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Planning on Homeschooling Just Like They Did in That Book?

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Planning on Homeschooling

‘Just Like They Did in That Book?’

By Linda Dobson

In the early years of our homeschooling, one of the few available first-person accounts of homeschooling I read was the Colfaxes’ Homeschooling for Excellence (Warner, 1988). While I may have been uncertain aboBooksPile homeschoolingut exactly how and what I was doing, I now knew at least one thing I wouldn’t do: pack up and head for California to raise goats.

Homeschooling “That Way” Wasn’t for Us, Thank Goodness!

Perhaps my children were lucky that the only story I read included a lifestyle that I couldn’t image for us, for I may have done what many new homeschoolers do: try to duplicate another family’s homeschooling and claim it for our own. (“Oh, no! My friend is teaching her kids about the Vikings and I haven’t even thought about Vikings. My children are destroyed!”)

Today first-person accounts of homeschooling abound, so I imagine it’s much easier to relate to an experienced family’s circumstances and to emulate it. While it is likely that a minority of the authors of these books desire to show you the way to homeschool (their way), many more want their work to showcase the educational diversity available in homeschooling’s freedom. They want to spark the readers’ creativity, and they hope that an idea or two may be helpful in your own homeschooling adventure.

See also “Creating Your Own Education Reform

This is as it should be – each family finding its unique educational fit. Besides, trying to be just like another family usually yields less-than-desirable results.

Hmm, Looks Like the Kids Didn’t Read that Homeschooling Book

“Before we began homeschooling, I read A Patchwork of Days, by Nancy Lande, in which a number of families describe one day,” says Kate Varley, a Villanova, Pennsylvania, mom of two. “I wanted to capture what those families had done, like making different kinds of muffins every week and snuggling happily with my children as we read together.”

Simple enough, right? But “my children only like one kind of muffin, and we usually didn’t get around to making them anyway. We read together a lot, but reading about chemicals used in mummification didn’t make for good snuggling,” Kate says. “And besides, my daughter didn’t want to snuggle, because she was too big for that. My son would sit close but often seemed to be trying to climb behind me. We were not going to have a re-creation of someone else’s homeschooling.”

Kate and her family worked in the direction of their own kind of homeschooling instead. “As time goes on, my  memory of the families in Lande’s book fades, but I can say with reasonable certainty that our homeschooling didn’t turn out like any of them,” she concludes. “It did turn out to meet our needs, our talents, our energies, our values, and our evolving ideas of education; and homeschooling does that better than anything.”

If you’re thinking about leaving public school behind to enjoy learning with your children through homeschooling, there’s still time to read this book to help you get started! Post adapted from The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start by Linda Dobson.
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2 Responses to “Planning on Homeschooling Just Like They Did in That Book?”

  1. Kathryn says:

    For us it was Better Than School, by Nancy Wallace. My partner had visions of Julian being like Vita and Ishmael happily exploring advanced math, writing operas, etc. Nope.

    • grandma_linda says:

      lol! Thanks for sharing that – you've made my evening! Those gosh darn kiddos just have their own plans!! 🙂

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