So…I homeschool. I love it. And at times, hate it. And at others, feel absolutely no emotion towards the entire practice. But I have perspective (not much, but some), because I saw how the other half lives. I went to school. And left.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a snob (see just about every disclaimer I have ever made on this blog) but homeschooling is much better than brick-and-mortar school. I can see the heads shaking, but had I not homeschooled, I would probably be an over-medicated, under-performing vegetable. Possibly a rutabaga.
But homeschooling is not for everybody. It happens to be right for me, because if I want to try to learn Russian in a week (fail) or paint Starry Night on my French teacher’s classroom wall (success!) I can do so. I also happen to be rather introverted and do quite well working by myself, which is why spending the day at home, with a few animals, works for me. It would not, for example, work for my sister (who is the Lydia in the family). And she is quite content attending normal school.
Like I said, somewhere in the last three rambling paragraphs, homeschooling is wonderful, but also maddening on occasion. So join me, be you parent, teacher, student, or civilian, as I attempt to explain homeschooling. Laugh along, roll your eyes, and enjoy the ride.
- The Books
I don’t know about you, but the sheer amount of books I accumulated over my homeschooling career is astounding. I have bookshelves–many bookshelves–devoted to anything from Nancy Drew to Physics. And the books are still accumulating, just piling up all over the place because I ran out of shelves about a year and a half ago. I need a card catalog.
2. The Subject Matter
As I said, I have (in theory, of course) absolute freedom over what I wish to learn. There is, of course, the list of required subjects that must be covered every year, and most things have to be run past the parent who is (supposedly) in charge.
But I was granted almost complete control over my education. This does not happen in most homeschooling families, but most homeschooling families have more parents and money than mine.
So, as my own teacher, registrar, janitor, etc., I put together what I consider to be some pretty fascinating assignments. At one point, I tried to recreate the Oracle of Dodona for my history curriculum. It involved a dress form in a chiton, several candles (incense having been unavailable at the time) and many bottles stung across two chairs.
On the dining room table.
It is absolutely beyond me how neither I, nor anyone else, thought to take pictures.
3. The Freedom
Probably my favorite thing about homeschooling, aside from not having to wonder if anyone’s taped a “kick me” sign to my back, is the freedom I have. I can go to the park with my books, sit under a tree, and eat an apple as I work; I can research autoimmune diseases; I can play the harp until my fingers bleed (I did, once. And it was not an experience I have any intention of ever repeating.)
I tried shadowing at a school once, and was amazed at how restrictive it felt–and how bored I was. When you build oracles on your dining room table, sitting in class doesn’t seem all that interesting anymore.
Well, I think this is long enough for now. Next post: weird questions homeschoolers get asked. Submissions are readily accepted for that one.
What are your views on homeschooling?
How many books did you accumulate?
And what is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about homeschooling?