5 Things I Love About Home Education



Tomato towers

1. Well, you get to stay home. (In between shuttling kids to violin, piano, Tuesday arts & sciences club, 2-day enrichment program at a sustainable farm, and the occasional play date).

2. There's plenty of time for talk. Okay, so sometimes the talk is in the car. Which is technically car education. But who can resist conversations like this one yesterday... "Mommy, what does 'insubordination' mean?" [Mommy pauses to try to think of an example that doesn't involve particular child asking particular question].

"Um, it means rebelling against someone in authority. You could figure it from the Latin, right? In means not. What does sub mean?"

Littlest Child pipes up, "Under!!" Mommy swells with pride (these kids may just do well on the SAT someday) and replies, "Okay, so altogether it means someone who can't put herself under someone else."

Eldest Child summarizes, "It means not following orders. That's what they did in the chapter I was reading, called 'Insubordination.' They didn't follow orders and it saved everyone's life."

Huge Philosophical Conversation ensues along the lines of pros-and-cons-of-civil-disobedience.

3. Kids go to the grocery store with Mommy. They learn how to find a ripe avocado, why mental math is important when trying to evaluate toilet paper options, how to find fair trade chocolate even when it doesn't say "fair trade" all over the wrapper, how to pay for vanilla yogurt and figure change, and (most important) they develop surreptitious ways to consume multiple servings of the best free food samples in the store (that's only insubordination if Mommy catches them and tells them to stop and they do it anyway).

4. Kids cook dinner (and set the table with... seashells... and other creative things). They have time for this because they already did their homework (Education happens all day at home, right? So it's all been homework.) Last night they made eggplant and tomato towers, white bean salad, and chocolate/vanilla meringue swirls with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. Mommy heated up leftover penne and did a lot of dishes (it takes time for kids to learn how to manage the cooking process, but we're on it.)

5. Kids have time to play. Especially outdoors. If you've ever read Last Child in the Woods, you know why this is good for their brains, their happy-factors, and Mommy's ultimate sanity. (See, Mommy gets to model it as well as reap the benefits of happy kids.)

As a former public school teacher, I wish I could home educate other kids too. But that would be neighbor education.

Photos and table setting by Sonia. Used with permission.



Blogger Sarah said...

It's lists like this that make me wonder if I should consider homeschool, you know, for those someday kids of mine.

Incidentally, how DO you find fair trade chocolate if it doesn't say "Fair Trade" all over the wrapper? (I was public schooled...)

2:01 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Sarah, you make me laugh! There's a little certification symbol that can be found on the back of some wrappers. I was public-schooled too, so... :) As far as home educating one's children, there are many good reasons to do so. It's not perfect of course, but I do see the difference, having had the opportunity to teach on both sides of the fence. And I'm happy that I have this privilege.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...


You wouldn't imagine how hard it is to find a picture of that symbol using Google...though I finally did.

I'm always afraid that, if I choose to homeschool kids, I'll end up whining, "But what about meeeeee? Where's MY time?" Of course, I could put off the decision until I actually have to make it...

2:35 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, of course I whine on a regular basis! It comes with the territory. (I try to keep the whines mostly internal, but sometimes they need to be expressed, in order to secure needed changes.) Sure, put off the decision. That could work. :)

2:39 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I especially love the full pink bloom attached to the pitcher handle; whereupon those seeking to quench their physical thirst will also be arrested, reminded, and provided for that deep-seated thirst for beauty.

(Which is my overly-poetic, cheerleading homeschool mom way of spotting another of the joys of being together and learning at home. That pink flower is like a message from your kids saying, "Life is beautiful. And we like living it.")

So many children (and adults) can miss out on that blessed perspective.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Abbi said...

I like your "5 Things" and I agree. I am truly enjoying that journey too.

11:04 PM  
Blogger deb said...

Wow , this struck home! My cellphone currently has a picture of the plated dinner one sister made and set for another. They are teens, but show love in these ways.
While I didn't homeschool, their JK and SK days were only half , and I passionately clung to the early years as a unique and invaluable mothering time. We read, coloured, crafted, gardened, explored the outdoors, visited local landmarks and went to the library regularly.
I tried to foster their independence alongside messages of morality and heartwarming memories of family and togetherness , cuddling, singing , wherever the grace lead. I was blessed to do this financially , but made many sacrifices to stay true to this mission. Hand-me-downs and homemade etc. I babysat other children on rotating schedules to gain a little extra cash and enrich our children's lives with lessons of sharing and caring.
I wouldn't do any of it differently if given a second chance, with the exception of enjoying it more. Many of their teachers and friends' parents have told me that my children were and are different somehow, in good ways, :), and with a little pride only , know that it was natural and right.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Joelle said...

Okay, L.L. I've got my bags packed. The ticket bought. I'm on my way. Surely you need a live-in teacher's aide or at least someone to help with the dishes until that lesson is learned. Pick me up at the airport?! :) Hope the girls have a similarly beautiful, luscious looking feast ready. I'm starved!

6:23 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

how fun. i love your "light" take on home education--it's the things I love, too. I love how you condensed it so well to "five things". you are a great mama. =) your children are blessed to have you.

9:33 PM  

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