I noticed early on that my children were curious and passionate about specific topics. Taking time to observe them as they play or to listen them talk about their interests allows me to choose materials that invite them to further explore and learn about a topic.  Their intense curiosity is what prompted me to provide them with a place to pursue to their interests.

In graduate school I was lucky enough to take the class, Learning and Teaching, taught by Eleanor Duckworth. My classroom teaching and personal beliefs about learning and teaching were influenced by this class and her book The Having of Wonderful Ideas” and Other Essays on Teaching and Learning.  One of the quotes that has stood out for me is the following,

“The are two aspects of providing occasions for wonderful ideas.  One is being prepared to accept children’s ideas.  The other is providing a setting which suggests wonderful ideas to children.”

-Eleanor Duckworth

As a parent, I wanted to provide a home where “wonderful ideas” were had.  I searched the internet and many homeschooling blogs for ideas and I found Lori Pickert’s, Project-Based Homeschooling blog.  She wrote a book, Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners.  I knew I had found the right book because the quote above by Eleanor Duckworth preceded the introduction.  I read her book in one sitting and signed up to take an online course she offers to help you get started with project-based learning. This was about six years ago.

I created the Guided Learning blog to share how I encourage my kids’ interests and how having a space that “suggests wonderful ideas” (Duckworth) has enriched our learning and creativity.  I named the blog, Guided Learning, because I believe that children already have their own ideas about what they want to learn and they benefit from our guidance.  We can provide books and materials that help them discover more about their interest and provide experiences that help them deepen their understanding.





Published by

Maria Arana

Hi, I am Maria, a mom to three wonderful kiddos. My family and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. We love the beauty of the desert southwest. I am a former primary teacher and elementary math coach. I love to encourage my children to follow their interests and passions. At Guided Learning Studio, I offer private personalized lessons and enrichment classes. Tutoring services are best for families seeking long-term educational support over a semester or school-year.

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