What is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling Parents, like me, get a lot of questions related to Homeschooling. Most of these questions come from parents who are new to Homeschooling and want to know more. I love sharing my experience about Homeschooling and hence love these questions. However, given the increase in the frequency of these questions, and my limited time, I decided to create a series of blogs addressing these questions. I hope that these blogs help you find some answers related to our Homeschooling Journey without waiting to talk to me. I call it “Our” Homeschooling Journey, because it is specific to us. In your quest to know more about Homeschooling, you will speak to more parents and you will find that this journey is unique for each family. There are some common underlying principles to most Homeschooling families, but outside of these principles, each journey is unique. If you are considering Homeschooling, you should remember this. You should listen to all the experiences from different parents and keep them as information in your memory. However, you should be extremely careful not to try and recreate our journey as the journey for your own family. You can refer to our journey for ideas and inspiration but you should be careful to create your own unique story. For me, this is the most important reason we chose Homeschooling. We did not want to follow the story of millions of other families. We wanted to create our own.
What is Homeschooling?
For me (remember this is our definition of Homeschooling and may not be universally accepted), Homeschooling is the process of taking complete ownership of the learning needs of our family. This does not mean we have a school at home. This means that as a family:
- We believe in learning constantly, not just when we are sitting behind books and studying.
- We believe learning is everywhere and in everything we do.
- If you add 1. and 2. this means that we are capable of learning everywhere, everything, all the time.
- It is not only our children who do Homeschooling. We are all doing Homeschooling together. It is a journey for the full family not just for a child.
- We learn what we want to learn, when we want and the way we want to learn.
- We choose our subjects and topics of learning basis what we think is important for us. Yes!, there is always a chance that we may miss a topic along the way. However, since we believe learning is a life long process, we may end up picking up any missed topics, before we die. If we never get to learn these topics, before we die, maybe those topics were not meant for this lifetime.
- We do not write exams because we do not learn in order to clear exams, we learn because we value learning on its own.
- We do have formal sit down learning time as well. Not more than 1 hour for my 6 year old son and about 2 hours for my 14 year old daughter. I wish we could reach a point where we do not need this as well. But as of now, we are not there yet. (Blog post coming soon on this)
- We are not Unschooling yet. As a parent, I observe my children and basis my knowledge, research and children’s interests I create the curriculum for my children. (Blog post coming soon on this)
When we were going to school, we had transferred the responsibility of learning to the school. My daughter went to school till 8th grade and my son went to school till mid of 1st grade. I also coach a lot of school going children and hence I do understand the schooling system. I want to clarify that I am not against the schooling system. It is very much needed and should never be done away with. It can be improved in many ways but that is not the focus of my blogs, for now. We categorically chose to step away from the school system only because we felt that we had an opportunity of creating something bigger and better for our children.
Our decision to Homeschool was perhaps the most difficult decision for me to take because I had to challenge years of conditioning a world full of belief systems. Like most parents wanting to know more about Homeschooling, I had a million questions in my head. I was clouded with self doubt and unclear about the road ahead. It took me close to an year of research, reading, training, discussions with other homeschooling families and self-analysis to be convinced to take the leap. Ever since we started this path, in spite of the push back from the society, each passing day, I am convinced that this is the right road for us.
This is what I feel about Homeschooling. Stay tuned to understand our reasons to chose Homeschooling, our Homeschooling curriculum and many more nuances of our journey. Till next time!