Friday, May 29, 2009

The World is Our School

Nothing I have ever done in my life has ever come close to the joys of spending my days learning with my children. The day my first was born, I knew I couldn't leave them to the care of another. Before he was 3, I knew I would homeschool him. The reasons are myriad, you've heard them all; faith, freedom, fun. As in any journey, the road twists and turns. We've moved, we've traded one style for another. We've grown from one student to 4, plus two in the wings. We've had the privilege to befriend some of the most wonderful people that could've crossed our path. I've always been determined to follow homeschooling as a lifestyle. Comfortable with routine and structure, we've favored a more traditional approach to educating, using the classical method. It suited our lifestyle, and made the academic part of homeschooling go more smoothly.

As the years have turned into a decade, I've come to understand many things about the homeschool lifestyle in general and about myself. There is no superior way to educate your children at home. Your style of "school" HAS to fit your family. You can lose the dogma of institutional schooling in the attempt to not saddle your children with the baggage that entails, but you may come to find that in your family one way works better for you. As the parents, you will have to figure it out.

Our family has decided, parents and children together, to let the kiddos attend a very small Christian school next year. I am pleased with their philosophy, as it fits well with allowing children to learn at their own pace, does not label with "grades", and follows the classical approach. If all schools were run this way, ours would be the best in the world, as they used to be. Surely we will hit some bumps in the road, and after this year I may well bring them back home.

I am also of the heart that I need a year to tend to my 2 youngest, who seems to always get the tail end of my attention, and work at my craft. My family is my first passion, but as a designer I am driven to work at creating. So, some may say I am "choosing" one over the other, some may say I am "giving up". I believe I have done this long enough to know when to recognize that I may be a little burnt out and need the year to regroup. From my children's attitudes, though, I see that they find this an exciting new adventure, and are looking forward to trying something new. This, I realize, is what education is about. So with prayerful anticipation, we take the next turn.


  1. Your kids are so cute! Great post. I so agree. Right now at ages 8 and 5 I say I'll be homeschooling for the long haul. But who's to say what will happen in 5 years? I don't have all the answers but I too want to do what is best for my family. I knew before I had them I would homeschool them. So far we are having a blast. I know your coming school year will be interesting to say the least!

  2. That it Traci! One year at a time. Everything I thought I knew, they decided otherwise. I plan to homeschool the little ones, and maybe take some of the olderones back out, but my sophomore wants to be around kids who can push and challenge him! Makes me proud to hear.

  3. What beautiful children! You are an amazing momma! I think that the older children will continue to flourish, and that your two little ones (and your amazing gift of design) will delight in it's newfound attention.

  4. Quick hi from another busy mom of 6.