Monthly Archives: April 2014

Context, anyone?

Textbooks inform; context educates. If we want to educate and not just inform, we must first think in terms of creating contexts.

Education is commonly thought of as sitting at a desk and reading from a book, and/or listening to a teacher. The subject being taught does not have to mean anything to the student. The best we can do to make him learn the material is 1) make it as interesting as possible; or, 2) threaten him with a bad grade if he fails to learn it.

I have a suggestion for every parent…Once you have decided your child really needs to learn a particular concept or subject, instead of reaching for a textbook or searching for the “best” curriculum on that subject, ask yourself, “Can I create a context so learning this subject flows naturally from that context?

[from Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally available in paperback or as an e-book from Amazon.com]

What Is Sensible?

One day your adult child says, “I am doing exactly what I have always wanted to do with my life.”

What else could he, or she, say that would make you more proud and think, perhaps, you had done something right as a homeschool parent?

As a youngster, my middle son, James, encountered a quote that became a life-driver to him. It went something like,

“If I will spend a few years doing what others will not do, then I can spend the rest of my life doing what others cannot do.”

I have met people all over the world who are not doing what is in their hearts to do. Instead, they are doing something someone told them would be sensible.

What is sensible? What sensible thing should your child end up doing with his, or her life? What could be more sensible than what God created him, or her, to do?

You might be saying, “Duh!”

Yet, I watch homeschooled kids plodding through textbook after textbook and wonder what their parents really believe about all this.

Maybe your child is not spending “a few years doing what others will not do…” because your child is spending those years on irrelevancies that rob him, or her, from becoming amazing at what God created him, or her, to be doing in life.

 

[This idea is fully explored in my new book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally, which can be found on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book versions].

Buying Next Year’s Curricula

‘Tis the season for most homeschoolers to purchase their curricula for the next school year.

How about you?

I just received an email from a friend and fellow pioneer homeschooler. She has been attending homeschool bookfairs and she wrote the following sad note:

“I have been attending lots of HS conventions lately and the focus is on earning credit hours…”

Most of you know that one of my favorite people is John Gatto, who spent 30 years as a New York inner-city public school teacher. After being presented with the NY State Teacher-of-the Year Award, Gatto had this to say to homeschooing parents:

If you want to know how to educate a child, find out what the public school does and do something else.

The problem is most homeschoolers would not know what else to do.

That is why I wrote my latest book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally. In the book—and in the spirit of Gatto’s comment to us homeschoolers—I take each subject and provide practical ideas of how to do something else.

Am I suggesting you don’t need to follow the pattern of the public schools even though most curricula (including homeschooling curricula) does just that!

That is exactly what I am suggesting. Why? Because you have been called to do something higher than simply preparing your children for a job or for college. Jobs and college are byproducts of the higher things we have been called to do with our kids.

Here is a quote from my book:

“High school graduation requirements drive most homeschooling parents to take the [traditional] Scope & Sequence seriously even if they have not taken it seriously until High School. After all, how can a child graduate until he has satisfied the requirements for graduation?”

In my book, I answer this question…

The Kindle version of my book is less than $10.00. Please do yourself a favor and read it before you spend lots of money on graded, subject-specific curricula. The book is available at Amazon in both paperback and as an e-book.

You can also visit my website ChrisDavisRecommends where I have placed all the curricula and homeschooling materials I recommend:

Have a great summer (and consider joining me in Israel this year)
Chris Davis

 

Please Watch This!

I rarely pass on videos I consider a “must see”.

But, I have just watched a video I consider something every parent must watch.

Why? Because publishers of homeschooling materials are rushing to revamp their curricula to match Common Core standards…

Is that what you want to put before your child?

Here is the link: www.CommonCoreMovie.com (if the link doesn’t work, go to the trouble to copy it and paste it into your browser address line).

Watch it.