Monday, August 12, 2013

Home Spun comic strip #816

Home Spun comic strip #816

"Fun is the one thing that money can't buy." ~The Beatles

Have you ever researched curricula or an educational game or toy, and got excited about its possibilities? When you bought it, did your children want nothing to do with it? I fell for educational marketing all the time when my kids were younger. I still do, sometimes. Lines like, "They won't even realize they're learning!" jump out at me. "Look how much fun they will have," I think, "and they'll learn all about geography! They'll spend hours writing in journals! They'll speak three languages! They'll finally master their multiplication tables!"

I missed one important element in my search for great educational material: my children. Each with their own interests, they determined the success of the material. If they thought it was fun, they would use it. If I forced it because it was expensive, they would grudgingly use it, but boredom or frustration with the material might potentially turn them away from the subject. Most educational products are usually designed for parents who are willing to pay if they think the product gives their child an intellectual advantage. I decided I would rather start with a topic they found interesting and then figure out how to connect various subjects to it.

The best learning has always been accidental in our house, like the day they discovered you could change the language setting on the DVDs of their favorite cartoons. That was fun. Or the way my youngest learned to read, while playing a computer game. Or the time they discovered hard-boiled eggs will explode in the microwave if you don't poke holes in them. That was fun for them.

If you enjoy my comics, the first collection, No School Today? is available from these sellers:

Barnes & Noble


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