Once a month I attend a meeting with other homeschooling moms to talk shop and encourage one another. At our last meeting (last night) we were encouraged to answer a question.
Why do I homeschool? What is it that I am working toward in my kids’ homeschooling?
To answer the question, I wrote out our school’s mission statement. What is my mission statement? This:
Life Academy exists to promote a life long love for learning, a complete education in the basics, and an atmosphere in which deeper passions may be explored in the ways each child learns best.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? I have to make a confession though. First, our school was named Life Academy several years ago based on how we schooled. Life. We learn much through every day life experiences and natural learning. And Life, the game. We also learn much through all sorts of games and hands on activities. Of course we have formal lessons in areas that are not so naturally learned, and especially more so as the kids have gotten older, but the formal lessons should still promote a love for learning. And that is what we have lost recently. I came home from that meeting and while thinking about that mission statement realized that I had let a lot of those ideals go and have fallen back into the more is better way of thinking. Perhaps that is why the past several weeks of school have been so strained.
Of course I can’t just leave that alone, so today I called for a day off for the kids and a day of refocusing and planning for myself. I am asking myself questions about each subject area.
Why is math feeling like drudgery? Oh yeah. It’s because we have been doing gobs of problems out of context. I need to add life questions to their lessons to make them relevant. That should help.
Why aren’t they interested in the books I chose for this week? Maybe it’s because they chose other books on their own at the library. And why is it not okay for my son to read his book on accidental scientific discoveries during school hours. I used to say that if they had quality learning plans for a day I would let that override my plans for the day. Learning is learning, and if they are motivated on their own that’s all the better. When did I get so focused on always doing it my way?
I’m glad we talked about mission statements last night. It’s reminded me of where I want to be. Life Academy exists to promote a life long love of learning, a complete education in the basics, and an atmosphere in which deeper passions can be explored in the ways in which each child learns best.