Recently I have been reading up on home education. As well as all the excellent websites and online resources relating to home schooling I have been rereading some of my favourite books on the subject.
Many years before I even considered home schooling for our family I read The Children on the Hill: the story of an extraordinary family by Michael Deakin and loved it.
First published in Great Britain by Andre Deutsch in 1972, it is the story of ‘Maria’ and ‘Martin’ bringing up their four exceptional children in a cottage in a remote corner of Wales and teaching them at home by ‘the process’ based largely on the philosophy and methods of Maria Montessori.
Maria and Martin provided the necessary materials and complete undivided attention to the children which created the loving environment in which their talents and passions could flourish. This meant that Maria would complete her household chores at night while the children were asleep in order to be completely available to the children all day; so that no moment of readiness to learn a new concept would be missed. The learning was lead by the children and the children’s toys and learning materials were regarded in the same way. They ‘played maths’ as happily as any other game.
The children all excelled in different areas. Christian, aged12, had already passed A Levels in science and mathematics. Adam, aged 9, had won a national piano competition for children under 18 years. Ruth, aged 7, painted brilliant pictures and Paul, aged 5, wrote his sums in the computer language FORTRAN.
When I first read the book it fascinated me and seemed somewhat extreme; but rereading it now it seems such a natural and beautiful way of living and learning.
The other book I am enjoying again is Creative Home Schooling for Gifted Children: a resource guide by Lisa Rivero.
Published by Great Potential Press in 2002, this book is a comprehensive guide to home based education of gifted and talented children which covers information such as
- Getting started with home education
- Different approaches and philosophies in home education
- Traits of giftedness
- Social and emotional needs
- Intellectual needs and learning styles
- Record keeping /college planning/legal aspects
- Advice and experiences from home schooling parents
- A huge collection of resources such as web sites, books, publishers, manufacturers and suppliers and support groups
This book is an essential how- to manual for parents who are homeschooling their gifted children or are contemplating embarking on the journey of home education.
Lisa Rivero will be the guest expert on #gtchat this week.
For full details about how to participate in #gtchat see Deborah Mersino’s Ingeniosus website http://www.ingeniosus.net/gtchat