Why Should We Homeschool?- Part 8- Learning from Life

learning from life
Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s pretty fortuitous that I’m sitting here writing about learning from life when that’s exactly what I’ve been doing here for the past hour. My laptop hasn’t been cooperating today, and my tech repairman (my son) isn’t home, so this computer-illiterate gal has been trying to figure things out herself. I may not have fixed it, but I’m here, and I’m writing this post, so I must have done something right. 🙂

And isn’t that just how things work for us? When we’re in a bind and don’t have anyone else to rely on, we do a little research, get a little dirty, and figure things out for ourselves. That’s the way it’s always been, hasn’t it? Looking back throughout history, this method has gotten us pretty far. So why do we insist upon changing something that comes naturally?

Since compulsory education was instituted about 150 years ago, textbooks have become the go-to method for learning. I can understand the need for them in schools with hundreds of students. They’re the cheapest and most efficient way to teach, but anyone with any experience with public education can tell you that they don’t really accomplish what they’re meant to.

We, as humans, have been created to explore the world by living in it. Homeschooling affords us seemingly endless amounts of time to do just that.

Children at home have the opportunity of seeing how the real world actually operates. They’re beside us in our day-to-day housekeeping tasks- helping with younger siblings and doing cooking, cleaning, and budgeting. They’re at the grocery store with us helping us find which can of pineapples has the least expensive unit price. They follow us to the car lot as we deal with a salesman who is asking a price that’s a little too steep.

Not only do they gain actual life experience in real living situations, but they have ample time to explore things that interest them, or that they find necessary. How many people are in the world today doing jobs that they hate because they didn’t have the freedom to pursue their own dreams as a child? Without the time to chase after their hopes and dreams, people tend to give up on them. It’s hard to stay focused on something you’re never able to actually put any time into.

And, yes, I do assign some value to book learning. I love books. I love to read. I love to learn. But…how important is it that I know that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 14 hundred and 92? Has it gotten me anywhere in life? Did it enable me to do something I otherwise would not have been able to? I’d wager the same goes for most things learned in school.

Have you ever needed to do a geometry proof while tiling your kitchen?

How many times has your boss quizzed you on the state capitals?

Were you ever turned down for a job because you didn’t learn how to read until you were 8?

Did your child fail to learn to talk because you never explained what a gerund is to her?

Of course not. So while academic knowledge can be a great thing, it’s not the most important thing to attain. The most important thing is to learn how to live.

And I’ll give you one guess to figure out how that can be accomplished.

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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

21 thoughts on “Why Should We Homeschool?- Part 8- Learning from Life”

  1. Logically sound, Shelly. Your kids are blessed beyond measure to learn at home. I like it that when I have been under the weather, my kids just seamlessly take over the house, without me spelling it all out and who does what. Our kids not only know how to do the many things in life, but they get pretty good at it, too. (And it is so fun!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You sound like you have some pretty awesome kids (who have a pretty awesome mom!). There are far too many kids graduating from high school without knowing the basics of day-to-day living. I can’t believe this issue hasn’t been addressed with schools- at least, not that I’ve heard of.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I think the focus in schools has to be academia because it really isn’t working. To take time to teach real life would cut their standardized testing scores even more. I am so grateful to God that we are living in a time where we can homeschool our children and prepare them for life.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. We are raising a handful of special needs kids and I have seen the rewards of real life learning. They get so much more from experiences. I always enjoy you educational posts.
    Blessings, Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is just so much common sense, but why is it so hard to lose sight of it, even as a homeschooler who believes it wholeheartedly??! Thanks for the reminder today! Thanks for sharing this post at my Lifelong Learners Link-Up Party at DesperateHomeschoolers.com!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you that we can explore this world by just living in it. That is a real exploration. We are a homeschooling family as well. I can understand that we won’t have enough time to do real life learning when children were at school. Education is not only about the academic life, but it should be about real life learning. Thank you for sharing at Family Fun Friday

    Liked by 1 person

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