Be a Student in the Classroom of Life
Three of our 10 children have graduated high school through home instruction. Six more to go. (The eldest went to outside school, but is now married and home-schools her own children.) I could do a month-long series on the countless blessings that I (personally) and my family (as a whole) have received through homeschooling.
Above and beyond all else, one of the benefits/blessings/perks/advantages/(insert other positive adjectives) of a homeschooling lifestyle is that it allows each and every person in the household to become a student in the Classroom of Life.
I believe that God created us to know, love and serve Him so that we can be reasonably happy in this world, and supremely and eternally happy with Him, in the next. In order to know, love and serve Him well, we must learn. Life is a learning experience. I am continually astounded by how many people I meet who have a rather lethargic attitude toward learning. They approach the idea as though it is an item on the far back burner of a global checklist, delegated to a scheduled time, in an outside place, under the supervision and responsibility of others. In short, they have a “that’s what school is for” attitude, as though when “school” is not in session, learning may cease.
The homeschooling environment is naturally inclined toward perpetual learning. I would say that a main goal of many homeschooling families is to inculcate a true love of learning, then provide tools and resources to teach kids “how” to learn. Once a person knows how to learn and is encouraged to joyfully embrace the process, life itself opens up into a seamless classroom where every experience becomes an opportunity for more learning!
Although, books that suggest “all you need to know by age-whatever” may contain some practical tips, ideas and observations, they also risk greatly limiting one’s learning experiences. Learning has so much more to do with living than mere academics! While our nation’s illustrious universities and colleges provide wonderful services for students all over the world (and those who achieve their post secondary academic goals are to be commended) I cringe when someone insinuates that a college degree is necessary to be successful in life. My Italian-born grandfather, who died at the age of 106, was one of the wisest, most successful men I have ever known and his education in a brick and mortar school ended in the fourth grade. That did not stop him from learning! He was an avid reader, thinker, worker and doer. He could hold his own in a conversation about American history (as a naturalized citizen) with anyone who held an academic degree.
Fun, easy, inexpensive learning experiences:
*Take a nature walk, snap a photo of a plant/flower/animal that is new to you, then use library/computer resources to identify and learn about it
*Invite friends/neighbors of varying age groups for an evening of socializing, with each one sharing interesting trivia/facts/experiences from his/her own era
*Try your hand at something you’ve never done (gourmet cooking, sewing, sketching, building, poetry, gardening, etc…
*Get a book on constellations out of the library, then enjoy a star-gazing night in your own backyard
*Take a free online class on classical music or, the Great Masters of Art
Thinking, dreaming, interacting with others, studying, praying, doing, going, being…these are pages in the textbook of life! Everyday brings new opportunities for learning; therefore, learn something new every day!
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.