So it’s official. It’s final.
The boys will be staying home next year and Jim and I will be their educators-in-chief. (As well as their attorneys general, their courts-martial and their in loco parentis).
Our "school" has a name (you gotta have a name to get stuff like Borders discount cards). Would you like to hear it? It is: JEDI TEMPLE ACADEMY.
Rhys thought of it.
We arrived at this decision with lots of thinking, doubting, wondering, researching, cajoling (on my part) and eventual enthusiasm (on Jim’s part). Oddly enough (hee hee), we are not doing this for any religious reason. Rather, it’s because I don’t want the kids to get caught up in the teaching to the test, the cliques and rivalries, the uncool-to-be-smart, the lowest common denominator thinking that seems to go along with classroom education. Note that I am NOT trash-talking teachers in any way, shape or form (my mom’s been a teacher for 20 years; she’d kick my butt, and rightly so!). I just feel that we have been the boys’ teachers since birth; we understand and value their personalities; and we are best equipped to give each of them the time, attention and stimulation he needs to do the best he can in the areas that interest him most.
We’re leaning away (far away) from workbooks, textbooks, fill-in-the-blanks and scribble-in-the-bubbles. I figure, we’ve not been able to get them uninterested in learning yet; we can be facilitators, strewing experiences of every kind around for them and sometimes just hanging on for the ride. If we spend six months on "Calculus By and For Young People," that’s cool; if we spend a week just watching "The Most Extreme" and "Ancient Almanac," that’s cool too.
And there are piano lessons and drum lessons and Latin comic books and cookie baking and grocery budgeting and scrapbooking and hand sewing and eight billion other things for us to spend time doing, too–learning the real way, the way that doesn’t divide up "math" and "science" and "spelling" into tidy little boxes and never let them talk to each other. The kind of learning that you do when you want to learn, not the kind that you cram into your head just before the test and forget three days later.
So we’re starting out next year with two Big Ideas to sort of build our quasi-curriculum around: ancient history from prehistoric times to the Roman Empire, and evolution and prehistoric animals. Pretty swell, huh? I can’t wait to get started.
There’s a neato resource center for secular/non-religious homeschoolers in the Portland area; I’ve linked to it once before. Looks like it could be an awesome point of connection for our family. Lego robotics… Harry Potter book club… yoga and modern dance and train trips and pottery…
As I think I already said once, I can’t wait to get started.