Friday, September 10, 2010

New year, new start?

It’s a new school year.

You have a binder full of mediated learning notes that have collected dust over the summer. Deep in the annals of your memory you remember something about the brain being modifiable and able to change. You are thinking this is exactly what needs to happen with my homeschool--a lobotomy!

But where do you start when you’ve kinda forgotten everything you learned at a workshop last January?

Well, let me ask you something.

Where do you think you should start?

Take a moment and assess yourself and where you are at with homeschooling this week. Are you just struggling to get back into routine? Pulling your hair out at the resistance to a subject exhibited by a child?

Where is your current weakness?

I’d like to suggest that you bring out your mediated tools and start there.

Sit down and ask yourself some questions:

What isn’t working?

Why isn’t it working? Is it me and my expectations? Are the kids repeatedly missing my point when I say, ie. “Clean up the room?”

Find the trigger point of conflict. Then ask yourself, “What needs to be done here?”

and “Does my child truly, and cognitively, understand what I am asking of them and how I am expecting this to be done?”

If they don’t, how can you teach them to understand what’s expected? What questions can you ask them? How can you bridge this situation to future learning or past successes? Where will this skill/opportunity be useful in the future? Why is it important to you? Why do you want this to be something they value? How can you communicate it’s importance in an effective way?

Beware of thinking that says, “I don’t have time for a binder full of notes from my last workshop! I have laundry to conquer.”

Your binder and all it’s notes are there as handy guides. Use them to help you.

But for the moment, forget the notes and go back to the simplest form of Mediated Learning:

Asking questions.

Ask questions and find a way to incorporate the 3 components of Mediated Learning:Bridging, Infuse with Meaning, and Intentionality.

You can do it.

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