Melissa posted this on Facebook today and I wanted to post it here as a reminder that when we homeschool, we have to keep the big picture in mind. What do you want your kids to say when they look back? My guiding principle was to maintain the joy childhood and the joy of learning
. She's 20 years old now:
A lot of Facebook posts are about how being a grown-up sucks, or how we all rushed to grow up and now regret it, etc. I feel very fortunate to say that I don't regret the pace at which I grew up, or feel like I missed out on anything. Quick shout out to my mom for homeschooling me, because I was able to explore the world and be a kid while everyone else was stuck in a classroom. So thanks ma, because of you I will forever be a kid and have an INSANE love of learning. — with Jena Borah.
I just found this TED Talk from a 13 year old student who has been freed from public school to follow his interests and his learning style. Love it! Also, check out Sir Ken Robinson
for more reasons why interest-led learning makes so much sense.
I've been writing at Simple Homeschool
for a few years, but today is my last post. I asked Peter, Meg and Missa to give their reflections and advice for homeschooling parents. It's pretty fun to hear what they think after living it!
Here's the article: Homeschooling advice from graduates who have been there
And if you want to read all my posts on Simple Homeschool, you can find them here
|Peter and Missa last summer
My previous posts have been about my two girls, so now it's Peter's turn.
Now that my kids are adults, I don't want to write too much about their lives because, well, it's their lives and privacy matters. But Peter is cool with me talking about his homeschooling experience and how it has influenced his life out in the "real world."
He graduated from college in 2012 and spent his first year working at a job that paid the bills but was not what he wanted long-term. During that year, he taught himself computer programming,
volunteered evenings at a small company to gain experience, and started interviewing for software development jobs. As it turns out, in this tech hungry world, you don't need a degree in computer science to land a job in the field, you just need to show you have what it takes.
After a few interviews last summer, one company offered him an incredible opportunity in downtown Chicago and he has been working there ever since. All I can say is WOW. Wow, Peter, wow.He says being an unschooler has been his advantage
. He learned how to learn, how to go after something from nothing and build it. He was tired of college telling him what to read and what to study. When he was free, he set his sights on a new career, researched what he needed to do and did it.
He has met one other unschooler at his new job, and this guy is not so positive about his experiences at home. Peter thinks it's because he didn't have as many chances to get out and explore like we did. I thought that was interesting. It is true, successful unschooling needs opportunities.
Imagine a child sitting in an empty room. There isn't much to explore or learn there, even though he is innately curious and intelligent. He needs a library and the whole outside world to explore and find what he loves. Then he needs experts to advise and teach what else he needs to know to build on the knowledge he has to keep growing and creating.
So, as moms at home, still in the middle of homeschooling, let me encourage you to relax as you watch and listen to your children.
Take them to new places and see how they respond. Ask them what they wish they could do. Help them become their best selves. Let them become experts at what they love and to enter adulthood with a love for the process. This will increase everyone's joy (believe me!) and carry your children into the future with the confidence and skills they need to succeed.
For you moms with techie kids, Peter started here in learning programming:https://www.udacity.com/course/cs101
(Peter did the free version)
He says, "They work well together, so I recommend starting both of them and switching back and forth whenever you start to get frustrated/bored/confused." Spoken like a true unschooler.
Meg went to India
the year she would have been a junior in college. When she came back, she realized she wanted to be an art student, and perhaps, eventually an art therapist. She had been in Family and Consumer Sciences, so that, along with psychology, are her minors.
She just loves art classes. It's a dream come true.
She drew this man from a picture. You can see a bit of the original taped to the side. Her skills have taken off with just a little bit of training. Drawing is relaxing and invigorating for her.
She is happier than I have seen her in a long time.