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Ninja Homeschooling

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Ninja Homeschooling

By Linda Dobson

Homeschooling Ninja

You must remain strong...

When parents find their “homeschooling groove,” it’s as if a whole new world opens to them. At some point, all of the education myths and brainwashing and training and programming about the need for a physical, human being teacher in order to learn dissolve. The mind cob webs dissolve, making room for reality. Human beings learn. Children are human beings. Children learn. All the time. The school’s approach to education is counter-intuitive and gets in the way of real learning.

What Is Ninja Homeschooling?

Well, since I just made up the term, I guess it can be anything we want. [g] Ninjas are known for stealth, trained to take part in covert purposes. Ninja homeschooling, then, is stealth, covert learning in which you take part with your child. You as parent do not act like a teacher. (That wouldn’t be stealth or covert so it couldn’t possibly qualify as ninja homeschooling.)

7 Ninja Homeschooling Methods to Try

Remember, this is a covert operation, so you cannot do anything that might give yourself away. You must remain strong and resist any urge to lecture, give a pop quiz, ask to be read to, or demand a report. When you engage in the same types of conversations with your child as you do with another adult, your cover will not be blown. Oh, and a very important point: You’re a gentle Ninja. By whetting your child’s curiosity, your gentle ways will bring forward questions. And one more thing. It’s vital that Ninja Homeschooling is fun for everybody!

All of the following depend, of course, on the age and abilities of your child.

1. Strew

Strewing has been a homeschooler’s staple for decades. It’s not only very Ninja, it’s easy, too! Based on what you’ve observed your child is interested in, you get materials that help him learn more about those interests. Then, quite nonchalantly, you “strew” a few around the house to be discovered. Great strewing locations include a coffee table, kitchen counter, couch, computer desk and, the all-time favorite, the bathroom.

2. Bake or cook together

Recently I spoke with a young lady who took a one-semester long home economics course at school. During the course of the semester, the class made popcorn and a cake…from cake mix. That was helpful.

Cooking and baking are important life skills and valuable in their own right. They also provide opportunity for relaxed opportunity to talk about and play with numbers, fractions, measuring, where ingredients come from, how ingredients are made, why you use baking powder or yeast, what ingredients are in the store bought variety that aren’t in ours, what the heck are those ingredients, healthy diet. Actually, the list is endless but I must move on.

3. Go on a walk or hike

If you don’t already know about the flora in your neighborhood, study up so you have some cool information to share as you walk. Tell stories about the honeysuckle on your aunt’s farm when you were little, the time you were in a hurricane, how you remember when the trees in front of the library were tiny and newly planted, cool things you learned when you were in 4-H, anything and everything about nature. If your child enjoys drawing or writing, take along appropriate resources in case inspiration strikes.

4. Watch television together

What is your child curious about? There’s probably a program about it, or at least a program that covers different subjects and touches on your child’s curiosities. Movies based on classic literature offer another way to enjoy it. Whether it’s history, math, science, technology, careers, or the arts, when you watch it together you can discuss it.

5. Provide materials to paint, build, knit, glue or otherwise create

Imagine. Create. Talk amongst yourselves. Laugh. Repeat.

6. Think out loud

Can you help your child learn to think? You bet you can, especially if you walk around being a shining example by “wondering” and “thinking” right out loud. It’s simple and fun. You say out loud, “I thought it was awfully nice that the cashier waited so patiently for that elderly couple to pay for their groceries.” “I wonder if one pizza will be enough for dinner or if we should get two.” “I wonder what I’ll find when I dig a hole right here.”

Your child will spend a moment considering the cashier’s kindness. He’ll figure out how many slices of pizza each family member is likely to eat and add them up (probably deciding that two pizzas are best no matter what the final tally). He’ll happily join you in digging, observing, and examining what might be lurking in the ground.

Think and wonder out loud about everything. Encourage your child to do the same. Look forward to the day when you least expect it, to be outwitted or out-debated by that same child you used to make giggle about what’s in that hole.

7. Include your child (especially teens) in household repairs, car maintenance, gardening, finances, laundry and housekeeping needs

Just the other day I read “Why Your Teenager Can’t Use a Hammer.” The thought is depressing, but it doesn’t have to be that way for your child. It’s great to start early, but if your child is older it’s never too late to get started. If our economy keeps going the way it is, it won’t just be “nice” if your child is self-reliant; it could be the difference between being safe and comfortable, and being in a world of hurt.

Ninja Homeschooling: Don’t be home with the kids without it.

Be a better Ninja Homeschooler: Linda’s The Learning Coach Approach contains many more fun learning ideas in an e-Book for just $2.99.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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