Something to consider: is research a skill we need to teach?

Something to consider: is research a skill we need to teach?

Hi all,

Greetings from a very soggy Centurion! We have had some lovely rain over the last week and the plants are loving it.

This week a dear friend of mine and an admin on the Fun-Schooling in South Africa - With Thinking Tree Books Facebook Group, posted the following which made me think that more of us need to "hear this":

"I hope Alene & Sarah will indulge me and allow me to get on the podium for just a minute...

I have been using Thinking Tree Books for about 4 years with my 3 children who have always been homeschooled by me personally.

Recently, I assisted some tweens & teens who have been unable to cope in the school system. The first thing I did was get them each a journal and a Math curriculum.

That was my background... now my observations:

The skill to be able to research properly, scan read, process the information and then narrate it either verbally or creatively seems to be very hard for school children to do, especially in middle school.

Don't expect your child to be as excited about the journals as you are. They don't see the beautifully completed journal that you see in your mind's eye. They want to know where the info is that they can copy into the book... fill in the blanks, like school.

On top of that, the internet that used to be such an amazing online encyclopedia; has become a dumping ground for useless information with the precious bits of treasured facts strewn in between. Children need to learn to focus on details again... find the hidden treasures... ignore the junk.... learn to go straight for the clean sources... I wish there was a journal on how to find reliable sources!!

What I'm getting at is that you may need to take it step-by-step in the beginning and perhaps even do a whole section WITH or NEXT TO your child - you with yours and he with his - to guide him to this independent learning, because once they GET it, you'll be sitting around wondering what to do with your newfound freedom as homeschooling mom!!

I hope this helps someone - I for sure needed to remind myself of the above many times over " - Tasmin Tzipporah Rootman

Thank you for your insightful observation Tasmin! 


As a result of this, I have decided to try an experiment with my 10 year old daughter, Em. I suggested to her that we work on a journal together, she could choose whichever one she wanted.

She chose “Fun-Schooling with Reptiles & Amphibians”. We have looked through our library of books to see what we have that is suitable for our research.

We plan to post a list of websites, videos and podcasts as we use them.

If you have any suggestions, post a comment below for us.

If you would like to join us and work in this journal; use this coupon code Reptiles_Feb2023 to get R 100 off the “Fun-Schooling with Reptiles & Amphibians” in the shop.


Till next week.

Back to blog

1 comment

Try the ASI app on Google Playstore, think there is one for Apple iStore as well, ASI African Snake Institut3. Really excellent resource for snakes, scorpions and spiders. Gives info on their online courses as well. It can also be used as a snake identifying app and for finding snake handlers in your area.

Wilma Fourie

Leave a comment