Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why We Homeschool

I was the kind of kid who always wanted an A.  It was important to me to get good grades.  I learned the "secrets".  I knew what I had to do and what I could slack off on.  I made myself crazy for tests.  I did well in school.  I was on the honor roll in high school and a member of the National Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa in college. 

When I was a junior in high school I was blessed to have had an amazing teacher who opened up my mind to education NOT being about getting an A, but about having a solid base to form an opinion, having a launch pad for new ideas, knowing what works and what doesn't...being a more interesting person and leading a more interesting life that was not limited by anything.  I began to view education as limitless and the possibilities as endless.  Realizing this changed my entire life and from that point on, my education was very different.

I was disappointed in my girls' education in public school, because although public school strives to "teach" higher order thinking and critical thinking, they do so with the goal of a test.  These skills are so open ended, so limitless that I do not see how you can possibly measure them with a test.  A test limits these skills, it shapes them in a way that someone has deemed appropriate and it wrings the life out of them.  I do not want my children to be just "another brick in the wall".  I want their minds to soar as high and as wide and as deep as their imagination, because that, I believe, is the true purpose of learning.

Our goal is to provide our girls with a strong foundation.  To provide them with a rich environment.  To expose them to other cultures and history in ways that are interesting and insightful, we want them to see history as true, accurate and fascinating stories; to learn what happened and why it happened to open their minds to the possibilities of life.  We want to expose them to science in ways that they can begin to make connections, form hypothesis, test their hypothesis with hands-on experiments and understand the why and how of it.  We want to encourage their writing with a program that will allow them to express themselves clearly, concisely and cohesively.  We want math to be something that is not only calculated but seen and felt and expressed; we want them to realize that math is interrelated to so many other aspects of life.