Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Human Development and Learning

This was posted to an unschooling list. The same principles holds throughout life!

In the course of researching an article about crawling (of all things), I can across some absolutely beautiful words by Dr. Alan Green, pediatrician:

"This is our goal: to provide a nurturing environment where a child can develop at his optimum pace. We don't want to hurry him; we do want to encourage him. We also want to identify anything that may be an obstacle in his path."

He then advises a concerned grandmother to "observe your grandson's spontaneous play. This will give you the best clues to the developmental tasks that are important for him to learn next. Children tend to be most excited about skills they are on the brink of mastering. If you try to engage him in an activity that is beneath his developmental level, he will quickly get bored. If you try to interest him in something that he is not yet ready for, he will become upset. (Note: babies don't tend to cry when they fail, but rather when the activity isn't at the right developmental level)...Provide situations where he can teach himself through playful exploration. Forced teaching hinders development."

(source: www.drgreene.org/body.cfm?id=21&action=detail&ref=354)

I know he wasn't talking about unschooling, but the words seem so, so applicable!


Monday, October 08, 2007

New article on Fraser Insitute Report

The Fraser Institute: Home Schooling Improves Academic Performance and Reduces Impact of Socio-Economic Factors

Home schooling appears to improve the academic performance of children from families with low levels of education, according to a report on home schooling released today by independent research organization The Fraser Institute.

This is my favorite part, though there are lots of good parts:
"Poorly educated parents who choose to teach their children at home produce better academic results for their children than public schools do. One study we reviewed found that students taught at home by mothers who never finished high school scored a full 55 percentage points higher than public school students from families with comparable education levels."

The report is from 2001 and can be dowloaded free or for $5 here:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

"Un-School Days," in Tulsa KIds


Un-School Days
by Cindy Webb

For a kid who never went to school, Matt Moyer is doing pretty well. Matt is currently a junior at the University of Tulsa on a full academic scholarship (a result of earning a 33 on the ACT) and has already received an offer from TU for a scholarship to complete his master’s degree. His future plans include moving to Washington D.C. so he can pursue a career in computer security with an intelligence agency. “I’ll also finish a Ph.D. in computer science somewhere down the line,” says Matt.

What makes Matt’s story even more interesting is that, unlike other traditionally home-schooled children, Matt had no formal schooling at all until he was 16 years old and requested it. He then attended TCC taking algebra and calculus through a concurrent enrollment program offered to high school age students.

But just because Matt wasn’t formally schooled doesn’t mean he wasn’t educated. Matt’s parents chose a different educational approach known as “unschooling.” . . .

The article is thorough and interesting (seems to have been written by someone who really cared and understood), and there's an extensive book list and link to resources.

Great article; worth saving a link, and I hope they keep it there for a long time.

Added on Friday:
Here's a longer-term version with working links on all the resources and booklist. zamozo, thanks!! http://liberatedlearning.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/featuring-leslie-moyer/