Fun-Schooling: Out with the Old, In with the New!

How to Fun-school

(Be sure to visit the tab on this site entitled “Flip to Fun-Schooling”, which gives lots of detailed information and links.)

Your first step in changing over to Fun-Schooling is to think about what is currently working well, and what current curriculum options and methods are not a good fit for your kids.

Take courage and get rid of all the stressful stuff. Take it out to the car right now, or burn it, or donate it. If your kids really hate it, let them burn it. Celebrate a new beginning and replace everything that didn’t work with Fun-Schooling.

New Fun-Schoolers often need to start with a few of the the smaller more focused journals, or just a Core Journal and stack of library books that the child loves.

The whole goal is to take away what isn’t working and replace it with something that brings your child joy. Some things need to wait, like reading or multiplication. You know these things matter, but your child isn’t ready to master them.  Your child may need an extra year or two to develop the mental skills for certain things. So focus on the skills your child is ready to learn and stop pushing the things that stress the child’s heart and mind.

There are so many wonderful ways to learn, we don’t have to settle for boring or miserable things, just because it’s always been done that way.

Also, celebrate your child’s efforts, talents and small accomplishments. It’s common to just hammer away at the problem areas and make our kids feel like failures. Everyone will have a happier existence if we focus on the good things and not our worries.

No one wants to live under a magnifying glass that is constantly  zeroing in on the flaws, yet that is what traditional education is all about… counting our mistakes and judging us and grading us based on all the imperfections in our work. This is no way to live, or raise a child. This method of education and parenting is the reason most of us to think we will never be good enough because we can’t be perfect.

This is why we don’t have grades and answer keys in Fun-Schooling Journals. They base the child’s education on research, logic, thinking, being resourceful, problem solving, creativity, a quest for knowledge–all based on the child’s passion and career dreams.

My children love learning because it’s a quest for the mystery of knowledge, power, understanding, beauty, skills, and invention. Learning something brings each of us closer to unlocking an ability or solving a mystery.

Remember when your child was four or five and they were so curious about EVERYTHING that they asked you 900 questions a day? Traditional schooling snuffs out that curiosity. Fun-Schooling nurtures it.

Bring back the wonder, the joy, the curiosity. It’s time.

Are You Raising Clever Kids?

The whole point of Fun-Schooling is learning how to raise clever children. So, let’s talk about the meaning of the word “clever”. When we hear people talk about education, and what parents are supposed to do to raise kids that are going to be successful and get good educations, we don’t usually hear the word “clever”.

This is the essential meaning of “clever”:

“Intelligent, able to learn things quickly, intelligent thinking, funny in a way that shows intelligence, skillful, mentally quick, resourceful, marked by wit and ingenuity”. 

Webster’s Dictionary

How do we do raise clever kids? By encouraging curiosity, exploration, and wonder–and throwing out all that curriculum that puts your kid in a box where he or she does not belong.

Raising clever kids, especially clever kids with character and curiosity, doesn’t happen in the same way that you raise kids who make good grades. It’s different. I’m not talking about raising kids that are good at taking tests.  I’m talking about raising kids that know how to be creative in life, how to find solutions, and how to love learning.

Let’s talk about what Fun-Schooling is. If you already read my previous backstory on Fun-Schooling, then you know a little about my story and how I started homeschooling when I was 14 by pulling myself out of public school (and all its drama) with the help of my mom and dad. We went a totally different way with our homeschooling. Nobody was telling anybody how to homeschool back 21 years ago. We went to the library and got a whole bunch of books about everything I was curious about.

Do you know that true learning is fueled by curiosity? I want you to think for a minute about all the materials and things you are using with your kids. Do they inspire curiosity? Do they answer the questions that your child has about life? Kids naturally want to figure out how to grow up and do things. Some people a long time ago got an idea that there’s a whole bunch of content that you have to put in a child’s brain and make them memorize so that they can be successful. You aren’t raising kids to be clever that way. You are raising kids who try really hard to memorize things, and then forget it.  I want to raise kids who have skills. I want to raise kids who never lose the wonder and curiosity they had when they were five.

Think about your kids when they were five. They were like, “Why is the sky blue? Why does a cat have fur?” Kids don’t have to lose that curiosity and wonder. Traditional schooling methods take that away, and destroy it. Typical schooling methods tell the child what to learn and to stop asking questions. Memorize the facts If a child is good at memorizing things, then he or she is considered to be a good student by the system.

So many kids cannot memorize…and most of the they are being made to memorize doesn’t matter. Kids will ask, “When am I going to use these things in real life, Mom? Why do I have to learn this? It means nothing to me.”

Guess what? They’re right. Most of it they are never going to use, and a lot of it isn’t really even a building block for their future learning. It’s just a way to move on to the next grade.

Let’s fuel curiosity and raise a generation of clever kids.