As a workshop leader for the education department at University of North Florida, and a workshop leader for home school parents, I have noticed many things. One of the hardest things to do is to let go of the public school model which is failing our kids, and to adopt more successful methods they have never experienced.
The Conventional Method
The Conventional method typically used in Public Schools, and their mandated curriculum, is left brain teaching (workbooks, flash cards, lectures, sit down at a desk work). It it is effective with about 45% of the children. The other 55% are like round pegs forced into square wholes. This is particularly true with active children, hands on learners, children with ADHD and those with learning disabilities.
Whole Brain Teaching
With Whole Brain Teaching one reaches all the learning styles so that about 90% o f the children are learning. With this method , children learn faster, retain more, stress is reduced (a major cause of learning disabilities), drop out rates decrease by 90%, brain health health is improved, and they love it. Whole brain teaching simply means involving as many senses in the learning process as possible (games, play, and real life experiences). It can be easily done in the classroom. However home schooling lends itself to this method very easily, because when you home school, the whole world is your classroom.
- A trip to the grocery store becomes a lesson in weights, math, and reading.
- My little brother was fascinated by monopoly which turned into a lesson in reading, math, and money counting.
- Building a fort or dollhouse with your child becomes a lesson in geometry, architecture, measuring, reading….
- Cooking together becomes a lesson in measuring and reading
- Finland now has the best education in the world, and Play is a major part of their education. “A class of first graders scampered among nearby pine and birch trees, each holding a stack of the teacher’s homemade laminated “outdoor math” cards. “Find a stick as big as your foot,” one read. “Gather 50 rocks and acorns and lay them out in groups of ten,” read another. Working in teams, the 7- and 8-year-olds raced to see how quickly they could carry out their tasks. “
1. Ring Around The Phonics is an excellent board game for parents, teachers and tutors to teach language arts (phonics, reading, comprehension, listening skills, communication skills, spelling, vocabulary, foreign languages and more) . It involves the left and right brain (whole brain) in the learning process.
2. Lesson Plans That Motivate also has some good ideas.
Whole brain teaching is a lot easier than trying to force an active child to sit at a desk and do workbooks.