I made some minor changes to my blog. First of all, I switched to a new template, though it’s very similar to what I had before. But it opens up the menu and side margin a little, which I like.
I also changed my tagline to “at the heart of homeschooling.” I did this partly because I couldn’t think of anything else, but also it seemed right. We are at the heart of homeschooling. That is, in the thick of it! There is no turning back from it now. We are educating our children so much differently than they would be in school. Is it better? I think so. But I’m not saying school is bad for all kids either.
Our kids are engaged in learning almost all day. When they play, they are deep in a crazy, imaginative make-believe world of their own creation, which I believe is the best kind of learning for kids. They don’t have the stress of constant test taking or having to switch gears so often. They are learning at their own pace. We have conversations about dinosaurs, classical piano concertos and composers, Calvin and Hobbes, birds, Star Wars, and oh the endless questions…which are all encouraged!
I’m learning more and more how odd we are, though. Most people don’t live like us. Most people aren’t excited about learning or exploring the world. They don’t ask questions, and they pretty much do what everyone else is doing. They put their boys in sports and girls in gymnastics. (I’m not saying these activities are bad! They can be very cool, but they are also more popular.) It’s hard to find people who do the uncommon stuff. People don’t talk about the cool fossil they bought at a rock show, sketching at the garden, obsessing about the birds in their yard, taking piano lessons, and general things that geeks love. (But I’m not saying people don’t enjoy these activities or a combination of popular activities with these either! It’s just hard for me to find these people.) That is, unless they are homeschoolers. Homeschoolers understand more about these things.
I don’t consider us privileged. I certainly don’t consider us better than anyone else. And we definitely aren’t swimming in money to make our lives easier. But we’re different. We make different choices. We have different priorities. We don’t fit in with the crowd. And that’s okay.
Then again, a lot of people don’t fit in with the crowd. But they are probably like us…they are sitting at home reading a book, taking a coding course online, working in their workshop, or spending time at the library. They are a quiet crowd. They are busy doing their thing and not caring what other people think.
Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts as I make some tweaks to the blog and reflect on this lifestyle I’m writing about here.
4 thoughts on “At the Heart of Homeschooling”
I love your blog, and am struck by all the caveats here — “But I’m not saying school is bad for all kids either, I’m not saying these activities are bad! But I’m not saying people don’t enjoy these activities or a combination of popular activities with these either!” I would never expect to hear public school parents acknowledge that there are many ways to educate kids. I think that so often, our choices, made for such a variety of reasons, are seen as an implicit criticism of their choices. It isn’t the case, but it seems like we have to work hard to convince them of it.
Thanks, Sarah! You know, I certainly have my moments when I get all cranky and want my way to be the only way. But then that old way of thinking I have…being able to see a situation from all sides…kicks in, and I know as soon as I criticize something, someone could pop up and show me an example of someone doing that something and really benefitting from it. So I know that the world is not black and white, and we all have to figure out what is best for us. Thank you for taking the time to comment. 🙂
I have found that I am learning tremendously alongside my children. We dictate our own agenda and timelines, which allows us to ask questions, and make associations and connections that even to me are surprising. Eliminating hard goals, unnecessary test prep and testing has propelled us in this critical thinking direction. Instead of filling worksheets we hold discussions and reflections. My children do attend the public school but only for certain subjects. They are exposed to the viewpoints dictated by the curriculum, but they are not bound to imitate them, nor are they limited by them as absolute truths. They see other truths in other sources, and hence question and establish opinions. Some homeschoolers operate in isolation driven by various motivations. I think that homeschooling is liberating but only when social and diverse interactions are integrated.
Thanks for your comment, Teo! I can really relate to you. It sounds like you are giving your kids an excellent education. 🙂