Inspire, Not Require

By: Kerry Beck

After reviewing A Thomas Jefferson Education before we started school, I was reminded that it is much more important to inspire my children to learning, instead of requiring them to learn. How many of us fall back on what we know best (public education) and make all sorts of requirements on our children to learn this or that? I'm raising my hand now. This year, one of my goals is to transition my children from being required to learn to inspiring them to learn on their own. I have always desired them to have the tools of learning. This year will be a true test as they venture on their own in some areas and educate themselves.

I am looking for examples of homeschools that have inspired their children to learning. If you have a story to share, please send it to me so we can share it with others on this list. One example we have this year is the fact that my son is studying science on his own this year, as well as some other subjects. The first week of school, he studied volcanoes. He read a library book about them, listened to Lyrical Earth Science about volcanoes and built his own volcano. On Friday, he shared his volcanoes withe several other homeschool boys. They experimented having different colors of lava spewing out. As a side note, we stopped at Yellowstone Park on our way to Idaho. No, we did not see any active volcanoes. But, we did see some fumaroles and could relate this to some of the material in the books and song. He has moved on to a Backyard Ballistics project for a few weeks. Since Backyard Ballistics is a mini-textbook, he can read the entire chapter to learn how to make a tennis ball mortar, how it works and the history of this type of ballistic contraption. At dinnertime last week, he shared the relationship between his project and Roman Candles. Did you know they should really be called Chinese Candles? Read Backyard Ballistics to see why. Hopefully this desire to learn will continue through the year.

I will be watching my inbox for your stories!

© Kerry Beck, 2007

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Kerry Beck is a homeschool mom and wife! She is the author of Raising Leaders, Not Followers, which encourages parents to train their children to be leaders who lead wisely. She would like to give you a free report about Leadership Education in Homeschool Curriculum


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