Tuesday, June 7, 2016

An Unschooling Tuesday

In a Washington Post article last week entitled, "Thinking of home schooling? Me, too," writer Allison Barrett Carter says about homeschooling: "I can't help but romanticize the idea. It seems like a simpler, slower way of life. No more school buses, 6 p.m. homework battles or packing lunchboxes at 7 a.m. I can change my office into a classroom and our home will ooze family time and learning." Barrett Carter goes on to conclude that "as the Internet puts resources at our fingertips, as it becomes normalized and even romanticized, home schooling is a serious contender for our educational choice this fall."

I had never thought of the homeschooling lifestyle as romanticized, but I totally get it. There is something very special about this way of living and learning together as a family. It is romantic, actually. 

Like everyone, we certainly have our moments of chaos and conflict and irritation, but the moments of peace and joy and amazement are definitely more abundant. Moments like this morning when I peeked over at the couch while making breakfast and saw my seven-year-old reading to his little sister and brother. Moments like later in the morning when my nine-year-old and I walked to Harvard Square to run some errands and she pointed out to me all of the edible and medicinal plants in what looked like just a weedy patch in the sidewalk. Moments like when we returned home from our walk and my five-year-old eagerly showed me her caterpillar making its chrysalis, transforming right before our very eyes. Moments like nursing my toddler to sleep while the middles played and Brian took my oldest to her math session (today she and Beth explored the concept of knot theory). Moments like spending a muggy June afternoon playing with city homeschool friends at our house and at the nearby library, running barefoot through the library sprinklers, climbing trees, spinning on the merry-go-round. 

There are so many moments to cherish in our days together learning as a family. There are so many more joyful and rewarding moments than there are moments of discontent. I think this is one of the reasons why I am sometimes surprised that more families with choices don't choose homeschooling. It really is a wonderful life. Romantic even.

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