Keep talking with the kids…

A bright orangy red beetle flew in through the open cottage door and landed on my notebook! After a good look at it I got up and took it back out to the garden. Then went and looked it up. (I think it might be this one or a cardinal but not entirely convinced – obviously didn’t study it close enough!)

It put me in mind of all the little finds we made when the girls were here home educating and how each would be a cause for study and plenty of conversation.

This was always the way of it when home educating. We discussed everything from the mundane to the mind blowing. In fact, if someone asked how we homeschooled, I’d say; we talked our way to education!

Having conversations about stuff all the time, about what we saw, what we were learning, how things worked, why things were, why people did what they did, why this happened, why that happened, and even why there were no apples left and whose fault that was (see – I did say mundane), has a really valuable effect on their personal development.

Conversations develop thinking, analytical and reasoning skills, language and comprehension, creativity and problem solving, confidence and thought processing. It develops ideas and courage in speaking and expressing them – sorely needed for those vital job interviews, and expands those social skills everyone seems paranoid about homeschooled children lacking. Young people who can talk confidently are far more appealing than those who have nothing to say or the confidence to say it. Those who can converse articulately immediately appear more intelligent and demonstrate more polished social skills, than those who cannot. Extended conversations develop intelligence far more than having reams of written work.

We didn’t do much written work in relation to conversational learning. Writing all the time puts kids off learning. Having conversations, which give the children opportunities to question and discuss in an instant and satisfying way with another adult, exercises the learning brain more effectively.

And it’s far more fun – for them and for you. As long as you’re not guilty of making every little conversation an educational one – which I think I may have done!

I’m not saying there’s never a time for not conversing. Sometimes everyone needs a bit of silence! But don’t think that just because your child is talking instead of writing they’re not learning, they’re not developing, or they not intelligent. They certainly will be. And what’s even better is that it makes them feel worth your time and attention, worth listening to, which increases self-esteem as well.

Talking matures so many of the skills needed to become an intelligent educated person. Spend time on it. Let the writing come later.

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6 thoughts on “Keep talking with the kids…

  1. I needed to read this today. Let the writing come later. I love that. It’s the one thing I worry about – how little writing my boys do.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. We’ve been home educating for almost a year now and I have really noticed the value of simple conversation to learning. Some of our best learning happens on long car journeys, when there is nothing else to do but chat. I really agree that too much writing puts children off learning. Why should they have to do a written “project” or story or poster or whatever to demonstrate their knowledge? Unless they want to of course.

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