Why Homeschool?

Hi! And welcome. In case you’re wondering, scuola a casa means “school at home” in Italian. When my husband and I were talking about potentially homeschooling we’d use this code word ☺️. Seems totally silly now, but the term has kind of stuck, and we still often refer to what we’re doing as scuola. As in, “Time to do some scuola now.” 

A few people have asked us why we are homeschooling. Well, I certainly didn’t always think we would homeschool, and we may not always do it, but so far we’re really enjoying it.

There are lots of reasons we love it, but there is one thing that is not the reason we homeschool.

Nowhere in our decision did we think, “we don’t like schools, and don’t want our kids in school.” 

Nope. I actually love schools. I went to many. My parents were pretty worried that I might just keep finding schools to go to (I still think about it).

Pre-school
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
University
Medical School

Lots of school!

So, home education, for me, was not inspired by disliking or disagreeing with traditional education, but rather my deep love of learning. And, I wanted to try something different, have a little adventure, spend more time learning about my kids, have the flexibility to travel (take them with us!), etc.

But whatever your feelings about home education, there are a lot of interesting ideas in this stack. These were some of the reads or influences that helped me in our decision to homeschool. 

I’ll link them all below to Amazon (affiliate links). If you don’t want to buy from Amazon, order here from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN or from your local bookstore 🙌🏼.

Teaching as a Subversive Activity, by Neil Postman

Maybe one of the most important books I’ve ever read on the subject of education. It changed me. Whatever your thoughts are on education (school, home, whatever) I think it would be hard to not be affected by this read.



The single most influential non-book work that I’ve encountered on this journey would be
Sir Kenneth Robinson’s TED talk Do Schools Kill Creativity?

This is one of the most (if not the most) watched TED talks, which tells me this must be an interesting (or really, really controversial) subject for a lot of folks. I have watched this one many times.



A modern take on homeschooling, and specifically, allowing our children to reclaim childhood – to be Wild and Free – is this one:

A great read for anyone who is currently homeschooling (needs encouragement) or thinking about homeschooling (needs encouragement). I went to the Wild + Free conference this year in Franklin, TN and wrote some thoughts from my time there.  



Then, as I got more into the homeschool idea, I started to read books like these, books more on the process, the how-to of homeschooling, and I found them completely fascinating. I haven’t ascribed to just one methodology or philosophy. I’ve found them all really interesting and I’ve taken cues from each one (why I’m not abandoning Latin and cursive just yet).


The Well-Trained Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise – classical education approach

Home Learning Year by Year, by Rebecca Rupp – because I felt like I needed a book that would help me answer naive questions like, “What are first graders supposed to know by the end of first grade?”

 

Uncovering the Logic of English, by Denise Eide – because learning English is HARD, and I needed someone to explain it to me before trying to explain it to my kids

Home Education, by Charlotte Mason – In all honesty, I’ve only read snippets of Charlotte’s  six volumes. I have them all though, and I hope to make my way through someday. She’s probably my biggest inspiration and her approach is closest to what our little scuola looks like.

The Global Student, by Maya Frost – books like this one have really helped me challenge my assumptions about what is ‘normal’ and ‘expected’ when it comes to one’s educational journey, especially the road to college.

 

The Unschooling Handbook, by Mary Griffith – I’m really into the idea of what people call ‘unschooling.’ To me, it’s just learning from life, and that feels a lot like what we’re doing.  I really like this Australian mom‘s insights on unschooling and this book by another author is one that I read early on when my kids were still tiny.

 



The Brave Learner, by Julie Bogart – I just love everything Julie does (her Instagram is FULL of great encouragement and really practical tips), and I especially love the idea of finding the ‘everyday magic in homeschool, learning and life.”





Finally, I’ve encountered really smart, really amazing people on this journey that have encouraged me even more. People who are inspired by learning, just like I am.

Two really smart, really well-read former homeschool moms have an amazing podcast called The Literary Life. It has been so great to listen to this and feel like I’m going back to school myself. These women, Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins, have confirmed for me that homeschooling does NOT mean subjugating yourself to your kids education. It means opening yourself up to an even fuller and deeper education for yourself that you embark on with your kids.

If you love literature, if you would love to be in a book club but just can’t make time for it, I highly recommend their podcast. 



There are so many more people/reads I could talk about. Sarah McKenzie and her Read Aloud Revival is one (but I’ve mentioned her in-depth in an earlier post).

I also acknowledge that homeschooling/worldschooling/unschooling is not for everyone. Some people have really strong thoughts about why we should not pursue this type of education for our kids (believe me, they’ve told me so!). But homeschooling, for me, is pretty simple. It just means learning alongside my kids. So far it’s working well for us. Maybe not forever, but who knows? We’re taking it one year at a time. I really think that’s all you can do.

Happy learning! whatever “school” you find yourself a part of today…

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