If you had asked me a month ago if I would ever homeschool my kids, my answer would have been "Heck no!"
So why the sudden and complete change of heart? Why am I suddenly addicted to learning about innovative approaches to education, homeschooling, unschooling, creativity, and how my family is going to be different?
It's interesting to look back and see how the Lord prepared me for this. Husband and I have had the conversation in the past, but "No" has always been the answer for one reason or the other. I shared my story recently about deciding to pass on an active nursing career in order to focus my time and effort on my family. Now I can see how that decision was a small piece that needed to be in place before homeschooling could be an option.
Tony and I had been reading "The Turning" by Richard and Linda Eyre. (If you believe in the importance of family, or if you want to be convinced, read it!) It lead to a conversation about family culture and how right now, with two little ones, we control 100% of our family culture. But, in a couple of years, Hyrum will head out the door and he will bring back ideas, values, etc. (for good or bad) that will influence that family culture. One option? Homeschool. For the first time, I wasn't immediately turned off. Husband, who is obsessed with innovative disruption and who has been talking for years about how public education needs to be disrupted, sent me an article about innovative approaches to education, many of which were trying to bring back the one-room schoolhouse. From one article to another, this website to that, I was hooked.
Not only was I hooked, but I was convinced. Convinced that I could provide much more for my children, by way of education, than any public school ever could (at least until some major disruption occurs).
Soon we were formulating our own education philosophy. What do we want education to provide for our kids? What does that kind of education look like?
We haven't been able to articulate it succinctly and clearly yet, but here are a few things we know...
Children are inherently creative and creativity is key to success. Public schools, as they now stand, kill creativity. It's not teachers or administrators that are to blame, but the system and what it has become. If you want to see what I mean, watch the following videos:
How Schools Kill Creativity by Ken Robinson
Changing Education Paradigms by Ken Robinson
In our home, creativity will be developed and championed. Creativity is squashed when failing is looked upon as a negative thing. Kids stop trying to create their own solutions when those solutions don't work and they are looked down upon because of that. In our home, we will encourage failing as a path to excellence. Try, try, and try again. Learn along the way. Become a critical thinker and never, never believe anyone who says "You can't."
Hand in hand, our education will be innovative. We will go against what is normal and accepted because what is normal and accepted does not always work. Who said that English and Math and Physics and History all had to be separate subjects? We don't believe they should be. Our schooling will focus on project-based learning, where kids will learn how math and science and history are intertwined in one common experiment and then will use their English knowledge to present what they have learned.
Our homeschool will be fun and challenging because it will be customized to each individual child. They will be able to work at their own pace, study things that interest them, be exposed to hands on activities that will allow them to learn skills and develop ideas regarding a variety of topics. If they think chickens are the best things since eggs, boy howdy, you better believe we'll be building a chicken coop before long. I want happy kids who love learning. Watch the following video to see that in action:
Hacking School by Logan LaPlante
And for the big question you all want answered. What about socialization? Husband's first response is, "Who said sticking a 13 year old in the same place as hundreds of other 13 year olds was the best way to socialize?" The home is a great place to learn social skills, and a safe place at that. Plus, there will be city sport leagues, music lessons and groups, church activities, homeschool co-ops. I promise that our kids will not suffer socially because we won't let them. We will provide them with ample opportunity to build relationships.
So, are you as excited as we are? Are you ready to jump on the boat? You don't have to be. I just wanted to share our excitement. Please, send me your thoughts and ideas and concerns. We're ready to start our new adventure!