We’ve finally made it to flip-flop weather here in Ohio. After the giant sheets of ice covering everything in sight over the winter, I wasn’t sure we’d ever see warm and sunny temperatures again. Summer is my favorite time of the year. I could live in perpetual cook-out and pool party mode. In fact, I spend a great deal of time floating around in my pool, staring up at the clouds and pondering life – that is until one of the kids does a triple-whammy-twist jump into the pool and knocks me off of my raft.
During those floating times, though, I often think about school and lesson plans and how we are definitely NOT going to get behind schedule like we have every other year. (Yeah, right.) I love planning out our school year and school topics. I love looking at all the things I’ve accumulated for the next year. I love coordinating field trips with lessons.
I have old-lady feet and cannot walk more than two minutes in those flimsy pieces of plastic that are de rigeur from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but I have my own version of flip-flop weather. It’s the season where I start to doubt the path we are taking. All that floating time allows me to question my philosophy of education, my choice of curriculum, and my sanity. Am I doing the right things for my children? Will they be academically or socially stunted because of how we choose to educate? Can I keep this up for six more years? I assure myself that yes, we’ve been over this a dozen times. Homeschooling suits us. My kids can function relatively well in society. We’re fine.
In addition to pool time, I also have more time to read over the summer.What do I read? Books, of course, but I also read blogs and articles about education. So, yes. homeschooling is the bomb! But, am I doing THAT right? Is Classical Education really the way to go? If the majority of today’s students are not being trained this way, will my kids be at a disadvantage in their future lives? Maybe we should experiment with some other ways. We know lots of other families who do things differently. Maybe we should see what unschooling is like. Or, maybe we should explore a Charlotte Mason approach. Or, maybe we should find out what the local schools are doing and incorporate some of that material in. The choices seem endless.
I’m a very big fan of Classical Education. I firmly believe in it. But I don’t think that I know everything about everything, so maybe I’m wrong. Well, not wrong. Perhaps just a little too shortsighted or rigid? What would happen if we took a year off and did nothing but student-led learning? What if we did nothing but read books? What would happen if we enrolled the kids in a private school? Maybe they’d be better off.
I’m leaving this article open-ended on purpose. I don’t know if I have all the answers. I think we’re doing the right thing. It appears to be working well. For now, I’m leaving well enough alone. I’ve written so many articles about how fabulous a classical education has been for us all, and I still stand by that. I’m just saying here that it’s okay to question yourself. I think it’s good to question yourself and not get stuck in a rut.
Flip-flop. Flip-flop. Flip-flop.
Lynne–Lynne has enjoyed homeschooling her two sons for the past 4.5 years, after their brief stint in the local public school. Her older son is a humorous fellow with high functioning autism who thrives in a home education environment. Her younger son is a sensitive soul with a great deal of patience. The boys, Mom, and Dad, along with the two guinea pigs, live in Northeast Ohio. Lynne holds a Master’s Degree in French Language and Literature. She is also a Harry Potter fanatic, enjoys line dancing and Zumba, spends hours scrapbooking, and loves organic vegetables. You can visit her soon-to-be revitalized blog at www.daysofwonderhomeschool.blogspot.com.