Welcome to the World of Home Education and Learning Without School!
We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment 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. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
Do You Use Mind Mapping?
I use mind mapping whenever I'm planning a project, be it a story or a new garden bed! It not only helps me organise my thoughts but allows me to see potential problems and begin solving them before I start investing too much time and energy.
Basically , mind maps are a way of organising your thoughts on paper, but in a way that is much closer to how we actually think. Our thoughts seldom arise in an organised manner. Mind mapping helps to capture the thoughts as they tumble from our brain, before we self-sensor or determine that the thought wasn't important - it could just be in the wrong order for right now!
Some people might see mind mapping as a fancy way of taking notes, but it is a lot more than that. As you arrange and link your thoughts (or notes if researching a topic) on the page, whiteboard or notice-board, you'll discover a plan of action or insight emerging.
I use mind mapping whenever I'm planning a project, be it a story or a new garden bed! It not only helps me organise my thoughts but allows me to see the potential problems and begin solving them before I start investing too much time and energy.
Mind mapping is a brilliant way to help organise your homeschool learning programs for your children. The children and I used it all the time to create lesson plans and unit studies, beginning with a brainstorming mind mapping session. Children quickly learn how to mind map and prefer it to the old fashioned way of taking notes, exploring ideas and breaking down information into more easily understood chunks .
Joel Falconer wrote an excellent article on m ind m apping , including links to eleven mind mapping applications and web services that can be found at Lifehack.org.
Like Joel, I prefer to use pen and paper - in fact the more coloured pens I use the more targeted my thoughts become. It helps when reviewing my mind maps too as I can easily identify and follow threads or themes . I used this approach when writing essays for university courses several years ago, from the initial note taking process during researching the paper, to collating and organising my thoughts and getting them down coherently. My first draft was usually a wonderful collection of different coloured paragraphs, built from my mind mapped notes. I'm happy to report I usually received a distinction for my essays!
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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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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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