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Sunday, October 14, 2012

I didn't teach them that!

Things my homeschoolers learned without my help.

So now that homeschoolers have disputed all of the stereotypical questions that homeschoolers are hit with...

What about socialization?

What about the prom?

How will they get into college?

What about the graduation ceremony?

There is still one question that makes some of us stop in our tracks and scratch out heads.  That question is how will they learn things you don't understand yourself?

To date, my stock answer has been "If I can't teach it, I'll hire a tutor".  But I honestly can't hire a tutor for every single item they want to know that I don't understand and can't teach.  There just isn't enough money to go around.  Because of this, my kids missed out on horseback riding, soccer, and animation classes... things that didn't fit into my budget when there was an expressed interest.

For all of the things I couldn't pay for, I managed to hire a tutor for something
else... pre-algebra for my son, music lessons and fencing for both kids, drama club... because I surely could not hire an entire class of actors so they could put on a play.  So from these things I paid for my kids have a vocabulary and depth of understanding of things I can't touch.  There is, in fact, an entire room in my home that I personally have not use for... the music room.  I can't read the books, I can't play the instruments.  All I can do is dust and sit in the chairs.  I think that's awesome.

But that's not the coolest part.  Both of my kids are quite knowledgable at things I neither taught, nor hired instructors for.  Thanks to her interests in theater and costuming, my daughter has delved into areas of history that the typical student doesn't touch.  She is actually thinking of minoring in history and I see a future for her in historical costuming.  From a simple line of HTML style sheets I taught my son when he as 10, he know understands several programming languages.  He checked out the books from the library, and tinkled on the computer until he had them mastered.  I may understand some basics of HTML, but I certainly cannot design a webpage like he can.

So I guess my point is that we can teach our homeschooled kids the basics of what they need to know.  We can teach them advanced subjects that we excel in.  We can hire tutors and find classes to fill in the blanks.  But, if there is an area of serious interest and talent, they don't need our time, money, or guidance.  They will figure it out themselves.  That's probably what unschooling is so popular.


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