Just as no one ever says the word *therapy* without the word tried preceding it – as in “We tried therapy”….hardly anyone ever wields the word lecture all by itself. Hence the expression *boring lecture* is now a redundancy.
In 2012 there is almost NO REASON and NO VALUE in any sort of live academic lecture. If it’s a noted author or professor….a student is better off reading their books directly. If the subject is history or science – what I call *content subjects* – students are better off reading and watching previously recorded presentations. If it’s math or early reading….students are far better off working individually, at the precise margin of their current learning curve.
With math and reading the rationale is pretty obvious. As for the *content subjects*….it’s just so much more efficient and effective for students to be able to pause and rewind and/or Google right at the critical points of misunderstanding. A lecture taught to the middle will necessarily lose HALF its audience, if not more, at each inflection point, right?
Anyone who reflects on their years of schooling, if honest, will admit that the vast majority of their *AHA!* moments came late at night, while studying all alone, far away from from a lecture hall. I know mine certainly did.
My wife and I do not teach or lecture science and history to our young children – we just throw piles of books at them to read; they attend museums and hands-on science centers; and they also watch countless hours of informative content online. That’s it! And you wouldn’t believe how much they’ve absorbed from this simple no-bore, no-snore approach.
As for the math….I say just power through the workbooks with each child. But no lectures. Have them read the directions on each page, aloud. And if they don’t understand it….tell them to re-read it again, and again and again. The process of decoding the new lesson is what education/self-education is all about. And stalk them from behind. Watch them work through the problems and do correct every tiny mistake from how they use the scrap paper to how they read (aloud) the arithmetic, to how they sit in the chair….to their handwriting. Note that Tiger Woods had this type of micro-managing, individualized instruction. He most certainly DID NOT learn to play golf so well from group lectures.