Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Philosophy of Home Schooling

I've had this page in my homeschooling notebook since the first year I started homeschooling:

I don't remember exactly what my day had been like to prompt me to write this out, but I know it was written during our first year of homeschooling. It is something I still turn to if I need to remind myself of what it is that we're trying to accomplish in this crazy journey.

So you don't have to get out a magnifying glass to decipher my handwriting, it says:

What is my philosophy of education?

That learning is possible anytime, anywhere, forever
That there is nevertheless a body of knowledge that must be absorbed:
  • world history
  • world geography
  • arithmetic
  • general science
  • literature
  • arts
That there is some discipline, organization of thoughts critical thinking
  • that has to be learned
  • questioning, critiquing, categorizing, connecting>analyze
  • expressing the ideas in clear organized fashion, speaking writing,
  • logic, then and Latin added as subjects.
My problem is: how much time does it take to do this?
each day? week? year?

These thoughts that I jotted down one night still resonate 10 years later. I still struggle with balancing my unschooling impulses -- I believe wholeheartedly that learning is a life long endeavor and works best when not structured -- with my pragmatic side that recognizes the need for teaching and refining skills. This has been the method to my madness.

Did I succeed? Are my kids successful? Well, yes, they are as a matter of fact.

Did I fail in some things? Well, world geography isn't a strong suit of theirs, in spite of my best efforts. Latin? Yeah, well, choose your battles. And a fellow homeschool mom gave me grief recently (in a teasing way) because my 14yo didn't know who Benedict Arnold was. I figure he at least knows how to use Wikipedia and NOT to use it as a source in a research paper.

1 comment:

  1. Now I'll always be known as the "homeschool mom who gives Jenn grief". Sigh.... I wish my claims to fame were more positive.