Book of the Week: Home Schooling 101

Home Schooling 101: The Essential Handbook
by Mark and Christine Field

Coming at choosing which methods to use as your children learn Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, History, Art, Music, et al. from a Christian perspective, the authors have written a good and helpful book. Or if you're not looking for that Christian perspective, but just different techniques and curriculum which are available, it is also a helpful book.

But I am going to pull 3 paragraphs out to discuss. These paragraphs resonated with me and will have a strong impact on the rest of my years home schooling and parenting.

The next aspect of your child's language arts program is that of attentive listening skills. have you ever met someone who appeared to not listen when others spoke? They may have poor social skills, or maybe they never experienced the joy of being listened to as a child.
Children learn to listen through conversation. They talk and you respond. You talk and they respond. When children know that they are heard, they begin to desire to listen as well as speak.
A child learns to listen by being listened to, not talked at. Have you noticed how many parents talk at their children? For them conversation consists of a series of commands or a lifeless interrogation. If that is what children experience in conversation, how will they learn to listen?

Have you ever had what you thought was a conversation with someone, but when you walked away, you realize that it was all one way? They really didn't share anything about themselves. Or someone that talking with them always feels like a quiz session? I have one of these people in my life, and it is so incredibly frustrating. When we talk, they don't actually respond to what I've said, but talk about something else. Sometimes it is closely related to what I was saying and other times not. Now I realize it's because they aren't really listening attentively to what I was saying. 

This same person doesn't know how to tell stories or to talk about something they've read. It's always, "Hey, listen to this." as they read a passage from a book. If I wanted to read the book, I would read it. Don't read it to me. If you want to share something you've read with me, then tell me about it and then tell me why it's meaningful to you.

Conversation is meant to be a 2-way exchange of ideas, much like a tennis game. Not tennis drills with one person constantly drilling the other person with questions to be answered, but the answers not replied to.

Homeschooling 101: The Essential Handbook by [Field, Mark]

Overall, this is a good book for getting started in home schooling. For me, it's not a great book, but those three paragraphs have made it well worth the read.

What do you think?


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