Your Family's Incredible Lifestyle Begins HERE – With Homeschooling
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Catch the Learning Lifestyle Attitude!

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Catch the Learning Lifestyle Attitude!

TwoFriendsHoldingMusic learning lifestyleBy Linda Dobson

Our diverse nation is home to many different lifestyles. One family lives simply while next door a country gentleman enjoys the lifestyle of the rich. Somewhere in the same neighborhood are people living gay, religious, or feminist lifestyles.

What is it that defines and determines a lifestyle? Simply, it’s the underlying philosophy, the navigational light, if you will, that guides our major life decisions. Lifestyle arises from the core of our individual beliefs, the beliefs that receive first consideration in all our life choices.

We make our lifestyle visible to others by where we choose to live, how we spend (or don’t spend) our money, and why we gravitate to some folks as friends and not others. Our lifestyle becomes apparent through the political candidates we vote for, the charities we support, and the subjects we like to discuss in conversation. A very important indicator of lifestyle is how we fill our nonwork hours, that time available for freely chosen activities. In short, our lifestyle comes about from the values we think are most important.

Reinventing the Learning Lifestyle

Requiring compulsory attendance at a public school is a relatively recent concept, having only been around for about 150 years (its proponents originally envisioned schooling lasting only the few years it then took to ensure citizens’ language and math literacy). Prior to this, what we now call “life skills” were transmitted from adults to children via the activities of everyday life and purposeful apprenticeships…all without fanfare.

When the winds of progress blew away this agrarian society and the Industrial Revolution arose, the learning lifestyle grew increasingly rare. When parents had to leave the home to go to work, children left home to attend school. The “command center” of children’s education shifted from the family home to the school.

The modern homeschooling movement is returning education to the home and community. Today’s homeschooling families are reinventing a lifestyle from the past and making it appropriate for contemporary times. This means that most homeschooling families have accepted complete responsibility for their children’s academic progress. When they take responsibility, something amazing happens. After a period of time (measured in months for some, years for others) and without conscious recognition that it’s occurring, the families find themselves living what they often term “the learning lifestyle.” Merely by accepting responsibility for academics, they become focused on finding or creating opportunities that involve learning – day and night, winter and summer, in work and play, formally and informally, at home, and everywhere else.

More Learning Lifestyle, Less Schooling

This, I believe, is why so many homeschooling families ultimately break away from school-schedule-type thinking. They can’t help but witness their children learning in the morning during a visit to grandma’s, in the afternoon on a walk with a naturalist, and in the evenings through dinnertime discussions. Their own experience provides enough proof that learning can happen any time, anywhere. (As with anything else, it takes more proof for some than others, so the length of time varies). Then they make a transition from “doing school at home” to creating and living a “customized” learning lifestyle based on the beliefs and values most important to them. The learning lifestyle is the underpinning for homeschoolers’ astounding success.

Adapted from What the Rest of Us Can Learn from Homeschooling by Linda Dobson, Three Rivers Press
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