It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Ten Things I Learned from Homeschooling

Stolen from Sheri.

I homeschooled each of my three kids until they were in fourth or fifth grade (ten years old or thereabouts); I’ve homeschooled Emma this year. She has decided to go back for next year. This is fine with me. I am not anti-institutional school, I just don’t believe it’s the only, or even the best, venue for learning. Emma had her reasons for taking a year off institutional school; she has her reasons for deciding to go back.

What have I learned?

1. Education is something you do for yourself, not something that is done to you.

2. Thus, education is in the child’s hands. We assist. They learn.

3. Thus, a good education doesn’t require a lot of direct teaching. Put the child in the way of all the fascinating stuff there is to know, and they will want to know it, and will seek it out!*

4. The “Real World” is where you do your real living. (Am I the only one who appreciates the irony that those who say children need to be “out there in the Real World” (by which they mean school) are the very same people who grumble that recent graduates have no idea of how things work in the Real World?)

5. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time to get a good education. (Certainly not six hours a day.)

6. Your every waking minute is part of your education.

7. A whole lot of learning goes on when you’re “doing nothing”.

And I think that’s it. Guess I don’t have ten. Which leads me to my eighth and final Top Ten:

8. You don’t always have to follow the rules!
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*Unless they’ve been poisoned by the anti-learning atmosphere pervasive in every school I’ve ever known. Which atmosphere, I hasten to add, is not the fault of the teachers, but generally of the other students. (So much for the much-vaunted socialization value of schools…) If you decide to pull your child from school to educate them at home, you often have to allow for a six-month detoxifying time in which they do nothing overtly ‘educational’ at all, before they will grow to see learning as a positive, fun, vibrant thing.

June 8, 2007 Posted by | my kids | 11 Comments