WHY WORKSHEETS CAN KILL YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOLING
Most who embrace a Charlotte Mason-styled teaching approach agree there are different styles of learning: tactile, kinesthetic, experiential, auditory, visual, verbal, reading/writing, etc. And yet, for some reason, even in homeschooling, the majority of the parents gauge progress or “work” by one thing– worksheets. Students do the same as in public school: they fill out worksheets for their lesson of the day. Every. Single. Day. Worksheet here, worksheet there. Worksheet, worksheet everywhere… That’s what “solidifies” learning, right?
- Listen to the information, then fill in the blank
- Write a sentence, or write the answer to a question
Parents have had it in their heads that “worksheets” are “proof” their child learned. Worksheets are “evidence” of their child growing in knowledge or completing a lesson… worksheets for every subject. Unfortunately, in reality, worksheets only focus on the “writing” style of learning (and not very well, quite honestly). So, if this is our approach to making sure “all the school boxes are checked,” then we might want to rethink this ideology…
Most parents only use such worksheets because most curriculum (even that which claims to be Charlotte Mason-inspired) doesn’t know how to properly teach without them. Worksheets can sever the relationship between the family that the Charlotte Mason style set out to foster. We are supposed to be triggering ALL areas of the child’s mind, engaging all of their being, all senses. “Filling in the blank” or “writing a sentence” is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as we place an equal or higher focus on all of the other areas, as well. Think of Jefferson, Einstein, and Ben Franklin. They TOOK NOTES (which you can and should implement regardless of what you’re learning, and we highly encourage), but then they went ALL IN (with NO worksheets, we should add). They solidified their growth through notes, observation, kinesthetic activities, auditory activities, verbal activities, tactile activities, and experience. They did NOT follow modern standards of “worksheet learning.”
And…neither does Campfire Curriculums.
What we include in our full units, instead, is directed notebook prompting, directed questions & written or dictated answers, optional spelling words, guided lessons in language arts (writer’s voice, adjective choices, directed speeches, detailed research reports, etc), etc.
See the screen shot below, from inside our units:
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