Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

We begin Week 2

…with a Mommy that doesn’t feel all that great and kids who are somewhat less cooperative than they were last week. Dare I say that the “new” is wearing off of the idea of learning at home?

There is still the dilemma of wanting to unschool and not wanting to unschool. I LOVE the concept – but practically speaking, I am not sure that.. well, in all honestly, I think I might be too lazy to be an unschooling mom. Maybe unschooling is something that you have to “come” to after a while – that seems to be the case in some families from what I have read. I do know that right now, the time it is taking me to read things myself, make sure that we’re hitting all our bases, and still work in fun things to do – it’s EXHAUSTING. And from what I have read, unschooling requires at least that much effort, maybe more if you’re doing it “right”.

The other part to the unschooling equation is faith – faith in the process of natural learning, faith that my children WILL in fact be motivated to learn the things they need to learn before they get into college – or maybe that’s part of the problem? I see my children as COLLEGE BOUND. That’s non-negotiable. Not necessarily a 4 year degree college, but at least some sort of secondary education will be strongly encouraged for our kids. This is due, in part ot the fact that neither my husband nor I have a college education, and though we’re happy, we can both see where at least some secondary education would have helped our family. So, the result is that we want every door that can be open to our children to be there for them. That means that on some level, our kids need to be prepared to function in that environment if and when they step through that door. It also means that they’ll need to have the knowledge and skills at hand to access when it comes time for things like SAT testing. I know that theoretically, if we unschool completely and our kids decide to go to college, that THEN will be the motivation to learn the skills needed to score well on the test, however, I also think that there are some things that come easier if you learn them when you’re young (and “should” have learned them, according to traditional schooling) such as multiplication tables and telling time on a face-clock. Sure, you CAN learn it later on, but there’s always a part of you that has to think about it before you get it, whereas learning by rote and repetition instills it into your psyche and you pretty much have it to call on when you need it. That’s a gross oversimplification, I realize, but the point is valid, I think.

This leads to my concerns with unschooling and why more structured “homeschooling” methods appeal to me more. Maybe I have the wrong impression or attitude about it – I am sure that some unschooling pro will come across this at some point and think, “Oh, you poor dear…”, and I hope that’s the case. I am willing to learn, and like I said, maybe unschooling is something that you have to “come” to. I know that I have learned a LOT in the last week, so if this is any indication of the trend, then I have a great big future filled with discovery in front of me.

Warmly,
~h

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