Thursday, November 16, 2006

Where Does Learning Take Place?

Dear Spunky,
My husband and I are new to homeschooling (we hs'd one year a few years back) and he is very supportive of this. However, we are having a little "debate" about where the learning should take place. He feels there should be one room designated for school (like we can even have that in our 1100 sq. ft. military housing!) and I know that "school" and learning should take place everywhere we go whether it be the grocery store, in the car, etc. He agrees the world is our classroom, but at the same time he says he feels certain things need to be done in a room set aside just for school. TO me that's too close to a traditional classroom setting that I want our children away from! He agrees he doesn't know much about homeschooling and he hasn't read any research, blogs, etc. I'm not saying I'm an expert by any means, but I know in my heart our children need to be able to adapt to whatever enviroment they are in and learn. They need to be able to do schoolwork if we are waiting at the doctor's office, etc. What are your thoughts?
The world is indeed our classroom, and children need to adapt to whatever environment they are in. But given that your husband is a military man, he also recognizes that there is a certain amount of discipline in education. He equates that discipline with a "classroom" setting. The two don't have to be mutually exclusive. I'd suggest you both sit down and discuss your philosophy of education and your goals. Just because your husband has not read many books or done as much research doesn't mean he doesn't know what he wants for his children or have good ideas. As you each listen to the thoughts of the other, you'll get a greater understanding of how each approaches education and a workable arrangement for your family. There is no right answer to where learning takes place in homeschooling. So debating isn't helpful. Creatively look for a solution that meets the needs and goals of your family. It may not end up being "like the books" tell you to do it, but that's okay. That's the beauty of homeschooling.

Where does learning take place in your home? Do you have a separate room or desks for each child? If you could also include your a bit of your educational philosphy (ie. unschooler, classical, etc.) that would help other readers understand the different approaches to home education and now they make it work for their family.

We have converted our living room / dining room in our home into a library. There is a table in the center, bookshelves all around, and just this year we have added a few desks for my older children. But that doesn't necessarily mean that this is the only place my children learn. As my son said once, "School is life and life is school, you never stop learning."

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