Education Is More Than A Book.

Jacob at Full Throttle
Jacob at Full Throttle

Here is New England, it is getting close to Spring. Time to be outside where education is more than a book.

Yesterday, Jacob and I spent some time doing errands. It certainly is one of the perks of homeschooling. 

We spent time getting the car washed, visiting a furniture store to order a couch, checking out some motorcycles, and making sure mine would be ready for the road next week. 

Jacob is “all boy” when it comes to bikes and cars. (Nary a day goes by that he is not checking out the marketplace and asking me if I can “loan” him thousands of dollars for a car or bike. ? ) 

“How is that homeschooling?” 

If school was only about a subject or a “theory” I would question it myself. But, in my world, it is not.  

It is about teaching a person more than a subject. Yesterday’s trip brought us to a furniture store. The one where we ended up buying our couch. We had been there on previous trips to look, but also to measure. To teach spatial skills. (Will the leftovers fit in this container? Or in this case, will this BIG couch go through a 35” door?) Reading tapes, writing down numbers, and more. 

What about people skills? Those are important. And each and every place we visit opens the door to conversations and understanding. 

And what does a motorcycle shop have to do with school? Perhaps, it is conversations about what determines cc’s or horsepower. Or the metric system. Science and math. Okay…It was FUN, too! 

Last night we watched a TV program, and the comment came up about Nuremberg. Jacob laughed because he knew that man was talking about the desire to say, “I was told to do that.” Wrong answer! History for the win! (His favorite subject. Yesterday, we spent time studying the life of Eleanor Roosevelt and how these things work in our daily life.) 

Teaching is more than a concept. It happens everywhere. Teaching people to be curious and inquisitive. Helping them be critical thinkers, figure things out, and apply principles. 

Jacob at Paneras
Jacob at Paneras

This week, I read of schools that have only a third of their students proficient in math. (I found yet another friend who has a child who has moved to an online school.) Add in high truancies and more and I think, we need to work harder on alternatives or invest in what we have. 

Last week, I invested more time in Jacob’s schooling than in any other week. Teaching notetaking, writing, and more. Yes, it takes time, but it is worth it. (Part of the reason I do some online school coaching.) 

Algebra still has its challenges but continued meetings with his teacher and Khan Academy help! Science is about weather and systems and can be taught by looking at New England weather! ? English is about reading, writing and I am working on comprehension. (War of the Worlds right now!) Music appreciation is interesting as he is studying medieval and prehistoric music. And history is the 50s and the 60s right now. Admittedly, I was surprised that he picked Paul Revere and the Raiders and their song Kicks to write about. 

That is it for now! It is spring! 

(I would love to hear your homeschool stories!)

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