our schedule becomes, the more challenging it is to take in information (said everyone, but especially kids). Overwhelm their senses, and things will get unpleasant.

The more freedom they have to just think, the more potential for cuing their creativity.

Teresa Wiedrick

Boredom is a good thing.

When someone shares “Mom, I’m bored,” it means that they’re just about to crack a code, unlock the secrets to the Universe, or discover the cure for cancer, maybe…or it just means they are on the precipice of pursuing a new interest that might lead to one day cracking a code, unlocking secrets, or curing diseases. At the very least, it’s developing their interests, aptitudes and building them up (aka educating them).

Don’t be afraid of boredom, mama.

Maybe my child won’t crack a code, unlock the secrets to the Universe, or discover a cure for cancer, but each of them will find meaningful things to occupy their time in this world when we trust them to occupy their time.

Boredom=creating theatre productions

The kids might put on goofy plays titled Pranky, where a girl plays a prank on another little girl. It’s a silent film, complete with five year old Master of Ceremonies, and tickets for fifty cents. Popcorn is available too.

Boredom=building backyard forts

There might be treehouses built in the backyard where the playground swings are dismantled and reattached to a tree, decomposed autumn leaves raked into separate rooms, and cardboard boxes are made into cars.

Boredom=practicing musical talent

There might be extra guitar practice and piano playing and reorganizing of bedrooms and painting of nails.

Boredom=satisfying curiosities

There might be reading about a Russian tsarina, wiki searches on koala bears, and bumphead parrot fish. There might be YouTube videos of the first walk on the moon and extended chess games.

I should not assume that a filled schedule, a stocked library, perfect answers, daily lesson plans, or even written work are the keys to educational success. An education is not a product. An education is a lighting of a fire in the mind.

Teresa Wiedrick

“Curiosity is a delicate little plant which, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom.”

Albert Einstein

Are you considering homeschooling your kids?

I’ve got a free mini-course that introduces you to me, so I can get you from “I don’t know where to start, to I’ve got a plan.”

I’ve got a full course that inspires you to consider what an education is anyway, and get you thinking and planning for your child’s education.

I’ve got a course that will get you from “I don’t think I can do this, I’m too uncertain, nervous, or afraid” to “I know I can do this, I’ve got this girlfriend.”

How to Homeschool 101 will give you Everything you Need to Know to Get Started, Create a Personalized Education, and Gain Confidence in Creating your Routine.

Teresa Wiedrick
Teresa Wiedrick

Am I the right fit to coach you in your new home learning journey?