In Which We Are Flexible
One of my favorite elements of home educating is the flexibility.
Earlier this week I came down with a horrible head cold. Instead of canceling school completely, I was able to rest on the couch while the kiddos worked on assignments in the living room. The day didn’t look anything like my ideal day, but learning happened, and that is more than enough.
It occurs to me that the flexibility inherent in homeschool is most often celebrated when a family does not have to do school at a time when school normally takes place. But the flip side is when we are not “in school” and something educational happens. The line between life and school is often so blurry. The other day as we were driving home, we passed some carrion birds enjoying a meal. We stopped (it was an empty, rural road) and watched for a few minutes, discussing animal responsibilities, life cycles, and beauty in nature. That little biology lesson made a greater impact than some of my most intricately planned lessons.
It’s the embodiment of the idea that “curriculum isn’t something we buy. It’s something we teach. …It’s the form and content of our children’s learning experiences.” (Sarah McKenzie, Teaching from Rest).
At the end of the day I love that we have flexibility in our home. I’m grateful to live in country and a time where we have choices in our children’s education. As the politicians and the teacher’s unions and the media hash out the government’s role going forward, it is imperative that we parents protect our right to choose the option we feel is best for our family culture. Whether that means working with the local public school, a private school, or taking on the full responsibility ourselves, the choice has to be ours.