‘It’s not what you do it’s the way that you do it’…
…as many home educators believe and their philosophy has turned out to be right. For according to Professor Higgins of Durham University this ditty from the Bananarama song illustrates what’s important in classrooms. See the article here.
It’s also the reason why so many families remove their kids from school. Because they feel the ‘way’ in which their children were being educated couldn’t be justify by results.
It’s always been blatantly obvious to me that whatever you try and school kids to do, if you make them feel like rubbish while they’re doing it, it’s not going to have the impact you really want.
It’s a bit like bullying. If you force kids into learning content for a specific outcome – usually this only means exam results in a school setting – then once the force is removed the content quickly becomes null and void.
It’s also obvious that if you make learning a dull, seemingly irrelevant and pointless experience then learning is not something kids are really going to take to, are they?
But if the kids are happy, well supported and encouraged, see the value of their learning experience and above all enjoy it, then they’re going to achieve.
When you home educate, you can make the learning experience your focus, rather than content. Our home educating days could go disastrously wrong. This was often when I was far too obsessed with what we were learning rather than the experience we were having. But our days mostly went swimmingly right – yep; this was on the days our experiences of learning engaged the children and they enjoyed it.
That’s why home education is so successful. Because it’s the journey not the outcome that is important to the children and when you home school you can control the journey. Too often, all the adults see as important is filling the kids with content for those wretched grades by whatever means. But get the journey right and the grades come naturally and the educational impact is lasting.
This is also why so many home educating children do so well. Their educational experience was a great one, one that was relevant to them, one they were engaged with and shared in, one they enjoyed.
Learning content for an exam in one thing. But it doesn’t make an education. It takes the whole journey of a childhood to make an education that’s really life enhancing, long term. For that to happen the experience has to be enjoyable. Too many schooled children miss out on that because too many adults think that academic results are more important than the experiences of a developing child.