“The Roman Colosseum! That’s what I want to learn about next Mom!” The night before the first day back to school…. I had no plans ready for this request. Actually, my mind was filled with work and I wasn’t feeling particularly creative. This wasn’t sounding good.
My son Noah, in Grade three with the Stony Creek Program, loves ancient history and mythology. His Language Arts projects are infused with his passion and he is fortunate to be in a school program that allows for such individualized learning.
While I have always tried to follow my boys’ interests in the home schooling portion of their program, I will admit that I can be all about just “getting it done.” With limited time to accomplish school work in a day I sometimes lack patience with the “space” needed for creativity.
This year, however, Noah has taught me something valuable: learning happens much more readily and becomes integrated, retained and built upon when we incorporate his interests. For me that requires a certain letting go. Letting go of my ideas, expectations and time lines for learning.
For instance, when I suggested Noah blog about his learning of ancient nomads he decided instead to draw then build a model of an irrigation system ancient people could have used. (And yes, later blogged about it). Not what I had in mind (and took WAY longer than I had planned for! ) but what great learning.
When we worked on story writing, I had planned activities appropriate for Grade 3. He had his own ideas which resulted in his writing a”chapter book” (incorporating Greek mythology of course!) He learned way more about writing, editing and word processing doing it his way than he would have with my plans.
I take my personal learning quite seriously: connecting to other educators on twitter, reading widely and often debating both Education philosophy and practice. But if I am honest, I have learned the most about education from my sons, and have incorporated those lessons into my own learning. Following my own passion in both education and health care has made me a better practitioner in both areas. Thank you boys.*This post was originally published at 184 Days of Learning