Yesterday, one of the #homeed Facebook groups of which I am a member did a survey.
What style of home education do you follow?
Yes, there are different styles and types of home education. And the home ed I do with @PanKwake is vastly different from what I did with my older children.
With them, we did pretty traditional school-at-home type workbooks. They could not leave the table until their work was finished, marked, and corrected. Of course, even then, it took far less time than they would have spent in school. So, they had a great deal more time for freeplay, friends, or whatever they enjoyed.
When I de-registered @PanKwake, my intent was to do something similar, though a bit more modern. By then things were online, instead of in workbooks. But she did not tolerate that type of learning. So, we drifted more and more into what I call self-directed learning, but what this survey categorized as ‘radically unschool.’
These photos show just some of the self-directed learning activities that @PanKwake and I have engaged in.
That is also a term that you will see me use a lot on some older blogs. Honestly, the two are pretty close, if not interchangeable. The main advantage is that self-directed learning sounds a bit more ‘acceptable,’ especially to education officials. You can even find loads of information and scientific research on the topic which you can print off and give to troublesome types.
The other reason that I prefer the term self-directed learning is that I don’t to use the term ‘school’ at all. In fact, self-directed learning is more often called self-directed education. But for me, even education is mired in a history of oppression. Whereas learning is something we do, often without even realizing it. It is as natural as breathing, eating, and peeing.
And there are loads of other options in between those extremes of school-at-home and radically unschooled. For more information, I encourage you to check out the Educational Freedom website, they have a whole page on the topic.
But you may be wondering…
How do you decide what style to go with?
Okay, I’m such a radical unschooler that I don’t believe you do. I feel it is best to let your child decide for themselves.
How would that work?
You, as the parent partner, can talk with them about the options, the pros, and cons of each type. Together, you can even try things on for size. Until you just sort of fall into the groove that works for you.
This can get complicated if you have more than one child and more than one learning styles. I have a friend that is struggling a bit with that. She has been home educating her youngest son for some time. But is one of those parents, who did not feel that school was the right choice for her older son during this pandemic.
The younger has thrived on a relaxed and mostly hands-on learning environment. But, perhaps because he was in a school environment for much longer, her older son needs something much more structured and hands-on. This, of course, put more demands on her time, energy, and patience.
Home educating only magnifies the essential rule of parenting (and poly)…
Love them all the same, and differently.
But even if you manage to balance that high-wire, you still need to consider the issue of how you present or report self-directed learning, especially in terms of those annual reports you send to the local authority.