Do you read a lot of blogs? I subscribe to nearly 50 blogs in my reader, blogs on education, homemaking, femininity, homeschooling, parenting, writing, social media, theology, and medicine. I don’t actually read every word of every blog every day, but I skim the titles and topics nearly every day, and I read what interests me when I get the chance.
One blog I keep turning back to again and again is author Ann Voskamp’s A Holy Experience. Ann challenges my thinking, opens my eyes, and pushes my soul in ways I need. A recent post on her home education thoughts was especially well-put:
We once had a couple come visit us from Germany. Homeschooling is not an option in Germany, so they were intrigued by our choice of education for our children: the stacks and stacks of books, the daily reading of Shakespeare, children narrating poetry, singing hymns together at the table, the spontaneous creativity that was happening — and the noise levels and the happy spin to our days, the way life and learning and laundry just fold into each other.
And at the end of the week, they wanted to know: would children in the public school system be learning to this extent too? I don’t know… It’s a good question.
In a home we have the advantage of getting the best books out of the library. Of low-teacher to child ratios, of google and research at the fingertips of every child, if need be. We can pile close on the couch together to read those books, to check out that youtube video on the Rock of Gibraltar. In a classroom with 25 students, the logistics of great books, and easy internet access for each student get trickier. I really believe that a curious mother and a library card can offer a stellar education.
Ultimately, for us, a quality education focuses on commitment, of both the learner and the teacher. A commitment by both parties to authenticity, joy, curiosity, and consistency. These elements of an education then translate into necessary, future life-skills
For us that means living:
Live your life. Invite your children to join you! Read together. Pray together. Sing together. Work, bake, garden, chore, clean, sew, fix, build together. Don’t fabricate artificial demarcation lines between schooling and living. Live a one-piece life. Live holistically.
Explore! Be awed by His World! Restore Wonder! Be a creative, thinking, exuberant person who spills with the joy of learning. Your zest for learning and life will be contagious–the children will catch it!
Read, read, read. Fill the house with library books. Play classical music. Post the art of the masters about the house. Go for walks in the woods. Learn a new language, a new culture, a new poem. Everyday set out to discover again, and again, and again. The whole earth is full of His glory!Go seek His face…
Consistently pray. Consistently read. Consistently keep the routine. Consistently live an everyday liturgy.
Children thrive in routine. So do households. Have hardstops: times that you fully stop to pray, to read, to write. Regardless of what isn’t done, what isn’t finished. Make a full stop, do the needful thing, then return to meals, laundry, household management.
Consistently be consistent.
You can read more about Ann Voskamp’s homeschool here.