Thursday, June 01, 2006

Not Homeschoolers; "World-Learners"

Hat Tip to Melissa Wiley for highlighting this entry in the recent Carnival of Homeschooling.

The author, Phat Mommy, wonders if the noun "homeschooler" gives the wrong impression and really isn't even that accurately descriptive. It's certainly true that most of the homeschoolers I know have so many exciting and worthwhile opportunities, they struggle to stay home!

Here's an excerpt:
How do you think people would react if I said, “Oh, my kids don’t go to school. They’re learning how to think for themselves out in the world. They read and write and research their interests on the internet and at the library. They travel and take field trips and, my gosh, their schedule is just so full of social activities that they simply aren’t able to spend entire days in school! Homeschool? No, we’re not homeschoolers. We’re worldlearners!”

As my kids get older and have more capabilities, I am less inclined to put them in school for this very reason--we don't have time for it! There are too many other valuable things for them to be doing with their time in addition to academics. (Like music, acting, gymnastics, dancing, public speaking--in short, theater! And instrument lessons, sports, field trips, service projects, short term missions trips--we don't have enough time to do half the things I'd like to do!)

As another example, I'm pleased to think of how much more prepared Blondechick will be than I was as a young wife and then a working mother, simply because of all the hours she has spent present and helping in our home and with her little siblings instead of being in school. Those abilities will probably be of more practical use to her than a good portion of her academics will, though she's getting them too! Our oldest son, who's in public school, barely has time left over after he finishes homework in the evenings, so he gets off relatively easy in terms of chores--but in the long run, is that really a service to him? (I need to plan some big projects for him this summer!)

That example doesn't clearly illustrate the "out in the world" point that Phat Mommy was making, as these are things learned best by being home--but they are "real world" learning. Perhaps that's a better term yet: we're "real world learners!" We're students of the School of the Real World. Yeeaaahhhh, baby.

[Update: Someone in the comments at Phat Mommy's post suggests "life learners." I like that best of all.]

1 comment:

RANDI said...

Life learners--i love this term! I am glad that my kids have the time to really explore and learn new things and skills--I think they like it too!