I recently stumbled upon another homeschooling website that I really like – a kindred spirit! I’ve included one of her articles here, with permission of course. The information about her website is below. ~ Jamie
The Learning Pie for a Well-Balanced Homeschool
By Donna Vail
“Wisdom is learning what to overlook.” –William James
When I first began homeschooling the only way I agreed to homeschooling is if I knew my children would have everything they needed to move forward in their life once they decided to go to college, start their own business or even work for someone else. I didn’t want them to feel like they were held back because they were homeschooled. I searched far and wide for packaged systems that met my high standards. I never found that system, so instead after years personal trial and error I created my own system that met my requirements and more.
A key element I designed and incorporated in An Inspired Education is what I call the Learning Pie. The Learning Pie creates a well-balanced homeschool and naturally brings into focus everything your child will need. Relief to the parent knowing that you’re “covering it all” without the stress and chaos associated with commonly used curriculums is an added benefit.
“The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes
The Learning Pie
The Learning Pie is to be used in a self-education environment where partnerships and mentoring are practiced. To make learning happen is not to teach. Let’s explore each piece of pie.
Parent Partnerships: This is a partnership created between the parent and child, walking beside each other. Dominating relationships always experience problems. Parent partnerships, you both stay true to learning and honor the values of each.
Critical Thinking: This does not have to be a separate program, but is woven through your partnership, curriculum and everyday living, including hands-on experience. Be conscious of your conversations and make them purposeful, engaging and a springboard for critical thinking.
Independent Study: Includes academics that must be completed by the student as well as studying about special interests. This is where the child develops his skill to be a self-educator and learns how to gather information. The depth of Independent Study will depend on the child’s age and increase appropriately.
Community Service: Involvement in the community brings the child to an awareness of his world around him. Young children can be involved through family and neighbors. When children reach appropriate ages they can be more involved in community projects individually. Serving others is one of the most important lessons you can give your children.
Apprenticeships: Learning a skill from others adds another dimension to knowledge gained. When children are young and you’re partnering with them, they can apprentice with you on life skills. As they get older and develop interests apprenticing with other experts can help build skill and clarity for their greater work to move into as adults.
Field Curriculum: Much of our knowledge is found in books however, it’s equally important to among like minded people. Taking classes and experiencing hands-on learning brings together more knowledge and experience.
Work Study: When the student is old enough to work, it’s important to choose jobs that are aligned with what is intended after completion of homeschool and moving into college or professional work. Gaining experience will add to the student’s skill level, serve as excellent material for portfolio as well as bring more clarity to his unique purpose.
As you get more into living an Inspired Education you will see the wholeness and how you’re “covering it all” and then some. Coupled with Creating this balance is key in your homeschool. It eliminates the guess work and creates a life that is rich and rewarding.
“For a person to build a rich and rewarding life for himself, there are certain qualities and bits of knowledge that he needs to acquire. There are also things, harmful attitudes, superstitions, and emotions that he needs to chip away. A person needs to chip away everything that doesn’t look like the person he or she most wants to become.” –Earl Nightengale
Parents Inspired to Action:
Get familiar with the learning pie and contemplate on how it applies to different areas of interest for your children’s learning.
Always keep their values first and foremost when determining a course of action.
Remember you don’t have to do all of the pie pieces at once.
When faced with a decision you can look at your plan and see if it’s aligned with the Learning Pie, the child’s values and the overall well-being of the whole family.
Children Inspired to Action:
First and foremost determine their values and always advance in the direction of those values. Every 8-12 months revisit values determination for changes that take place as we learn, grow and move through different seasons of life.
Discuss ways learning can be structured around these values and how each subject is an important part of living in alignment with highest values.
Have your children make a list of what they’re most interested in learning. What areas of interest do they want to explore. Choose one or two and determine ways to apply the learning pie to these areas of interest.
You might be wondering what kind of systems you can incorporate to get the results you’re looking for in your own homeschool and life. What are the daily details to make it happen? Trial and error can take a lot of time. Successful people always incorporate the help of mentors and coaches so they don’t have to re-invent the wheel. If you would like a more systematic approach that includes the details to help you produce real change fast, I recommend joining the Mentor Mastery Inner Circle. It keeps you inspired and you receive coaching directly from Donna in the most important things for setting up simple, effective systems giving your children an education in excellence while creating family harmony. It’s easy. It’s affordable. Get started today at www.aninspirededucation.com/inner-circle.html.
Think peace, live love.
© copyright 2011 Donna Vail International
All rights reserved.