Friday, July 26, 2013

Toss The Labels

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Okay so I don't generally write things like this and it may sound like a rambling rant and some may not agree with it, but I have had these thoughts in my head giggling around for some time and I need to release them. Maybe I will sleep a little better after I do.

As you know we homeschool, well I hope you do this is a homeschool blog after all. When we first began (3 years ago) I thought I HAD to put a label on our homeschool method/style. I drove myself crazy for a year trying to find where we fit in. Were we Charlotte Mason? Perhaps Montessori? What about Classical? Well I discovered we couldn't fit in just one so we became eclectic homeschoolers.

However, I then heard about unschooling. I liked what I heard and it seemed to fit our family perfectly. So I joined unschooling groups (at various places online) wanting to learn more. So year two of homeschooling I started saying we were eclectic, unschoolers, when asked about our method/style. But sadly after joining a Facebook unschooling group and communicating with other unschoolers, I was told I wasn't unschooler enough and was pushed away.

So back to square one. I was becoming frustrated trying to find where we fit in. Then I learned about a new method/style called delight-directed which is basically unschooling just not "radical"  unschooling. Yes apparently there is an unschooling sliding scale.

And then it hit me. Why on earth do I NEED to have a homeschool method/style? Why when some asks me what method/style we use, do I have to say anything other than we homeschool and my kids love learning? We are already considered weird because we homeschool. Many of us homeschool to get away from silly labels. So why do we as homeschoolers place labels ourselves?

So why this rant? Well I fear that many new homeschoolers probably struggle with the same issue I had. They may question over and over again their method/style, curriculum, etc and drive themselves crazy.  And if they are pushed out of groups (whether it be Facebook, local, etc) simply because of the method/style or curriculum choice, they may become discouraged and give up. I know I was very frustrated and sad I was pushed out of a group for not being "enough". 

So my call to action is this. We are all in this homeschooling journey together. No method/style, curriculum is right or wrong.

Home Educating for many of us is about:
  • Doing what is right for your family and being part of your child's education.
  • Providing our children with a better education than the one they would receive in traditional school.
  • Helping our children follow their passions and develop a love for learning.
  • Letting our children express and learn more about their religious beliefs freely. 
  • Keeping our children safe.
  • Preparing our children to enter the world as self sufficient, intelligent, moral adults.
All homeschoolers need to ban together. Our homeschooling rights may be at stake eventually and all homeschoolers regardless of method/style, religion and curriculum choices need to support one another. No more pushing fellow homeschoolers away!

We are now starting our third year and when asked our method/style I now reply we homeschool and love learning and exploring everyday! Lets toss the homeschool labels! I know we don't belong in one category and why should we?

After all saying we are eclectic, delight-directed, unschoolers, who do some Montessori, love unit studies, spend lots of time outdoors, embrace Charlotte Mason and Classical learning and take lots of fieldtrips is quite a mouth full to say!

I would also like to share this awesome video that my husband and I recently watched (there is some swearing in it). Jerry Michalski talks about our education system, homeschooling and unshcooling and how TRUST can change not only the education system, but everything in our world including government, finance, food and agriculture, healthcare, etc!


Sharon B said...

I think it is a natural tendency to want to label or categorize things in life. We find comfort in surrounding ourselves with others who are like us. It does present a challenge in the homeschool arena... no one category fits me as well.

Lisa Nehring said...

I see your point, Kathy. For me, having a chosen pedagogy has actually saved me money, time and effort.

Maribel said...

I see your point. I do not think we need to use labels to describe our method of teaching.

Crystal said...

I LOVE this post! I think I'd call our method the Heft method! Yes, because we are the Heft's and we will forever do things our own way!

AM said...

I agree. Even when I was teaching in the classroom, I never fit the mold. I always wanted to teach in fun ways...shocker! I knew if I was bored, then the kids had to be bored. I'm the same way with our homeschool. Learning should be fun and fit into one's family. Yes, there are less fun parts of education, and that's good for us, but as we all know, instilling that love for learning in our kids is a goal we all want to meet.

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