Support Your Child's Learning: Both In and Out of School!
I've done a lot of reading over the last couple of master's degrees and 60+ podcast episodes. I started the podcast to share what I was learning with you - but there's so much more information out there than I can fit in the show!
While I was studying for my Master's in Psychology, I was also trying to figure out whether homeschooling could be right for our family. I was doing a lot of reading for my degree on how children learn, and a lot of outside reading on how schools try to teach. I realized that the approaches described in the literature on the best practices to develop and sustain interest in a topic were essentially the opposite of the methods typically used to teach in school - and some of these textbooks were published twenty years ago!
My thesis for that degree was on how children engage in self-directed learning, and I combined this with research I'd done on legal issues, how homeschooled children are socialized, whether they can get into college, and lots of other topics into a course to help other families make this decision for themselves. Find out more about the course here:
I then did a Master's in Education, because I wanted to understand more deeply how the school system works, what tools and strategies are considered 'cutting edge,' and whether I was like to 'miss' anything by homeschooling my daughter.
And so many of my friends, when I told them about the homeschooling course, said "that's great, Jen, but I couldn't homeschool." Or "that's great, but I don't want to homeschool." Or simply "I'm committed to public schools."
When I asked them to tell me more about this they invariably expressed some kind of anxiety about this decision – kind of a “we’re committed to public schools but….” – they’re worried about class sizes and a lack of funding and the quality of the education their child will receive.
And I thought to myself: “hmmm…what if there was a way to take everything I’ve learned during a master’s in psychology and another in Education and make it relevant to people who are committed to public school for whatever reason, but who recognize the limitations in the system and want their children to come out of public school among the 40% of 12th-graders who can read and do math at or above a proficient level, and not among the 60% who are at a basic or below-basic level.
Parents want to imbue their children with a love of learning, but research has shown that the toddlers who couldn’t stop asking questions basically stop being curious by about third grade. Instead of asking why things happen or how things work, they learn that their job is to answer the teacher’s questions, rather than to ask their own.
And when I interviewed parents, I also found they didn’t know where to start in supporting their child’s learning – they’ve been reading to their child since birth, and they taught their child how to count, but they just don't know what to do next. So for you, I created a course to help your support your child's learning in school:
If you have questions about these courses, just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.