Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Incorporating My Life Into Homeschooling Rather Than the Other Way 'Round

The theme for the 8th edition of the Homeschooling Country Fair is "post about the 'other' activities in your life." The intent, I suppose, is to show that home educators have a "life" outside of teaching like traditional schoolteachers do.

The thing is, I'm not very good at "compartmentalizing". I don't put on my "teacher's hat" at 8 or 9 A.M. and take it off again at 2 or 3 P.M. We're not "unschoolers" but I do agree with the philosophy the there should be no artificial segregation between "learning" and "living". While we do a certain amount of more formalized lessons, I also look for "teachable moments" as they arise in the course of our day-to-day activities. Pam Sorooshian has a great quote about this:
"Learning is learning whether or not it's planned or recorded or officially on the menu. Calories are calories whether or not the eating is planned or recorded or officially on the menu"
Anyways, I've looked for ways to incorporate my own interests into our homeschool. Many of the things I enjoy are educational in and of themselves- reading, visiting museums, listening to classical music, attending fine arts performances, exploring nature, cooking, and so on. These are things I grew up sharing with my own mom, and in turn I'm now sharing them with my own children. I don't always do them with the kids, of course. I like reading adult books, seeing adult plays, and so on. The specifics obviously differ when I do them with the kids vs. without, but the general activity is the same.

Other hobbies require a bit of adaptation for use in our homeschool. The scrapbooking techniques I use in my photo memory albums can be used to do lapbooking in our homeschool. At least, that's our plan for the upcoming school year! My DD is still a little on the young side so we'll have to play it by ear :-)

Perhaps when my kids get older and more independent, I'll decide to take on an ambitious project such as starting my own business or pursuing a graduate degree. My mother-in-law decided to start a doctoral program in her late 40's when my DH (her oldest) left for college. Right now, however, I'm focusing on my children's academic, social/emotional, life skills, and spiritual education. That's my vocation at this stage of my life. :-)

1 comment:

Jo said...

Very nice post and you actually gave me alot to think about. I always try to fit one into the other and usually in the wrong order. I like the way you look at it though.