COVID19 has presented challenge after challenge. (And let’s not forget that our ever-more evil POTUS knew about its threat and had options to minimize its impact, but chose to ignore them.)
For a blog post here, I wanted to briefly discuss homeschooling.
I see post after post from people with children–who normally attend public schools but who are currently (rightly) at home–discussing the homeschooling experience. And some of these posts make me pause: Only going through lessons that would normally be done in a regular classroom at home is not homeschooling.
Homeschooling involves a full commitment.
Homeschooling exists in countless forms, too.
Typically, homeschooling proper involves elements of unschooling. Unschooling involves breaking away from all institutional practices. In an unschooling homeschool, the family might spend a month playing outside in the dirt and growing a garden. They might take a road trip across the nation. They might spend time cooking. They might study movies as literature. They might be involved with sports or with politics. They might run a small business.
Homeschooling often involves anything but assignments, exams, and rigorous schedules.
Homeschooling often involves anything but “grade-level” reading assignments. Homeschooling recognizes that x-age = y-grade/reading level is artificial.
Homeschooling often involves an across-the-discipline approach–science and history and writing and reading are learned at the same time.
As someone who homeschooled myself for high school, I feel very strongly about what it can mean to homeschool, especially in an unschooling approach.
I ask that people suddenly home with their children during the school day resist saying they are homeschooling, unless they use this opportunity to also really interact with their kids and teach the lessons that cannot be learned in the classroom. To do otherwise, suggest a kind of erasure of those who can and who do schooling outside of the public (or private) institution down the road.
Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda