Mar 14, 2008

Still thinking about homeschooling

Went to the Library yesterday and got out a whole bunch of books on home education.

One specifically written for people wanting to home educate in New Zealand, one "Charlotte Mason Companion", some of Charlotte Mason's original books (which I was stoked to find here, as they are apparently very hard to find, having been out of print for about 100 years), and one book of case-studies on 21 different families and their experiences of home education.

I started with the book of case studies ("Real Life Homeschooling", by Rhonda Barfield), and have found it to be very helpful. One of my secret concerns was that if we decided to home-educate that we would "turn into them" (for 'them', insert whatever your current stereotype is). This book profiles families from a huge range of backgrounds, faiths, family structures, and environments. No two families homeschool for exactly the same reasons or in exactly the same way.

Which shouldn't be surprising, really, since the opportunity for individual teaching is one of the big attractions of home education.

And most of the children have ample opportunity to socialise with a huge range of people of different ages etc - not just their age-group as happens in a formal school setting.

The Charlotte Mason books I got out so that I could learn more abut her and her methods/ideas. Everything I know about her philosophy of education comes from this site, and I felt the need to explore further. From what I have read, this style of teaching and learning fits well with my own ideas, and in fact we will certainly be using some of her concepts (like the use of 'living' books to teach history etc) around here, regardless of whether we decide to send the kids to school or not.

I've also got in touch with the coordinators of the two local groups of home educators and found out when they meet and all that kind of stuff. I hope to get along to one of the meetings in the next month or so and meet some of the people who actually do it in this place at this time.

So, the journey continues...


EllaJac said...

Ha! I so relate to the fear of becoming like them (which I always say in a hushed but intense whisper, whilst looking side to side). I was going to recommend Robinson Curriculum (link on my blog sidebar) for some affordable 'living books' (hundereds of old books, on disk), but many of them are American (R.C. also teaches history via reading actual books) in theme and history, so don't know if that would work for you.

home handymum said...

Thanks! I'll have a look. There are bound to be some that are more universal in application.


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