Thursday, May 18, 2017

These are a Few of my Favorite Things

I love homeschooling. I cannot imagine education any other way, really. Even though my siblings and I went to public school, in many ways we were homeschooled. My parents, especially my mother, had a heart for teaching her children.

Here's a list of a few of my favorite things about homeschooling:

1. The relationships. My kids' primary relationships are in our family. Their sibling relationships are strong. As are our relationships as parents with them. There aren't other adults intentionally getting in the way, trying to make us look foolish and destroy that relationship.

2. Watching them learn. I love it when one of the girls comes up against a really tough concept in math, or science, or music and works hard and then finally the lightbulb comes on. They get so excited, and get excited for each other. I love it.

3. Unbound curiosity. Unbound, in that it is not squashed by a curriculum that "must" be gotten through. If my oldest wants to camp out on abnormal physiology for six months, while my youngest studies the gross anatomy of a cat, they can. No one is telling them that they "must move on, because curriculum."

4. Limitless curiosity. This is different. Their curiosity has no end. I truly believe that this is how childhood in general should be spent - asking questions, and seeking answers. By experimentation, by research, by finding a person who can explain. Finding the answers to those questions, then asking new questions brought about because of those answers. This is education. This is learning.

5. Deeper talks. The girls and I talk about a great many things. We discuss socialism and why it has always failed, the gift of pain, government, self-government, right and wrong, and many other topics. Sometimes deeply, sometimes on a surface level. But their questions are big and deep. And they THINK. Kids like to think, when we don't tell them what all the "right" answers are.

6. Time together. Honestly, you cannot get quality time without quantity time. You cannot trust someone you do not know. You cannot know someone without spending time together. Limited "quality time" is a myth. It just does not exist.

7. I know what is going into them. I know what they are learning. I know because I chose the curriculum. I know because I am their primary teacher. I can tailor what they are learning to their individual maturity level and our family's worldview because that's what is best for them.

8. Routine. They are part of my routine. School breaks are nothing to dread for me, because the girls are already a vital part of my everyday routines. They are not a nuisance, but a help.

9. Slower pace. We intentionally keep a slower pace. I believe that unstructured time is best for children. It allows them to play, to run, to explore. If all their time is spent running from one place to another, going from sitting in a desk to sitting in a car to sitting at the table to do homework, they are hindered in their development. And we do not yet know how that hindrance will impact them in adulthood.

10. Flexibility. We can schedule trips around life. School doesn't become an albatross preventing us from doing things with others that we'd really love to do.

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