I wanted my home, our homeschool experience to produce two children with the ability and desire to become a lifelong learners. What do I mean by this? I’m not sure an official definition of “lifelong learner” exists, but I think of it as including:
· Active Researcher: I hope my children will learn to FIND OUT whenever they have an interest, question, or new topic of interest. I hope they learn to enjoy the process of research and use that process to seek out information for decision-making and better understanding. I hope the habit to LOOK IT UP becomes so natural to them that begin researching as soon as the notion gains more than a murky part in their thinking.
· Critical Thinker: I hope my children learn to use a logical series of strategies to analyze and determine the validity of incoming information. Will they seek new information with a degree of skepticism, with an expectation that there will be proof behind factual statements? I hope they do.
· Effective Communicator: Superior written and verbal communication is the hallmark of a well-educated person. I hope my children work hard in their lives to facilitate good communication. Will it be a priority to express themselves clearly and completely? I certainly hope so.
· Self-Directed Learner: I want the kids to seek information on their own, without being told, assigned, or otherwise having outside expectations that promote the activity. I hope that their curiosity becomes active, dynamic, and endless. Free of assigned work, will they read and read some more to satisfy their interest? I hope so.
It seems to me that using real-world scenarios and situations to practice these skills goes further to create lifelong learners than any classroom set up could ever do. Our world today is incredibly information rich! It is incredibly exciting to be able to look for, and find, interesting information without any intermediary dishing it out. The worldwide web is a marvel!
If my children become lifelong learners, no matter what else they accomplish in their lives, I think that our homeschool experience will have been a success!