Life Is Learning

Henry reading

Learning together has become a central part our lives. Our days are filled with reading, writing, poetry, mathematics, history, drawing, observation, and science. We follow a structured curriculum on weekdays all year, but the children don't stop on weekends, holidays, or vacations. They continue to read, write, and draw on their own time. "Homework" has become a form of relaxation, and vacations have become extensions of our daily life, new opportunities to explore and learn more. Thoughtful reflection is a vital part of every day.

Why We Teach at Home

Despite the fact that we chose our Michigan neighborhood based largely on the reputation of its schools, a horrendous experience with our public school prompted us to enroll our oldest daughter Kira in a private school. After a successful year of private school, our daughter's teacher recommended that we consider home schooling as the best way to fully develop Kira's advanced abilities. We followed the recommendation, and it has been the most incredibly rewarding enhancement to our family experience.

This all seemed like a natural progression for us, as we have always believed that parents are responsible for their own children's education. If a child is having difficulty with school, it is first and foremost the parents' responsibility. In frightfully many cases, school teachers and day care staff seem to have been handed the job of replacing parents who have abrogated their responsibility to nurture and teach their own children. There should be no mystery about why schools are struggling. But it is not the schools that are failing, it is parents.

We've made the responsibility of educating our children into the joyful experience of learning with and teaching them ourselves. We're enthralled by the experience and would love to hear from other parents who share our passion or interest. Send email to our last name at the mac.com domain.

Our Curriculum

Our curriculum includes the three primary subjects required for a conceptual life. Each subject is developed hierarchically as appropriate for ability and achievement.

Additionally, we require daily work to develop drawing and computer skills and will soon be adding music. While not absolutely essential to conceptual development, these additional subjects encourage observation and reflection and develop independent thoughtfulness.

What Are We Reading Now?

The books we read put us in touch with the most important minds and ideas. We have fun keeping track of each author and book. The first criterion for making our lists is that at least one of us has read the entire book. In fact, we define a good book as one interesting enough to read completely. The very best books are the treasures that we've read more than once and that we would like to read again sometime! Of course, these deserve special recognition.

Joe has been keeping a reading list online, and Max is itching to add his soon.

More on Learning at Home

We've noticed that many people seem to be uneasy or even offended when they discover that we teach our own children. Often this reaction takes the form of the bromide "What about socialization?" although very few people can elaborate on what they mean by this question. It appears to indicate a concern that life now requires young people to learn mysterious political skills available only through government controlled regimentation. What are these skills, why are they learned only in established schools, and how were people socialized before the time of government run schools?

How is it that Americans are convinced of the importance of keeping church and state separate, while at the same time assigning to the government the responsibility of running the schools? We're supposed to believe that mixing government and religion is poison to both, but that it is critical for government to control education? Why should the rational faculties be more suitable for subjugation to government policy than religious faith?

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