Heather's Homeschooling Page

Welcome.

Our wonderful adventure in homeschooling began four years ago when our oldest daughter was not quite 5. At the beginning, I was unsure of the process of homeschooling and of my ability to handle my children's education. I read extensively about learning, about formal education, and about the business of raising happy, healthy, productive human beings. I talked to homeschooling parents and children, both online and in real life. Slowly, bit by bit, I constructed a homeschooling philosophy of my own.

Throughout this process, my biggest teachers have been my children: Morganne, Matisse, and Malcolm. Their realities provide a constant check on my abstract philosophy, a nailing down of my idealism to the concrete business of parenting.

In our lives as homeschoolers, the home-ed mailing list has been a constant source of inspiration and support. I've been active on the home-ed list since early 1993. I've collected some of my favorite posts to the home-ed list here. These posts cover a lot of territory - from anecdotes about our homeschooling experiences to basic educational philosophy to approaches to individual topics of study. I've tried to categorize the posts, but, like learning itself, some of them fall neatly into categories and others don't.

About Homeschooling

This section explores the broader issues of homeschooling, my homeschooling philosophy and our family experience as homeschoolers. In this section, you'll find essays on unschooling, socialization, and family-based living. You'll also find our reasons for homeschooling and some discussion of learning and what it means.

Deciding to Homeschool

Why does a family decide to take the plunge into homeschooling? Here are some of our reasons for choosing family-based education for our children.

Family-Based Living

Homeschooling is just one facet of our lifestyle. We live and work at home, among our family members. Homeschooling is just one thread in the family life we're weaving. Here I try to present a view of the rest of the cloth, with the homeschooling thread woven in.

Socialization

Is socialization a great problem for homeschooling youngsters or is it a good reason to keep children out of public schools? Here I explore the term socialization and think my way through the social education of my children.

Philosophy of Homeschooling

Ack! A meta-discussion! Run for your lives!

One of the things that I like about homeschooling is that I get to learn a lot, right along with my children. Here I'm learning about learning and learning about helping someone else learn.

Unschooling

Unschooling, also called child-led or interest-initiated learning, is a form of homeschooling where the children decide the pace and topics of their explorations. It works for us. Here I try to convince other people that my poor, unschooled children can, in fact, learn to read, write, and figure.

About Specific Subjects

I no longer believe in separating out academic subjects, so why do I give them the importance that they have here?

Read further for a wider-angled view of the standard academic subjects.

Art and Music

"If music is the food of love, play on." (from Twelfth Night by a certain Mr. Shakespeare).

We need to feed our souls as well as our minds.

Language Arts

Communication is one of the true joys of human existence. Watching a child learn to read and write is one of the wonders of parenting, right up with watching them learn to walk and talk.

Math

Math is another one of the true joys of human existence, but many people have been brainwashed (mostly by public school teachers) to believe that math is dumb and boring. Here I discuss ways to restore your and your child's natural love of mathematics.

P.E.

No one worries about homeschooling children getting enough P.E.

Science

Learning about the world around us is the ultimate adventure.

Social Studies

The only way to destroy history is to use a text book. The drama, the excitement, the wealth of ideas in human history are all open to the child who wants to explore.

Copyright © 1994-7 by Heather Madrone. All rights reserved.