How do you know your children learn to read/write/add/etc?
One question I am asked when people learn that we homeschool (and especially if they know we Unschool) is “How do you know your children learn to read/write/add/etc?”
My answer is usually something simple like “Children are curious” or “Children love to learn”. Which is true but also doesn’t really answer the question…
The answer is truthfully, we don’t know — but do schooled parents? There is no guarantees in life. I guess it comes down to trust. I trust they will learn.
I trust that children (including my own) are curious and really want to learn. Trust that my husband and I are showing WHY they need to learn. Trust that we have the ability to show them HOW to learn. Trust that we are doing the best we can for our children.
We (my husband and I) feel that the most important thing you can learn is how to learn. How to find out more. How to be curious. If you know how to learn you can find out anything. I am happy to tell my children that I don’t know an answer. I can’t know everything ( I am a different person with different interests to them) so if I don’t know I need to say “I don’t know, but lets find out” (and then follow through!). Show them that I can learn too. Sometimes we won’t be able to find the answer out by ourselves — we will need to find an expert and that is great too! I hope my children understand that no-one knows everything but that you can usually find out if you try hard enough. Knowing that it is okay not to know gives them confidence to try and possibly get it wrong (until they get it right).
I trust they will learn because we put lots of learning opportunities in their path. Although we personally don’t follow a curriculum ( lots of homeschoolers do) we are always thinking up, pinteresting, googleing and discussing new ways to learn and teach. We do something called “strewing” which put simply is leaving material of interest around for our children to discover (I could write posts and posts about how awesome strewing is, but that is later). We listen out for their interests so that we can expand on them. We suggest things we hope they will find interesting. We don’t push them to learn something they are not ready for but there are also times that we say “No sorry, you need to give this a proper go” when they are wanting to quit something they are finding hard.
So I guess the answer is pretty simple “I trust they will learn because they want to and we are here to support them”
The follow up question to this us usually something like “How do you know they are at the right level/know what children their age know/have learned the curriculum?”
This is a part of the “So what is homeschooling anyway” page, where you can view similar posts that also answer “So what is homeschooling anyway?”.