Posted by: katlea611 | February 6, 2008

Homeschooling Outside the Home

Wonderful article…

Taking Homeschooling Out of Your Home
By Mary Pride

Homeschooling, properly understood, is education designed by parents. This automatically makes it a whole different animal from “public” education, which is education designed by government bureaucrats. It also differs sharply from “private” schooling. Regardless of their talk about parental authority, in practice private schools reserve curriculum design for teachers, administrators, and textbook designers.

Even those who think the child should direct his own education must admit this type of “un” schooling is only possible if the parent has the authority to let the child choose his own educational pursuits and projects.

So, homeschool is not “school” when it comes to who is in charge of curriculum design. Having parents choose or design the curriculum is radically different from what happens in any school.

Amazing as it may seem, parent-designed and parent-chosen curriculum yields better results than school-designed-and-chosen curriculum, as many research studies have shown. Then again, how amazing is it that curriculum chosen from the entire universe of options (rather than the small list “approved” by the state or school board) and targeted to the exact child for which it is intended, should result in more learning taking place faster? Especially when the parents in question have the ability to hobnob with other parents and find out what’s working for them . . . and when they can easily obtain detailed reviews of all their curriculum options through homeschool magazines and books.

Homeschool also is not “school” when it comes to scheduling and priorities. We do not have “announcements,” ringing bells to mark the end of a class period, football teams that soak up the budget that would otherwise go to art and music lessons, or endless classes geared to the latest politically correct fads. Unless we want to, that is!

This means that homeschooled children in general have a much greater attention span and ability to “focus” than children who attend school, where they are continually interrupted in the middle of their projects, math papers, writing assignments, and so forth.

Homeschool Away from Home

Since we now realize that homeschool is not “school at home,” this leaves us free to look for educational adventures anywhere in the real world that we can find them.

That’s why this issue’s special feature is our now-famous Annual Homeschool Vacations roundup. With summer just around the corner, now is the time to plan some out-of-the-ordinary family excursions and some independent learning adventures for your older children. Let us help you put some pizzazz into your summer!

As the mother of nine homeschooled children, I personally have found such vacations and adventures to be a wonderful way to energize and inspire my own kids. This summer and fall, for example, four of my children are attending Worldview Academy and two are heading to the Glorieta Homeschool Conference, where they will have a table offering our magazine and other products, as well as giving a talk or two. Joseph hopes to take an Outward Bound course this fall, and we’re already thinking about next summer’s Hocking College learn-to-sail course.

None of this is “school,” and none of it will be happening at home . . . but it still is homeschool. The world is our home. And class is in session.

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