what she had learned by shooting a video
of a television news broadcast from 155
A.D.! The breaking news of that show
was the recent martyrdom of the 2nd
century Church bishop Polycarp. As she
and her brothers brainstormed how to
pull this off, they decided to rearrange
furniture to create a desk for the “news
anchor,” and they created theme music
for the show and even two hilarious TV
commercials. My daughter played the
part of the on-the-spot reporter who had
witnessed the last words of Polycarp and
had observed the effect they had on the
huge crowd who had come to see him
killed. I can still remember the awe I felt
as she presented the scene with a fresh,
Allowing your kids to have this kind of
creative time can lead them to their passion. It can also help them become a problem solver, as they find their way through
issues arising in the creative process.
Encourage your children’s curiosity.
When they ask, “Why do leaves turn col-
ors?” consider shutting the books and go-
ing outside. Of course, you can simply do
an Internet search on “why leaves change
color,” but that pales in comparison to the
experience of sliding your feet through
piles of fallen leaves, looking for the most
interesting leaves, pressing those leaves
between paper for preservation, draw-
ing a picture and writing a description of
your favorite leaf, looking in a field guide
to discover what kind of trees dropped
these leaves, and looking in an encyclo-
pedia or on the Internet for the explana-
tion of why leaves change color. Which
would your children prefer—a 30-second
internet search or a 45-minute explora-
tion of your yard? It takes 44. 5 minutes
longer, but having the time to investigate,
ponder, draw pictures, ask questions, and
discover answers will fuel their wonder
and hunger to learn.
Not every question takes this sort of
shut-the-book, go-outside response.
Some are just for a forgotten fact. But
when they turn to you with that look on
their faces because they are pondering
life’s inexplicable questions, then you can
engage with all of the hands-on, interest-driven exploration.
Encouraging your children’s curiosity
will develop self-motivation, as they are
allowed to find answers to what inter-
ests them, to learn about things beyond
the curriculum, and to “think outside
the box.” They will also remember more
deeply what they have learned through
their own exploration and discovery.
The effects of slowing down educationally are the opposite of what you
might expect. Rather than learning less,
surprisingly, children will actually learn
more, at a deeper and more interconnected level. Their self-motivation, their ability to learn independently, their skill at
problem-solving, and their joy in learning will develop over time and through
many experiences. As a matter of fact,
“over time and through many experiences” is the curriculum for these highly
The takeaway? When it comes to your
children’s education, turn down the heat.
In other words, s-l-o-w down!
A pioneer in homeschooling, author of
the Experience History Through Music
series and History Revealed curriculum,
and international speaker—four continents and counting!—Diana Waring cares
about how people learn as well as what
they learn. Follow her witty and practical blog at dianawaring.com/blog; check
out her fast-paced, God-honoring, sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-in-suspense world
history products, and discover America’s
history through folk music in the new
Experience History Through Music series.
Learning has never been this fun!
Rather than learning
children will actually
learn more, at a
deeper and more