Learning Has No Hours of Operation

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Ever since L was a toddler he’s loved looking through catalogs and picking out outfits that he likes (mostly for me).  He would take a marker and go through the entire publication circling the outfits that he favored and excitedly offered to purchase them for me. Not only was he keeping busy, he was learning, too. It proved to be a great way to keep him busy in the idle moments of life such as when we were waiting to see the doctor, on airplanes, car rides etc…

 

Learning at school or by homeschooling

 

It had been a while since L had done this but today after breakfast he sat at the kitchen table with a White House Black Market catalog and began circling the items he wanted to buy for me.  The activity took on a new twist though, in that he added up the total cost of the items he chose and based on the budget that he created, he began subtracting items from the total and replacing them with items of lower cost to stay within his budget.  The catalog included a $20.00 coupon which he applied to his total.  It tickled me to see the activity go from a simple busy task to a higher level math exercise which was completely self directed.

 

Learning by Shopping

 

This made me think about the differences between homeschooling and traditional education and the benefits of each.  L’s school is a fantastic little place for learning both the necessary academics but more importantly the social-emotional skills he will need to navigate in a social world. We are grateful to be in a school where the teachers acknowledge the individual learning styles of their students and where the focus isn’t necessarily on grades but on the child’s effort.  Regardless of how great this little school is, the children are still bound by a pre-defined curriculum and a fixed schedule. Enter homeschooling. 

Learning Has No Hours of Operation

Child led learning advocate John Holt, believes that children who are provided with a rich and stimulating learning environment will learn what they are ready to learn when they are ready to learn it.  I have seen this time and time again with L as well as with some of my past students.  L is very advanced in math yet the books that he’s interested in are beyond his current reading level.  In the past few weeks, though, he has become more interested in reading on his own and surprised us on Christmas Eve when he chose to tackle our tradition of reading Twas The Night Before Christmas all by himself to an attentive audience. This is the beauty of homeschooling, allowing a child to learn in a more organic, meaningful and interactive way without rushing him through his natural development.

We are lucky that we have found a gem of a school and that we are also able to weave in many aspects of the homeschooling philosophies into our daily activities. After all, learning has no hours of operation, it’s an all day every day, even in our sleep affair! 

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26 Comments


  1. I love this and this is sooooo true! As a homeschooler, there are no “off” hours of learning, no 9-3 and then “learning is done.” Learning happens continuously, every day, at their own pace❤️ Excellent article.

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    1. Thanks so much! Both Sarah and I struggled with whether to homeschool or not, but we both found great schools for our children.Over the years we have been involved with the homeschooling community and we are really drawn to all the benefits it provides.

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  2. I loved seeing your son’s outfit choices! That is super sweet. This is a great post, and I especially love the title. It reminded me that even when you graduate, the learning is never over. No hours of operation!

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  3. We have to put hours on the electronics, otherwise our son would be on them all of the time. I love that they can help with learning, but sometimes they take away too much time from other things.

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    1. Some children do need limits on using electronics, and some adults, too. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Anne, for hosting Hearts for Home Blog Hop and for featuring our post. We will be stopping by again!

      Reply

  4. I love watching my kids learn. And some of the things they come up with on their own amaze me. It’s awesome that he adapted his game to something more challenging. So awesome!

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  5. It is so easy to forget how much of a sponge your child can be. Everything you do can be a learning experience for them. My son went to a Montessori school for Pre-K and Kindergarten and we loved the way they taught. Now we are at a DOD school (Army Base) and we are adjusting to the different style. He enjoys it and seems to be learning at a good pace.

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    1. It sounds like your son has had the benefit of different teaching styles. It is great that he is enjoying learning!

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  6. Like you, we have found the ideal balance of large-group learning at publich school and reinforcement, individualized-learning, and advancement of the concepts and interests of our boys at home after school. It’s a great combination for our family!

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    1. Your boys are lucky that you are able to respond to their needs and provide a rich learning environment at home as well as school.

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  7. What an awesome fashion sense he has, and adorable that he picks outfits for you! I love the idea of using homeschooling principles even when a child is attending school. Great food for thought 🙂

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  8. I am with you! I am glad that my daughter goes to a “real school”, yet we do a lot at home to follow her interest and expand her understanding of the world.

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    1. The problem is we always want more time to explore our own interests. 🙂

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  9. We do after-schooling with our kids, because learning truly has no limits. Also, with all of our kids at different levels in different subjects, the school doesn’t provide the necessary curriculum. I’m so glad to here that you have found a good school and also that you are enriching your child other ways.

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    1. It is true that our children often need “after-schooling” enrichment. Your children are lucky that you recognize that you can optimize their learning environment at home.

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  10. This is an interesting take on home schooling! I love the idea of kids being able to learn at a more organic pace. It’s something I’ll have to keep in mind as my kids progress through the school system…make sure they are learning things they are interested in during the after hours. Thanks!

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  11. A very inspiring post, especially for me as a homeschooling mom! I can testify as well the joy of seeing my kids passionately pursue their interests … they may not even realize they are using the knowledge and skills that they learned in school to dig deeper into topics that excite them.

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  12. He is so smart! I love that he looks for the outfits for you, lol! Too precious!

    Reply

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