May 17, 2011

Cycles Of Learning

Like many home educators, I worry sometimes that my son is not learning enough or that I'm not spending enough time on lessons. I'm not sure I would call us "unschoolers" but we certainly are life learners and relaxed homeschoolers. Also, being that my son has developed many skills asynchronously (reading and math levels 3-4 years ahead of writing) I had to adapt to his learning style and delve much deeper in some subjects while waiting for other fine motor skills to catch up.

Some days
it seems as though we don't do any lessons at all and then there are the weeks he gets turned on by something, and I can't find enough for him to do. It seems we go through cycles of learning. When he was four and five, this drove my crazy. I would have all these plans ready for the week and come to find it was an "off" week for him and all he wanted to do was computer learning.

Now that he is six, I have figured out finally, that he is really very self-regulated. When he is going through a period of nothing but learning on his own through the computer, I'm able to relax and let him be. Then sure enough when he has had his fill, he wants to do more hands on work, projects, etc with me. He even goes through a "workbook only" phase every now and then.

Between it all, he has taken in an enormous amount of information and can add his own self-taught knowledge to our discussions and projects. This he loves! Teaching the teacher is one of his favorite things! We still struggle with writing anything of length, but I have no doubt now that something will spark his desire to master that as well and he will catch up quickly.

So if you have a child that loves to keeping going on to higher levels in some subjects but struggles (or avoids) others, I wouldn't worry so much, that is why we homeschool in the first place. We have time (and thanks to the internet, the resources!) to move at their pace, whatever that may be.


Lin said...

And that is the whole purpose behind homeschooling, right? You have the opportunity to work at his pace and focus on what he is interested in at the moment. Sounds like he's doing very well!

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