Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Education

Every so often I'm trying to formulate a thought that has taken hold of my mind and put it in a way to make it presentable here and someone beats me to it, often in a far more eloquent way. When Teacher Tom shared thoughts yesterday about education reform and what education is really made of, and I found myself saying again- "there it is. That's the idea I've been filled with lately."

We homeschool partly because our options here are limited. We want our boys to stay little boys while they are little, to grow in ways that aren't measured in the traditional school model (public or private) and to understand that education isn't the sum of math class + english class + history class + science class.

It is the reason we draw so much from Charlotte Mason who wrote about habit formation as the very basis of life, as well as education. It is the reason Reggio Emilia and project based learning is the inspiration for our days and the way we choose to learn. The only way we are able to adhere to that educational format is to keep our boys home. I would *love* a cooperative school as Teacher Tom describes and when I really think about it my mind starts spitting out idea after idea of how this would work at higher grade levels. We are exceedingly thankful to have co-op time about every two weeks with other like-minded families, but it doesn't seem quite right and then my mind jumps to a "if only I could start a school like this..." place.

We are working toward a completely different educational experience for our kids, one where the learning continues as long as life does, one where it's okay to not know the answer, to ask a lot of questions and get dirty while you figure things out. We want our boys to not just know the correct answers but to know how to go about finding that answer, to really think and understand processes.

We already know it's different and maybe even weird. Plenty of people have already told us that and it kind of keeps us on track- reaffirming each time that we are doing this with purpose, that our non-traditional approach to education is what is making them whole people rather than walking textbooks.

It is our education, the education of our family, not just our children. It's almost as if now Brian and I are getting the education we needed as kids and choosing this particular way isn't just for their benefit but for ours as well.


  1. I really enjoyed your writing. I almost didn't blog for the same reasons (someone had already said it before I am sure) but a fresh opinion matters.

  2. Hello! I have just found your blog via yarn along - and reading this post feel like I have written it a few years in time... if that makes sense. I have three children, my Charlott Mason book arrived 2 days ago, I love Reggio Emilia and also some Waldorf methods and we are in Australia. Homeschool is not very common here, I love reading Teacher Tom. I think we are embarking on our own journey of home school - or part-time school. I keep praying, but find it difficult reading blogs and waiting and continueing to pray. I think I may need to get some practical organisation in place! Sorry for rambling and lovely to meet you!
    Rach x


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