Today was not one of our finest days of homeschooling. The fact that it is snowing, along with the fact that it’s a holiday, did not equal a fruitful morning of learning. But then we are at an awkward stage in our school year. As we wrap up several parts of the curriculum (due to doing a portion of kindergarten last year), I’m preparing to go curriculum shopping to fill in for the rest of this year. The girls sense the change coming, and they’re ready for the new.
In light of the kind of day we’re having here, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on one of my preconceived notions about how we would do school at our house…
I was determined to make my childrens’ home education experience as close to the regular school experience as possible. I knew that homeschooling was the right choice, but I also had this terrible concern that my kids would not have a perfect, well-rounded education if I did anything outside the box.
I was completely sure that I wanted to take a Traditional approach to their education, even though I didn’t even know what it was technically called at that time. Let me pause for a moment to assure you, I am not at all demeaning this type of education. I’m not suggesting that everyone who teaches this way is trying to recreate the classroom experience. Also, I’m not trying to suggest that if you try to create that experience for your children at home that you are wrong. I don’t think that is the case at all, but I know it is not what works best for our family. I‘m simply sharing a bit of my journey and process with you, and I hope you understand my heart here. OK, back to my story…
Traditional homeschooling sounded so safe and secure to me. I could not fathom even considering taking another route, and I didn’t really even know what all the options were. I chose the curriculum that I had used as a child in private school, in part because I wanted the complete package to come from one place. The task of picking and choosing different curriculums for different subjects seemed insurmountable. That wasn’t the way I would do things. After all, by doing so I might miss out on some vital aspect of their education. And of course, both my children would use the same curriculum, making good use of the teachers manuals and non-consumable supplies.
I missed out on an incredibly important aspect of home education. See, the beauty of it is that you can look at all the different styles, all the different curriculums, and then considering your individual children, your lifestyle, and your budget, you can choose what is truly the very best education for your kids. When I realized that, it made me love homeschooling all the more. And I also felt so free!
Since that realization, I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading. I’ve learned a lot about the many options and points of view there are in home education. These days I’m not feeling so Traditional. I’m not sure exactly what I am. If you were to ask me what style of homeschooling we do, I’m not sure that I would have an answer for you just yet. The girls and I are still figuring that one out, and I suspect it won’t be just one clear-cut answer.
One thing I do know, though…we aren’t trying to reproduce the classroom experience at our kitchen table anymore.
And that’s a huge relief to this teaching mommy.