Releasing my students into summer happened a couple of weeks ago (huzzah!). Seeing the room without 34 desks, chairs, and students made it feel huge. On my last day at school, I took time to just sit and my desk and write out that list of suggested books for the summer (see: Young Adult Fiction to Read This Summer)
Homeschooling’s Black, White, and Gray Series 1 Episode 4
At age 29 I learned what I missed by not going to preschool. As a
preschool aide for a year in a Catholic school, I learned how certain kids howl, run away from teachers, and scream as they start the separation process from Mommy. The first few hours of preschool sounded like school was a very sad place. (Starting preschool looks like it can be a traumatic process for some children.) One little boy and I became quite close because he had not started learning to obey when an adult instructed him to do something, so he received many time outs where he had to be watched to stay in his chair to learn from his consequences. If my parents had taken me to preschool, I might have been in a chair next to him…maybe…We both really liked our own way.
My Mom chose to homeschool me, so I did not attend regular preschool.
My “preschool” consisted of cooking play dough and making things, learning my letters through songs, learning to make friends with kids at church, and living life with Mom, Dad, and my siblings.
I remember playing with my friends and siblings when I was three or
four, but I do not remember my first day of school. Probably, it was a
normal day of playing and learning a little more about math at home.
We do have a photo from our first day of school, which I don’t remember, but it looks like a fun day! Our school’s name was Campbell Christian Academy, and we might have started earlier, but the day of this school picture was September 9th, 1986. I was four, my younger sister was almost three, and my older brother was seven.
From looking at the photo, here’s what might have been happening:
Mom is talking to us–saying, “Hold up the sign!” I’m holding the sign AND something I created–it looks like a toilet tube wrapped in yarn (perhaps my own personal telephone?!) My sister is just content to be on my Mom’s lap, and my brother seems to be enjoying waving the flag!
What I do remember from the early days of our homeschool are memories of saying the pledge to the flag of the United States of America, and we had a time of learning together. Especially when we were little the puppet shows Mom did for us to help us memorize passages from the Bible were my favorite. Mom is great at making different voices, so she had puppets or characters in stories she read to us sound different. Mom let her creative juices flow through having lots of stories be part of our homeschool.
I still have a love for stories, and I’m enjoying sharing my stories with you. It’s okay that I don’t remember my first day of school because it wasn’t a jarring experience. School just flowed out of already learning things at home. I’m thankful for how my parents chose to give me a more gentle start to my education through teaching me at home.
By M. H. Campbell Copyright 2014
Home Schooling’s Black, White, and Gray Series 1, Episode 3
By M. H. Campbell Copyright 2014
Here’s an interesting guest post on the topic of homeschooling:
Hi, I am the Momma from “A Momma’s View” (https://amommasview.wordpress.com/ ) and I am a homeschooling mom. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is not. But what I learned from this experience is, that life in itself is all about learning and gaining Knowledge. The world is nothing more than an oversized classroom.
First I was hesitating when my husband mentioned that he wants to home-school our son. Of course I had all kind of questions (not to say worries). What about socialization, what about isolation, what about teaching them the right things? Will we be able to handle it? Will we teach him right?
Home Schooling’s Black, White, and Gray: A Series on Home Schooling and Life-Long Learners Series I Episode II
Home school parents are a unique breed; they are similar to people who choose to be missionaries. It’s a strength of will, a vision for their children and the people they desire to influence; it’s a pioneer spirit.
The pioneer mindset means that these people are willing to start something new and blaze a trail across the plains where no one has gone before. It takes guts to start something new, to start a whole school system that educates children for life! From growing up in a home schooled family, and from other observations, many home school parents don’t have a huge strategy for education with benchmarks, objectives, and goals. (Having all this structure is an advantage of public and other established schools.) What home schools do have are parents who desire to deeply influence their children’s beliefs, passions, and hopes, and by teaching the kids at home, the parents have that chance.
People may say to these parents, “Doesn’t it seem a bit presumptuous to assume you know what your child needs to know to succeed in life?” Well, a parent WOULD (or at least should) know the most about that child and what is best for them, right? Yes, having other adults positively influencing their children is important, but if the parents are healthy, wise adults, they can teach their children much of what is needed to live a successful life.
