To answer that I’m going to give you a quote from the creator, author, and publisher of Fun-Schooling journals and Dyslexia Games, Sarah Janisse Brown:
What is Fun-Schooling?
By Sarah Janisse Brown
Fun-Schooling is like lighting a match, sparking curiosity and watching for opportunities to fan the flame.
It’s about seeing everything as educational and allowing children to explore, discover and have fun.
We guide the children through a customized and child directed education that incorporates all the relevant and necessary subjects and skills that the individual student needs in order to thrive.
We focus on the child’s unique talents, interests, and individual callings, goals or career dreams.
Learning is realistic, natural, colorful, messy, intentional, playful and meaningful.
When a family flips to Fun-Schooling they give up the methods that are not working well and embrace a lifestyle of learning and discovery that brings joy.
Fun-Schooling moms learn along side the children and are an example of learning. We try to be the change we want to see in our children. We offer our children a learning experience that is beautiful and delightful.
We teach children to research by setting them free to master the topics that they love. Within those topics they explore history, science, numbers, and words that relate to the topic and all subjects become intertwined. The children become so drawn into the process of learning through discovery that they don’t think of learning as school.
Over time Fun-Schooling children master one skill and one subject after another. They don’t subject 5 separate subjects each day. They don’t learn from a text book but from a cast variety of learning tools, media, people and experiences. Some Fun-Schooling students will focus on the same passion year after year and become experts at a young age. When the child’s interest deepens the Fun-Schooling parents allow the child to major in that specialty, often letting go of time wasters and busy work.
What is the goal of Fun-Schooling?
Fun-Schooling children are allowed to learn through the natural process of mastery.
First they observe an example, next they play, then they experiment, then they research, then they become focused and add vigorous devotion.
Over time they immerse in the topic or development of a skill. They connect with others who have the same interest. Eventually they master the subject or skill, and do it well enough to inspire, teach and help others.
In time they become so skilled that they become valuable to the community and people are willing to pay for the skill or they find ways to make the world a better place because their passion becomes their calling.
Parents and students can use Thinking Tree Curriculum Journals to guide them on the Fun-Schooling Journey. Students can use library books, games, apps, YouTube, and documentaries with their Journals to create portfolios of the child’s learning experience and creative educational development.
Think back to when your child was a toddler and learning new things such as how to walk, how to talk, how to dress himself, feed himself, etc. Do you remember how he would watch others, then try to imitate them over and over until he got it right and how PROUD he would be when he did?
When he got a little older you heard, “Mommy, where do birds sleep?”, “Grandma, why is that bee sitting on that flower?”, and the one everyone “fears,” “Where do babies come from?” Children are born with natural curiosity and are excited and anxious to learn, so answer these questions to the best of your ability and try to be patient with them, even when they ask 100 questions a day! If you do, you will help foster their love of learning.
When a child starts school at a public school, he goes from being able to learn about the things that interest him in ways he understands, to being told what he HAS to learn and HOW to learn it! It’s not the teacher’s fault. There are many wonderful, caring teachers out there and I am in no way criticizing them, but they are told what to teach. The implementation of the common core (state’s standards or whatever your state calls it) forced teachers to relearn how to teach so all children would be taught the same things in the same way at the same grade level. They were required to “pick up the pace”…even if it meant leaving struggling students behind. Unfortunately, this is just they way our school systems are set up. (Again, this is my opinion of the public school system and common core based on my experiences, research, and conversations with public school teachers.) Most private schools are similar (although they aren’t required to teach the standards and can add curriculum such as Bible Study classes as they like.) Even homeschoolers who use standard curriculum are telling their children what they must learn and how to learn it. Read this history text; answer these questions; memorize these facts; take a test; and repeat.
Year after year, children are force fed facts they don’t want to learn about; have no interest in; and frankly, will probably never use again once they graduate! Even most college graduates agree they don’t use much (if any) of what they learned in college out there in the real world.
Some children do very well with this kind of “forced” learning. I did. My grandson did at first, before the pace got too fast, the information too overwhelming, and they kept forcing my right-brain little guy to try to learn in a left-brain manner. No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to fit a square peg into a round hole…at least not without doing damage! If you completely stop letting a child choose what they want to learn and use a “one size fits all” method of teaching, eventually that child is going to forget what it’s like to be naturally curious…to WANT to learn…to have a love of learning. I’m not just “running my mouth” here. I’ve seen it happen to my 14-year-old grandson! By the time we pulled him out of public school in 8th Grade, he had starting HATING it! He had totally lost his love of learning! Recently, I realized it happened to me, too, when I was young. By high school I hated history and science (and school if I’m going to be truthful.) The only reason I did well was because I was good at memorizing and recalling facts. I didn’t LEARN anything in those science and history classes. Homeschooling my grandson, I have learned and retained more than I ever did when I was in school, and I did because I WANTED to learn about the Civil War and Newton’s Laws! I WANTED to learn about the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl!
Children learn in different ways. It’s up to the parents to figure out what way works best for their child. They also have many different interests or passions. I believe the longer children have been forced to learn things they don’t want to learn, the longer it may take them to adjust to being able to choose what they want to learn. If you had told me a year ago that my grandson would be WILLINGLY researching and learning new things, I would not have believed you. BUT HE IS! He may not be researching how to balance chemical equations, but he’s researching…and he’s learning and I couldn’t be happier! Thanks to Fun-Schooling, my grandson is starting to rediscover his natural love of learning…and so is his old Grandma!