Saturday, September 02, 2006

What is this, REALLY?

I had a little conversation with my son today. I told him that this year, when people ask him why he's not in school, he should answer that, "we learn at home," as opposed to saying "I'm homeschooled." Why? I'm growing further and further away from the traditional concept of school all the time. I want to imply that our life is home and learning is a central part of that existence. I'm tired of the "little school in the corner of the house" concept. I don't need a little student desk and a little black board and a little teacher's manual.

Here's an example of how it happens--we often talk about what nutrients are in the food we are eating. We think about the food we're eating and whether or not it's good for us. In one of these such conversations, we started talking about cells, free radicals, and antioxidants and what they all do. By the end of the conversation, my son had a very clear understanding of how free radicals can damage our cells and make them sick. We'll go over it a few more times, but for the most part he gets it--all from talking about it over lunch. I didn't need a science book. I didn't need a standardized test to see if he could spew it back, and I didn't need some government oversight to see if he learned it from a qualified teacher.
So, aside from reading and his math programs (which he really enjoys), we're going to learn at home, and let his love of life and all thing interesting drive what we do. Does this mean I'm becoming and unschooler? Maybe. That's just fine with me.