Saturday, June 18, 2005

What Do I Think?

by Marjorie
What do you care? I can't help but feel this post is an exercise in narcissism because it seems like we have better things to discuss here. Since I raised the issue of feeling misunderstood about my educational philosophy, perhaps its time for me to explain where I'm coming from. I come from the position that prepositions are perfectly acceptable words to end a sentence with. (Seriously, there is a great controversy on that very matter but nevermind).

I plan to homeschool my kids. My oldest just turned 5 and I'll be filing my Notice of Intent to homeschool her for kindergarten in the fall -- we didn't send her to preschool. We don't plan to send my younger dd to preschool. We're taking it year by year and we'll do what works best for our children.

There are lots of reasons why we've made this decision but the first and foremost was that we wanted freedom. We don't want to be tied down to the school day, the school year, or a curriculum that might not suit our children's needs -- whether it is too fast, too slow, or simply not interesting to them. I know the counter-arguments and we've made our choice carefully. We plan to take an interest driven, literature based, multisensory, autodidactic approach. Basically, follow our kids interests by getting lots of books and videos on subjects that interest them and by doing activities that they suggest. This is also called unschooling. So far, so good.

I was raised in the public school system and did well and enjoyed it. I think its fine and it works. I also understand why parents choose private schools and I'm especially fond of the Montessori and Waldorf philosophies.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about homeschooling is welcome to page through the archives of my other blog, unclimber; leave a comment; or e-mail me. I'd like to note that my views on education are evolving. A year ago I was quite strident (this is obvious if you read old posts on unclimber). Thank goodness I did not end up destroying my friendship with Anne over it -- though I may have annoyed her and others with my views. Anyway, thanks for sticking around.


Blogger Anne Zelenka said...

I don't think this post is narcissistic at all. It's helpful to understand other people's reasons for doing things.

I learned a ton about homeschooling and about education in general as you went through the process of deciding to commit to homeschooling. It broadened my perspective.

I think you have made a bold and exciting choice and I'm looking forward to learning more about unschooling as you and your family experience it.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Anne Zelenka said...

And about prepositions at the end of sentences: I am embarrassed that I ever made such a big deal about it. I realized it's fine, so long as the prepositions are actually needed in the sentence. My big problem has always been with sentences like "where's the book at?" You don't need the preposition at the end of that sentence. That's really what I was complaining about when I mentioned so long ago to you that a certain person bugs me when he uses such a construction. Since that time, he has stopped doing so. Anyway, I think maybe I made you feel like I was always checking your grammatical usage when I wasn't. I save that sort of critical eye for members of my household.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Marjorie said...

Prepositions at the end -- oh, I'm not bothered by your position on it. Its more a continuing source of discussion with my DH, who is really into language usage. The man asked for (and received)Garner's American Usage for his birthday -- or some title along those lines.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Anne Zelenka said...

Phew! Every time you mentioned that I feared you were thinking of me because we discussed it one time a long time ago. Didn't know your H was into grammatical usage. Interesting.

6:40 PM  
Blogger dgm said...

marjorie, i've been meaning to read your archives from the unclimber to get into the unschooling stuff. it's something we've also considered for our kids. while my almost 7 y.o. is in a small private school that provides a good match for her, we may end up homeschooling her later (since options around here are limited in the middle and high school years). as for the 2 y.o., it is too soon to tell which kind of learning environment he is most likely to thrive in.

our goal for both kids is to find a place that will continue to both keep them challenged and keep them excited about learning. we don't worry about which college they'll go to or whether the ivy leagues will accept them. i think it's more important that they want to discover and learn new things during the course of their lives. there's so much out there to learn, even for us adults.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Marjorie said...

a word of warning about unclimber archives -- I was quite strident in my homeschooling views, to the exclusion of other educational options -- please take with a grain of salt. The comments are interesting as Anne attempts to soften my stance -- it eventually worked, but you won't see that in my early hsing posts!

One of my more informative posts was

11:18 AM  

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