Education is a big deal for me. Not the institution, but the actual learning. I LOVE to learn. About everything. Mostly about how to learn.
Graduating with an Elementary Education degree I just knew that good education was the answer to all of society’s problems.
Then I spent 3 years in the classroom of a Title I public school. And the scales fell from my eyes. Nothing about Howard Gardner or lesson planning matters in a classroom of 25 who come from broken backgrounds, don’t speak English, can barely read, and are required to learn outrageously irrelevant test-taking skills.
I loved my students, poured everything I had into them, and think about them often, but I was left embittered toward the system that I had put so much hope in. Cringe-worthy buzz phrases like Standardized Testing, No Child Left Behind, and the Common Core, are causing our best teachers to become disenchanted instead of inspired.
According to one of my favorite people right now that I have not yet actually met, Ted Dindersmith, our current education system is not only broken but completely obsolete in a world that requires more and more innovation and less knowledge. (Most Likely to Succeed-read it and everything else he’s written).
He, and others who are making educational strides, use words like play, multi-age learning, authentic learning, community partnership, project-based learning (PBL), inquiry-based learning, student-centered instruction, innovation, global learning which all rekindle that hope deep inside us.
I deeply admire the dreamers and researchers who are hoping and striving and making small gains to impact a mammoth institution like public education. They are truly incredible and I have learned so much from them. The thing is, there are actually hundreds of thousands of families across the globe who have the perfect platform to implement each one of these learning methods right now. Today. No waiting for policy reform, no worrying about curriculum correlation, no complaining about the lack of funding for our school (well, maybe that).
The home-ed voice is not quite loud enough yet, but like other movements that started small and ended up getting the attention of the world (civil rights?) we have a unique opportunity to blaze the trail for our children’s futures and the future of our communities, and the world.
So for the sake of the multitudes that have to endure the “system” for the time being, we set out to do this hard thing. We take risks and teach what is “uncommon”, what is novel, what is best for each specific child. And humbly admit that we do not know where that will take us or our children.
If you are convinced that home education is the best option for your family, starting out on this journey can be a daunting one and once you’ve started, a hard one to joyfully sustain. Community in the home ed world is so important and I want you to know that I am here with you! I have done lots of leg-work to help make your home educating experience one that will inspire you on your dull days, empower you on your weak days, and sustain you for the long-haul (which is turning out not to be as long as I thought!). You have made a brave and sacrificial decision to invest MORE in the life of your child. No home educator should live in the shame or guilt of feeling like they aren’t doing enough.
Will you join me on what will surely be a journey of faith, risk, and adventure for the sake of our children?
Enjoy browsing my blog or go to the Services pages if you are looking for a more specific way to successfully kick off or sustain your home educating adventure!