Friday, July 25, 2008

Fantasies

Yesterday I was reading the Stanford application guidelines for homeschoolers. Yes, I'm probably way ahead of myself here, but hey - a girl can have fantasies right?

One thing I thought was cool (though I wonder if it is really true): Stanford admissions doesn't just look at what you have accomplished or what you know, they want to hear about the student's learning process. They want to know that the applicant is curious, interested, even passionate about learning. It even states something like, "This is not 'the one with the most and highest AP test scores wins'". I guess they are wanting students who will continue zealously pursuing their studies - not just kids who "got into Stanford". I like that.

But one question they ask homeschooling students to answer in the application essay is how and why did your family decide to homeschool. Now, excuse me, but ARG was four when I decided to homeschool. Isn't it a little weird that a question more appropriately addressed to the parent is asked of the kid?

It made me think that I need to write about our decision to educate the kids at home, so that they can learn to articulate it for themselves. The problem with talking or writing about homeschooling is that it usually threatens or in some way alienates the audience (the majority of whom do not homeschool). I try hard not to disrespect or disparage other people's choices, but when I expound upon my strong distrust and dislike for public schools (and to be honest, any institutional schooling).....well, you can see my problem.

DON'T WORRY I'm not writing "Why I Chose to Homeschool" today. (do I hear a collective sigh of relief?) But I am feeling a strong desire in me to figure out how to communicate about it in a fun, non-offensive way. It might be an impossible feat.

Perhaps if I just focus on the positives of homeschooling, without harping on the negatives of institutional schooling I'll do better. Ya think?

Speaking of fantasies.....

I want to go to Spain. With my kids. For a month. At least.

I want to have a memorable and fun-filled 40th Bday without having to make plans ("oh that'll happen," she says snidely)

I want to go back to school and get my masters or PhD in history.

I want to lose 20 lbs.

Well, like I said, a girl can have fantasies......

6 comments:

Kendrawolf said...

I truly wanted to homeschool Henry, my youngest. He is 10 now. I have a friend that homeschooled all of her kids and I am envious.

ann said...

I homeschooled all of mine, but none of them for their whole school career. I am now a middle school teacher, and have to articulate WHY we did it all the time - because so many teachers are so uncomfortable with homeschoolers. It's a good exercise in understanding - I always end up back at - "that's what we needed to doat that time." THAT won't do for Stanford. But it's a start.

Dr. Jeff said...

40 coming up soon??? what day?

Sue said...

Kendrawolf: why did you decide not to do it?

Ann: Boy, you must get a lot of practice explaining - and to a hostile audience!

Jeff: 10/10

Megan S. said...

Hi Again Sue!

We have a homeschooling group on my sewingmamas.com site. You may get some good info, the leader of the group, Shecki, is a good friend and local(ish) to us -- she's in Sacramento. She's Christian, homeschooling, homebirthing and lots of fun -- 5 boys and two girls!

Here's the site, it's totally free -- I'd love to have your input too! I'm known online as "Nutmeg" as my dh has issues with me using my 'real' last name online.

http://www.sewingmamas.com/b/forumdisplay.php?f=78

I don't have time to monitor it much, but my forums are pretty fun, drama free and have nice people. We meet up every few months which is fun for the NorCal mamas of which there are many. You don't have to sew, but you'll have your ear talked off about it LOL

-Meg S.

Beth said...

Sue,
Good exercise to put it down in writing...and then periodically update it. A fascinating way to document your own growth.
Most of the reasons I started out homeschooling have shifted, but not all. When we started out, I was more anti-government institution. Now I am more pro-choice and more acutely aware of some of the downsides of homeschooling (though on balance I still think its positive.) Time for me to update as well. Maybe I will post my first and my latest on my aisaacademny blog. I hope you will share your results.
Beth