Posts tagged " homeschool "

Don’t Homeschool for the Wrong Reasons

August 19th, 2018 Posted by Homeschooling, Practical Parenting 6 comments

Human beings are complicated. We do things for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes we understand our motivations, other times we are clueless and often we think we understand but are only misleading ourselves.

Starting, or continuing to homeschool is no exception. My own journey began when one of our daughters became increasingly sad and fragile as she moved from kindergarten to first and then to second grade. Her automatic response to anything new became, “I can’t do that.”

At the time, homeschooling was not as well known as it is today. I was familiar with it only from boating magazines which had an annual issue about kids on boats. I knew that if we were circumnavigating the globe I could teach my children, but I had no idea that parents were doing so in the middle of populated areas.

In those pre-computer days, I sat down with a stack of postcards and wrote to the advertisers in those issues of the boating magazines. I went to our main regional library and looked in the card catalog. (I feel like I will soon be telling you how we managed during the Civil War.) There were two books on the topic, both the stories of individual families. While neither book mirrored our life in the slightest, they were inspiring and made me realize that keeping R. home was possible. Since I felt that, at that point, each day of school was a negative, it seemed to be a good idea.

This means that I started homeschooling, like so many people, for a negative reason. A lot of us do. Kids are bullied and bored, there seem to be more tests than teaching, private schools are expensive and a host of other negatives have parents pulling their children from class. Those are very valid reasons to approach homeschooling, but I hope that you, like me, switch very quickly from negative motivation to positive.

(more…)

What to do with a disgruntled member?

September 28th, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 16 comments

Question:

I am a homeschool mom who is connected to a homeschool community. We meet on a weekly basis. The children are tutored by the moms and are paid. The moms are encouraged to help out and use their talents with organizing field trips, taking photos to create a year book , etc.

 We have a situation where one mom, who was involved very much and due some circumstances after paying full tuition, decided to register her children in a school. In the contract it states that parents after  paying tuition will not get a refund. She is very disappointed because she is treated the same as a parent who did not lift a finger. What is a biblical approach to this case?

S.

Answer:

Dear S.,

Financial interactions and human interactions are intertwined. While money allows us to work together peacefully, it can also be the source of ill feeling and friction.

(more…)

Lifetime Learning

April 1st, 2010 Posted by Homeschooling, Practical Parenting, Susan's Musings 2 comments

After our friend, Mike, served multiple military tours overseas and was back in civilian life, he explained to me that one is never an ex-Marine. You may not be on active service, but you are still a Marine. I hope he and his comrades won’t find this offensive, but I feel somewhat the same way about being a homeschooling mom.

Although I have no children left in my homeschool, a large part of my identity was forged by those years, and I have no desire to leave it behind. One of the most important lessons I learned, and I hope that my children did as well, is that learning is not confined to a particular time or place. Learning takes place as long as one is alive and isn’t necessarily related to sitting for a certain number of hours in a specific location during designated months. You certainly can learn in a classroom setting; you just as certainly can accomplish no more than logging wasted time. Worse, you can be indoctrinated with the idea that once school is over, so is learning.

God created us with a natural desire to learn and to communicate with others. It is enchanting to watch a baby manipulate an object until he understands its properties.  As he bangs it, chews on it, and throws it, he is learning to discern textures, shapes and size. A toddler’s frustration as he yearns to get an idea across before he actually has the language skills to do so may result in furious tears and make him difficult to handle, but it is a sign of growth.

Over the years that wonder diminishes. There is a natural attrition as we become competent enough to navigate through life and less curious about what there still is to explore. Too often our love of learning is actively squelched, often sadly by the very institutions that are officially dedicated to advancing it. Homeschooling parents aren’t immune from this malady either. Well-intentioned parents and teachers all need to actively work to nurture the joy that can be found in hard work and intellectual inquiry.

For me, one great benefit of being a homeschooling mom was an opportunity to expand my own knowledge. There were subjects that I did not enjoy when I was in school, like ninth grade algebra, that I not only began to understand but actually began to have fun with when I covered it for the second, third and fourth time as a homeschooling mom. I had the opportunity to spend Wednesday mornings for an eight week period sitting in on a series of fascinating World War I history classes at our local library.

I no longer have time for activities like that. Since I am no longer technically homeschooling it is hard to justify spending hours reading biographies or trying some really fun kitchen science experiments as a valid part of working hours.

My children may not (yet) enjoy algebra, might confuse Woodrow Wilson with country singer Gretchen Wilson and most likely don’t remember what all the abbreviations on the periodic table stand for.  The one thing that I do hope they acquired and internalized is a love of learning and the realization that it can and should be pursued at all times and through limitless paths. I believe that my children benefited from our homeschooling adventure. I, for one, miss it.

Sign up to receive our AAJC newsletter and our free weekly teachings!

Sign Up Now!

Follow AAJC on its new Facebook Page!
X