So maybe this top picture doesn't really have to do with Homeschooling exactly. However, it's so sweet that I couldn't resist. In fact, in a way the above picture does have to do with Homeschooling but I will get to that in a minute.
We started our homeschooling adventure on August 18th. Although our Home Learning doesn't really look like what you would see going on in a traditional school building day in and day out, we decided to go along with the school calendar for no other reason than it just seemed a good a day as any to begin.
So truth be told as much as I was excited about Ty learning outside of a traditional school, I was also nervous. Could I do this? Would we be able to spend SO much time together and not go nuts? Is the path of learning we are taking enough to prepare him for his future? And the questions went on.
We are now in our fourth week and all I can say was that I wish I had been brave enough and confident enough to have began this venture years ago. We are taking a more self-directed, interest led approach to learning so our days never really look the same. In fact, the learning often may not even take place at home. Some folks may even question if what we are doing really is "learning". Because I grew up in the traditional school system and I have been "programmed" to believe that our educational system is the only right way, I occasionally have to step back from time to time and trust that what we are doing is best for our child and our family. Some of my initial hesitation stemmed from my fear of being a good "teacher" to Ty. Once we began I quickly saw my role in our learning adventure change from teacher to more of a facilitator. This quote from Albert Einstein sums up my feelings perfectly:
"I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn."-Albert Einstein
My goal is not to fill my child with facts so he can do well on some test. My hope is to raise a seeker, a problem solver, a curious, passionate child who not only loves to learn but knows how to learn. I want to give him the gift of time. Time to seek out his interests and time to figure out what he's really good at and where his talents lie. I don't want him to sit in a class room being fed knowledge that he is likely to forget if it has no meaning in his life.
Do I believe there will be gaps in his knowledge? Sure. But learning how to learn is much better than memorizing facts for the sake of a test. If he knows how to learn, no gap is permanent.
And so what does the picture at the very beginning of this post have to do with homeschooling? One of the biggest joys for me these days is knowing that we get to spend time so much time together as a family doing the things we love. Honestly, I have been surprised at how easy the adjustment has been for us considering my big Mr. works from home as well. Did I also mention we live in a 1000 sq. ft. house?
Childhood is short and I'm so glad that my little mr. has this time in his life to learn and live in a way that feels right for him, for all of us. A snuggle with his pup in the middle of the day is just another one of the perks!