One thing that I talk about a lot here at Pocket Homeschool is lifelong learning. Not just for my kids, but just as importantly, for myself – and for other homeschool moms. Through lifelong learning, not only are we modeling the mindset and habits we want our kids to learn, but we are growing and expanding our own horizons.
I received a free copy of the book, Teach by Dennis DiNoia, and was compensated for my time by Mr. D Math in exchange for my review. As always, this review is my 100 percent honest opinion! This post contains Amazon links, but they are not affiliate links.
Part of that lifelong learning for me is seeking growth. And one of the ways that I do that is reading books that help me to increase my knowledge. Or that help me increase my growth. Sometimes a book isn’t presenting new knowledge to you, but it is presenting a new way to think about things.
If I had to put Teach by Denni DiNoia of Mr. D Math in a category, between knowledge and presenting a new way to think about things, I would definitely say it presented a new way for me. In my homeschool, one of my goals has always been to help my kids become independent. Independence looks different for every kid, so getting there isn’t always straightforward.
In my home, I am thoughtful every year, even when my kids are little, to include things that they can work on and do independently. Because I think that doing things independently leads to such great personal growth. Of course, we can never be wholly independent. We always have a need for other people. But promoting independence where we can can be a beautiful thing.
But I think in there, we can get lost along the way. There’s no clear, obvious path all the time to independence. Which is where I think a book like Teach can have a great fit. I think DiNoia helps to give you a framework to think about how we can empower kids to take ownership.
Sometimes we overcomplicate how to teach
One of the things that Teach reminded me is that sometimes we get in our own way. We can get really hung up on doing things the way that it has always been done. We talk about this, I think, in homeschooling, when we talk about deschooling, but no one is immune to this. Even if you think you are the most deschooled person ever, there’s probably at least one thing that you are doing because it’s the way that it’s always been done – even if you don’t realize it.
What Teach helped me to realize is that ownership starts with discovery. We have to encourage our children to be the “one who is now creating and discovering for themselves what is important.” (Teach, pg. 37)
You can see this ownership come through in the classes at Mr. D Math. And knowing that he is a teacher that students connect with, it means you are learning from an expert when you read this book.
Be a better homeschool teacher
There is a chapter in the book entitled ‘The Student is the Teacher.’ I feel that is a phrase we toss around often when we say “the student has become the teacher.” But DiNoia goes further than that. He grounds it so concretely in what that looks like and how it works. It makes you feel inspired to help your children grow and gain that independence. To teach you in their own way how they learn.
If, at the end of the day, our goal is to grow along with our kids, then we should also be looking to be the best homeschool teacher we can be for them. Not a perfect one – that doesn’t exist – but one that keeps seeking to be better.
Teach is a great tool to have in your toolbox, because not only will it inspire you, it will help you zoom out and focus on the big picture. It will make you stop, reassess, and align yourself with the whole goal of homeschooling. In some ways, it will make you stop and think about what learning means for yourself. And when you can think about what learning means for yourself, you can better think about what it means for your children.
Teach by Dennis DiNoia is accessible
Teach is written in a style that is very easy to follow. It is a short, quick read. But, it’s packed with a lot of good information – I underlined quite a bit! In the preface, DiNoia encourages you to be searching for nuggets like you are “mining for gold” and there are plenty that you can find that will benefit you and your homeschool.
Read Teach by Dennis DiNoia today and help your kids take ownership of their own learning!