Thursday, August 29, 2013

homeschool mythbusting, part three: learning

this is the third in a series about mythbusting with my eldest, diana.  she has agreed to my interviewing her to blog about her experience thus far as a homeschooler.  for part one, please go here; for part two, go here.

mom: "diana, we've talked about some of the strange ideas people have when it comes to homeschooling.  you've told me about some of the misguided assumptions other kids have had about your experience, like that you cannot possibly make new friends or you don't have to work hard.  you've also mentioned to me that some kids wonder how you actually learn anything, since with homeschooling you don't have a teacher.  can you tell me more about that?"

diana: "in fact, i DO have a teacher, and not even one teacher, but several.  i take classes at several different places.  in california, i took classes at the davis art center in art (clay and weaving), in several kinds of dance and movement, including irish dance, yoga, and aikido.  i took watercolor classes with miss becky (of lab rat academy) who was absolutely amazing.  she also taught me about plant and animal cells and geology.  my mom and dad help.  dad teaches me math and mom teaches me french.  i also use the aid of workbooks and learning programs online and on the computer, such as teaching textbooks.  and also i can learn things just by going to the grocery store: for example, now i know how to use the self-checkout, which is a very useful thing to know."

mom: "what do you think you learn by homeschooling that is different from a public school experience?"

diana: "well, i can learn at my own pace, whatever pace i want.  if i feel like plowing on through, forward and forward and forward, then i can do that and not be held back by a schedule.  if i'm having difficulty with something, we can stop and work through it without disrupting the whole class, because i AM the class.  also, in public schooling, i am with a lot of people all the time.  i'm pretty sure that would expend my social energy for the day, but, in homeschooling, i spend plenty of time at home or with one-on-one tutoring, which is a lot easier for me as an introvert."

mom: "what things have you most enjoyed learning about while homeschooling?"

diana: "history, for one, because it's interesting to learn about the great, bad, and ridiculous things that people have done.  writing, because i'm an author, of course.  and some kinds of math, especially algebra, because i love balance math! and that was so much fun."

mom: "what have your dad and i tried to teach you about who is in charge of your education, and what does that mean to you?"

diana: "I am in charge of my education, which means there are a few subjects that i must learn and i have a lot of choice about any other subjects that i'd like to do, such as french and piano and irish dance and geology and chemistry and a bunch of other things.  also, i am going to learn how to train rats because soon i will be getting some rats to train and i bet that will be a lot of fun!"

mom: "great.  thanks.  i think we're done here."

diana: "why don't you ask me if i like learning?"

mom: "ok, good question.  do you like learning?"

diana: "YES!  because it is useful and fun!"

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