This time of year, the question on many minds and lips has something to do with going back to school. School? Well, if you mean the place where our social skills are developed and strengthed, where strong character foundation is built, lessons on friendships are taught, where healthy competition is fostered and of course where all of the obligatory academics are learned- we never left. In fact, we never leave, we are lifelong learners and un/homeschoolers, the world is our classroom and “school” is in session all day, everyday.
“Homeschoolers?! What about…”- I’m not even going to let you finish. What about socialization/social skills, yes? Well, what about them? (“High Fructose Corn Syrup Lady”" stare) Family, however large, small, blended, nuclear was our-yes, yours too- intro to Social Skills 101. If you’ve held a door, set a table or washed and dried dinner dishes, you’re a team player. If you’ve ever swapped chores, or followed an alternating recycling and trash schedule with a sibling, cousin, parent; ever received an allowance? You’ve engaged in reciprocity. Sat at the dinner table? Commensality. It’s all right there, right here, at home. Of course, as the years start to add up, the situations become increasingly more complex, but when it gets right down to it, the rules are still the same.
Huh? Did you say something about healthy competition? Candy Land for a thousand, Alex! Tic Tac Toe, road trip Yahtzee; Bingo, Old Maid, etc. And, no- I never let them win; no home court advantage at our table! Board games are a great way to teach children about healthy competition; about being gracious winners, how to lose with dignity, dust off and get back in the game. I’m still the reiging champion at most of our reading table tournaments, but these kids are birthday party phenoms, I’m telling you!
This week we’re on a getaway celebrating our family’s anniversary, and just today we covered social science, earth science, art, art history, geography, and math! Our university student is with us, writing lyrics for his next iTunes EP release and promoting previously released projects. Those are just a few events I’m able to consciously “pluck” from the barrage of our day’s happenings.
Agreed, our lifestyle is not suited to the needs and tastes of every family, just as the school setting doesn’t work for us. However, I wanted to clarify some of the common misconceptions about lifelong learners and homeschooling families. We’re here, we’re there, and we’re learning, thriving and socializing. If you’ve ever thought about homeschooling or what it might be like if you never went back to school-actually never left- you ask, and we’ll answer.