Internalization: When Children Own Their LearningSuzanne Broadhurst
Our goal is to create an environment in which our children own their learning. Transferring ownership is a process that will take time, not something that happens the moment we crack the first book or the first proverbial whip.
Adults best see the world as a big, wonder-filled adventure with some honestly scary, upsetting, life-challenging bits. Children take their cue from us. Even if we think they are ignoring us, they are watching us. They monitor our responses, our priorities, our passions and our aggravations. While they are watching, we are contributing to their take on the world. And it is their take that they will live with and modify as they go.
Leading and Reminding
As we lead our children in the adventure of learning – and yes, sometimes the tedium of repetition – we must often remind them that this “homeschooling thing” is for them, for their lives, for their futures. It’s good to remind ourselves of the same. As homeschoolers, we are simply feeding our children’s edu-experiences so they can one day feed themselves.
We are simply feeding our children’s edu-experiences so they can one day feed themselves.
Funnel of Learning
The external government of parenting should slowly transform to the internal government of personal responsibility. We must see our children through this funnel of learning.
We introduce them to the World Our Oyster and allow them to safely build a relationship with curiosity so the world becomes their oyster. That may mean – it will mean – our curiosity will begin to take a back seat to their curiosity. Each step we take with them, encouraging their interests while insisting they do mama-sponsored lessons properly and appropriately, becomes a step toward internalization.
How will we know the transfer is complete?
The current flows not in a single direction from mother to child, but returns child to mother. Learning feeds learning. Curiosity feeds curiosity. Questions feed questions. The goal, therefore, isn’t a complete transfer. The goal is a relationship with learning that is open-ended and flows freely between parent and child.
- The world is Mom’s oyster.
- The world is the child’s oyster.
- The world is our oyster.
Children best leave the homeschooling table with a heart that says, “Ah, the world is my oyster. What shall I learn today?”
Practical Oyster Hunting Tip
Share the pearls you discover – even the bumpy process of learning how to homeschool. Your delight will feed their delight. Mutually delighting in learning, you will both be shucking and sharing edu-oysters for a long time to come.