Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Homeschooling Just Fits

As September approaches and many of my daughter's friends prepare for their first year of junior kindergarten, either in one of the city's public schools or in a private school, I am reflecting on our choice to homeschool our children.

Parents choose homeschooling for a panoply of reasons, but for us homeschooling offers the opportunity to use the city's resources as our children's classroom; to take advantage of museums, libraries, universities, community classes and events, and the natural world around us to cultivate hands-on, child-centered learning moments.

Mostly, though, homeschooling grants us time.

Time to watch our children's interests blossom and identify educational resources to deepen those interests. Time to celebrate family and community and design our learning around both. Time to explore nature and closely observe our seasonal changes and traditions. Time to enjoy the many cultural and educational gems of our city. Time to nurture friendships with those around us.

Time to read.

Time to play.

Time to dream.

In a world that is increasingly fast and complex for both children and adults, homeschooling helps us to slow down and simplify. It nurtures an intrinsic love of learning, and reading, and questioning, and discovering. And it centers our learning around the treasured triad of family, community, and the natural world.

In short, homeschooling fits with the rhythm of our family.

And speaking of family rhythms, Amanda Blake Soule, who is a homeschooling mom of five and creator of the wildly popular blog, SouleMama, has just released her newest book, Rhythm of the Family, which I can't wait to read!

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