If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. ~ Buddha
This page is about perspective and how a different view can change lives. These stories, commentary & vignettes offer a view into how and why we live life without school.
A few Questions we hope to address:
- What do you see more clearly today that you didn't see yesterday?
- What have you learned from living your life as a homeschooler that you can share with others?
- What personal wisdom do you have to share?
- What have you learned about how your children learn, what they need and what you need as a homeschooling parent?
- What personal truths have brought you comfortably home with yourself and your family as a homeschooler?
Stories & Commentary
All Posts by Guest Authors
The Over-Scheduled Child, by Amy Cortez
A friend recently commented to me about another parent "they drive them to a bunch of activities and schedule so many things for them to do that when they don't have anything planned for them, they don't know what to do."...
Overwhelmed, by Jackie
Today is my overwhelmed day. Right from the start it was bad. Before I rolled out of bed, I heard my 10 year old daughter reading a book to my husband. Good, right? No, bad. She pronounced Colorado like, well, Clorox. Five minutes later, she was arguing that Montana is a big city in...Canada....
Perspective, by Andrea Rennick
This is the time of year that seems to make even the most seasoned homeschooling parent question everything. Catalogs stuff our mailboxes, convention notices appear everywhere, and much advice is shared among friends. From methodology to curriculum brands, from expert to guru, all these things have swirled around me these past two seasons, without having an effect. They seem to blip on my radar briefly enough to be noticed, then they are gone again unmissed....
Water Color Children, by Helen Hegener
As a writer I work with the precise meanings of words. Control and mastery are important when one is trying to convey an idea, an emotion, or an experience. Realizing many years ago that writing was a very controlled activity, and seeking an alternative which might help me loosen up my thinking and perspective, I turned to watercolor painting. I’ve always loved the free and easy look of a good watercolor, the translucent hues and deep layers of color, and I’ve occasionally even wished I’d spent the last 40 years playing with paints instead of words. But taking heart in the knowledge that it’s never to late to start doing something you love, I took up learning to paint with watercolors a few years ago....
Coming Home Again, by Sara Lewis
Quick – list the top ten words that describe you. Since you’re reading this, you probably put “homeschooler” close to the top of your list. For most of my life, I identified myself that way also, but for a while I thought I’d leave that behind and become a “normal person”....
After our twin daughters spent 4 years at a growing, but very small, private middle school, our family decided to try something new. We decided to try homeschooling. From the very beginning, we were all excited about the prospects of homeschooling, but also intimidated, overwhelmed, and nervous. We began in July 2006. It is now January 2007. We have learned a lot! We began with weekly assignment lists and a broad list of topics that we intended to study. At the beginning of each week, I dealt out numerous assignments in all the traditional subject areas: Algebra, Literature, Writing, Physical Science, American History, Geography, and Spanish and we tossed a few others in as well -- SAT prep, grammar, vocabulary, soccer, swimming and Italian. Then I proceeded to sign up for every homeschool activity I could find (field trips, classes, get-togethers, etc.). In a very short amount of time, we were all completely overwhelmed. Then came up for air and found an online course about homeschooling at Barnes and Noble University. With prompting from the online instructor, I found the courage to start all over. Each of the four of us in our family sat down with a blank piece of paper and wrote down what we hoped to accomplish through homeschooling in the next year. What came back from our girls became our lantern down a new path. They both had at the very top of their lists (created separately) something like, "I want to learn what I want to learn when I want to learn it." So, taking some other goals into consideration like a desire for fluency in a foreign language and a commitment to filling some gaps in math and grammar, we decided to let the girls guide their own education. They read voraciously, participate in a homeschool group during the week, and they ask a lot of questions which we then, as a family, work to answer. One has learned to sew and design clothes. The other has learned to cook and create recipes. They have tried their hand at drawing and painting and have experimented with things that interest them when they want to. Recently, when asked over the holidays by a friend if they were on vacation, they said, "No, everyday is a school day at our house." It's not that they have to work every day. It's not that there are assignments or structure that make them feel that everyday is a school day. It is a new attitude -- life is their education. They are learning through living. And, they are having fun doing it!
Cathy, Learning Through Living
My husband and I have been unschooling our two youngest boys since their birth. What has been interesting is the effect unschooling has had on our other children. I truly believe my two older sons and stepdaughter would have turned out differently if I had not been there for them consistently for the past 11 years. My older son asked me what I did with my time lately and all I could answer was that I would do more if I had time and energy. There is a false idea that kids need you less as they get older, they will always need you to lean on one way or another. Now I am going to be a grandma and I can't wait for my lap to be filled again. It will also be nice to see my son get leaned on a little.
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