What is homeschooling?

When people make polite conversation, it’s usually in a kid oriented forum.  I was sitting in the “viewing room” during my son’s gymnastics class the other night and I heard a woman’s voice behind me, “Which one is yours?”  As if he were a puppy in a pet store window.  While my eyes searched the immense, warehouse space splattered with trampolines, jumping tracks, gym bars and balance beams, I sighted my son on the ground level trampoline in his bright red, t-shirt and it triggered my delayed response, “He’s the kid in the red shirt…umm…with the full head of dreads.”  The woman didn’t take a breath, “Oh, he’s young but obviously very talented.”  I thought Well of course he is talented.  He’s my son.

The woman sat next to me and we chatted quickly about the location of her kids.  The setting lent itself to education talk, which is exactly the topic that ensued.  It made me reflect upon who I am as a homeschool parent.  I ponder the variety of degrees that exist, but never did I have a specific label for it.  Apparently, according to the woman at gymnastics class–her name is Kathy–I am a ‘deschooler.‘  Hmmm.  She, on the other hand, is a ‘homeschooler.‘  Now that I have these labels as part of my repertoire for the discipline of education, I instantly formed a stereotype of myself; I’m the mom who allows my kid to loaf around the house in his pajamas all day, dappling with Wii, watching cartoons, and playing fetch with the dog….Wait!  My kid has a schedule.  In fact, he’s so scheduled I have spent time trying to de-schedule further so he has time for himself, to work on a puzzle, play a game, or even play Wii for a spell.  We do not, however, have a television, so that’s not an option.  Really what we do is fit the academics around his developmental need to bounce, move fast, flip, and flop.  Many parents of boys and active girls will agree when I say, “Feed the energy of your young child and the academics will follow.”  For now, that works for us.

I discovered that I, in fact, do not know all the varying degrees of homeschooling that may exist.  I can only place my own interpretation on it as based on need.  A strong message to further, as it teaches self reliance in the process.  I think it’s best to consider homeschooling a life style, of which was introduced to me by my sister.  She and her husband had a preconceived notion of the life style they wanted for their boys.  Therefore, they followed suit to incorporate the academics coupled with their free style skiing venture for the next few years.  I, on the other hand, walked into homeschooling out of what I sensed as dire need.  I dedicated my career to education as a teacher and administrator and realized I had no business passing my child off to teachers under my charge.  How silly!

From classroom, to homeschooling, to unschooling and potentially anything in between, before, or after…the beauty of homeschooling is untraditional and not part of the mainstream.  It truly is that which is part of your life style.  

Inspired by my conversation with Kathy and information found on at http://www.essortment.com/parenting-styles-unschooling-vs-home-schooling-40561.html

Sabrina Albrecht

Mom, Educator

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About sabrinaalbrecht

Currently consulting direct with families interested in homeschooling their children, to develop time management skills and developmentally appropriate curriculum. Create a framework by which parents can work independently with their children for academic success, including family and community values, the process of documentation in the elementary years, process of credit documentation for high school, standardized testing, teaching content area concepts and skills for the individual child, and guidance through the college entrance process for homeschool children. Co-Founder of the Kings Beach Parents' Cooperative, a non-profit 501(c)3, developed the school from preschool to fifth grade. In addition to Director, created daily leadership role as administrator based on need to develop cohesive, salient, and successful elementary programs for children; worked direct with teachers, parents, and board members. Active public speaker and writer within the community to continue promoting programs for children. Successful career as an Administrator and English teacher with the Washoe County School and Clark County School Districts, providing a foundation for educational leadership with future endeavors. Degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno and Las Vegas include Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education, Master of Arts degree in Instructional & Curricular Studies with an emphasis in Linguistics/Teaching English as a Second Language, and Education Specialist in Leadership degree. Specialties Guidance for how to build a homeschool context that best suits your family. Specializing in writing as a valuable, communicative skill for the future of our children and working with children to adults for developing personal talents in the discipline. View all posts by sabrinaalbrecht

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