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My Best Kept Secret

Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 in Thoughts on Education

Here’s my best kept secret about homeschooling.  Are you ready? Okay, I may have shared it before, maybe it’s not even a secret anymore? I could go scrolling back though posts, but it’s much more fun this way.

Lean in close, I’ll whisper it just between you and me.

I’m always learning something new.  Sure I’m the teacher, but I don’t know most of what I’ve taught from my education. I’ve absorbed it as we’ve gone along and best of all,  I’ve learned to love learning.

Did that seem like a worthy secret?  It almost feels like a guilty pleasure to enjoy learning about the world, art, math, history in way I never experienced when I was the student.

What are my qualifications for teaching?

I was a very average student who struggled with math and science, connected history to the bubbles on the multiple choice test, and don’t even get me started on geography.  B-O-R-I-N-G.  Somewhere along the middle school years, learning new things began to intimidate me.  Convinced I probably wouldn’t get it, whatever the lesson of the day, I stopped applying myself to academic classes.  Even into adulthood this fear stuck with me.  I didn’t want to take a chance of looking foolish and I was relieved that my days of learning were behind me, since learning happened in school.

I remember when my mentor first mentioned she was planning to homeschool her family.  She explained, “I want them to love learning.”

That resonated deep in my insecure heart and I continued her thoughts in my head even though I didn’t even have kids yet, “I want them to learn for reasons more than just getting answers right on a test.  I want them to know they are artists and not have that taken away.  I want their learning to spill outside the concrete walls.”

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My goals were for my someday-in-the-future kids, but my own fear of learning (and failing), and the related boredom at all subjects outside of literature or the arts wasn’t taken into consideration.

And that’s why this is such a surprise, my own guilty pleasure that I now do math better than I did ten years ago, that the story in history is finally unfolding, and the earth itself is taking on it’s true size and shape.

I saw myself in a neighbor friend that came over  the other day.  My kids wanted to go play explorers in the backyard, a take-off from our months of studying vikings, Columbus, and colonists.

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“Oh, we’re studying that in school.  I always go to sleep and my friend has to keep waking me up, ” our friend replied.  I saw myself at her age and I looked at my kids and I knew, atleast up to our current studies, that we are well on our way to accomplishing those long ago dreams to instill a love of learning.

I just didn’t know those dreams were for me too.

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Bring on the comments

  1. Mary says:

    Oh, I’m so glad I kept reading through your blog tonight. This is my best kept secret, too! :-) I am loving how things now make “sense” to me through the lens of history as I’m learning it with my children. It’s amazing how the entire family benefits from home education, isn’t it?

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