One of the downsides of homeschooling is that whenever I first tell someone that we homeschool, I figure most people make any one if not all of these assumptions about us:
- We're freaks
- We're religious lunatics
- We're better than you
- We're stupider than you
- We're introverted and backwards
Now. I have no doubt that we're a bunch of weirdos. Goodness sakes, we can't even agree on how to spell "homeschooling" ("home schooling")! But it always burns my biscuits when homeschooling is perceived as an inferior educational choice. Are there weaknesses? Of course. But the same can be said for any educational choice.
I never bring up the topic of homeschooling to give you just one more reason to hate me, or to start a hair-pulling girlie fight, or to send out the hidden message that the school that YOUR child is in is AWFUL. No, I just like to talk about my life, and hopefully in all the rambling and nonsense, someone gets a little something out of it.
Like maybe a 20-minute nap.
Over the holiday break, I read a book about a homeschooling family. I read it all! Start to finish!
The parents who wrote Homeschooling: A Family's Journey, set out to find a good educational experience for their kids. They didn't set out to isolate, or to shun the public schools, or to kneel in prayer for 23 hours a day. For them, homeschooling became their only option, and over time, it became a great option.
I like to think of myself as a smart person, and not as a freak, so this story really resonated with me. It's also nice to see the tide of homeschooling changing from "a bunch of isolationist religious freaks" (no offense, old-timers, just stating the stereotype) to "a group of people who want a good education for their kids."
And now that I've taken 873 paragraphs to say, "It was an encouraging read," let me just leave you with some end-of-chapter takeaways that were listed in the book.
- Homeschooling makes it possible to give a child an excellent education without incurring heavy debt to purchase a house in a "good" neighborhood with "good" schools.
- Everything that happens in life can be part of a child's education, as long as they child pays attention and asks such questions as "why" and "how" and someone is paying enough attention to help the child find the answer.
- Homeschooling allows children to learn by looking out the window.
- Education should develop the person. It should develop the person so the person can in turn make a gift of personhood, a gift of self, what T. S. Eliot called a "continual self-sacrifice."
- Diversity, independence, and decentralization make homeschoolers as a group extremely effective at finding the best way to accomplish the educational mission.
- Serendipity and randomness are the best reasons to go anywhere, because you can never plan in advance to discover the things you don't know.
- So much of our homeschooling is digression that digression sometimes seems to be the whole point of it.
- We protect our children not from exposure to new ideas but from lack of exposure to new ideas.
- After our years of homeschooling, we know that there is little that we cannot learn on our own. A college degree functions as a formal attestation of that learning.
You likey stuff in bullet pointies?
See more of the books I've been reading ("reading").