My Life Without School Posts
From 2006-2008, I was a featured author on the community blog, Life Without School. The blog is no longer active, however, the archives remain up and it is a wealth of information. I wrote some of my favorite posts over there, and although I have linked to them at various times on this blog, I wanted to pull them all together in one place.
It’s Not the Child“Why doesn’t my child understand what the worksheet is asking?”
“My 5 year old can’t remember her letter sounds even though we go over them every day.”
“He can do math in his head easily, but ask him to complete a math worksheet and he just doesn’t get it. What is wrong with him?”
I find that the longer I homeschool, the more paradigm shifts I have. One of the most reassuring shifts I have had is that if my child is struggling with something, he either is not ready to learn it and needs more time or the information is not being presented in a way that makes sense to him and he needs a different approach. Either way, the problem is not with my child …
We recently had a mom join our local email list who was not happy with how the school experience in going for her kids. She wanted to find out more about homeschooling and to help allay some of her fears. One of the issues she brought up was the fear that she might be “babying” her kids and that school is necessary for kids to be able to manage in the “real world” (where else will they be able to learn how to deal with those “hard knocks”?)….
Learning What is Not Necessary
Recently on a local homeschool list, the discussion turned to the idea of how we define what is “important to learn”. Can you really say that there are things that are not necessary to learn and how do you make that determination? Some people had good arguments about the benefits of having kids learn things that they may or may not be interested in and others made the argument that kids, if given a wealth of exposure, will learn what they need to know….
Time is a Homeschooler's Best Friend
Time is a homeschooler’s best friend. The longer that I homeschool, the more that I recognize and value the truth of this statement….
How Can You Learn If You Can't Read?
Part of what drew me to homeschooling was the freedom to let my kids learn at a pace that made sense to them. I wanted to give them the space they needed to develop on their own timetable. In doing so, I found that I had to re-examine some basic beliefs that I held about learning….
The "Right" Way
There is an interesting video being circulated around many homeschool lists. On it, an atmospheric scientist talks about how worried she is because the curriculum used in many schools in Washington state has gotten away from teaching the traditional math algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. She goes on to say that these new approaches result in kids who are dependant on a calculator and are not strong math thinkers. Both times I have seen the link to the video posted with a directive of “you have to watch this…it is a real eye opener”….
Knowing When To Push
To push or not to push. That is the question. And the answer depends on who you talk to. There are some that say that kids must be pushed, or else how will they reach their potential? There are others who say that kids should never be pushed or else the learning process will be taken away from them….
A Great Lesson to Re-Learn
I am constantly learning lessons during this homeschooling journey we are on (probably more so then the boys!). Often I end up re-learning those lessons many times. But it is good to get a reminder every once in awhile. Really good….
How Jason Learned to Read
Sometime around 5, we were talking and he told me that he was afraid to try to learn how to read because he thought that it might be too hard. I reassured him that when he was ready, he would learn just fine and that everyone became ready at different times. He has very perfectionistic tendencies so I did not push the issue (not to mention he was only 5!)….
To Label or Not to Label
One of the scarier aspects about homeschooling is that you are responsible for all aspects of your child’s education. You get to decide what is necessary to learn and it is up to you to figure out how your child learns best. And for some, this means deciding when an “expert” is needed….
Do Homeschooled Kids "Miss Out?"
My 10 year old son was reading a joke book the other day. Many of the jokes had to do with school. You know, the standard types of jokes that have to do with cafeteria food and wise alec answers to teachers’ questions. The ones that make us nod our heads and remember those days of standing in line. The ones with which we share a common experience with just about every other kid who goes to school….
Who's in Charge?
There have been a slew of reports on unschooling lately in the media…some positive, some not. Each had their “expert” that raised concerns with what they perceived as a completely child-led approach….
The Curriculum Question
I think for most homeschoolers, once the “Should we homeschool?” question is answered, the next question that understandably comes up is “How exactly are we supposed to do this?” and that can be when the panic sets in….
Answers to All Those Pesky Homeschooling Questions We Get
It is inevitable. You meet someone. They find out you are a homeschooler. And they start asking you questions like “Aren’t you concerned about socialization?” or “Aren’t you worried about them getting into college?” I find these questions interesting…do they really think that I am not concerned about these things?….
I Don't Know How You Do It
I don’t know how you do it.” As a homeschooler, I often hear this from family and friends who either think that I am a saint or am crazy….
The Isolated Homeschooler
One of the more common arguments against homeschooling is that it “isolates” kids. That somehow kids, if not in school, will never be exposed to the world at large. That homeschoolers sit at home all day with no interaction with anyone outside their family….