Beyond the Textbook into Learning

Learning does not equal textbooks. My hope is that every homeschooler is able to look past the path of textbooks and educate the child. Textbooks are not exactly the bane of homeschooling but they are often avoided. They are avoided because textbooks are confining. In a broader sense, the textbook way of teaching is confining and ineffective. It may impart knowledge in the sense of that your child will memorize a collection of dates and names. The learning is artificial and just scratches the surface of education. I want to get past the textbook and dive into life. Textbooks make great outlines, scope and sequences, and guidelines. Textbooks do not make great teachers.

Textbooks are not capable of…

Replacing real world experience such as field trips, learning in the kitchen or even the grocery store.

Providing a sense of discovery.

Developing a sense of curiosity about the world that is inherent in lifelong learners.

Answering the questions children have about the world through firsthand observation.

A shared learning experience between the student and the teacher.

Bringing a lesson to life so the child not only understands but makes the lessons a part of her.

When we think about education our minds often wander to curriculum, textbooks, and workbooks. We have been conditioned that artificial learning in an artificial environment is education. Is there value in curriculum? Yes, I believe there is value in the right curriculum. However, experience and living are never to be replaced by a lesson plan. When school starts we hit the books, buckle down, and sharpen the pencils. Yet that is only scratching the surface of a well rounded education that encourages a sense of creativity and curiosity about the world. No need to give up on your textbook; just remember they are a guide or an outline and not the epitome of education.