Sunday, March 30, 2008
Was there life before homeschooling?
Dana at Principled Discovery is hosting Home Education Week. Each day she has a topic for our consideration. Today: life before homeschooling:
Share your personal history…before you were a home educator. What was life like? Think about things you miss and things you and your family have gained.
It's hard to remember life before homeschooling. When my first child was a baby, we started talking about homeschooling. Actually my husband did; I'd never heard of such a thing and I was dubious. After I started doing some research, I starting thinking a little more positively about it. I did "preschool" at home with some friends, a couple of whom decided to homeschool too. I read to my kids constantly. So it felt natural when we just skipped the kindergarten roundup and stayed home.
I do remember the day homeschooling clicked for me. Our family was visiting Bonneville Dam, on the Columbia River in Oregon. We wandered around the exhibits, sometimes having to wait because it was a crowded Saturday. Then my lightbulb moment: if we came here during the week, we'd have the rangers and exhibits all to ourselves! Wow! We could learn so much more!
It's hard to say what I miss since they've never been to school. I guess I might miss some free time in the middle of the day, but as my kids get older and more independent, I am finding more bits of time, and would find more if I was better at planning ahead and staying on track. So we're all learning here. What have we gained? Closeness as a family, a love of books and reading, a simpler schedule, no packed lunches. (Now that I pack lunch for my husband a couple of times a week, I know I could not have handled all those packed lunches.) I'm sure there are schooled kids who are close to their families, and love books and reading too. So I don't know about that.
I do know my kids have retained their childhood innocence more than they could have at school. There are ugly things about the world that they don't know yet. (They will, but in our time, not someone else's.) They are not subjected to peer pressure to conform with (ugly) fashion and (ugly) behavior. They aren't plugged into ipods and gameboys like so many school kids I see.
I feel very confident that life with homeschooling is the life for us, at least for now.