Sceptics may think: Aren’t these parents arrogant in going against the established school systems and starting their own educational institution? Well, WHO started all those established schools? Schools are started by people with vision, strength, and a desire to mold children into who they are created to be. Home school parents have that same vision as the famous educational leaders, such as John Dewey, of imprinting beliefs and molding the hearts and lives of children. Home school parents are reformers who start the reforming in their own families; they desire change and influence and invest in the humans they are supposed to invest in the most: their children.
I had the advantage of being home schooled from Kindergarten through high school, and then I’ve been trained as a certified secondary English teacher and have worked in public and private schools for the last six years. I see the advantages and disadvantages of home schooling and traditional schooling; throughout this series I will be talking about both.
I received an adequate home school education from two pioneers: Anne and Rick Campbell. Recently I interviewed my parents to hear again why they chose to home school their four children. When asked, “Why did you home school your children?” my Mom answered: “We learned about the idea from Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family. And then God told us to do it, so we did.”
My Dad’s answer to “Why did you home school your children?” was: “Because educators were withdrawing prayer and the Bible from public schools. It was important in my life, and I wanted it to be important in your life.” I had thought it was because they wanted to teach us the Bible as part of our education, and that was part of their reason (and out in the country there were no private schools nearby). I love the Bible, so my parents accomplished their main goal of Campbell Christian Academy.
Home school families are pioneers, especially back in the 1980s when home schooling was less common. I am glad my parents chose to home school me; my up-bringing had more of a pioneer-flavor than most with living on a farm with sheep to care for and vegetables to raise, but that’s another story for another time.
If you are on the fence about if you should home school your children, ask yourself, “What vision do I have for my children? Will teaching them at home help bring about that vision?” Only you know the answer, but if you have the guts to grab your straw hat and shot gun and head off toward the west, you are probably one of those gutsy pioneers that will greatly influence the world.
By M. H. Campbell Copyright 2014
Home Schooling’s Black, White, and Gray: A Series on Home Schooling and Life-Long Learners
Series 1 Episode 1
Most junior high girls like to giggle about boys and lay out at a pool party, but not me. I didn’t know what it felt like to have crush until I was fifteen, and I wasn’t crazy about being in a bathing suit. At one pool party I attended in junior high, I splashed with the girls for a while, but then picked strawberries for an hour because the hostess offered strawberries to anyone who wanted to pick them. I baked some amazing fresh strawberry pie with those berries. I treasure the freedom and creativity being home schooled gave me, but it did not make me normal. But why should I be normal?!
Home schooling has a lot of white, but there is black as well, and some gray. Through this series of blog posts, I will be looking at the mediocre, the ugly, and the beautiful parts of home schooling. I do not mean to step on anybody’s toes, but I need to be honest and truthful. Being lovingly honest can bring healthy change; I desire to bring life through my writing.
Educating humans to be what they were created to be is a life passion of mine. I believe in giving students the freedom and structure needed to develop into healthy, robust, loving adults who will do more in the world than I ever will! Home schooling is one method of doing this, but it may not be the best pathway for all children; that is up to the parents and children to explore. However, home schooling molds students into people who may be more in-tune and willing to stand up for their uniqueness in this world full of cliques and conformity.
After attending traditional college, I came home and went through a time of evaluation and sadness. I let myself admit that being home schooled wasn’t perfect; I admitted that there were some dark-sides to home schooling. Since then I’ve worked through most of the anger I had once I realized some of the unhealthy parts of home schooling and have come into a time of acceptance and challenge.
Recently one morning while walking down a gravel road in Lincoln Marsh, it hit me: I CAN graciously critique home schooling, but I must begin with a confession of forgiveness and of thankfulness.
I forgive my parents for the gaps I had in my education; they did the best they could with the resources they had. No school is perfect. Period. Even home schools. I am so thankful for the faith and freedom they instilled in me. I learned how to learn, so I get to fill in those gaps now!
I thank my parents for sacrificing so much time and energy to pour into me and my siblings. My Mom has a Masters of Education and a Masters of Divinity, so she WAS qualified to home school me and my siblings. She could have done many other activities, but she desired to have the Bible be central to our education, so that’s what she did. I thank my grandparents for funding many textbook purchases and encouraging us in whatever creative project we were working on when they stopped by, be it comic books or silly children’s stories.
Thankful is where I am at in regarding my upbringing. Thankful for so much individualized love and nurture that my parents poured onto me. Thank you, Mom and Dad.
Copyright 2014 By M. H. Campbell