5/30/12

Where Will All of This Homeschooling Lead?

As we wind up another year of homeschooling, I have been looking at our long term goals. For me, homeschooling isn't just about the reading and math skills. It isn't just about getting them into college or a career either. Those are just part of the bigger picture: independence.  It is about having them become self-respecting, self-sufficient, and hopefully happy adults.


If you haven't seen Neil Gaiman's commencement speech made to the University of the Arts, it is worth it when you have about 20 minutes to spare. He talks about how to keep your goal in sight. How to make decisions based on what will take you closer to your goal and what will take you further away.



I try to do that with both my personal goals as well as our homeschooling ones. Keeping independence as my goal for my children, it becomes important to teach them the core classical education because it will set them up to think about, convey, and defend their points of view. It also makes the failures and struggles of life just as valuable. When a kid picks on my child and they handle it themselves, that has value. When my child struggles to complete all of a lesson before the day is done, that has value. How else can they know the true sweetness of success if they don't taste the bitterness of the struggle. 



Another article by BELEN ARANDA-ALVARADO that has me thinking about how to give my children an anchor. It talks about taking a child's natural interest and developing it over a long enough time for them to become proficient in an area. These "anchors" help the children define themselves and give them a sense of self worth.
An anchor is an activity or pastime that they do deeply and consistently over a long period. Anchors help them define them and their evolving identities. Anchors teach them valuable lessons that they can apply to other aspects of their lives — especially school. Most important, anchors help them to be different.
This is something we were already trying to do to some extent, but this article has brought the idea into better focus. I would never force my child into an activity that the child didn't love, but I will make sure that the child remains consistent in their practice, even on the days when it has lost its spark. I discussed this article with my family tonight at the diner table to see what the kids thought about "anchors." Their enthusiasm was surprising. My daughter has already begun to develop her two anchors. Her main anchor is violin but kendo is another she is working to develop. My son wants to focus on robotics and engineering. When I asked if he would like it if he had to work on it daily and consistently in order to really excell in it, he responded with "PLEASE!" My youngest is still too little to know where to focus, but I am sure she will find her anchor just as the others have.

Here's a short video of my daughter with her violin. The fiddle tune is Bonaparte's Retreat. Enjoy.

video





8 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this & agree that independence is a primary goal. Your idea of anchoring is great food food for thought.... Thank you :)

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    1. Thank you. I think there is a fine line between teaching persistence and pushing a child. I hope I never cross that line. I use their enthusiasm as a guide.

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  2. Thank you for your message over at my blog Jennifer :)

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  3. I like your points; I'm considering homeschooling my daughter and have a lot of the same wishes for her. Stopping over from SITS Saturday link up. Tried to like your page on Facebook, but the button isn't working?

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    1. I will get right on that FB problem if it is on my end. It is a new page and I am working out the kinks. Thank you for stopping by. We love homeschooling. I have a post called Starting Points that references my favorite books I read when considering homeschooling. Best of luck in making those choices!

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  4. Stopping by from SITS. I love the idea of making them proficient at something over a long period. Gives me something to ponder especially since we may be home schooling next year.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. I love this idea too.

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