Author: Jenny Wilkins
Chinese Translator: Kai Peng
After watching this TED Talk several times, it is my belief that Education is about differential instructions. Every child is different. I have two children and they are very different in their personalities, behaviors, and thoughts. If our mainstream education is about to educate them all the same, we are in deep trouble.
Sir Ken Robinson was right on when he spoke about ADHD, it’s really about kids who are being kids but are forced to sit properly and learn hours on end. Although ADHD is real, many children are mis-diagnosed however. A lot of them couldn’t sit still and they are not ADHD, they are just being children. Another thing that really got me to think is if we describe a teacher who is teaching, but his/her students are not learning, then, the teaching is pointless. If we only focus on the subjects that are being tested such as STEM, then, we are not teaching kids broad enough skills. We are doing them a disservice.
When we look at the countries that are having high performing education system, you can quickly find out that they utilize individualized teaching and learning methodology. They made sure that their children are learning skills and knowledge across the spectrum and not to be taught just for testing purposes.
With Owen and Ella being homeschooled, one of my main goal is to make sure they are exposed to skills that are across the board. I want them to go out in the forest to learn how to shoot an arrow, how to cook, how to interact with other adults and kids on top of all the academic subjects that they need to know. People might think how you would have time for all this! Well, that’s the beauty of homeschooling, when the pressure of tests are out of the way, kids can use the time more efficiently and gain more knowledge. I often feel that life skills are a lot more important than academic skills. People often ask me about how I know that my children are up to the “grade level” or keep up with the same age kids. The answer is on some subjects, they are behind and on some subjects they are way ahead. As long as they are learning new information every day, it does not matter how “fast” or “slow” they are learning. It’s about they are enthusiastic about learning. This is the way to cultivate a life-long learner.
When I started homeschooling, I have doubted myself many times and was scared that I wasn’t doing it right and I wasn’t giving Owen and Ella enough material. But gradually, I saw them learning better, happier, engaged, and started to obtain a lot more life skills, that was the affirmation I need to know homeschooling was a right choice for them!