One of the things that I really love about homeschooling is that my kids (and I!) spend the majority of our time learning without the typical hierarchy of age. One important value in our family is that everyone has wisdom to share, regardless of their title or age. This isn’t something that is exclusive to homeschoolers, but I do think (hope?) that the way that our family lives helps to foster this belief.
Our area offers free hikes for anyone in the community (go socialism! :P) and it makes me smile to see that my kids enjoy it so much. Of course, this is not something restricted to homeschoolers either, but a number of the hikes are held during the school day. We usually see a lot of homeschooling families there, but there are also people from every possible age range in attendance. It is so cool to see my 8-year-old gasp along with the 80-year-olds when a spotted towhee flies overhead. It makes for an instant bond, and they go on to discuss the sounds that the towhee makes. It is beautiful and it enriches both lives for that brief moment.
I love how being around kids can encourage us to explore ideas outside of our normal scope of interest. We can learn so much from them! This week I learned that rhinos have such a strong sense of smell and such a poor sense of sight that they will charge a butterfly. Seriously… How else would I ever have learned this? It is so fun to be learning together!
On the other hand, my kids have been hearing a lot about both China during World War 2 and astronomy, since those have been my most recent topics of interest. They’ve found those things interesting when I’ve shared about them. I checked books out from the library on both subjects and we’ve been learning together during the school day.
I’m often asked how long we’ll homeschool, and I really have no idea. We decide each year whether or not everyone wants to continue forward. However, one thing that I do know is that I am so grateful for the time spent together and the things that we are able to teach one another. Every day is a gift. 🙂
Note: This article was initially written almost 2 years ago. I just found it in my drafts folder. I’m not sure why I never posted it. The picture at the top of the page is from this past weekend, when my son attended a local free event like the one from my initial post. Two years have passed, but we still love the opportunities just as much!
Great post, I feel the same way!