Starting today I refuse to use the word school when talking about my kids' learning. I was asked how we homeschool, if my kids had school work, and if we had a schoolroom in our house. To start to answer those and many more questions I had to explain that I am not trying to do school at home. Hence I decided to boycott the word school. From now on, we are learning at home, we do learning activities, and we have a learning room. I need to make the distinction. My kids are getting deeper and deeper in learning experiences and I hope they are not like the ones in a school building. I want them to question, comment, and express their opinions freely. I want them to request and pursue learning about what they like. I want their experiences to be meaningful, and not just required. Finally, I want them to have the time they each need to gain a sense of accomplishment.
I am a teacher and some things are hard to unlearned. I will still use some of the "curriculum" I loved in my teaching days to guide them. This means that in our home I would read the teacher guide ahead to get me ready. For me, the teacher guide is an aid that gives me some peace of mind. For them, It makes no difference. They never get to see the teaching manuals. All they see is a collection of picture books that someone else pick for them as opposed to a group of books they pick at the library. We will still pick books from the library, but will learn to focus our comprehension skills from reading the special books from the reading lists. English is my second language after all, and I want to learn along with them. I need a guide to help me. Besides language arts, I will eventually need help with Social Studies, particularly History, since I did not learn it here. Everything else will come from our daily life, and the exposure we get to other topics.
As I see our journey as a learning family, I know I need to be a role model for my kids. I will be learning too, and I will also be asking questions, and finding answers. I know that I have to be there for them, and provide opportunities to satisfy their curiosity and hopefully we can learn from each other, as well as from those around us.
This wraps it all up: I quit school to be a mom, not to be an unpaid teacher. I stay strong with my decision. I don't want to be my kid's school teacher. I want to be their loving mom. I don't want them to see me as a source of all answers, I want them to see me as someone that will help them get answers, someone that supports their interests and is there for them 100%. I want them to learn at home, and not to have a school at home.
Very important note: I am not telling anyone how to learn at home. Please understand that the above is what I want for my kids. If you use worksheets and schedules, and both you and your child love them: GOOD for you! I met many teachers whose students could not get enough worksheets! What works for one family might not work for another. I never intent to make anyone feel that you should educate your children at home, but if you are considering it, and you want some support I am here to tell you that you can. All you have to do is be a loving mom!