Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Worksheets and textbooks revisited

One often hears complaints especially from the unschooling crowd that decry the use of worksheets and standard school textbooks as stifling, uninspiring and generally conducive to destroying all of the enthusiasm for learning. While I would agree that as sole and primary learning tools the above assessment is for most part true, there could be room from employing them in supporting roles. Especially if the completion of the aforementioned worksheets is not forced some children actually enjoy doing them. Especially the types who enjoy structured activities as opposed to open-ended ones. I wouldn't necessarily introduce a new subject using a standard school textbook. I do think that good books that cover the particular subject would be better but for supplementary exercises and drill these textbooks and worksheets could be quite handy. A little drudgery and tedium is not necessarily a bad thing. It's good for children to realize that these too are a part of life and not to be put off by them but use them for good purpose. So next time you spot some old textbooks or workbooks at a library sale don't automatically dismiss them.


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