We have entered into the world of homeschooling slowly.
One foot in and one foot out!
Since February one of my boys is home 3 days a week learning about Math, Geography, Writing, Reading, How Machines Work and more. Since I didn't plan this from the beginning I am having to develop a vision for what I expect an education to look like for our children as I go along.
This is no easy task. Especially with a mid-course direction change. We have one child on the brink of middle school, one semi-homeschooling, one in 1st grade and another almost ready for preschool and with all I'm finding out about schooling vs. education - well, my head is simply swimming.
A few things I can tell right away...
* When my child is struggling with a concept I can quickly see that a new approach is needed. When he is excelling and a concept is already mastered we are able to bypass some of the repetition and gain ground also much more quickly. As his momma I am able to focus on what needs attention right away instead of with school finding out much later from a progress report what is lacking.
* "Schooling" is not the same as education. I have only just started researching methods, theories and curriculum but one quote I found from Charlotte Mason is this: "The question is not, - how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education - but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care?...and therefore how full is the life he has before him?" I think this sums up what I hope for my children. Curiosity that develops into a knowledge of history and of nature and of how everything is inter-related and connected. Understanding and compassion of different cultures, social issues and how the world works...with all of it's goodness and imperfections - all of it! Then of course finding their own purpose is the goal but I knew that part all along!
* Ignorance is bliss. Self governing is very hard (as my friend Leah put it). It would be much easier to continue sending my children off to public school and letting the National Education Board decide what an education is. Or in a different light, it would be much easier to eat everything from everywhere buying right off the grocery aisles without considering things like local, organic, & fair trade instead of striving for eating locally and seasonally in order to better my community. But one final and very important thing I've been learning is that community is what makes life beautiful, deeper and more meaningful. Whether that means knowing the farmer that grew our grass-fed beef for dinner tonight (my lovely 80 something year old neighbor Betty)! Or it may mean having our children home schooled so they can be part of our business (not as child labor, heaven forbid) to be present to learn the details about how business works and to be included in the adult world... and much much more!
So these are my thoughts so far on our new venture into homeschooling. Next year has not been decided yet as there is so much to weigh. I wish the answer was easy and obvious and laid out clearly before us but like all big and important things it's not and much deliberation is needed!
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