It didn't take me long to figure it out. She has a common sense approach to education that puts a big emphasis on natural and frustration-free learning.
Her books are short and easy to read -- and they've taken a load off my shoulders.
The books that I read (and highly recommend) are:
- The Three R's
- Dr. Beechick's Homeschool Answer Book
- The Language Wars ( the good stuff is in Part I)
1. Do what worksRuth says that "Good teachers are independent souls and they do what works for them." If what you are currently doing is working for you, then stop changing it. The educational giants wrote in generalities, and they don't know your child as well as you do. Do what works, regardless of what the experts say.
2. What to do when it's not workingBurnout occurs when days are filled with unsuitable work, mindless busywork, or work above the child's present ability. If school has become drudgery, the problem is not with you or your children. The problem is with the curriculum. Healthy children are not lazy and will not resist learning if it is introduced at the right time. If your kids aren't "getting it" and schoolwork has become frustrating, rethink the materials you are using.
3. Curriculum is to be used, not followedPublished curriculum can be helpful, but only if it is used and not followed. Our task is to know when to use it and when to drop it.
"When curriculum is servant, you can easily drop it anytime something better is happening... If you are wearing yourself out trying to work up exciting units or projects, then reconsider. It might be time for published curriculum again. Remember that if curriculum is a servant, not only can you drop it when that seems best, but you can use it when that seems best. If your family has been caught up in reading and talking about books on ancient Egypt or some other topic and now the interest is waning, you need not dive immediately into another intense study. And if you need something to do during 'school' hours, just use a textbook for a while. The next topic and mental challenge will present itself when the mind is ready."
Ruth believes that children often benefit from the ideas presented to them in published curriculum, but she also advocates dropping the curriculum and running with a child's interest when it is sparked. There is an ebb and flow (that cannot be preplanned) when considering published curriculum vs. delight-directed learning.