Defining homeschooling is a little like describing a color, and every bit as elusive. You can rely on commonly-held descriptions; for example, we generally all agree on what blue looks like, but what about cobalt, aqua, navy, cyan, sapphire, azure, indigo, cerulean, turquoise or cornflower? It’s the same with homeschooling. There’s a generally accepted definition, but then there are all these wonderful variations…
Homeschooling embraces a broad spectrum of learning, and trying to describe and define it has resulted in some of the most colorful and interesting writings on the Internet. Revelations of a Homeschooling Mom, by Carol Wanagel, was originally published in the January-February 1995 issue of Home Education Magazine, and has been one of the most popular articles we’ve ever published. You can read Carol’s article in it’s entirety at the link above. An excerpt:
“Once I realized how bad the textbooks were, we started going to book stores and libraries more often. The kids bought or checked out whatever they wanted. Suddenly, with all their reading and discovery, THEY were the ones giving ME information. Josh asked, ‘You know about klipspringers, European mountain goats that can land with all four hooves on a ledge the size of a quarter?’ No, I never knew that. Joanna, experimenting with the piano, asked, ‘You ever notice that a melody sounds better if you use notes right next to each other or at least two apart?’ No, I’d never noticed. Jon J explained to me, ‘For SOME people (meaning himself) it’s just as easy to add large numbers by calculating all the columns at once.’ Gee, I wouldn’t have suggested that method.
It seemed like I wasn’t teaching them anything anymore, and yet they were learning at a furious pace. It became very clear that every time I started up with my assignments and lectures I was interfering with their education. Whatever I told them they had to learn, they slowly and painfully memorized, then quickly forgot. Whatever they wanted to learn, they learned instantly and for life.”
You can read the entire article at the link above.