Friday, November 9, 2012

Homeschooling away from home

Jaś writing in his journal.
The time spend in Poland, by some would be considered as vacation or holidays. But do homeschooled kids have vacation? 
For us "schooling" and learning happens all the time, no matter where we are or what time of the year it is. Visiting a different country, going for an art exhibition or to a museum, going hiking or taking a walk in the forest - all this is part of learning, part of our school. 
We don't want the kids to think that learning happens only behind a desk, with pen in the hand and a book or computer in front of you. Learning is a ongoing process and it can take any form, not only reading and writing. Talking to older people about their experiences, about their childhood is also learning. Taking care of younger children or helping with the chores at home is learning too. 
Some of my friends, and even my parents, think that the kids should not be given any school work during the vacation time. But how can it be done? Our family is away from home at least 3 months in a year and can we just say: Hey stop learning when we go to this museum, don't ask any questions and don't think! We are not going to say this and I guess nobody will.
So next time don't be surprised when you see a child in a museum during vacation time with a notebook in his hand or doing his math while waiting in the restaurant for food to arrive. It doesn't mean that they have to catch up with school work, it just means they like to learn even when they are not at school.

During our stay in Poland the kids experienced some hands on
science in the Copernicus Science Centre
(Centrum Nauki Kopernik).

 We learned about Polish art in the National Art Gallery in Warsaw.

Went to the forest to learn about edible and toxic mushrooms.

Learned history at a cemetery.

Kids also played with other kids - here they made a really nice
(and very complicated) playhouse out of a cardboard box.

To top this all  up -
Zosia went back for a few days to a Polish midlle school
to meet her friends.


1 comment:

  1. I enjoy your concepts. Learning is for life, making it conceptually sound like work turns kids off it. I love how you are changing the conversation about what education should be about in Taiwan and hope that you guys become very influential. Many of us are so used to our system of learning we have no idea what more there is!

    And mushrooms, cardboard houses are awesome.

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