I have been away from the blogosphere for a while (does that terminology still exist?). I have shut down a failed website on music education, redecorated my office for better aesthetics and functionality, and starting new projects for myself and my family that I am really excited about.
However, I am not going into that today. I want to share with you something that I read recently. I think this article may change the way I homeschool forever because so far the implementation of ideas I gleaned from this article has worked extremely well.
Take the next five minutes and read this article by Alexandra Swan
Notice the article wasn’t labeled “gifted” or “talented”, it is merely “accelerated”. Or as I have come to think of it: Laser Focused
I really like the idea of focusing intensely for a few hours on subjects, mastering them, and then having more time to spend on your passions. This works well with my philosophy of play is work and when work is play, you never really work a minute in your life. Work is no longer a four-letter word (in the derogatory sense).
I also think the habit, the ability to focus intensely is an amazing trait to possess in today’s “byte” sized world. Entertainment, education, media, and online activities all come at us at break neck speeds and are gone just as quickly, dulling us into a shortened attention span (ADD anyone?).
I won’t pull punches. My long-term goal for my kids is for them to possess an associate degree before they are 18. However, after this article, I may have set my goals too low.
I also like this idea because after a session of intense focus, I am available to work on my projects as the kids find their own passions and interests. Of course I will always be there to help them in whatever they may pursue. However, for the most part, they are on their own to pursue their interests. To explore and find that one thing (or more) that doesn’t seem like work.
My Discoveries in the First Week of Focused Learning
I don’t intend on over stimulating or rushing through work during these sessions. So far, these situations haven’t presented themselves. Something has presented itself and has been a surprising by-product of this mode in learning. My daughter is more imaginative, self-starting, and engaged in her “off” time. Before, she had to be prompted a little to find something to do. Now it has gone to the other end of the spectrum. She is doing an amazing job at learning and playing when not in “school”.
Now, I will admit, I have no idea if this is a correlation to the new learning technique or a complete coincidence in her mental and physical development as a toddler. Only time will tell.
Have you ever tried accelerated “focused” learning?
I mean, we are homeschooling for many reasons but we might as well enjoy the fact that we don’t have to be in “school” from 8-3 like the majority of the public. We can adapt, test, and change our modes and methods to fit our lifestyles.
Also, what did you think of the year-round school? It seemed reasonable to have some kind of continuous learning and reviewing so that you don’t “forget” over the summer.