How To Find Education Experts You Can Trust
In October 1991, my husband and I took our two children, ages 6 and 8, out of government school and began our homeschooling adventure. After making this decision, I spent a lot of time searching for education experts who might be able to offer just the right input and advice.
I wasted a lot of time before I finally found the experts I could trust – the experts who really had education and learning figured out.
I clearly remember the day it happened…
I was deep into one of the many books I’ve read about education when my son tugged on my shirt and asked, “Mom, are nuts also seeds?”
“Yes,” I answered quickly, trying to get back to my book.
“Well, where do walnuts come from?”
“From a walnut tree of course,” I replied, not lifting my eyes from the page.
“Oh, so I could grow another tree if I planted them.”
I looked up, annoyed. “Did you finish your workbook pages yet?” I wanted to get back to my reading. What the heck was he asking these questions for anyway? We already followed that expert-designed lesson on plants last year. Didn’t he learn anything?
He finally trotted off and I continued reading about what the experts say my kids need to know and when they need to know it.
I was interrupted again when my daughter tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Mom what’s convex mean?” Sigh. I quickly explained it to her.
She pushed out her stomach, “Oh, so now my belly is convex!”
We laughed. Then my son came back into the room, stomped around with his gut out and his arms out to his side saying, “Sumo wrestlers are really convex, aren’t they?”
More laughter and the next thing I know the three of us are in a fun discussion full of interesting twists, turns and connections.
That’s when it hit me quicker than a Sumo wrestler can clear out a buffet: I was looking for my answers in the wrong place!
I realized no matter how much I read about what a child needs to learn or how and when to study a particular subject, these education experts didn’t know my kids. They were okay as resources but these people were completely ignorant about the questions, thoughts and unique experiences that would come up on any given day as our family lived out our lives together.
That day reminded me that my kids were unique individuals and they knew how to learn. They simply needed me to respect and trust the process. All I really had to do was pay attention, follow their lead and help them learn what they were already curious about.
After all my searching, I finally found the experts.
Debbie Harbeson will be speaking at Libertopia Festival 2011 in San Diego
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