|The great thing about a child who is an Independent Learner is that the teacher and parents can customize that child’s education to suit his aptitudes, interests, and abilities. We don’t have to force square pegs into round holes as we do in the modern factory school. In the Independent Learner classroom there is a core curriculum; everyone needs some math, some history and so on. But the Independent Learner who has a passion, for instance in science, can have his studies aimed in the direction of science. Much of his independent reading could be from science books and, likewise, much of his writing would be about what he learned from those science books. His study of history could, in part, be focused on the history of science. Math is the language of science and the wise teacher will help his student understand that. The Independent Learner who is passionate about science and who is a quick learner can spend part of their day on additional science studies and science projects.
E.D. Hirsch, author of the popular “What Every Fifth Grader Ought to Know” series, wrote in another book worth recommending, “The Schools We Need”, that knowledge is like velcro. If you can get some knowledge into the child, related knowledge will stick to it, and more and more. So, in the example above of the boy interested in science, he and his teacher might decide that a good project would be the construction of a model airplane that actually flies. In the process, he will be learning about the physics of flight, but he may also find interest in WWI and WWII airplanes which could certainly lead to interest in the history of those wars. As the child grows older, this may lead to a desire to study the economic theories of fascism, socialism and capitalism. Knowledge attracts more knowledge. This principle is true in varying degrees depending on the child. In the independent learner classroom, the child who loves to learn can have a wonderful educational experience that requires almost no coercion on the part of parents and the teacher.