The Adventure of Learning

Adventure is part of our family culture. We live this value in our outdoor pursuits and travel, in our moves and making home in different places, in hospitality and sharing our home with strangers, in entrepreneurship and self-employment, and in our willingness to explore out-the-box ideas.

Basically life is an adventure and so of course learning and education is an adventure. The same principles that guide our adventurous approach to life, guide our approach to our childrens' education; namely cultivating a growth mindset and an openness to new experiences, while maintaining a firm belief in the value of self-motivated and interest-driven learning.

This is how we learn - we have a need, an interest, or a desire - and this motivates us to apply ourselves to the hard work of studying and learning.

~ Renee Tougas

This series, written in the winter of 2013 and 2014 explores the adventure of interest-led learning in the context my own learning as an adult woman, specifically as I learn to telemark ski. The story of my own experience helps answer the questions: How do we define "study"? What motivates study? And, what do our kids learn when we study?


The Study of Skiing (or how I feel about prizes, bribes and grades)

The Study of Skiing (or how I feel about prizes, bribes and grades)

Celebrate the victories in your learning environment, but don't bribe your kids to learn, or study, because knowing the skill, having the knowledge, owning the strength and confidence that comes with that - skiing down the mountain on your own- is the reward.

Showing my kids how to study

Showing my kids how to study

I have a goal I want to achieve and I'm working towards it. This is how we teach our kids to do the same.

A definition of study

A definition of study

Study is not just reading, writing papers, and taking exams. This very narrow definition of study limits our thinking. Narrow thinking will squeeze the joy out of your homeschool environment (and add unnecessary worry) as your tendency will be to assign greater value to certain "schoolish" activities over the less "schoolish" ones.

Why can't learning look like this?

Why can't learning look like this?

One of the arguments against interest-led learning is that it's not practical. Learning what interests you doesn't prepare you for real life. Huh? This one always stumps me. I'm a real person living in the real world. This is how I learn. Why does it have to look different for my children?