Any mom can teach their kids to become independent learners who excel in life by adopting the unique culture of self-directed education set forth in Dennis DiNoia’s book Teach.
Disclosure: I was compensated for my time reviewing the book TEACH by Dennis DiNoia, but all opinions are honest – I want to help YOU in your choice of homeschool curriculum! Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
TEACH by Dennis DiNoia
I recently read the book Teach: Creating Independently Responsible Learners from Dennis DeNoia. I don’t read a lot of books (how do all you moms of lots of kids find the time?) but I was surprised to find myself adopting a new type of homeschool and teaching culture in my family after reading this.
Have you known all along that you’ve wanted to prepare your kids for life beyond graduation, but struggled to keep that focus in the day to day routine? If so, you should read this book to understand how to build towards that goal by focusing on raising independent, self-directed learners.
With over 30 years in the education industry, Dennis DeNoia has a wealth of information and experience that has given him a unique insight into how kids learn. As a public school math teacher he discovered techniques that unlocked even the most resistant student’s ability – and desire – to learn. After taking his years of expertise into the homeschool community, Dennis DeNoia has wrapped up a collection of those insights in his new book TEACH.
About This Book:
Read this book if you want to crack the code for how to create self-directed independent learners.
You’ll be inspired to encourage your kids to teach their own homework and help you re-focus on building your children’s skills beyond the classroom to prepare them for life.
136 pages, easy & quick read.
Available in: Print, Kindle (e-book), & Audible
About the author, Dennis DiNoia:
Dennis DiNoia has a masters in education and has been a professional educator since 1988. He is well known in the homeschool community as Mr. D. of Mr. D. Math. His highly effective online classes are one of the driving factors in the success of his book TEACH, because in it he shares his secrets to unlocking the potential of any student to learn by taking ownership of their own work.
TEACH: Creating independently responsible learners
Many moms – if not all – feel that their kids are not taking enough responsibility for their own work. This is a common pain point for so many families. DiNoia addresses this problem in his book TEACH, but not in the way you might expect. He flips this issue around and explains how leading your kids to be independent and personally responsible for their own work only helps them to understand the subjects they’re studying. There are two more significant advantages to focusing on your kids’ development of these skills – see chapters 3 and 4 to find out what these are.
Chapters in Teach by Dennis DiNoia:
- An Accidental Discovery
- The Independently Responsible Learner
- The Student Is The Teacher
- Checking Your Own Work
- Present Yourself
- Testing, Testing, 1-2-3
- Learning How To Think
- Do What You Love To Do
- The Parent Is The Coach
- Goal Setting
Develop a culture of independent learning and teaching
Personally my biggest takeaway from this book wasn’t one quote or a couple of key ideas. While there are definitely some key “aha!” moments in this text, I was a bit surprised that I had a different response to this book than others. After reading the book I found myself seeing opportunities to put these ideas into practice throughout my regular homeschool days. I didn’t have to change curriculum or schedules. I didn’t have to have any big lectures telling my kids about the different way we were going to do things now. Instead, I found myself directing my kids to discover an answer on their own, or teach a younger sibling something they’d just learned. It was an organic, simple, and peaceful “tweak” in my approach to homeschooling my kids that has already brought fruit. I think that’s the highest endorsement I can give for any book!
“So when it comes to students, what have we done? What are we preparing them for? We are preparing them for their lives. More specifically, we are preparing them for life beyond the classroom and beyond their schooling.” – Dennis DiNoia, TEACH
How do you teach your kids to be self-directed learners?
Teaching kids to be self-directed in their studies is a skill they will use for a lifetime. If you’re not sure quite how to do this, read Dennis DiNoia’s book Teach: Creating Independently Responsible Learners. You’ll learn how to help your kids: learn through discovery, prepare for a test by teaching what they’ve learned, and be responsible for their work while developing their own integrity.
Read TEACH by Dennis DiNoia to help you teach test taking strategies
This book includes a focus on test taking strategies. I was challenged by some of the ideas on this. I think there are a lot of things that we just assume are common knowledge for kids when they’re taking tests. Using the process of elimination is one example. I do teach this to my kids, so I expect them to use this strategy. But other things – like making sure they are answering the right question – never occurred to me as something I needed to spell out. DiNoia offers a variety of test taking strategies and ways of thinking that will help any student feel more confident and prepared for their tests.
Do we teach our kids to learn how to think?
Dinioa makes a bold claim that many approaches to education do not include teaching kids how to think. He then makes an interesting connection by directing us to consider how we learn, and what our learning styles are. He includes exercises to discover one’s learning style and then illustrates how to use that information to learn how to think.
“In having such a learner, the skills they are developing have value in the marketplace…. They know how to research, ask questions and develop their own ideas.” –Dennis DiNoia, TEACH
4 Ways To Encourage Self-Directed Learning In Your Homeschool
- Model the process of finding an answer. When your kids ask a question (“why is the sky blue?”) go out and find the answer with them. They’ll see your approach to discovering answers and be able to use that process on their own.
- Try working weekly to encourage your kids’ ownership of their own work. Give your kids an easy way to see what work is due each week. When they’re finished with a week’s worth of work they get the rest of the week off. Your kids will be extremely motivated to focus on getting their work done!
- Use interest directed projects. Have your kids choose a topic that’s interesting to them and give them the responsibility of completing a project for that topic. We love doing project fairs in our home – I see the most educational growth with these projects.
- Use the pages and pages of expert advice from Dennis DiNoia in his book TEACH.
Dennis DiNoia Teaches Goal Setting
DiNoia includes a bonus chapter in this book about goal setting. He illustrates the clear need for all learners to be able to identify and set goals. He also gives a great example for how to get those goals down on paper, and set time frames and action steps. Besides being a great example of goal setting, this last chapter provides a thorough blueprint for teaching your kids how to set goals. I plan to do a lesson with my kids dedicated to goal setting, using this last chapter as my lesson plan – it’s that good!
TEACH: A quick, easy read that will shape your homeschool philosophy
If you’ve been wanting to focus more on life skills and helping your kids learn by discovering things on their own, you’ll get a lot of great advice and tips in TEACH.
It’s a quick and easy read that will help you notice areas in your own homeschool day that you can tweak a little to help your kids start taking more responsibility for their work. The added benefit is that they’ll start finally grasping those harder concepts – not to mentioned be better prepared for the “real world.”
Pick up your print, e-book, or audio copy today on Amazon.
Watch the PK1Kids Video Review of TEACH by Dennis DiNoia:
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I hope you enjoyed this review of TEACH by Dennis DiNoia.
I hope you’ll check it out on Amazon and decide to add it to your homeschool library bookshelf.
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