The Brave Learner - Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life


How much do I want to read more? 8/10

I'm glad such books exist, paved with people who engaged in this journey before us. Who can relate their story, their success and their failure.
It's helpful, really.


FOREWORD - by Susan Wise Bauer

I’ve been homeschooling for decades—first as a home-educated student myself, and then as a mother of four.
I’ve tried very hard to create a passion for learning in my children. But as I near the end of my homeschool journey, I realize just how impossible that is.
We can’t create a love for education. the passion for learning is a mysterious, internally generated force.

All those years of experience have finally taught me that my job, as a parent, as a teacher, isn’t to persuade my kids to fall in love with grammar or math, history or science.
Instead, our task is to provide the oxygen-rich surroundings that will allow sparking new interests to blaze into full life: a rich, varied, colorful landscape in which our kids can find their own paths forward into meaningful, challenging adult lives.

But we can set the “conditions for that magical eruption of passion to occur.”
it’s also more than that. It’s a primer on how to be present in the moment, how to find the immediate joys of life in the midst of our daily labors.

INTRODUCTION

The whole world is a series of miracles, but we are so used to them we call them ordinary things.

—- HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

Every home educator and parent I’ve met offers me the same mission statement: “I just want my children to love learning.” Me too.
When I began my homeschooling odyssey, I imagined my “in love with learning kids” would wake up, tumble down the stairs, and dive at the math book, declaring: “I can’t wait to work on fractions today!” I bet you’re ahead of me—that never happened. Not once.

Over my years of homeschooling, the glittering vision of a “love of learning” shape-shifted multiple times—perhaps it meant that my children’s passions would magically teach them grammar; maybe it meant I’d find a trick to get my kids to fall in love with geometry; maybe we needed to start in ancient Greece and work forward until my children became consumed with self-education.

I asked myself: What causes kids to put in the hard work of learning what they don’t know, because they want to know?
The core idea behind “a love of learning” is that a child will find the challenge of a task interesting enough to persist at it until mastery.

The solution doesn’t lie in materials or ideology. Rather, to experience joy, peace, and progress in home education requires a paradigm shift—a change in the criteria for how we see and stage our homeschools.
The key to a kinder and gentler homeschool is attending to the details we overlook—the coziness of our homes, the principles of natural learning, and the tenderness of our intimate relationships. It takes courage to move away from traditional methods of measurement: grade level, scope and sequence, the Common Core.

I wanted to know: How can I ensure that my children are learning all they should? You have to be brave to learn a new way to see education and to execute it, trusting that your kids will arrive on the shores of adulthood, prepared to tackle their futures.

I gave a little lecture I titled “The Enchanted Education.” I spoke about candles and trust, eye contact and a sense of humor, predictable routines and splendid surprises, finding the school subjects hiding in a child’s passions and interests, having the courage to reimagine education. I explained what the research shows: children are already engaged in learning—parents are the ones who can most effectively coax and expand a child’s natural inclination to learn. The principles of enchantment—seeing the magic in the learning transaction—caught the imaginations of thousands of home educators.

learning thrives when our families thrive.
You are free to shed strict adherence to an ideology. Please do.
explore and experiment, apply and discard suggestions in this book. Allow yourself the joy of discovery—how one idea will spark another and lead to a brand-new vista!
Once you apply the properties of enchantment and connect to the hearts and minds of your kids, the world will open to you as a “write your own adventure” book. Learning will be pleasurable, and enjoyment of your children—natural.


PART ONE - The Enchanted Landscape of Learning

A lifestyle of learning begins at home—with parents who create a context that is welcoming of children as they are and that offers them happy experiences, accessible tools, and parental involvement.
What causes learning to “catch fire”? What douses the learning impulse? How do home educators uncover the school subjects hiding in a child’s interest?

CHAPTER 1 - ENCHANTED LIVING - Creating the Context for Magic in Our Homes

An artist’s invitation to possibilities and projects in process at all times. You knew you could take risks in Dotty’s house—it had room for mistakes and flops. No one would mind.