Monthly Archives: April 2011

Why I Chose Homeschooling – Part 3 of 6

I didn’t come to the decision to homeschool lightly. In fact, it took me far longer than many to actually step forward and commit to the decision. In many ways, I think it took far too long. My eldest, Danielle, … Continue reading

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And Now For a Brief Station Break

Life has been crazy and busy around here. Mainly, it has consisted of planting, planning, cleaning, more planting, cooking, and cleaning. Not much is happening on the homeschool front. As Emily’s classes have wrapped up at L.E.A.R.N. and ‘summer break’ … Continue reading

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HA Hijacked by TFB

I woke up at 1am this morning and could not go back to sleep. So…plenty of time to come up with a homeschool post, right? I checked Facebook and saw The Feminist Breeder had posted an update, the birth, to … Continue reading

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When Kitties Go to the Vet

One Hurt Kitty On Sunday night we discovered that our white kitty, Einstein, was hurting and not doing too well. One his right flank was a large patch of missing fur and what looked like puncture marks. On his left … Continue reading

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Why I Chose Homeschooling – Part 2 of 6

I didn’t come to the decision to homeschool lightly. In fact, it took me far longer than many to actually step forward and commit to the decision. In many ways, I think it took far too long. My eldest, Danielle, … Continue reading

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Mahaffie Stagecoach and the Questioning Homeschoolers

Last Thursday morning we had the opportunity to visit the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm for an event reserved for homeschoolers. The place was packed, and there was much to see and do. Our Visit to Mahaffie Stagecoach & Farm … Continue reading

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Debunking Those Pesky Homeschool Myths – Part 5 of 5

Welcome back to “Debunking Those Pesky Homeschool Myths.” If you missed the previous post, you can view it by clicking on the Homeschool Myths page for a full listing.

On a typical school day in the United States, 75 million children will spend a majority of their day exclusively in the company of their age-mates. However, nearly 3.2 million children will have a far different structure to their day. For these homeschooled children, their homes and families are the center of their life and learning.

Who are these homeschoolers and why do they homeschool? Are they religious zealots? Are their children anti-social or under-educated? Myths and misunderstanding about homeschooling still abound.

Myth #5: Homeschooling Means Re-Creating a Classroom in Your Home

John, Aliyah’s dad said, “At first, it was like school, just at home. Half an hour for each subject, then you move on.”

Victoria added, “That’s what we thought you were ‘supposed’ to do.” As time went on, homeschooling changed to what they now describe as “relaxed homeschooling” – not quite unschooling, but not as rigid as say, a purchased curriculum. Victoria said, “My husband likes to call us ‘lifetime learners’.”

While some families may devote a section of their home exclusively to homeschool activities, few re-create a traditional classroom. And if they do, it is temporary, as with Aliyah’s family above.

Learning to homeschool does not necessarily come naturally – especially if you were raised as most of us are, in public or private school classrooms, sitting at desks, listening attentively to teachers, and raising your hand when you need to get the teacher’s attention.

Learning is not about raising your hand to go to the bathroom or asking for permission to speak. That is crowd control. Instead, learning occurs wherever there is a lesson to be learned.

Homeschoolers learn in front of computers, televisions, cooking ranges, workbenches and in their own backyards. Through purchased curriculums, learning programs crafted by their parents, or child-led learning (commonly referred to as unschooling) children learn in a variety of environments and in a manner that suits them best.

Where one child may learn ankle deep in the mud, another may learn at the elbow of their parents in the kitchen or the workshop. In many ways, homeschooling encourages thinking and learning to occur at any waking moment, whether in the shower, or in the car, or on a long hike through the woods.

One parent related to me that she attended a homeschool conference and heard one of the speakers say something that stayed with her and reassured her through her homeschooling experience, “He said that no parent (or teacher for that matter) could ever teach their child everything they needed to learn.”

I know I’ve used this quote before, but it bears repeating – John Holt, one of the progenitors of the unschool movement once said, “Since we can’t know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned.”

You can’t find that love of learning by replicating a school at home. Instead, by allowing your child the freedom to escape from the walls and run free through creeks and backyards, putter in workshops and interact with any number of neighbors and members of the community – you are empowering your child to fall in love with learning. And once they are hooked, once they love it so deeply and irrevocably, there will be little they cannot learn or will not achieve, once they set their minds to it.

Families are finding that the act of homeschooling ignites a love of learning and growth that stays with the child long past adolescence. As William Butler Yeats once wrote, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” In addition, many families report that homeschooling has strengthened and deepened their family bond.

I hope that this series has helped debunk a few of those pesky homeschool myths.

Know of others that you would like addressed in future posts? Contact me, I want to hear from you!

 

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My Absent Child

It is Tuesday evening as I write this, just 6:45 in the evening, and my 4-year-old is most likely down for the night. Today was Story Time at the library and we were all very excited – today we took … Continue reading

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Yet Another Reason to Homeschool

“I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built up on the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think.” – Anne Sullivan … Continue reading

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Why I Chose Homeschooling – Part 1 of 6

I didn’t come to the decision to homeschool lightly. In fact, it took me far longer than many to actually step forward and commit to the decision. In many ways, I think it took far too long. My eldest, Danielle, … Continue reading

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