My Drive with David Albert

Chalk one up for being in the right place at the right time.

David Albert (extremely popular and successful homeschool author, columnist, and speaker) was speaking in Fredericksburg this evening. I decided to battle rush hour traffic and catch his talk. Turned out that he needed a ride back up to his hotel in Arlington and the coordinator (who knew that I lived up that way) asked if I would mind giving him a lift! Ummm…not at all!

I really enjoyed his talk on "The Curriculum of Beauty". Basically about how homeschooling allows you the freedom to focus on the beauty that is learning:

  • Beauty in the natural world
  • Beauty in the pursuits of the intellect and in the creations of the mind (mathematics and processes of science)
  • Beauty of the arts (processes of artistic creation and the creations themselves)
  • Beauty of human relationships
  • Beauty in the conduct of life, in ethical values and actions

Interesting things to think about…and helps put in perspective what we are really trying to do here. I really like this way of thinking about it. Homeschooling (for me) is so much more then just the day to day learning…it is about learning to enjoy learning and about finding things that are challenging and interesting and pursuing them.

I wasn't sure what to expect as sometimes reading David's books and columns can be a but intimidating (his kids have done some incredible things) but he made a point to say that even though his oldest was academically gifted, the overall process is still the same for all kids…his daughter just did things a little bit earlier then most.

The car trip home was a lot of fun…we talked about all sorts of things and I love talking to homeschoolers with older kids (his girls are 19 and 16). Very reassuring to me. He has tons of stories and I really enjoyed hearing his take on lots of things…unschooling (he does not like to use the word), waiting until kids are ready, religion (he is a Quaker) you name it. We talked a bit about how often it makes more sense to move onto more advanced things if you find that your child is stuck on something rather then staying and spinning your wheels (this is something that I have found works incredibly well with Jason). All in all a really enjoyable trip.

And to think that I almost did not go! I had been debating all day since it meant driving south on 95 right in the middle of rush hour. It usually takes about 45 minutes to get to Fredericksburg…with rush hour it took me nearly 1.5 hours. I had been debating whether it would be worth the drive, but finally decided that it would be especially since I had some good podcasts on my iPod to get caught up on. I actually enjoyed the trip down, got to hear a good talk with lots to think about, and got to enjoy great company on the way home. Can't beat that!