“School trains children to be employees and consumers; teach your own to be leaders and adventurers. School trains children to obey reflexively; teach your own to think critically and independently. Well-schooled kids have a low threshold for boredom; help your own to develop an inner life so that they'll never be bored. Urge them to take on the serious material, the grown-up material, in history, literature, philosophy, music, art, economics, theology - all the stuff that schoolteachers know well enough to avoid. Challenge your kids with plenty of solitude so that they can learn to enjoy their own company, to conduct inner dialogues. Well-schooled people are conditioned to dread being alone; they seek constant companionship through the TV, the computer, the cell phone, and through shallow friendships quickly acquired, quickly abandoned. Your children should have a more important life, and they can.”—
John Taylor Gatto, “Weapons of Mass Instruction”
There is a huge difference between education and schooling.
This kinda turned into a rant...
Back in school. Hurrah. I hate my school uniforms. They make me look so ugly.
Today honestly reminded my why I hate school so much. I had forgotten over my two week christmas break. The uniforms are hideous on me, there is no hot guys, my friend selection is very slim, ect. But aside from that my classes suck. I seriously want to become homeschooled. But I need a few decent argument points to pose in order for them to even consider it. I only have one year + a semester left. Got any advice?
I honestly hate some of the people in my school. Thank God none of them read this. But when I was on break I was so much happier with the people I would hang out with.
I know that I am a fast learner and I remember things really well, so the actual school part wouldn’t be very difficult for me. I just need to get out of there. I barely survived today, my first day back. I wanted to punch some people in the face so badly. It’s not really good for me to always be in such a foul mood. Honestly when I’m in school it’s like all the happiness just falls away and I’m left with people judging me.
I want to leave. I only have two days left of this semester. Then three exams. I could either get out now, or be miserable for another semester… I am in need of some advice… Got any?
You are not an educator. You have not taught someone so much as helped them to learn, if they have learned something as a result of your teaching. I find the concept of words like teacher and educator, while useful shorthand, quite dangerous because they tie into the myth that education can be spoon-fed and that you can be responsible for someone else’s education. No-one is responsible for your education but you. If you don’t want to learn something, you won’t.
We’re now into week three and there is a definite structure to our homeschooling approach. I was a bit unsure at first what our days would look like - would they be very uniform, forgiving, or all over the place? My thinking was that with two young ones, it would probably be more all over the place but we have managed to keep a rhythm. Mornings in our house are usually spent devoting ourselves to “schooling” time, which does not resemble the institutional idea of schooling what-so-ever, and I’m comfortable with that. I bounced around a lot wondering if we should invest in desks, have folders with names, and designated work area, but I have to remind myself that Myra is barely 3 and preschool age is all about make believe, imitation, engaging and most importantly reading.
With all that in mind, this is how our week mornings are structured (loosely):
Mondays: Library day
Tuesday: Arts and crafts day
Wednesday: Make-sure-we-get-out-into-nature-day (very important once winter comes that we maintain this!)
Thursday Catch-up-on-chores, while the kids play, day
Friday Baking day
Saturday and Sunday Family days
Baking day in our household. Can you tell she’s still in PJs? Learning still happens in PJs!
Obviously there is a lot of room for flexibility. Myra has really been into arts and crafts lately and has been asking me to do some projects with her when Reid is taking his nap. And then there are the days that a mix of almost everything happens, minus the chore part.
I’ve really been trying to focus on being with the kids more and not worrying about the housework. That’s a challenge for me, yet at the same time, I’m beginning to get weepy about Myra turning three in November. They truly are only little for so long.
What does your rhythm look like? Are you very structured or lenient? Do you break activities down daily, weekly, monthly?