Thursday, September 2, 2010

Homeschool History

HSV is asking everyone to share when homeschooling touched thier personal timeline? It's been on our scope for a while now....

...back in 1990 I was working on a Master's thesis and landed on a title of, "Why Parent's Homeschool." It was a blast of a project, a lit review that included the educational history of America, interviewing parents and kids back in the day when folks had and were still going to jail for choosing the radical alternative called "Home Schooling."

I fell in love with the older homeschooled teens I'd interviewed. They had traveled, raised money, memorized chapters of the Bible and other great literature, biked across states and sometimes different countries, gone to Space Camp, volunteered, read thousands of books, overcome disabilities, played instruments, knew foreign languages, laughed out loud, were eager and excited to talk to adults, loved children and couldn't wait for what each day would bring. I caught the fever.

But it's no surprise that I did. During my own high school career the activities and events that I loved the most were all of those outside of the traditional class-room: swim team, tennis, hiking, band, choir, pottery, photography, poetry, cooking, baking bread, writing and reading. I actually an English teacher tell me that I read too much! I loved to learn to learn and had many interests, though I found school stressful and boring- I had terrible study skills and really didn't know how to memorize either short or long term. I knew there was a better way, a way that incorporated the cool extra-curriculars and was still academically challenging, I just didn't know how to get there from where I was.

Back when our first dd was 5 we looked around at our Los Angeles county public school options and cringed. Elementary schools included drugs, sex, rock-n-roll, the occasional kidnapping and not one white man or woman included in the "Great Americans" history unit. My dad had taught me to read at age 4 and I figured I probably wouldn't mess up my intelligent first born too badly in the year or two that we'd remain in CA, and given the circumstances, my dh agreed.

We've been at it every since, having read hundreds of books on education and learning along the way. Our oldest 2 have graduated from the Gracious Heart Homeschool. Our first born, guinnea pig child has traveled abroad numerous times and is on a full scholarship at college as a Missions major, fueling the fans of her linguistic and multi-cultural passions daily. Our 20 year old is enrolling in an on-line college program to study Political Science, having been involved in numerous campaigns. She is also preparing for a pageant this fall and works part time.
3 more to go and enjoying (most) every minute of it!
What's your homeschool history?


Cheryl said...

Oh wow, what a cool story-that school system sounds brutal! I love your "visual aid" LOL too cute. Thanks for linking up!

Stephanie said...

Great story! The joy of learning and the love of your children comes through and clear. It's a good message to us all.

Moonbeam said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'm always curious about the road that leads to life as we know it.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about College Plus!.