My email signature includes a quote by Charlotte Mason, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” I include it because learning has always been a passion in my life. When I was in 4th grade, I recall a table full of old text books and reference books in the hallway near the teacher’s room. Upon the table was a sign that said “Teachers – Free”. I inquired with Mr. Claska if it would be okay if I picked out a few and upon his approval, I did just that. For the next few weeks, I packed those books to and from school … all the while pretending that I was a teacher. On recess, I’d gather a few friends around to play school and at home, I’d pour over the volumes much as my own children devour the National Geographic magazines we recently brought home.
While completing my Masters in Teaching :: Elementary Education degree, I was asked to write my philosophy of education for one of my courses and within it I elaborated on the importance of life-long learning. “As the world becomes more interconnected, it is becoming increasingly important for children to have academic proficiency in science, mathematics and technology, communications, and a vast knowledge of other cultures. I have always loved learning and believe that education is a community effort.”
My philosophy of education has not changed since I began homeschooling. If anything, it has only become more a part of our daily lives … engrained in every aspect of our life. We take advantage of every teachable moment … from construction to home economics, from language arts to mathematics, science and technology.
Somewhere along the way, however, life has snowballed and things that are important to me … science, running (my outlet), and foreign language practice have been swept aside. The nuances of daily living – particularly with all that comes with putting your house on the market and preparing to move to another state – have really brought our formal lessons to a halt. With our upcoming move, I am rejoicing in the opportunity to refocus on our educational goals. To establish routines and habits that are more in tune with my philosophy of education.