by Lori Pickert
Lori Pickert and her family began homeschooling when her sons were four and seven. Before homeschooling, she founded a small private school with a Reggio-inspired, art- and project-based curriculum and served as director for several years. “Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners” is focused on child-driven projects – how to inspire and gently coach them. This book will greatly appeal to unschoolers, but it is for other homeschoolers as well. Pickert is adamant that this approach can be used as part of one’s approach to homeschooling.
“Project-based homeschooling isn’t just about learning how to learn – it’s about learning how to think and how to do.” When children choose to work on an activity, they are invested in it. It is an authentic learning opportunity. It allows them to experience trial and error and to learn how to solve problems. It also teaches them how to finish a project, a skill that many adults have difficulty with.
Pickert gives wonderful examples of children working both alone and together and offers instruction on what types of spaces and materials are needed to have this type of learning happen. It would take a very organized and flexible homeschooler to manage this type of learning with several children spanning several years, but even if one can only incorporate some of this type of learning, it is a great benefit to the child.