Friday, August 09, 2013

How Children Learn

How Children LearnHow Children Learn by John Holt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a challenging read for a self-described know-it-all. My wife and I plan on homeschooling our children, so it's going to be so much fun explaining the world to my bright-eyed little ones, right? Except Mr. Holt says that if I do, I run the risk of crippling my children's desire to learn.

The tough part is, I believe him.

I went through school pretty much as a robot...learning stuff, repeating stuff on tests, then forgetting stuff. And even though I love to learn, in school, I got so, so tired of jumping through the hoops.

I want my kids to really enjoy learning, to make knowledge their own, to treasure wisdom. Mr. Holt has convinced me that the best way to do this, as the major premise of his book, is to let children direct their own learning. An involved parent works best as sort of a facilitator...answering questions, providing demonstrations when necessary, figuring out where a child can best find the information she's looking for.

I plan on reading this book again just to figure out better what my role as a parent would be to help my children learn.

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  1. Your comments make me interested to read this book. It's now on my list. We are homeschooling for two reasons. I think the biggest, most important decision you will make regarding any schooling choice for your own children is the "why" behind it. Once you get behind your purpose, you will figure out the way to teach your own children, provide enough structure, enough flexibility and allow them to love to learn.

  2. Also, the beauty of homeschooling is that you do get to be a facilitator. School at home does not look like school at school.

  3. I think you are awesome for homeschooling! That is so brave of you. What if your children decide they don't want to homeschool? My schooling experience in the public education system was certainly different and beneficial for me. However, the public and even private schooling was tough for my brother who probably would have excelled had he been home taught. It is amazing the differences in the way children learn and finding out what their intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are over time.

    I think I would like this book. I love these reviews. Keep posting! I am interested to learn more about your research.