Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So what is homeschooling like this year?

We officially have only two weeks of summer left. You didn't want to read that, did you?

Oh sure! The weather will be summery, but the schooling will resume. When we were at the Lake, Uncle Adam had many questions about homeschooling. He had heard that it takes far less time and they accomplish a lot more. And he wanted to know if that was true, and did it work like that in our lives?

In theory, it used to work that way. In times past, I would gather up my one or two pupils and try to teach them something a few times a week. And as they got older, the length of lessons and the frequency of lessons increased. That style of learning worked fine for us during the beginning years.

It was around the time when my oldest child was in the 7th grade, that schooling had to become much more purposeful and consistent and traditional. Of course, many parents use traditional methods right from the get-go, and seem to have great success. Perhaps, I should define terms. By traditional methods, I am talking about a pedagogy similar to that of the public schools in methods, materials, and evaluative tools. While some of us may have felt that traditional methodology squelched the daylights out of our own natural desire to learn, other parents remember it as a necessary evil or God's gift to education.

I think if I had started this blog in my younger years, it would have been a blog about breaking free of the traditional educational model--something that I was passionate about in my younger years. And then I would have felt much guilt when I ended up switching to the traditional methodology after a few years, like I had just fallen on my sword or something. Good grief. The things I was hyper about back then!

As it is, I rarely, if ever, attempt to wax eloquently about educational methods. I'm not even sure why. I loved all that stuff ten years ago. I thought I would grow up and be one of those traveling homeschool teachers who helps others get organized. O.K. that is actually kind of funny, but it was an illusion at one point.

And so, we are embarking on another year of "outsourcing" our homeschooling with traditional methodology. There's not much to say about it. I basically pay other people to teach my kids, and I teach some of their kids. I never started out this way, nor did I ever dream it would be like this. For some people who are deathly afraid of homeschooling, it may be nice to know that you CAN do it this way. And for others, it may be that I am a homeschooling casualty. Either way, it doesn't matter. The kids are happy and getting a good education.

So, if you were to ask me what classes my kids are taking, I'd have to look at their schedules and figure it out--which is precisely what I think I'll do this week. And yes, I am preparing my lessons for what I will be teaching also. And when I find out, I'll be reporting back in.


Herding Grasshoppers said...


As usual... you crack me up!

"a homeschool casualty"

You're doing what's working for you and your kids.



Steve Rusk said...

I was listening to some ministry by Jabe (from Voices for Christ) and he was saying (this is regarding educational methods) that the lecture format is the least effective of all methods used to impart information.

Regarding Nordic influences, try Westby, WI; I think that there are more Norwegians there than in Oslo.

Kathryn said...

I'm glad you're not being too hard on yourself.

It is good to be flexible enough to make changes when changes need to be made. Straight jackets aren't very comfortable!


The dB family said...

I like your style!!