I have a few friends who homeschool their children, and I’m always amazed — at their patience and at their persistence. Somehow I just think that I would never be able to teach my own kids. Would they listen to me the way they listen to their teachers?
I had the same doubts when I started homeschooling. Watching the kids read, explore and grow helped me learn I didn’t need to teach so much as keep resources laid out in front of them to grab. They filtered out what didn’t work and soaked up what did.
From the article:
As Alex dug through a bin of toy cars, proudly displaying each “Cadillac de Ville” and “hotrod” he found, his mom noted that “They always bring something for Alex,” the youngest of the group. She said sometimes he plays games with the older children, but sometimes he’s happy to hang out with the adults in the room. An extraordinarily bright child who started reading at age 2, Alex knows every element of the periodic table and his favorite book to read is his mom’s dictionary. His parents let him try going to preschool, but it just wasn’t for him.
“(Homeschooling’s) not for everybody,” Faria said, “but it works for us.”
The venerable New York Times Magazine published an article on November 8, 2011 titled My Parents Were Home-Schooling Anarchists, by Margaret Heidenry:
“Tired of the constraints of the 40-hour workweek, my father, in 1972, quit his job in publishing. My parents were in their early 30s, and they had four children under 7. ‘But we still wanted to explore the world,’ my father recalled recently. They bought six one-way tickets to Europe, leaving only a laughable $3,000 to subsist on. Young and idealistic, they thought they could easily educate us along the way. ‘Life itself would become a portable classroom.’”
Margaret explains how for the next four years they “embarked on an uncharted ‘free-form existence,’ traveling through Spain, England, a Midwestern farm, Mexico, and finally settled in St. Louis. She details how her parents stretched their budget to allow for the far-flung classrooms, and writes of the family adventure, “…my parents were consistently inconsistent. There were a few interludes of standardized education, but for the most part, as my mother would later write in this magazine, ‘during all this time, the children traveled with us and received nothing that remotely resembled formal schooling.’”
“Home Is Where the School Is,” published in the Oct. 19, 1975, issue of The New York Times Magazine, was the first article in a national publication to espouse what was then still a fringe educational choice.
Read Margaret Heidenry’s entire article at the link above.
Too Cool For Homeschool? (Here’s what you didn’t know), by Melanie O’Brien, shares the activities of families involved with the Baltimore Homeschool Community Center, described as “…bright and friendly, full of laughing kids and smiling adults.” The member-based organization serves homeschooling families throughout the Baltimore area. O’Brien writes:
“But wait a second. Why are homeschoolers away from home, in a center taking classes? If you’re like me (and statistics suggest you probably are), then your state-mandated K-12 education happened in a public or private school. But for about 2.4 percent of Maryland’s school-aged kids, education happens somewhere else.”
The article is long, interesting, fair and balanced, and the final paragraph, while startling and unusual for an article about homeschooling, leaves true homeschoolers with a knowing smile. Recommended reading, for sure.
Susan Ryan shares a heart-warming story at her Corn and Oil blog about a homeschooling family who purchased a local school and are sharing it with their community:
“When they heard about the sale of the school and its contents, Melanie and Gary Doyle thought they may end up purchasing school supplies for their home-schooled kids. Instead, they bought the school itself.”
The last of three articles on local homeschooling families is a positive, upbeat article from the Oct. 7th issue of the Dansville-Genesee Country Express in Dansville, NY, titled Homeschool Gives Choice to Students, Parents:
The freedom to pursue what a parent deems best for their child is still allowed in America.
That’s the feeling of Heather DeNee of Sparta, who feels “very blessed to have the opportunity and choice to homeschool.”
This mother of three (soon to be four) added that she understands that homeschooling is not for everyone, but, “there’s an opportunity for those who have that desire.”
Read the entire article at the link above.
An interesting and enlightening article on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s website, StLToday.com, titled Adventures in Public Schooling, Homeschooling, and Living in Both Worlds by Sharon Autenrieth:
Twelve years ago my husband and I had dinner with friends. They were homeschooling their youngest child, then in fifth grade, and at some point in the evening the conversation turned to education. “Don’t take this the wrong way,” I said, “because you two are the exception. But most homeschoolers are freaks.”
Eleven years ago I became a homeschooler. Serves me right, really, after that remark. I certainly didn’t anticipate taking this path, but I’ve stayed on it, and last week began my 11th straight year of homeschooling.
Continue reading Sharon’s wonderful article at the link above.
The Bandz are now contraband. Schools in several states, including New York, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts, have blacklisted Silly Bandz, those stretchy, colorful bracelets that are creeping up the forearms of school kids across the U.S. And starting this week, all 800-some kids at my son’s elementary school in Raleigh, N.C., were commanded to leave at home their collections of rubber band–like bracelets, which retail for about $5 per pack of 24. What could possibly be so insidious about a cheap silicone bracelet?
Find out at the Time magazine article, Silly Bandz Bracelet Craze.
From Literacy News, which reports on literacy issues which affect the workplace and education systems, one of those countdown pieces subtitled ’10 reasons why public school is better than homeschool’ starts out with:
1. Most parents were educated in the under funded-public school system, and so are not smart enough to homeschool their own children.
It gets worse. But it’s not what you think. File under satire…
An upbeat piece titled Home school not like old school, focusing on members of the Westside House, a chapter of Illinois Home Oriented Unique Schooling Experience, or HOUSE, which bills itself as an inclusive, non-sectarian network of homeschooling support groups, appeared in the May 11th La Grange, Illinois edition of MySuburbanLife.com, which serves Chicago’s western suburbs. The article quotes homeschool mom Elizabeth Crewe: “One of the biggest misconceptions of home schoolers is that they are home,” she said. “We are so rarely home. We do have a weekly schedule of things we do or what we are going to study, but it’s different from day to day.”