The eraser crumbs scattering the learning spaces, the squiggly pencil line drawn along the stair wall as a boy comes down with a stack of books (and a wayward pencil) in his hands, the questions about ancient Egypt and the running to flesh out the book-words with a YouTube clip.
The race outside to shoot the bow and arrow. The making of breakfast, the sweeping of floors, the folding of laundry. The algebra, the long division, the Latin. The building of the vision that suddenly explodes in the mind, constructing with words, with clay, or with vectors on a screen.
Everyday learning? It happens here.
The moment our first son was laid in my arms was the moment that our homeschool journey began. We added another brother every two years or so, until we had three, and as they joined the discovery, we knew we wanted this to continue. It's been fifteen years, now, that we've been learning together.
Literally learning together.
We've learned what works for us, and what doesn't. We've learned that a deep education can be found in the context of life, without brick walls to contain it. We've learned that it doesn't take a degree, but it does take tenacious desire and determination. We've learned that, even during life's upheavals, education happens.
We chose this path because we saw the value here, and how it so well fit our family's lifestyle, philosophy, and goals. We saw the value in experiencing all of life together.
Being able to choose the timing and flow of our days, weeks, and years has made it possible to provide our boys with opportunities beyond the typical classroom walls and regulations. Tailor-fit curricula has boost them over hurdles and sped them along their paths of interest. Our education choice has allowed us to give our guys freedom to follow their natural aptitude for learning in a comfortable and familiar environment, and then expand that to outside sources when it fits.
Thankfully, in the formative years, we've been able to spend more of our time building positive behavior and habits, and less time removing less desirable ones. We've been able to provide the boys with healthy social integration with people of all ages, from senior citizens, to their peers. I wonder if anything could be more satisfying as a learning facilitator, than to have a front-row seat in our guy's discovery years.
I stand in solidarity with all parents who value the best education for their children, whether it comes in a traditional classroom setting, or beside the creek at home. Choosing how we educate our children is a privilege and a great responsibility, and I applaud every parent who makes this decision carefully.
This path, for us, has been the right one.
Check back in on Friday, friends. I'll be sharing a closer look at homeschooling, curriculum, and what learning days look like here. I'll also offer thoughts on how I might go about this if I were to find myself at the beginning again.