I know that workbooks/worksheets are a common go-to for many homeschooling parents. That said, my intent in addressing this topic is to help parents see how workbooks/worksheets actually kill the love of learning. If there’s anything workbooks are good for, it’s creating boredom. And boredom isn’t a good thing when it comes to learning. So please allow for me to share with you about the concerns of how homeschool workbook curriculum boredom kills learning for many homeschoolers. And, learn about what you can do instead.
Boredom Equates Being Dissatisfied
If an activity isn’t engaging (note that I don’t say “entertaining”), an individual becomes bored. Workbooks/worksheets aren’t very . . . engaging. They don’t encourage or challenge the student to think independently. There really isn’t anything interesting about “busy work.”
This leaves lot of mothers feeling exasperated because their children aren’t interested in learning. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Critical Thinking Skills
Workbooks/worksheets don’t help an individual develop critical thinking skills. Fill-in-the-blanks, matching, and circle-the-correct-answer sheets don’t engage the brain in original thought. As task oriented activities, they don’t develop critical thinking skills. Focusing primarily or solely on rote skills doesn’t help a child learn how to reason through ideas and principles.
- Help your children to reason from truth (God’s principles we find in the Bible) throughout each subject.
- Show them how to see God’s care and provision throughout each subject.
- Give them graphic organizers that will allow for them to reorganize the information.
Worksheets Don’t Honor God’s Principle of Individuality
Johnny’s answer is the same as Susie’s answer. If they’re not able to express their reasoning from truth, God’s Principle of Individuality isn’t being honored.
- Require them to define the vocabulary of subjects from a Biblical worldview by using Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.
- Allow children to explain why something works based on Biblical principles.
- Help children practice expressing their individual reasoning from truth with confidence.
- Give children the ability to learn of God’s individuality and sovereignty and to reason from truth about those attributes of His.
Workbooks/Worksheets Don’t Teach Providential History
Workbooks/worksheets hinder children from being able to see the “big picture”, to learn how things work, and to learn how to apply Biblical principles to life.
- Teach subjects with the narration of their history and God’s hand within it.
- Show children how to reason from both facts and truth.
- Help them learn how to see that Christ is the Focal Point of each subject.
- Utilize The Chain of Christianity® Timeline to teach them God’s story of Liberty for the individual and nations.
You can learn more here about how to study history with a Biblical Classical education.
Workbooks/Worksheets Create Consumers
All too often, parents don’t realize the character of their child that’s being formed when using workbooks/worksheets. Instead of creating independent thinkers, they create consumers. Let’s shed some light on this by looking at the dichotomies of the word consume. Keep in mind that the following is the Latin root definition—that’s just the beginning:
CONSUME, verb transitive [Latin , to take. So in English we say, it takes up time, that is, it consumes time.]
Take note that to consume is to take. This may not sound like a big deal, after all one takes up time one way or another. Let’s research further.
4. To cause to disappear; to waste slowly.
As children sit there with their workbooks/notebooks, they aren’t engaging their thinking. They’re passing time by filling in T/F circles, matching up something on the left side of their page to something on the right side of the page, or circling an answer, etc. Their desire to think—and to produce—slowly wastes away and disappears.
Is it any wonder children lose the love of learning . . . ?
- Allow children to be producers.
- Each individual is created in God’s image—let them create by writing down their individual reasoning from God’s truths (principles).
- Let children relate—in their own words—from Biblical reasoning.
- Give them the blessing of subduing and having dominion of each subject.
Notebooks Are Key
Notebooks vs. workbooks, which one unlocks Biblical scholarship? From our family’s experience, notebooks unlock Biblical scholarship and help nurture a love of learning. Individuals (parents and children) learn God’s purposes for each subject and how to discern matters of life by reasoning from Biblical principles.
If you desire for your child to be an independent thinker who reasons from the truths of God’s Word, the Biblical Classical way to life and learning is the key.
Be mentored and discipled in the Biblical Classical way so that you can be equipped to disciple your children. Join the waitlist today for the Biblical Classical Homeschool Experience™ (Membership) today!
Footnote 1: The Chain of Christianity® is a registered trademark of the Foundation for American Christian Education.