HomeschoolNYC Newsletter
Celebrating Child-led LearningVol. VI, issue 5
December, 2015  
It seems like the school year has just started and the holidays are already upon us!  Time flies when you're having fun!  Whenever I tell my students that class is over in ten minutes, they say, "Already!?"  I feel the same way.  When teacher and students are following their interests, doing what excites them, then a class just isn't long enough!  Even though we all need a break, I will miss my students during the holidays.  They will continue to send me their stories, work on their projects, and return to class full of things they want to share.  Oh, the joy!

Why Child-led Learning Works
10 Reasons Why Self-Directed Learning Works
Holiday Activities in NYC
Make a Paper Accordion Gingerbread House
Quote by Alred Mercier
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I discovered the child-led approach simply by paying attention to what worked. If my child wasn't interested, learning simply didn't happen. You can't force someone to want something, but a good teacher's enthusiasm can be contagious, and it is possible to inspire interest. But why go to such lengths when interest is already present? Skills in reading, writing, analysis, communication, presentation (and more), are much easier to acquire when the student's interest is at the center. Yet I was unprepared for the real results of this approach. My children found their direction much earlier than I had thought possible, seeking higher learning in their chosen areas when they were barely middle school age.
1.  When interest and curiosity are present, LEARNING IS ALREADY HAPPENING!

2.  When the student is genuinely interested


Holiday Activities in NYC 

Sledding, skating, skiing, and other winter field trips

A NYC Christmas

Holiday Family Workshops and Activities

Children's Books the Celebrate Winter Solstice Holidays
Make a Paper Accordion Gingerbread House

This project is easily made using a paper bag.  A few markers, an old button and some yarn completed the project.  I made this with a five-year-old friend, and she loved the project. 

Find other book-making and craft projects here. 

Quote by Alfred Mercier  
"What we learn with pleasure, we never forget."  
~ Alfred Mercier (1816-1894), American doctor and author      

Interview on Homeschooling and Child-led Learning
If you liked this interview (aired last June on a local cable TV show), please post a comment on the youtube page!
"Joy in Our Town" features Laurie Block Spigel of HomeschoolNYC

    Education Uncensored

book cover
Here's what people are saying about Laurie's book:

"I would like to tell the parents reading this who haven't yet read your book, Education Uncensored:  'Please Do!'  I finished reading it a few weeks ago but haven't been able to put it away in my library, nor have I been willing to lend it out.  For those of you haven't read it yet, it is part memoir, part education book, part homeschooling primer, all wonderful."
~Mary O'Riordan, Ed.D, educator and homeschooling parent 
"You made me laugh, you made me cry, and you inspired me. I can literally hear your voice, and love your storytelling and your wisdom and just the whole package. I'm stimulated and filled with ideas for my own teaching."  

~ Dr. Bonnie Shulman, professor of mathematics, Bates College   


"I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated meeting you and reading your book. It is terrific, and for me, the best part was its New York perspective. I know no other book available to homeschoolers that so overtly references an urban perspective."  
~ David Albert, author of And the Skylark Sings with Me and other books 
"Laurie's evolution as a teacher and life-long involvement in the world of education has given her a profound understanding of the problems that plague today's schools. This book offers an insightful look at how an increasingly standardized system is robbing our children of their individuality and passion for learning. Additionally, it provides innovative how-to curriculums for anyone involved or interested in educating children."  
~ Ellen Labiner, homeschooling parent and special educator
Available now at
Price: $12.95 plus shipping & handling
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