I have always found it perplexing that when a child is asked, “What are you learning in school?” many have a difficult time answering you, looking at you with a blank stare, if eye contact is made at all. I inquire further, again to no avail, “What type of activities do you do in science? What kind of problems did you do in math?” And when asked, “What is your favorite subject?”, inevitably they exclaim, “Recess!”
Not long ago, my kiddos joined me in the hot tub after my swim workout and they visited joyfully with the other adults. It wasn’t surprising that they were asked this same question. However, my munchkins respond without reservation. “Oh lots of things. This week we took apart our old bicycles to learn about simple machines. There were so many screws! In math, we are doing multiplication of fractions. I also wrote a thank you letter to Mr. Eberhard. We went on a field trip to his dairy. In history, we are learning about the Inca. History is my favorite subject!”
The adult with whom my little ones were talking was impressed with their responses. I shared with him my observations about the ease at which homeschoolers have in talking with adults and sharing what their discoveries. His hypothesis was that this was because to children in formal school settings, everything in their life is compartmentalized. School is where they learn. Home is completely separate from that. They can’t comprehend why someone outside of school would talk about school.
I’ve also realized that homeschool parents approach their child’s education in a much different manner than those of most public school children. I’ve eluded to this in a previous post … Nature Journaling & Parental Approaches to Education. Homeschoolers are learning all the time … taking advantage of every possible learning opportunity.
We are no different. Many of my friends are surprised to discover that we homeschool year-round … even on the weekends and on holidays. Learning never ceases. I sprinkle formal math lessons in as we drive to Portland. While on errands around town, I will randomly ask questions or give instructions in Spanish and if I know it, in Mandarin and Norwegian as well.
Education in our home is as instinctive as breathing.
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