Transitioning to Natural Learning
by Beverley Paine
from my FAQ files
Kelly asked: "I would like to move from what we have to natural learning.It seems to me to be the way that a human was meant to learn about the world. Real life experience. I do not know exactly how to begin to get there. I feel certain that we will need some sort of daily structure
as well... How can I begin? What kind of structure or planning do you incorporate into your days if any? What do you suggest to your children when they are asking "What can I do?"
The quickest way I know how to answer those questions is to ask 'how do I learn', 'what the conditions under which I learn best', 'what am I passionately interested in' (or if you don't think you have a passion for anything - ask 'what delights me', 'what can't I put down or stop doing without regret if I am called away'). Then apply these questions to your children... how do they learn, what conditions, interests, etc
Do this diligently and continue to ask these questions every day and you'll be well on your way to exploring and enjoying a learning naturally lifestyle. :-)
Daily structure... That's another easy one to answer. Ask yourself, what are the most important thing I need to teach my children while they are young? It all boils down to a few basic survival skills. You need to help them learn how to take care of their themselves, those around them, their environment... You need to help them learn how to find and use clean air, clean water, clean food. You need to impress on them the meaning and importance of the 'golden rule' and how to apply it assertively in their lives. The importance of re-use, repair and recycle. You need to help them develop a work ethic by allowing them to participate fully in family and community life from an early age, giving them responsibilities as their abilities grow. Keeping all this in mind you build your daily structure around what is important: health, hygiene, chores, play, rest, relaxation, exercise, talking, laughing, singing, sharing the wonder of human creativity and exploring the wonder of nature together.
If you do this well your children will learn everything that is in the school system curriculum. I found that recording helped me 'see' the learning across the curriculum that occurred every day in a learning naturally lifestyle. As I recorded, I taught by example the value of recording and it's place in human society. It was my job, not my children's, although I roped them occasionally and asked them to put something down on paper...
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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 supporter 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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