Friday, October 31, 2014

Homeschool Teachers Can Learn from Public School Teacher

In one day, I read two articles on children's education, each from a different life experience but both pointing together to some great lessons.

One article, "Teacher Spends Two Days as a Student and Is Shocked at What She Learns", describes what a veteran teacher experienced as a student and how she wished she could radically change the way she had always run her classroom.

"From a Homeschool Victim Who Obviously Survived" is a humorous piece illuminating the benefits of home education. (While I think sarcasm is 'the weapon of the weak,' and not a proper Christian response, I think that this piece moves more into mockery, which is a tried-and-true literary device instead of mean sarcasm. I hope I'm right about this.)

When I read the teacher's piece, I noted that all of her suggestions for changing the classroom are things that happen naturally in most home schools.

  • Mandatory physical stretching and moving all day during class.
  • Offer short lessons, limit how long the teacher lessons, encourage much conversation, and make sure the children understand before moving on to the next lesson.
  • Use the deep patience of a parent, not just a teacher, and avoid sarcasm.
  • Encourage free asking of questions.
We do "Outdoor School" when the weather is lovely: I set up books in the sun room and call in one child at a time for one lesson, then send the child back out to play and call in the other child, back and forth.

Creativity: The 7-year-old learned how to make a bow, so made them for his sisters too and now they all stand out there shooting arrows.

In the article written by an accomplished, poised 23-year-old graduate of home education, she lists all the beneficial practices of home schooling:

  • She learned around the clock instead of during a defined time.
  • She spent much time outdoors.
  • She socialized with all ages and types of people.
  • Her parent customized her education to her, such as requiring her shy daughter to take public speaking.
  • She was not allowed to seclude into an isolated teenage experience.
  • She developed a few deep but true friendships instead of claiming many shallow relationships under the name of friendship.
  • She had to do chores from the age of knee-high and then work actual jobs in the family business.

The two articles in tandem offer us food for thought about home education, considering its strengths and encouraging us as parent-teachers!

Love note left for me to find
Bonus Reading on a related topic: "Homeschooling with the Seasons of Life"


  1. Umm, you may want to be sure no one is standing behind Margaret when she lets her arrow go (I guess that is sarcasm. Sorry)

  2. Grampa Neil: I hear you! Margaret and I have had many disagreements about whether her arrow is backwards. So far, she's not believing me.