Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"How Children Learn" – "Love lies at the heart of all true learning"

"Love lies at the heart of all true learning."

I recently reread How Children Learn by John Holt, an early advocate of education reform and learning at home.

The last paragraph, in the last chapter, continues to echo through my mind. It states:

“Gears, twigs, leaves, little children love the world. That is why they are so good at learning about it. For it is love, not tricks and techniques of thought, that lies at the heart of all true learning.”

That bears repeating and digesting: “It is love that lies at the heart of all true learning.” Not tricks, as John Holt pointed out. Not techniques. But love.

"Curiosity grows by what it feeds on."

Earlier in this book, Mr. Holt states:

“People have often said to me, nervously or angrily, that if we let children learn what they want to know, they will become narrow specialists, nutty experts in baseball batting averages and such trivia. Not so.”

He goes on to explain that healthy children, still curious and unafraid, are not boxed in by their learning.

Rather, their learning:

“… leads them out into life in many directions. Each new thing they learn makes them aware of other new things to be learned. Their curiosity grows by what it feeds on. Our task is to keep their curiosity well supplied with food.”

"Keep their curiosity well supplied with good food."

I believe that all of us who have homeschooled our children know exactly what John Holt means. We have seen it with our own eyes, in our own children, in our own homes.

“Keeping their curiosity well supplied with food doesn’t mean feeding them, or telling them what they have to feed themselves. It means putting within their reach the widest possible variety and quantity of good food,” explains Mr. Holt.

When we provide encouragement and guidance, plus an interesting environment filled with a wide variety of topics and ideas to explore – along with the time and flexibility to follow those interests – there’s no stopping a child or the learning that will result. Because “their curiosity grows by what it feeds on. Our task is to keep their curiosity well supplied with good food.”

Happy homeschooling from www.EverythingHomeschooling.com!




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