Sunday, August 25, 2013

The great homeschool debate.

Growing up, I DESPISED school. Like, if there was one thing I hated more in life than anything else, it was school. Why? I never did well in school growing up, and it caused me a tremendous amount of anxiety, stress and disappointment. My Mother, being an educator always stressed getting your college degree, making perfect grades, and always acing tests. 

Those two words make me cringe. The value placed on students making perfect grades today in our world is at the level where if or some reason, you happen to get a lower grade than the rest of the class, you are slow. You need tutoring. I always (for the most part) got below average grades. But there were a few years where my grades really tanked and my parents had no idea why. And I didn't either until now. 

When you put 20 very different kids in a classroom, give them a test and expect them to all to achieve the same grade, what happens when a few of the 20 don't? They are automatically flagged by the teacher as a "student who needs additional help", when really, they could have needed more time. More time on the test, or more specifically more time on the subject. 

Last night, at about 12:00 AM, I finally had the chance to view Angel Selden's talk on the Ecology of Learning that she gave two months ago. Angel is the president of the MN LDS Parent Educators, as well as the brain behind the blog, Nourishing Genius. The way she has attacked and corrected the flaws in education fascinates me, and only sparks my interest in the matter even more. Here is a quote that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE which she used during the Symposium in June:

I love this quote because it is so true. This picture (via google) is a perfect example of the lack of individual attention children get in the classroom, as well as being deprived of opportunity to grow as individuals. 

So, homeschooling? I'm sure the first thing you think of is a small "schoolroom" with 8 kids all different ages, socially awkward, and no real personal identity. That stereotype no longer exists. I can't and won't believe that it does because I have seen homeschooling first hand. I recognize the benefits. I've seen the results. 

An even newer term used within the homeschooling community is "unschooling". If you have never heard this term before, it's exactly that. Taking the child out of the typical stereotypical  school atmosphere and placing them into the real world to learn, through natural experiences. The child might go to the museum one day and learn about a new species of frogs found in the Caribbean. Then she just might study that subject for a whole month. On her own. Because she enjoys learning. 

Children naturally like to learn. By letting them work at their own pace, curriculum free, they are able to explore all aspects of education without feeling suffocated. It truly makes for happier kids, who are excited to learn!

You may ask, why is this girl talking about homeschooling?? She doesn't have any kids. Heck, she's not even married!! I'll tell you why: 

Because it wasn't until recently that I realized that I could take this exact same theorem and apply it to my life right now. I am not in college, and I have no plans of ever going back. I realized that by not being subjected to all of the stress that college brings, I was able to find my true interests in life, and apply that to my future, whatever it may be.

Now, don't quote me wrong on this. I'm not saying that college, or education for that matter is wrong. It's of course necessary for some. But you can make a great living doing something you love, without first having to go through the perils of college. It can be done. And for me, it will. 

As for my future kids, when they are at the age when they want to go to school, or college, I will of course allow them to decide. But I haven't met anyone yet who has chosen the traditional "brick and mortar" schooling life over unschooling. 

That's all I have for now! Go check out Angel's Blog! She's an amazing lady with some amazing thoughts. ALSO! Here is a video! I couldn't find the actual symposium video.. somehow it won't let me upload it to blogger. But here is the link!!!

Why Angel chooses to homeschool:


  1. Natalie, I've decided we're probably like the same person, because I looked at unschooling yesterday, and I feel like, identically to you. So, um, yeah.

    1. Alicia-
      Great minds think alike! Isn't it so fascinating to learn about?? Having heard about it now and understanding the benefits there's absolutely no way I would send my kids to public school! :)