25 September 2017
Nine years ago, when I began this homeschooling journey, my children and I joined a local co-op. New parents were not required to teach a class their first semester with the co-op. However, after a few months of involvement, all parents were expected to submit at least one course description for a potential class.
At the time, my children were seven and five. I was still pretty unsure of how this whole homeschooling thing worked. My husband and I had read several books about homeschooling, and we had already taught both our children how to read, so we knew that educating our children at home was possible. Looking back, though, I didn't have a vision for how I was going to teach my children all the subjects. At the time, I also had no idea what classes I could offer a co-op. I remember telling my husband: Maybe I could lead a high school girls' Bible study [we had spent the past ten years serving in collegiate ministry] or a high school girls' Health and Fitness class [I have always enjoyed exercising].
A few weeks into my homeschooling journey, I quickly realized I wasn't teaching my children. I was facilitating their learning by learning right alongside them. That winter, I offered a Natural Disasters class for the co-op because, at the time, my son was fascinated by Natural Disasters. We studied hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, tsunamis, and more. Prior to the class, I knew nothing about Natural Disasters, but I had access to the library and the Internet. I also had a willingness to learn about Natural Disasters spurred on by my son's love for learning about Natural Disasters. The class turned out to be a blast, and the following semester I offered another similar science-based class.
Since that day I have gone on to facilitate homeschool classes in English Grammar, Shakespeare, Ancient History, Medieval History, American History, Science, Math, Magic Tree House, American Girl, Latin, Geography, IEW, and more. This fall alone, my schedule at the Y includes: Pre-Algebra, Poetry, Logic, [critical thinking and math problem solving skills for upper elementary students] American Literature and Composition, a beginning and intermediate level of Henle Latin, and an ACT/SAT Prep class. [Side note -- I have never yet facilitated a Bible study or an aerobics class for teenage girls.]
I've said this many times, but I firmly believe that everyone can homeschool their children. I'm convinced. It does not take years of training with advanced degrees. It doesn't even take lots of organization and structure. Believe me! It does take a little confidence, a little independence, a love for learning, a willingness to 'look something up' if you are unfamiliar with it, an enjoyment of your children, and a vision for who you hope your children will become one day. All the rest of the details can be learned along the journey.
I share this today because when I am out-and-about with my teens and the homeschooling topic presents itself, the conversation has shifted from what it once was. Nine years ago, strangers would respond:
Oh, you homeschool? I could never spend all day with my children.
Today, I'm often met with:
Oh, you still homeschool? Do you think you're qualified to teach all the higher-level subjects?
Yes, absolutely. Still.
Posted by Anne at 6:12 AM