Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Have No Idea What I'm Doing (But That's OK)

It seems I can never just be settled with the way we are homeschooling. I'm not unhappy with the way things are going at all. I just wonder if I'm really doing things the best way. There are always ideas out there to be discovered that could be really helpful. So to throw more ideas on to the pile, today I discovered Project-Based Homeschooling at Camp Creek Blog. It sounds a lot like unschooling to me. I used to think unschooling was a joke (sorry) before I knew anything about it, but it's looking more and more appealing all the time. Intriguing, at least. I started out homeschooling with the intention of learning being enjoyable, with the idea that children should have the freedom to explore their own interests, that my kids would not sit in a desk and be bored, that they would not waste years of their life sitting in an intellectual desert having useless information flung at their tender little heads. I still have the same intentions, but there are so many things I want them to learn, so many things that interest me, that I wonder if I'm actually allowing things to work out as I originally intended or if I'm recreating the educational prison in a different setting.
"All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education."
- Walter Scott (1771-1832)
An excellent, though-provoking quote, but the question for me is how to go about it all. Give the kids free reign? Work with them on deciding what will be studied and how it will be studied? Lay out the path myself and just make sure they have fun along the way?
Today's post at Camp Creek Blog ends with this:
"What are you doing? And why?
Your goals and resolutions are the what. Your values are the why."
The why is easy. I know what my values are, and I know why we are homeschooling.
But figuring out the best way to instill those values and accomplish the goals is the hard part.
There is a really good video posted at Living Our Own Lives about homeschooling and the hows and the whys. The part about the little boy learning to read because of some frogs brought tears to my eyes. Shouldn't a kid learn to read because something has ignited his interest? Or does that just work with some kids? I guess that's the question for me. Am I doing what's best for my kids? Can more freedom result in more learning for my kids? Am I going to continue doing things the way we've been doing them, or will we do something totally different?

I have no idea.

But I'll tell you what I do know. My God is in control of everything, and if I seek Him and do the best I can, trusting in Him, He will take care of my kids. Their education, their futures, their relationships, their lives. What more can I do but trust in Him?

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. "
Proverbs 3:5,6


  1. I can't think of a better verse that is more fitting. WE all have those kinds of struggles- there are so many different ways, methods, always new ideas that sound so good. It feels overwhelming but there comes a time when we have to settle on doing the best we can with the wisdom we have and let God take care of the rest. (Thanks again for showing me how to do the collages, it was so much easier, my mom will be so happy to see so many pictures)

  2. i think project-based homeschooling can be a way of unschooling -- it is a way to support your children while they direct and manage their own learning. i would advocate that *all* children need this opportunity, no matter what their homeschooling looks like. it can be the entire picture, or it can be just part of the picture -- but i think it is an absolute necessity. :^)

    it is a challenge to homeschool & figure out what we're doing as we go along .. but i think it sets a great example for our children. it's a chance to demonstrate all those important life skills and habits of mind -- persistence, resilience, researching, weighing options, admitting mistakes, looking for better solutions...

    it's a good journey!

  3. I am right there with you, Sarah! Very, very similar thoughts have been swirling through my mind--making me dizzy. I can't imagine trying to do this without Him. :)

  4. What I've learned in 9 years of homeschooling is that *I* am the one getting an education! Oh yes, my children are constantly learning, don't get me wrong, but the longer we do this, the more questions I ask, the more I research and read and examine. . .yes, I truly am the one being educated. And isn't that what it's about? Being a life-long learner--learning how to learn and loving to learn. It's the questioning that brings about our growth, so question one!! :D

  5. Trust. In ALL things. That's a tough one.

    For what it's worth, I think you're doing a great job. You inspire me - and if you can do that over some fiber-optic lines, just imagine what impact you're having on your kids... :)


  6. We do a mixture of unschooling and Charlotte do not have to choose one thing. You can mix it up. It is up to you and your family's needs.

  7. You know, I really love reading your blog, looking at the beautiful pictures of your family life. But most of all I like the way you express your thoughts, your questions. I can learn a lot doing the same questions to myselfe! Thank you!
    If you like it, there is a little award for you on my blog.
    Have a great week.

  8. How very true that we should trust that the Lord will make it all work out. If at the very least your children learn how to be godly, loving, responsible people who love and serve the Lord, what more could you ask?