Tuesday, August 20, 2013
I would be lying if I said I knew I wanted to homeschool the minute I held my daughter in my arms almost 12 years ago. How we came to this decision is a long story for another time.
As I did my research (have I mention how much I research stuff?), the more it seemed homeschool kids simply love to learn. That's not to say that children who attend regular school don't, I guess what I'm trying to say is there are more opportunities for homeschool kids to explore a topic they are interested in, research it, enjoy it. Again, not bashing schools or teachers. I attended private school, public school and I loved to learn and still do.
It is hard to explain what I mean when I say I want my kids to have a love of learning. As I was driving home the other day, a memory came to mind of my 6th grade science class. Yes, I can remember that far back. It was almost *gasp* 30 years ago but I still remember it. I think that memory summarizes what I wish all children, not just mine, would get to experience in a school setting.
My 6th grade teacher's name was Carmen de Esquivel. How impressed are you that I remember her full name? I surprise myself sometimes. She had a reputation for being very strict, so going into her class I had some apprehension. I remember our lesson on cloud formation, which was part of the whole unit about the water cycle. My science book had this pretty picture that depicted all these different shaped clouds, and the name scientists gave those clouds. We sat in the classroom and listened to the lesson, and tried not to stare out the window into the big blue sky.
Until Ms. Esquivel told us to line up by the door; and guide us outside. Into the playground area. And told us to look up at the clouds. If I close my eyes, I can still feel the sun on my skin, and the wind on my hair as I stood there looking at the clouds on the beautiful blue sky. She asked us the names for the different shaped clouds, and share some more information while we were seating outside on that playground.
I have never looked at the sky in the same way again. I'm sure that's not the only lesson that took place outside but that's the one I remember when I think about my love of learning. I want that for my kids. I want them to never look at anything the same way again. I want that one lesson to spark their curiosity and make them thirst for knowledge.
So yes, homeschooling affords me that opportunity. They can spend time learning about volcanoes, or Egyptians mummies; passed the allotted time they would have at school.
I know there are more teachers out there like Ms. Esquivel who try to spark that love of learning in the kids they teach. I'm thankful for her and for them.