I get a lot of questions about our homeschooling since we obviously don't fit the typical mold that seems rather entrenched in the nations mind when it comes to homeschoolers. No denim jumper, no little white tennis shoes and no Bob Jones workbooks. Perhaps you could say that we are Free-Range homeschoolers in that we pick and choose what we like from all the world has to offer. Our end goal is that the children not only take in the facts but that they learn HOW to think and how to listen on a deep level that helps them sort truth from bias and fiction. This does not mean that we don't use books since we do but we also view each action we take and each encounter we make as a learning opportunity.
Tonight as we were in the car we listened to a new book on tape.. The Alchemist's Daughter (a work of fiction) which centers on a character named Emilie and her life during the time of Sir Isac Newton. She is the daughter of a renowned alchemist so there is lots of talk of early ( very early) science and all of the crazy thoughts that go with it. Lots of famous names are bandied about and we stop the CD often to remind ourselves who those people are and we talk about the science they are trying to do and the boys point out where they are wrong and talk about and compare this to currently known science.
The questions and comments were fast and furious as we raked through our memories for bits and pieces of fact that completed what we were listening too. We have even gone so far as to keep a pad and pencil in the car to write down questions that we need to explore further. Same thing with our daily listen to NPR
and our look through the newspaper.
These interactions and explorations are key to the way we homeschool and what makes it such an enriching and positive lifestyle. When you break down the barriers and no longer think of education as something that can only happen in a school wonderful things can take place.