Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You See, Bob, It's A Problem Of Motivation

One of the advantages of home-schooling is that you can motivate your child idiosyncratically. In fact, education should be idiosyncratic: Just logically, you want to maximize what your child learns, so you should really direct it as gingerly as possible.

A simple example is reading material. The most successful English classes I had gave broad parameters for reading material. Meanwhile, the books that everyone has to read, are often loathed for the rest of the student's life. And very often (kaffcatcherintherye) they're more about what the teacher thinks will be important and long-lasting versus what actually is.

And, of course, what is important? There are a lot of gray areas.

But I think it's generally safe to agree that the reading and writing material handed out to early grade-schoolers is pretty worthless. (Same with music handed out to people learning the piano, too! It's almost like they want reading or playing to be boring.)

So, how to motivate a first- or second-grade reader? Reading's not so much an issue for The Flower. She likes to read in bed at night.

But writing is more of a problem. First of all, it's an obsolete skill! (No, really, The Boy's notes all have to be typed!) But setting aside the issue of writing-by-hand, there's a matter of what to write.

What motivates The Flower? What makes her want to write and re-write and write some more?


She's drawing up contracts delineating her rights and responsibilities, what services will be rendered against what the rumener-- renumer-- what she's gonna get paid.

Another lawyer.

Well, The Boy went through that phase, and it's passed. So, there's always hope.

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