Yesterday I was featured as a guest blogger on Lisa Belkin's NY Times column "Motherlode", a post I had drafted for our homeschooling blog called "One of the Reasons I am Homeschooling This Year." I wrote it as an expression of the growing feeling that in the increasing pace of life, my connection to my oldest son was being lost and the majority of our time together seemed to be spent with me in whip-cracking mode. I had also been reading a bit about the expeditionary learning model, and thinking this might be a good fit for the way my boys learn, but I hadn't thought of leading the expeditions myself.
A little backstory...
My husband was the first person to suggest home schooling last spring after watching this TED talk from Sir Ken Robinson on schools and creativity. My initial reaction was that he was nuts--our youngest was about to turn three and go to the same Waldorf-inspired preschool we'd loved for the boys and I was launching my book career with an extensive book tour starting at the end of August. How could we consider this? Then I watched it. And I started reading. Linda Dobson, Sonia Haskins, John Holt, Laura Brodie... Something resonated in me and I thought, why not take the kids on tour with me this year, and make it part of a grand, homeschooling learning expedition adventure?
The idea was met with immediate enthusiasm from the boys and as a family we have enjoyed the shift that comes when you start to think of the world as your classroom, looking for learning opportunities in everything from baking to a trip to the Arboretum. We are excited (and yes, a little nervous) about this adventure. J and I maintain that we will reevaluate each summer on a kid-by-kid, year-by-year basis--see how it goes.
If you want to read the NY Times post that started the debate, click here
I was a little surprised by the extreme reactions this sparked in some readers, how quick they were to judge what I consider to be a brave, maybe a tiny bit crazy but ultimately loving choice for our family this year. It made me realize that writing anything to do with parenting is likely to strike a nerve.
I did finally decide to step in around comment #104. (See here if you're interested.)
I am grateful to Lisa Belkin for hosting the forum for what is ultimately proving to be a very passionate and interesting debate on motherhood and education, two topics close to my heart.
ps and oh, only about six more days until CHOSEN!