Are You Doing Enough for Your Child’s Education?
We are living in a world where we feel like we’re not enough and fearful our children won’t learn enough to be smart enough and successful enough. Gone are the days when we went to school, where you attended not only core classes but also classes on botany, ceramics and creative writing then, getting out in the afternoon to ride your bike all over creation with your friends. Now we can’t seem to pack enough into a child’s day with high demands in school, piles of homework and the multiple extra-curricular events, classes, and programs. Creativity, reflection, and thought have no time or space in this new way of education. Even the in-school art classes are high demand and deadline oriented putting great strains on creativity.
With all this, parents are still left with the nagging feeling they’re not doing enough. And so as parents, we continue in the sea of information online, comparing what others are doing and running the race harder every day. Enough is enough! Learning doesn’t have to be a mad race and you can do enough for your children’s education without running the race. Even during these competitive times. What we must focus on is an education that stands the test of time and let go of the latest gimmick and entertaining program.
The only education that will stand the test of time is one with a very strong core, selective practices and time and space for explorations. The very best path is through what I call a Customized Targeted Learning approach. This is all about honoring the student from where he stands, including his natural bents.
Here are the 4 steps to move through in order to ensure you are doing enough for your child and his education:
Step 1: Determine your child’s highest values which are the guideposts to his life purpose. This is the very path for the most effective communication, learning approach and alignment with perspective.
Step 2: Focus on the Core: The core of learning includes mathematics, reading, and writing. While to some this may seem limiting, especially with the current big push of STEAM but really no significant progress can be made in any area of learning without a strong core. Because everyone is so distracted, it seems like a big secret that no one is paying attention to. It is through these core subjects that all other knowledge is processed and for everything added to the core, it waters down the learning.
Step 3: Bring in the Practices: Some things take the act of repetition and this is exactly what practices include; anything that takes the building of skill to master. This can include but never all at once narration, read alouds, hearing and discussing, penmanship, journaling, timeline recording, the arts, musical pursuits and sports. I see a lot of families running the race with children overbooked with “enrichment” and the children are sitting with me, telling me how exhausted they are and how they’d really love enough time and space to write a story that’s bubbling up inside of them. How they don’t want to do all the running and jumping through hoops, they’d rather be at home working on their purposeful path. Give them time and space because there’s no need to do it all at once. Choose a practice for a season, a year or a lifelong pursuit; trying on or doing what needs to be developed and keeping what is most meaningful.
Step 4: Time to Explore: Learning is life and life is learning, hands-on experiences and real life encounters bring in depth and meaning. This is where we dive into deeper studies on other subjects, do projects and gain experience. It can include history, the sciences, nature study, and natural history, field trips, work and service to others, library and research time, free play, building and creating, projects and all the other subjects and interests you can dive into. Again, these things are not done all at once or on an everyday basis. We are selective and know it will run according to the stage of development of the child. Examples include work and service for the teens in the local community possibly weekly while younger children can partner with the family to do a service project or simply help others within their intimate environment less frequently. Building and creating may run the spectrum from building blocks, Legos and trains to intricate designs in multiple mediums, pottery, HTLM coding, 3D designs, and video production or Photoshop projects.
Think of Customized Targeted Learning as a weaving of learning and living your highest genius, cultivating it, making every day more meaningful and also using it to contribute to a better world. Now we don’t have to run the race when education is customized and each student’s genius is honored.
The only way to progress as a society is by honoring individuality and allowing development of the genius. Better to be a master at one thing than knowing a little about a lot and not much of anything which is a master of none. The clue is in the education that’s stood the test of time and all the geniuses who have honed in on their purposeful path. Inspire your young geniuses to their highest good!
Inspired Action in the Homeschool: Make the core your top focus of the day. On short days if you do nothing else, fulfill the core learning. Instead of looking at everything as separate and all the tasks you need to fulfill in a day, see how learning is interwoven throughout your every day. Family-centered learning makes it all doable because it’s a learning lifestyle rather than practicing as a school.
Inspired Action for Afterschool: It can be challenging to bring in learning when the children have been in school all day, however the key to anyone excelling is incorporating family centered learning by not overbooking time out of school. Create family-centered learning in the home by sitting together over dinner discussing what been learned and experienced -special interests as well as current events, enjoying a read aloud together, reading the classics above academia required and pursuing in-depth a special interest aligned with highest values.
Inspired Action in Schools: Teachers take the time to know each child’s highest values for more effective communication. Inspire your students with your own love of learning by sharing what you dive in deep to study. Encourage students in specialized knowledge rather than trivia knowledge, always relating back to highest values.
Do you want to learn how to determine highest values for yourself and your children, make sure you’re covering everything that needs to be covered and find balance in all that has to be done? Join my Inner Circle Homeschool, Self-Education & Parenting Academy Click here to learn more.