Thursday, April 30, 2009
Things We Did Right-Part 2
One of the best compliments i've ever had about our home education came indirectly. While our daughter was completing the practicum for her degree, she was asked by a hospital chaplain what her educational experience had been because he was so impressed by her interest in learning, not just getting through the program but actually discovering new things and really understanding them. When she told him she had been home educated right through until she began college, he was quite surprised.
We tried always to follow up on questions, and to admit when we had no idea what the answers were. When the children were younger, and the internet was a much less efficient resource, they would spend hours with volumes of our World Book encyclopedia, just flipping through, looking at illustrations and reading articles that grabbed their interest. It was common at supper to be told peculiar details about the diet of strange birds, or the history of a war or the life of a king we knew nothing about. As they moved into their teen years, much of that learning came through internet sources. (I'm not going to address the issue of internet safety here: our experience is that when computers are in open areas of the home, major issues don't arise. Our children never had computers in their bedrooms.)
The wide knowledge base that these experiences gave our children, the strong sense that they could find answers to questions that intrigued them, and the interest in truly knowing things rather than in just passing a course were powerful tools for their post-secondary experiences. They have also formed them into very interesting adults! Truly, our children are our favorite people to spend time with, and we count ourselves blessed that they enjoy our company as well.