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14 March 2012


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I recently went to a Homeschooling-Mamas Morning of Reflection at my parish, and the priest who spoke to us, who has 20-ish years of being un-official "chaplain" to many homeschooling families in the area, said what I thought was a very wise thing--which you are basically fleshing out: that "success" looks different for every family. That while "success" to me might mean college-and-grad-school, "success" to you might mean learning a manual trade. And neither of us is wrong. To define what "success" is--what goal you're aiming for--is, it seems, one of the keys to (of course) *succeeding* in your homeschooling journey. It was a very enlightening comment, and it has given me much to think about.

Of course, I've only got two Kindergarteners, so... ask me again in eight or ten years!


So beautifully said...
You hit the nail on the head. And, it's so good to be reminded that the "Home" part implies family and why that part of homeschooling is so important. If my kids get along and build beautiful, strong relationships, then I have succeeded.
Thank you. Much needed reading on a day when 4 out of 6 are down with fevers and a bit snippy.


I think one of the reasons (other than not reaching the 8th Grade Panic Year yet) that I don't fret much about comparing my homeschool to institutional schools has to do with exactly what deficits I perceive in my homeschool.

These are the two things that I constantly wish I could do better:

(1) I wish I could create a more relaxed, creative, and fun learning environment -- say "Yes" more often to making messes, or to spending the day just reading books aloud to each other, or doing more special projects and field trips. I'm very bad at stepping outside the Schedule.

(2) I wish I felt comfortable giving the kids more freedom to roam farther afield on their own, particularly in natural settings, but also in our urban neighborhood.

Thing is, I realize that neither of these wishes would be granted by sending the kids to an institutional school. :-) So in a way I am lucky.


This is spot on! I agree wholeheartedly as I myself was completely homeschooled! When I get into discussions with people questioning homeschooling or asking why I want to homeschool my children its almost always based on the academic side. As I already believe the academic side to be hands-down much superior to conventional schools, I try to bring up how I think its simply much better in developing and fostering a strong home and family and how this is more important than just academics. I find that this doesn't seem to resonate with most people, I'm not sure if its the idea that being around their children all day is unthinkable, or simply because the importance of home life is so denigrated in today's society. Thanks for the great post!


Thank you. We're just preparing to start homeschooling, and I've been having irrational panic attacks about meeting an imaginary list of academic and social criteria (plus the fear that I'll kill my kids if I'm home with all of them all day).

The criteria are imaginary. Our family is real.


This is the most compelling argument for homeschooling I've read.


Wow, that's pretty fine praise, BettyD. Thank you.

I think it -- that homeschooling's unique feature is simply that it happens within the family -- sounds like a "most compelling" argument because it is the only argument for homeschooling that is not sometimes bullshit.

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