One of the most common questions homeschoolers hear from outsiders is “How are you going to teach ___”. You can fill in the blank — calculus, chemistry, algebra, physics, whatever.
That question always perplexes me. It’s so easy for people (children, grown ups, teens, anybody) to learn things!
There’s books, online videos, tutors, classes, web sites, video games, scripted curricula, family friends, PSEO… Really, there are dozens of ways that are so much better than the old “30 students in a classroom with a teacher” method!
Case in point: Victoria’s photography
Victoria is 13 years old and has become an excellent photographer. This is despite the fact that I know nothing at all about photography or cameras. Her dad has taught her a little bit, but she is almost exclusively self taught.
Friends sometimes tell her, “I wish I had a fancy camera like yours so I could take pictures like that!” but the truth is, her camera is complicated and it’s much harder to take good pictures with it than it is with a point and shoot. I know — I borrowed it one night at the pageant and tried to take pictures with the thing. It was a bit of a train wreck.
So how did she learn? She read books, web sites, manuals and blogs. She experimented. She talked to professional photographers and asked questions. She practiced. She brainstormed. She joined Flickr groups. She read and studied and tried things out.
And I happen to think she’s done a better job teaching herself than most outside teachers could have!
Although I admit I may be a bit impartial.
(All photos by Victoria Bayer)
There is an old saying that teaching is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire. I love to watch my children tend their fires.