Home School vs. Home Education
When one hears the term “home school” what often comes to mind is an image of a group of children sitting around a kitchen table, workbooks open, pencils raised, with Mom at the head directing the show, in an attempt to take familiar elements from the school system and bring them into the home, and think that something unique and revolutionary is happening in education. While it may be a comforting image to some people, it is a misleading one at best.
This is not to say that this scenario never occurs, but rather that it is, or should be, the exception rather than the norm. People who have pulled their children from traditional schools, or never put them in to start with, usually do so because they know that there is something better. So if that is the case, then why imitate the system that was rejected and seen as lacking in substance or value? What is it that people are really doing when they take on the task of educating their children themselves?
The key is in the terminology and the mindset provoked by that terminology. Is the goal to have children who are “schooled” and all that that implies in terms of conditioning, mediocrity, and conformity, or is it to have children who are “educated”, who know how to think for themselves, and aren’t limited by multiple choice answers?
The goal of a good education isn’t the accumulation of sets of facts and trivia, but rather the understanding of how to learn, how to take a piece of information, analyze it, judge its value, and put it in the proper perspective. A well educated person is not easily fooled or manipulated, for he can think logically and cast a critical eye while those around are often taken in by the latest fads, trends and flavors of the day. A well educated person is never done learning because it is a way of life, and necessary for life just as eating and breathing. Too often young people who have gone through the school system seek the end of their studies, and look forward to never having to open another book, or write down their thoughts on paper, or learn about the latest scientific advancements. Why? Because they were “schooled” rather than “educated”. Because their goal was a grade on a paper, a score on a test, an acceptance letter from a selective university.
People who choose home education want more for their children, themselves and their world, and it all starts with the right terminology and mindset. If it can be imagined, then it can be done.
This blog was written by our guest blogger, Maria Ali. Maria is a veteran home educator who has successfully home educated three lovely young adults. She has been a guest speaker for various home education networks and is active participant on home education forums nationwide.