I'm a trained teacher.
A few months ago I flipped through my ancient portfolio–the culminating project required of teacher trainees at the university I attended. I spied my philosophy of education. I scanned it. I laughed a little at my words and the praises my profs penned in the margins. I knew so much before I started teaching.
I frequently hear teacher-turned-homeschool moms state reasons why they chose home education. I chose this way because of apathy, indifference, and disconnect. High school students would slump into my classroom and plead, "Please. Please, don't make us think."
These weren't the truant, drug-using variety. These were academic students. Students who wanted and worked for As and Bs. Burned-out-brains who did everything they could to avoid creative and critical thinking. The goal was the grade.
Something has gone awry.
Throughout my own high school and college years I had the opportunity to volunteer in four kindergarten classrooms, to teach preschool, and to care for toddlers in a daycare. Of course the nose-wiping and tattle-tailing took a toll, but the enthusiasm of finding a single spider spinning a web was contagious. Everything was exciting. An adventure.
What happens to these once-curious kids?
One day I gave my high school students a project–something about analyzing and illustrating Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes. They complained and whined, "Can we just have a worksheet?" I thought I knew the problem: they were lazy.They didn't want to complete a task requiring individuality and creative thinking. But the real problem wasn't laziness. They had lost their curiosity.
The revelation resulted in resolve. I remember asking. Dear God, if you ever give me children, help me. Help me to preserve and grow the gift you give. The gift of curiosity.
In the next nine posts I will be discussing ways to cultivate curiosity as well as how to implement a delight-directed homeschool.
Day 6: A Delight Driven Education
Day 9 : Foundation Education
Day 10: Questions and Answers