Worcester Think Tank
36 Harlow Street | Worcester, Massachusetts | 01605
The following was submitted by a Think Tank parent.
What is homeschooling to you? I feel that that the cliché fits- home schools are as unique as the families who participate. Even within the broad labels of “unschooling”, “classical/neo-classical”, “religious based” & “eclectic”, it seems that each home school is actively fine-tuning their goals.
Our homeschool journey was initiated for practical reasons. Our family wanted flexibility. My husband often travels because of his job and we hoped to use the different locations to supplement our kid’s education and allow our family to stay connected. That initial goal succeeded (!) and has evolved into a myriad of reasons of why we continue to teach our children at home.
Why homeschool? Outside the personal needs of family, I feel the most compelling reason to “home tutor” is based on the statement: “people learn by building on what they already know.” A personal tutor understands that every student’s actual knowledge is different from the kid’s at the next desk. In practice, most “box” schools base their lessons on some changing combination of what they think students should know, what they think the learners know and what their teachers can actually teach. As home schoolers, we are working outside of this template and trusting our parental instincts and our child’s human curiosity. We’re listening to our unique “what should the student know”, we have an intimate idea of “what the learner knows”, and we locate a teacher who “can actually teach the subject”.
What sorts of resources have helped along the way? If I had to choose my top five favorite resources, I would list these:
Great teachers. Even if the subject is not something my child will ever benefit from, a great teacher imparts “life lessons”.
Yahoo boards. They have many forums that offer information about everything from curriculum reviews to what opportunities are in your home area.
Museums. A quiet corner can offer a great alternate space to study. It’s good to change the study place occasionally and have a look around the collection.
An electronic reading device. It beats a backpack filled with books.
A detailed plan with room for serendipity.
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