Monday, June 25, 2007

Some thoughts on homeschooling

As I've grown into this "homeschooling mom" role, I've definitely gone through stages.

Way back when my oldest was a baby, when I was immersed in "attachment parenting" and saw how beautifully, naturally, my toddler learned things, I thought that I would probably be an "unschooler". When J1 was about 4, and showing signs of being extremely bright, I read "The Well Trained Mind", which I enjoyed and led me to do more research. I encounted the Bluedorn's website (they still have a great article called "10 things to do before your child turns 10") but they didn't exactly fit with the Catholicism I'd just re-discovered at that time, and I read Laura Berquist (who is Catholic), overall becoming quite seduced by the "Classical" method of homeschooling.

But J1 was very good (ie, stubborn!) at showing me that I couldn't force him into any kind of nice, arranged, pre-planned role. He was, and is, very much his own person, with tremendous strengths, some weaknesses, and a whole lot of individuality. He has forced me to think and act in ways I never imagined I could! Isn't being a mom wonderful?!

I've been contemplating my upcoming 5th official year of homeschooling, I'm pondering the experiences I've had this year with my completely different, visual-spatial learner 2nd child, A2, and I'm considering the fact that next year I will be "legal" with THREE BOYS!!! And I am starting - finally - to become comfortable with where I'm "at" as a homeschooling mom. I have 4 very bright kids, and not a single one of them fit in a standard "mold" of age or grade. We don't fit into a curriculum type, in fact, with my smart, individualistic children, I can't fit into one single label. I'm sort of an unschoolish, classically flavored, with Charlotte Mason aspects, type of homeschooler. And low and behold - there's a lot of people out there like me, who can't seem to fit in any one particular approach. We take bits and pieces of several learning philosophies, we adapt it all to our family and our individual children's needs. We design our own curriculum, such as it is, and learning is an all-the-time adventure.

As John Paul II said, "Families - be who you are!" I am only now beginning to appreciate what a profound statement that is.

1 comment:

LLMom said...

I just recently found your blog and this article.
This is exactly how I am. You said it beautifully! We are all on a unique journey with our family and most of us don't fit into any one mold.