Great article on homeschooling

March 25, 2007

I found this article called Schooling at Home (via The Wine Dark Sea), and I think it’s one of the best things I’ve read in a long time. It’s hard to choose what to excerpt since the whole thing is so good, but here was one of my favorite points:

To my mind, however, homeschooling’s greatest efficiency lies in its capacity for a rightly ordered life. A child in school almost inevitably has a separate existence, a “school life, ” that too easily weakens parental authority and values and that also encourages an artificial boundary between learning and everything else. Children come home exhausted from a day at school…and the last thing they want is to pick up a book or have a conversation. Television and video games demand relatively little, and they seem a blessed departure from what the children have been doing all day. “You know I don’t read all that stuff you read, ” a neighbor child scornfully told my eldest…Book-talk was for school, and she wasn’t at school just then, thank you.

This really resonates with me. I’ve always had a passion for learning, yet in elementary school in particular I began to see it as a chore, shunning any extra-curricular activities that might be educational since, hey, I shouldn’t have to do that when I’m not in school. I found my classes at school mind-numbing and not at the pace I needed and began to put learning right up there with cleaning my room — something unpleasant that kids just have to do.

Only in adulthood (after I left the workforce, actually) has my passion for learning been re-ignited. I now devour one non-fiction book after another, make time every day to read or (on major sleep deprivation days) at least watch something on EWTN or the History Channel. Whether or not we end up homeschooling, I hope that my children are able to incorporate their natural curiosity about the world into every part of their lives and never think of learning as a chore to be suffered only during “school hours”.

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