Home > home education > Don't kill their curiosity!

Don't kill their curiosity!

What is about adults that makes them so quick to say things that totally kill a child’s interest and motivation??

Today we had our second class at the homeschool co-op we’re signed up for this year.  The classes are taught by homeschooling parents, but there are a lot of ways to homeschool, and the classes reflect the approach of the teacher, obviously.

My ds told me last time he asked a question in one of his classes, and he was told, “What a good question!”  And then given the assignment as homework to look up the answer.  Right after he said this, dd14 exclaimed, “I know!  Someone in my class asked a question last time and was told to find out the answer and do a report to the class on it.  I’m not asking any questions!!”

You would think homeschooling parents would know better than to fall into this trap, wouldn’t you?  After all, isn’t it pretty obvious that no child is going to want to ask for more information if they’re given lots of work as a reward for their curiosity?

It reminds me of when a child asks how to spell something, and they’re told to go look it up.  (I’ve been guilty of that.  :))  In the real world, if someone wants to know how to spell something, they ask the people around them, and look it up on their own only as a last resort.  So why not directly answer the child asking so they can learn the proper spelling and go ahead and use it for whatever purpose they had in mind?

It’s when we don’t trust the natural desire of a child to learn and seek mastery that we feel we have to jump on every possibly educational opportunity and force the learning down their throats.

Less is more!

Avivah

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Categories: home education
  1. julie
    October 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

    right on target, as usual!! i love the way you can always see deeper into everyday happenings… thanks for the continued inspiration- julie

  2. kaet
    October 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    This is such a good point, and yet I can see how easily people would fall into that trap if they haven’t thought it through this way.

    Would you mention to those parents/teachers that the kids are being put off asking questions?

  3. Malkie
    October 11, 2010 at 5:30 am

    I tell my son to look up words if he wants the *correct* spelling. Otherwise, he can ask me. That’s what you get when you’re mom is dyslexic! (“”their”? Let’s see… there’s a T, and then an H… and an I and E but I can never remember the order… why don’t you just try in on my laptop and have spellcheck help you, honey?”).

    What a shame that the instructor is unwittingly insulting the students like that. Is it a good class in other ways?

  4. October 11, 2010 at 11:03 am

    The classes are otherwise great – I think it’s easy for people to do something like this because that’s what education looked like for us! We asked a question, and were told to look it up, so we do the same thing to our kids. (But how often did we ever look things up after getting that answer??)

    The kids mentioned this to me on the way home from the most recent class, so there hasn’t been an opportunity to mention it. But I think that for constructive feedback to be well-received, that there be a positive relationship of some sort, and I’ve only met these women very, very briefly. I’d like to know them better before offering any feedback of any sort, unless I’m expressly asked about it.

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