We were made to work. We all know this because we have all experienced the satisfaction of a job well done. I remember years ago I needed to replace a fence in my backyard. I spent several weekends tearing it down and rebuilding it one section at a time. The last day of the project was a long day as I really wanted to get the job done. Just before the sun went down, I drove in the last nail.
As I scanned the length of the new fence, I felt exhausted, but was proud of the job I had done. The fence was straight and new and looked great. Best of all, the dogs couldn't get out and visit the neighbor's yard anymore. The next afternoon, I pulled up a chair on the patio, aimed it toward the fence, took a seat, and stared at my handiwork. It felt good to be done and it was satisfying to stare at the finished product.
Even though building a new fence is hard work, I enjoyed it. I've been thinking a lot lately about the fact that the the love of working is just as important as the love of learning. What good is a love of learning if we don't have the passion to make good use of that learning? Work can come in many forms. It may be working on a hobby or a household project. It may be an actual occupation that results in income. Regardless of the form of work, there is satisfaction when we perform a task well.
A strong work ethic is one of the most valuable things a parent can pass along to a child. Instilling a love of learning in your child is tremendously valuable, but the value of instilling a love of working cannot be overlooked. After all, when a child loves to learn, teaching is easy and when a child loves to work, living is easy.
When seasoned public school teachers talk about standards, they are typically talking about the backbone of their educational philosophy. When homeschool parents talk about standards, they are typically referring a serious weakness in our educational system. The two sides view the same topic from opposite perspectives, and thus, have entirely different opinions.
For parents considering homeschooling, consider this perspective. Proponents of standards, whether state-specific or the dreaded Common Core, see this idea as a critical component of creating a fair and thorough education system. While there are some useful skills listed in the various standards, it is important to keep in mind that these lists are one way that some people think education should work. This is great in a perfect world where all children enter the factory with the same raw materials and come out as the same finished product, but unfortunately, kids can't be produced in a factory because the raw materials are just too diverse. As a result, each child needs to be viewed a hand-carved original.
The best environment for creating hand-carved originals is in a small workshop. For the homeschool family, this workshop can often be found on the couch or at the kitchen table. For others it's in the back yard or exploring nature. Homeschool workshops are mobile. They may be at a co-op class one day and on a field trip the next. The possibilities are endless.
If you're exploring homeschooling and want more information, I'd love to talk to you about it and help you design your workshop. Feel free to comment or email me at lovinglearninginfo@gmail. com.