When does school start?

huh?

Questions like when do we start school, when do you take breaks and such really should be left to our traditional schooled friends. As home schoolers, it never ends. Oh I know this is just part of the language we are all so familiar with, it's nearly impossible to break every vestige of our school mindset but it is at least worth considering.

My husband always tells the kids, words matter.

When we say to our children we are going to "start school" on Monday or next week, whatever, you are subtlety conveying to them that school is something you stop and start. I bet my cheeseburger every one of us who has said this, would also say, we want to raise lifelong learners! Doesn't it seem contradictory? Lifelong learning in a school that stops and starts?

So then, aren't these two things incompatible?

This thinking and the verbiage that accompanies it, is wise to reconsider and evaluate. Have you thought about why children might shrug, or complain or bemoan doing their schoolwork by about October? Could it be that these subtle cues have carved out "school" as something separate from life, separate from learning? Something that has an end?

The same consideration might also be wise to apply to the concept of a separate school room. Don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to space in the home that is designated for organization, projects, and so forth. What I would caution you about is what you call it, how you view it and how you present it. The school room, in homeschool often becomes not very different than school. As kindergarteners they are thrilled to go to school. But by the third grade the shine is off that penny. This is what happens in a home school room as well.

It's the paradigm that must be shifted and these little cues that we send our children establish tones, routines, and expectations.

Consider calling it your family workspace, or the learning clubhouse, or even the family library.

Those labels school, classroom have meaning in our children lives. They have friends (because contrary to popular belief, they are social) and they hear what their friends think about school, and classrooms and teachers, and the whole enchilada.

They will default to the meanings those words widely hold, not to the redefinition of them you are trying to create.

Dump that language. It's a crucial part of de-schooling.

If school is learning, then does it make any sense to tell your kids, we are going to start learning next week? Of course not.

#homeschool, #school

1 comment:

  1. I do tend to take it very easy in the summer months when it is so hot, and the pools in the local area are calling our names! :) However, good 'ol mom does "sneak" in some educational experiences during this time as well. Just yesterday I took my three boys about 10 miles down the road to the Jefferson Davis memorial. My boys learned about the "Southern President" of the Confederate Army. They didn't realize the south even had a president! It was very interesting for all of us to see the correlations between both Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln. Both men were born not far apart from one another in the state of Kentucky. Did you know Abe Lincoln was only 9 months younger than Jefferson Davis, me either! :) This is how I home school during our "break" times. I like to keep things light and entertaining in the summer, hit the books hard in the fall, ease up bit during Christmas and New Years, back to work hard in late winter and early spring, break for a few weeks in early/mid spring, and back to work to finish strong in the late spring and early summer. :) Year around, but not just book learning. Life learning, living it, experiencing it, and growing!

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