Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Homeschooling Article, Local Style

My friend Linda was interviewed for a homeschooling article for our local paper: "A Lifestyle of Learning."

The Temmes are an amazing family. Pastor Temme is in my husband's circuit, and our kids have been in choir together for years. I was so thrilled they were interviewed for this and wanted to pass it on.

Also, a little feedback on the article is due, not with anything Linda said, but with some other things mentioned. Often homeschoolers are portrayed as having to really have their acts together in order to pull this off. Since I lean toward the very unstructured side of things, I took a bit of an issue with Mr. Tenney's statement about "Get organized or die." We seem to get things done pretty well using the "by gosh and by golly" method. I find that while we all may have some faults that make homeschooling harder on ourselves, what tends to work best is something that's compatible with the way you and your family relate to the world, and that "delicate balance of structure and getting things done" tends to fit into that.

But you don't have to be really organized to homeschool your children, and it doesn't have to absorb your entire day (teaching one-on-one goes very quickly because you know whether they get it or not, and so much of classroom time is just absorbed in group management). So if it is something you are considering, know that these are issues that can be worked around. There are so many different approaches to homeschooling, and what is "legitimate" for your family may be completely different for someone else's.

What the mother mentioned about the needs of her sixteen month old coming first is right on. One of the things about homeschooling is that the children are learning in the midst of life, they haven't been pulled out of real life in order to learn...and the truth about real life is that when a little one needs love, that comes first. It's a really good lesson to teach kids -- to learn to function in the midst of life, to be able to suspend what they need for others. And when things are taken care of, we return to the routine.

Also, there are MANY reasons that families homeschool. You don't have to be religious or have that as your main priority. Many people of many different religions (or who have none at all), choose to homeschool their kids all the time. You can be liberal or conservative politically, or not even give a whoop.

The article is right. There are SO many different resources out there that whatever your reasons or needs for homeschooling, you are very likely to find something to meet it. Quite often, as a Lutheran, I find I have more theological problems with many of the religious curricula out there, I have a tendency to look at secular curricula, but freely discuss how our beliefs flow through what we are studying, and use the Bible, the Small Catechism, and the Book of Concord often. When your faith flows through your life, and prayer, devotions, etc. have their proper place, it is easy to bring them into everything else.


Adrienne said...

I enjoyed that article. We're a homeschooling family, and I always find great comfort in knowing I'm nt the only unorganized mom out there!

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

That's the main reason why I wanted to mention it. I have lots of friends who would count themselves as unorganized also...and they still do a great job educating their kids.

beth.babyette said...
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Beth said...

This article was an interesting read. I'm glad you mentioned what Mr. Tenney said, as that one brought me up short too. But other than that, I got a lot out of it.
Loved seeing pics of families I know too! :D

Martha said...

Thank you for this post. I too feel very unorganized, but yet my children still seem to learn something.

I do not care for many of the religious curricula, I want to teach our Lutheran beliefs. With many subjects I would prefer to use secular materials and just add rather than have to take out or edit.

Hannah said...

I enjoyed the article as well; I have the added bonus of going to college with Linda's eldest daughter. :)