It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Homeschooling this year

“To confuse compulsory schooling with equal educational opportunity is like confusing organized religion with spirituality. One does not necessarily lead to the other. Schooling confuses teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new.” ― Wendy Priesnitz

 Today at 10:10 we went grocery shopping. I know exactly what time it was because this year, especially during soccer season, we are keeping a very tight schedule.

My sister joined us as we headed to our favorite place to by groceries - the local Amish grocery store. While checking out the sweet clerk made small talk with Nan, "Are you getting ready for school to start."

Nan just smiled and nodded the affirmative.

I shared that we had already started school - that we homeschool. "Oh, how interesting!", the clerk was clearly surprised.

Even in the Amish Community, homeschooling is not the norm. Although just a few yards away from grocery store is an Amish school house, I wouldn't even say that is the norm for them. Many local Amish children attend public school (and yes, even ride the school bus).

I share this quote not to stir up trouble or put down the public school or private school (or the Amish!). I share it because I want you to know that I am not crazy. Home Educating our daughter is a carefully prayed and thought out thing - not a whim or way to defy conventionality. This year especially as we change the curriculum and education philosophy with which we educate, I need reminding of that myself.

This past week, I was interviewed for a local paper regarding homeschooling. I sat with 3 other Homeschooling Moms as a Reporter started with, "Why do you homeschool?" Nervous (and maybe a little knowing) laughter from the 4 of us startled the reporter. She try to clarify, "Why did you decide to homeschool your children?"

 And one mom answered, "Let me see if I can remember. Each year the reasons change and evolve."

That sentiment about change and evolution certainly holds true for our family. This year we begin using the Classical Model of education. (To be honest, I will continue to be a  bit eclectic.) I am excited about the change but the change itself stirs up the issue of homeschooling in our lives. Again, we examine the what and the why along with the how of homeschooling.

On the drive home from the store my sister shares that it is MooMoo's first full day of school and asks, "What time does school get out exactly?"

As soon as the words are out of  her mouth she joins me in laughing as I answer, "I am the wrong person to ask."

Just a little reminder of the why we homeschool: I am not burdened with other children's learning, grade advancement, or competence (or bell schedule, market day fundraiser, or dress code). My educational responsibility is to my girls and what is best for them.

Am I picking on public school in this post? 
Not at all. I am sharing what is going on in our life. 


  1. I'm liking the quote!
    And surprised that the Amish children go to public school--I always thought they had their own "segregated" schools.

  2. What paper was that? I'd like to get a copy. :)