Friday, May 7, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
We started homeschooling Anna this February as a bridge with no idea how our family would 'fit' with this crazy wacky ride. And it has evolved into a full fledged joy.
We brought Anna home because she was not loving learning the way she always had. She was only six and too young, in our book, to have the joy of discovery squashed out of her. So, we planned on a little detox time and simply wanted to slowly reconnect with her enthusiasm for learning.
What we didn't plan for is her very swift shift back to our inquisitive little girl. At the first of the year, she tried hard to convince us that she wasn't a good reader and that it was "stupid". Now she is quite fluent and is on the cusp of not wanting to put the book down (a day I wasn't sure we would see with her--not everyone loves reading, or so I thought).
I am more surprised than anyone that what began as an effort to help our daughter has shifted our entire paradigm of education. We have a new perspective that is very simply focused on each child, each year, and nurturing their love of learning. We are able to be intentional about encouraging our children to be the best they can be.
Homeschooling is not for everyone, but I think it might be for us. At least for another year. Next year we are planning to homeschool Anna AND Christopher. Parker will stay the course and attend our beloved preschool. I am excited for our journey!
I joke that I'm in a masters program (or at least an intense certification program) because I am so deep in research on child development, education, learning styles, curriculum, case studies, etc. Please know this is not normal or required in any way for a typical homeschooler. I am just odd. I like to research things thoroughly and to really roll up my sleeves and dig in. It's my happy place.
One of my favorite recent reads is Homeschooling for Excellence. Authors David and Micki Colfax received unsolicited press during the 80's when there four boys, all homeschooled, attended Harvard. Defacto pioneers in a quiet, seemingly obscure practice of schooling their boys at home, they show how they did it. They didn't set out to change the world or preach their philosophy, they kept it simple and helped nurture that which was within.
I loved this book. It's a good read, even if you aren't a homeschooling family. It provides a great review of the history of public education in our country and a frank discussion of the housekeeping of public (and dare I equate, some private) education. If you are on the fence about homeschooling, this may force your hand. It is encouraging. Whether my kids go to Harvard or not is hardly the point.