Friday, 9 March 2007

What's this? A post about homelearning?

We decided to put labels on our posts and this got me to thinking about a couple of things. One is why is it that 4 moms of children who do not go to school have so few posts under the "homelearning" label and the other is about how much I normally loathe labels of any kind. So, it seemed to me like those two things could be put together into some kind of post, sort of like a "two birds with one stone" kind of thing. So here goes. {warning: the following post may seem like nonsense to you, if you don't like any of the ideas presented below, feel free to think that it is a load of hogwash written by a (slightly)crazy woman}

I have never liked labels for people and I won't give them to myself. When people ask us about our style of homelearning (a subject for which there are many kinds of labels) I don't like to answer with any of the typical labels. I find them limiting for our family and I don't like to limit us in any way. IF I had to choose a label (which, in fact, I don't), I guess I would say....."No, I refuse to choose a label." Ha ha! Instead I think I would invent my own way of describing what we do, actually I would steal it from the title of a Leo Buscaglia book that I like. I would say that we are Living, Loving and Learning homelearners - and then I might also say, "So there!" Actually I wouldn't, I'm much too polite (snort, snort) but I would like very much to say that and not have people look at me like I am insane.

We do tend to have a rhythm to our days but it is never a hard and fast thing. Yes, generally we do math, that is the only "must-have" workbook that we do on a regular basis. So to some (not all, I know, I know) "unschoolers" this would kick us out of the "unschooler" camp. Usually we do "learny" type things in the morning - and by "learny" I simply mean things that other people (i.e - your in-laws) would consider as school-ish. We might read from Story of the World - a chronological history book that my boys love. We will for sure be reading loads of books from the library - fiction and non-fiction. The boys may do some writing in a story they are working on or on some comics that they are making. Likely we will get out some kind of "science" type book from the stack of library books we have and read about animals, plants, Earth, the solar system, or whatever else the boys are interested in. We sit together on the couch ( or outside, if the weather is agreeable), reading and talking about what we are learning from the books, sharing our opinions and other information that we might have on the topic. My kids don't sit at the table and do workbooks for every subject so that would have us not belonging to the "school at home" group. We don't do Latin or a number of other things that would have us in the Classical homeschooling group. The thing is, we don't care. It makes no difference to us in what we do. We decide what works for us, and then we do it.

I wonder about the time that a person could spend, thinking about what kind of homelearner they are, what that entails, what they should or should not be doing and I think.....AAAARGH! I would wish for other people, new to homelearning, that they don't allow themselves to get caught up in this, as I have seen people do. I would wish that parents just do what they can see works best for their child and for themselves, and not worry about what other people may think is right or wrong - no matter how knowledgeable that person seems. I remember when we first got connected to the internet , I thought it would be interesting to go to some homelearning forums to see what people had to say but I found that we didn't really do things the way other people did and that I did not really want to. I didn't want to be drawn into discussions on what kind of homeschooler I was. I thought that the time I could spend researching different methods of homelearning, different curriculum, different ideas and ideals would all take away from the time I could be spending just being with my boys - just living, loving and learning with my boys. And I didn't need anybody else to tell me how to do that.

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