Posted by: chrisdavis | April 29, 2014

Context, anyone?


Textbooks inform; context educates. If we want to educate and not just inform, we must first think in terms of creating contexts.

Education is commonly thought of as sitting at a desk and reading from a book, and/or listening to a teacher. The subject being taught does not have to mean anything to the student. The best we can do to make him learn the material is 1) make it as interesting as possible; or, 2) threaten him with a bad grade if he fails to learn it.

I have a suggestion for every parent…Once you have decided your child really needs to learn a particular concept or subject, instead of reaching for a textbook or searching for the “best” curriculum on that subject, ask yourself, “Can I create a context so learning this subject flows naturally from that context?

[from Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally available in paperback or as an e-book from Amazon.com]

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Responses

  1. This is the very reason I decided to not get a science curriculum for 2nd grade. Instead, we are getting a membership at the science museum starting next week. We will go once or twice a month and spend the better part of the day there. With so much time, we will be ble to thoroughly explore whatever captures the kids’ fancy. If they decide to spend an hour trying to make a water tower that doesn’t fall over in an earthquake (with oversized Legos and a big ball at the top), or half an hour exploring the magnetic displays, or two hours studying the displays on nature or the human body, then that is what we will do. I expect that this year will build such a concrete understanding of basic science concepts that they will remember far more than I ever did when studying my A Beka science classes.

    Who knows? Maybe we will decide to renew our membership for next year. After all, with a family our size, it only takes 3 visits to pay for the membership!

    • Great comment. We took nature walks, following the same trail each week and trying to notice subtle changes in everything on the trail. Very rewarding. Also, kept things in a terrarium (i.e. snakes, etc). You will have fun!


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