Monday, July 12, 2010

Love in the Time of Homeschooling - Laura Brodie

By the end of fourth grade, Laura Brodie realized that her daughter, Julia, was burnt out. Her love of learning that she had previously had been squelched. So she decided to homeschool her for fifth grade. This is the tale of that year.

Laura is a college professor but homeschooling was a new world for her. She sought the advice of others, had some successes, and made some mistakes. It wasn’t just that Julia was burnt out in the traditional classroom with worksheets and homework. I had the impression Julia didn’t really concede without a fight to do anything she didn’t want to (math) regardless of how creatively it was presented. Julia’s takeaway from different events wasn’t always what the “educational goal” was meant to be, but I believe she received an education regardless.

People often ask me why I don’t homeschool the girls. My simple answer is: they don’t need it (although the more complicated answer would involved discussions of joint custody and permissions and personality conflicts). Yes, I am an educator by heart and by trade. And, yes, I do take issue with many things in our public schools. However, that doesn’t equal homeschooling for me. It does equal being very involved in the girls’ education and overseeing it at home and connecting with their teachers when there are issues and correcting false information or information that doesn’t line up with our beliefs and morals. And, like Laura Brodie, if they come to a spot where they need homeschooling for whatever reason (educational, social, emotional, physical), I would do it.

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