Monday, May 27, 2013

living the dream {reason to homeschool no. 3}

smooth river rocks felt under splashing feet.
treasured snails gently poked and prodded and brought along for the journey.
tiny frog eggs discovered.
bird songs heard.
leaves collected.
this was our day...our perfect school day.
what i am about to say will be a bold statement for someone who is just beginning her homeschool journey but i'm going to claim it like a promise...
there is a dreaminess to homeschooling.

there is also a certain amount of drudgery - i'm sure.  any lofty pursuit presents us with challenges and requires hard work.  i am prepared for those moments...

...but i am counting on the other ones.  

the 'dreamy' ones in which we
:: follow rabbit trails, that lead us to pour over atlases and picture books and globes that transport us to faraway places.
:: get our hands dirty digging in the earth to plant gardens and uncover worms.
:: linger long over classic works of literature and art, and then dip our own brushes into wet colors that are brought to life with the stroke of our hands.
:: sit quietly in the grass, anticipating the chipmunk that makes his home in a hole in our front yard...pondering his little world right under our feet.
:: experience other cultures by reading their stories, cooking their foods, and visiting their lands.

i dream of thousands of moments in which we sing and dance and write and draw and discover and travel and read and create...moments in which we learn.

if learning looks like that i'm hoping my kids will never let it end...this ongoing education of life.  

i'm hoping that the prospect of opening up a book won't be a pain but a privilege.  
i'm hoping they won't force knowledge into their heads in an effort to pass a test but will ravenously drink it up to quench the thirst of their sharp minds.
i'm hoping the idea of school would not deaden their souls but instead bring to it great delight.

we have chosen a charlotte mason style of homeschooling and it's because she said things like this...

...the chief function of the child--his business in the world during the first six or seven years of his life--is to find out all he can, about whatever comes under his notice, by means of his five senses... 

and this...

great artists, whether they be poets or painters, builders or musicians, have the power of expressing and showing to the rest of us some part of the wonderful visions imagination has revealed to them. but the reason why we enjoy their pictures, their poems, or their tales, is because imagination does the same sort of thing for all of us... 

and this...

it is well we should recognize that the business of education is with us all our lives, that we must always go on increasing our knowledge...

it is no small part of education to have seen much beauty, to recognize it when we see it, and to keep ourselves humble in its presence.

and, of course, this...

let the mother go out to play!


{this is part three of my weekly series on homeschooling}