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Transparent thoughts on homeschool

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I imagine homeschool as a new country.  I don’t speak the language.  I don’t know the customs.  I’m a tad fearful of the natives. 

For this reason, I’ve reserved the right to change my flight plans at any point. 

Here are a few thoughts on my itinerary.

It seems many people I encounter homeschool because of their Christian faith.  That is not why I want to homeschool.  I am not afraid of public schools in that sense.  I am not afraid of my child learning different philosophies or even being steeped in them.  Secular classrooms did more to shape my faith than Sunday school.  They caused me to question, dig in, find reasons for why I believed, and learn that Jesus is bigger than I thought. 

So why am I homeschooling?  I want to preserve a strong love of learning.  I want my kids to have all the flexibility in the world to explore subjects they love.  I’m not a fan of testing and grading.  I’m not a fan of rewards as motivators. 

**I do not think there is anything WRONG with public school.  I had a public school education and loved it.  And, again, I reserve the right to change my mind at any point and enroll my kids in public school.   🙂

Now what kind of homeschool do I want to do?  I imagine that will change and morph as we acclimate to the culture.  I feel comfortable in saying we won’t do a traditional method.  I started out certain I would do Waldorf.  After I put away my pentatonic recorder and dropped out of Waldorf school…I thought unschool.  Unschooling fits me.  But does it fit my kids?  Hmmm.  And then I also think Charlotte Mason is dreamy.  And I absolutely did not plan on doing anything formal until first grade. 

Then Norah changed my plan.  She told me she wanted to go to school.  She pointed to all her friends who go to school.  She begged me to let her join a classroom.  She even asked to watch youtube videos of kindergarten classes.  In a search for compromise, I looked into a co-op that offered one class a week but they were full.  And then I was reminded of a brilliant woman in my community who homeschools.  I emailed her and asked her she would hold my hand.  She immediately invited me over for coffee. 

She uses the classical model with her children and enrolls them in Classical Conversations.  I’d heard of CC before and dismissed it as not a good fit.  But I gave it a second look now that I know Norah a bit better.  The classical model is one of the more rigorous of methods.  A far cry from my “nothing formal until first grade” plan. 

I took a deep breath and bought the ticket.  I can always change my mind. 

Norah is super excited.  At the very least, CC will give us a structure for our trial run year.  And that will give my husband peace of mind.  He knows my lack of discipline and tendency to jump from one idea to another with astonishing speed.  I’m boarding the plane!

5 responses »

  1. I am wondering where we’ll be in a year or two. I know what you mean about being a Christian but not wanting to homeschool just because of that. Suzi has not said yet that she wants to go to school, and I’m not sure what we’ll do if she does. Surely it will prompt several family members to say “come on! Send the poor kid to school, it’s only natural for her to want to spend most of her time with kids her age!” I just don’t think that’s best. Besides, this is a double standard because I begged my mom to stay home and teach me and she never yanked me out of the public school system just because I said so. Honestly, I hear about these kids begging to go to school and it’s just so foreign to me. I was at the opposite end of the spectrum (school, then after school care for a couple more hours, and sometimes daycare), and all I wanted was a stay at home mom. I guess the grass is always greener. We are enrolling Suzi in dance class so I’m hoping that’s something she can enjoy doing with other kids for a while. She loved the mini-class over the summer. We both loved Miss Ashley’s Waldorf class but hauling the kids to Greenville that early in the day wore me out. I think right now I’m going to finish the homeschooling book I’m on and try out/implement one new homeschool activity at the time to get us started on something informal.

    Good luck! I hope you and Norah have a good first year and look forward to reading about it.

  2. I feel the same way as you on homeschooling. We went to a home school curriculum fair a few weeks ago and I was suprised at the strong religious overtones there, not that that was a bad thing. However, when I think of homeschooling, it is also not for religious reasons. I know now as an adult that I learn something so much more in depth if I have a passion for it. We are keeping our options open right now and doing our research. My husband was bored out of his mind in the public school system, I liked public school but didn’t know there was an alternative until later and by then homeschool just seemed odd and harder. Public school was pretty easy even though I took advanced classes. I wonder how some of those courses would have been in a homeschool environment.

  3. Love this post. I ended up not un-schooling either–ds needs some structure. So . . . I am doing Charlotte Mason following Simply Charlotte Mason. It is very dreamy 🙂 I, too, looked at CC and though ds is extremely auditory and all the memorization would be easy for him, I decided that living books and reading aloud would be more ‘up his alley.’ And I LOVE reading to him.

    I look forward to hearing more about your home school journey! Feel free to ask questions, too, we had a great first year and have already started the second–

  4. Jenn–you can bet I’ll be calling on you for hand-holding. To say I’m hesitant about all this would be an understatement.

  5. Just wanted to let you know that I have a few clients who use the Classical Conversations and love it. As their kids get older there are different “classrooms” to assist in their different needs. I’ve heard lots of good things from it.. so GOOD LUCK! 🙂
    by the way… love your Blog & website!

    Ashley Flory Robinson 😉


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