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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Homeschooling with K'nex

Back in January, I bought Drew a tub of K'nex. Over the past month I've watched him play with them almost daily. He's made a windmill, a carousel, a tow truck, a motorcycle, a four-wheeler, a helicopter, and many others - most of which contain moving parts.

I always appreciated his work, but it wasn't until I sat down to build with him last week that I realized how difficult these projects actually are.

By playing with K'nex, Andrew is learning to follow directions in sequence, read and carry out plans, and trouble shoot when things go awry. He is learning discipline, concentration, attention to detail, and perseverance when a project gets tough - all without me beating him over the head with a teacher's manual.

We are not true unschoolers, but as I watch my children pursue their interests, I am becoming a bigger fan of unschooling.

I have heard the term "deschooling" applied to children who are leaving public school and need time to recover from their experiences, but I think many of us parents need to do some deschooling of our own.

We need to lose the mindset that learning only happens in a specific setting using specific techniques. As the late John Holt suggested, our children truly are "learning all the time".


Dawn said...

LOL - my 5yo has lots of K'nex and occasionally comes to me for help with a specific step, and I usually have to refer him to daddy! I am so NOT a spatial person. :) So I am very impressed with how well he can follow the directions on his own, when I can't even tell which end is up from the picture!

lilpeasinmypodfrom~God said...

Thats awsome! We need to get some Knex now too

Kysha said...

My children love those along with Legos and Bionicles. It's fun to watch the creations that they make with these. I'm glad to see you updating. I had been peeking for a while. Have a blessed day!