This morning I was reading a Calvin and Hobbes comic in the library....er bathroom. This is the preferred reading room in our house. I've mentioned before that Eric learned to read by reading Calvin and Hobbes comics so that is one reason this is popular bathroom reading material. Here is the comic that caught my attention.
Here is the crux of the problem in any school setting, even for those who choose to do a more traditional homeschool curriculum. What is being taught is not necessarily what a child is interested in. So how then can the child's attention be kept?
Look back at your own experience in school and what are the things you remember the most? If you are like me, the things I learned in school that I remember reflect those things I was interested in. If the subject matter did not interest me, I did not retain any of the information.
This is why I love unschooling. By catering to my children's interests I am guaranteeing that what they learn they will retain. This has been proven to me time and time again as my children come to me and spout facts they have learned or share an interesting tidbit they remember.
I know there are those out there who will cry "But what about learning things you aren't interested in? Isn't that just as important?" Sure, there are many things I have learned and am knowledgable about that were not initially in my "field of interest". I have learned them out of necessity in order to function in society. Like doing my taxes. Not very interesting, but a necessary part of life. The key, of course, is teaching your child how to learn, so that when something comes up that they need to know about, they have the resources, ability and even desire to learn about it.
Instilling a love of lifelong learning is my goal with my children. When they learn the facts is not important. How they learn them is. This is why we unschool.