Homeschooling, Unschooling, Lifelong Learning?

booktreasure

We have one child in a private school and two younger kids not yet in school. I went to public school, for better or worse. Looking back, I think I learned more on my own and through interactions with my friends and family than I did in school, though it is difficult to measure such things. As I incline toward a life and a philosophy of homesteading, I find myself more frequently pondering how people learn and what makes a good education.

We have opted for a religious classical private school for our first child’s kindergarten year. Thusfar we are quite happy with our choice. Most days he enjoys school. He has new friends, and respect for his teacher. He exhibits a seemingly exponential rate of growth in his knowledge, including vocabulary, reading, and the general capacity to think more deeply about matters. I do not have a chart or gauge against which he must perform, in terms of learning. However, I do review his work and assess generally his abilities and his outlook on learning. At this point, my main hopes for his first year of school are that he learns to read, to perform fundamental mathematics, to wield a general familiarity with a broad array of concepts, to develop good social skills, and most importantly to develop a healthy and fertile appreciation for the wonders of learning and of how knowledge makes ones life a richer experience. He’s well on his way.

With two more kids in pocket, I look down the road… Will all three go to the school our first now is attending? Will we try our hand at homeschooling? Is unschooling too unstructured? What is most important in life? How can we aid our children to grow to adulthood with ample knowledge and confidence to be happy, secure, and good people? These are large questions, some of which are open-ended.  There are many pieces to this puzzle.

Certainly some of the most fundamental building blocks for our children will be the love and security they feel at home, the moral compass each will hold by knowing God as the fixed point by which to navigate through life, and the appreciation of learning as the key to the joyful treasure that is the creation and the yet to be created.

Ultimately, our children will learn and develop under every circumstance, for good or bad. As parents, we have the privilege of providing them with opportunities, conversations, and examples to be emulated. So, we will share with our children what we know, what we love, and how they can pursue their own interests. We will advise them that the possibilities are without limits, and that hard work’s rewards are worth the effort.

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