Welcome to FHD’s 3rd annual event, Homeschooling for Free and Frugal Series! Click here to begin reading all of the new Homeschooling for Free and Frugal articles. This article is by contributor, Heather Haupt
They say that talk is cheap. Usually “cheap” is meant in a derogatory sense. But when it comes to homeschooling, talk is cheap. No, really.
Ok, maybe to get away from the negative connotations of “cheap” let’s substitute a favorite word over in these parts – frugal. Or better yet, let’s call it what it is – FREE! In a day and age where you are told at every turn to buy this or buy that, I’m here to remind you that you have one of the biggest ingredients to homeschool success right on the tip of your tongue.
It’s powerful. While it won’t cost you a dime, there is an investment of time. For most of us, the beauty of relationships factors high on our reasons to homeschool. So conversing with our children is a natural outflow.
While it may seem like a “no biggie,” talking with your kids packs a powerful punch. So what do I mean by talk?
Dialogue is different than a lecture. It is a two-way conversation. Homeschooling provides a wonderful opportunity to employ this in so many areas – during daily life, when we are reading aloud to our kids, when we are out and about, and my favorite: in the car.
Opening up dialogue with your children is a potent way to accomplish the following things:
- Dialogue helps promote understanding. When we talk with our children there is two-way communication going on and we can insure that our children really understand what we are trying to convey. This is practically impossible to accomplish in a classroom setting since the teacher-student ratio is so much larger.
- Dialogue promotes retention. As your children explain what they are learning, or ask questions along the way, they are learning. The act of verbalizing what they are thinking about and processing cements information into memory in a meaningful and organized way. It enables them to better utilize that information later on too. That can’t happen when they aren’t given the opportunity to talk!
- Dialogue demonstrates understanding. When you are homeschooling your own kids, the need to do a book report or history test simply isn’t as important as it is in a classroom situation. You SEE your child reading and then over lunch you can discuss the book. You can ask some of the who, what, when, where, and why questions to draw out what they are getting from their reading. The same holds true for testing knowledge. I do this all the time and call it Incognito Testing. My kids don’t even realize they are being tested. It is truly genius.
Don’t underestimate the value of this relationship-building, knowledge-growing tool. Simply taking the time to explore and then share your discoveries and observations with one another goes a long way not only towards building their minds, but also in preparing for life-long learning and critical thinking.
Pursue the conversation, cultivate learning.
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