When there's no peace in your homeschool...when you're fighting with your kids all the time about their schoolwork, what you’re actually facing is probably a failing educational philosophy that needs to be reevaluated and changed. The wrong person’s agenda is driving your child’s course of study, and your child is protesting (sometimes loudly).
Your child isn’t ready for the information you want him to learn, either because he’s developmentally not quite there yet or he hasn’t recognized a personally meaningful reason to learn the information. The prevailing MO there has run roughshod over the natural order of learning.
The natural order of learning starts first with a personally compelling “why” and then moves from there to “what”, “when”, “where”, and “how”. The natural order of learning guarantees active, engaged learners. It assures that people will actually internalize the information they’re seeking, rather than just warehouse it in short-term memory until the test and then promptly forget it afterward.
The natural order of learning is how infants, toddlers, and preschoolers interact with and figure out the world around them. Without a teacher directing them, without a curriculum or a fancy program, without a prescribed sequence of study, all of our youngest people (with the caveat that they are healthy and developing normally) somehow manage to master a staggering array of knowledge and skills. Each at his or her own pace.
The natural order of learning is how we learn as adults, too. But, for reasons far outside the scope of this blog or my free e-book, society has determined once they reach the arbitrarily chosen age of five or six, children are no longer capable of and permitted to continue their own self-directed learning.
Self-directed learning that worked remarkably well for them for the first five years of their lives.
Self-directed learning that worked remarkably well for humankind before the push came for government sponsored mass education.
Self-directed learning that works remarkably well for competent, contributing adult members of society for the rest of their lives upon release from authority-directed, compulsory schooling.
In my opinion, two of the biggest crimes of compulsory, authority-led education (whether that authority is a teacher or a parent is of no consequence) are that it tells children what they’re interested in isn’t important and it has conditioned parents and society at large to accept as normal doing to children what we ourselves would find intolerable affronts. The measures to which people, who are unwilling to question schoolish beliefs about education, will take in order to justify treating children in that manner are astonishing.
If you’re willing to question schoolish beliefs, this is a good place to start.