The Ten Habits of Successful (Homeschool) Organisms
by Beverley Paine
Following on from our focus on biodiversity during the International Year of Biodiversity, I came across an interesting article in which Edwin Datschefski identified ten habits that underpin the success of DNA organisms. He suggested that human organisations can achieve a similar vitality by following them: http://www.biothinking.com/ten.htm. I've long had an interest in linking my understanding of permaculture philosophy and practice with natural learning and home education.
I've used them in relation to home education:
- React: Learning opportunities occur when we react to stimuli. Our children may ask a question, or come across something they don't understand, or are unable to do. Their reactions tell us a great deal about their current developmental abilities.
- Forage: Searching for and finding resources, as well as brainstorming solutions, are the ways in which learners forage.
- Grow: Working with the resources and acting on our solutions promotes growth - in the learner's case, learning.
- Co-operate: Working together and making the most of symbiotic relationships and patterns provides a rich pool of resources learners can use.
- Self-organise: Being aware of personal learning needs, styles and modalities, disposition and temperament, together with attentiveness to the above four habits, naturally develops organisational skills. Discipline and motivation result from the harmony of learning that is in tune with the needs of the learner.
- Multiply: Learning builds on prior learning and leads to many learning outcomes, not just those that are consciously sought. Inherently a social activity, under conditions which value learning, learning is infectious. Through conversation and activity we share our learning outcomes and encourage additional explorations and investigations.
- Excrete: Learning produces results: new knowledge, understanding, skills, and abilities. These give rise to insight, innovation and the creation of products and services.
- Defend: A thorough understanding of the elements that affect our daily lives enables us to make sensible decisions which help to keep us safe, or build towards sustainable solutions that enable progress support life.
- Niche: Identifying personal learning styles and modalities and focusing on building on strengths (interests and passions) and continuously accepting learning challenges (overcoming limitations), learners identify niches from which they can operate and thus contribute in meaningful and satisfying ways in society.
- Evolve: Learners synthesise new experiences, ideas and information to build complex perceptions and understandings. The constant flow of changing situations offers the opportunity for abundant and creative growth. How we learn today is vastly different to how people learned fifty years ago. How we will learn in fifty years will be completely different to how we learn today. Although as home educators we may use similar or the same resources as our ancestors we apply different thinking skills and new perceptions to each learning task.
This article was first published in Stepping Stones for Home Educators
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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