This blog serves to chronicle the joy of learning and discovery as witnessed through our two boys. My family does value a modicum of privacy so we will refer to ourselves as RocketRedNeck (dad), GranolaGirl (mom), Primo, and Secondo.
We educate our children. At home. We don’t do it for religious reasons. We tried both public and private schools, each with disastrous results for their physical and mental health (something we chronicle in a separate post, here). We do it simply because we recognize that we will really only get less than 18 years to truly know and understand our children before they run off to live their lives; and while we hope they will return to us in our waning years, we don’t want to miss these younger moments by passing them off to someone else. We do it because we want to guarantee that they will be well equipped for the world they will face.
It’s not easy, but worth every moment. Hopefully through this blog we will help others that have been thinking of doing the same.
As to the questions the inevitably arise: are we qualified? and what about socialization?
First, and foremost, you don’t need to be a brainiac to educate your children; what you do need is a desire to learn (or relearn) everything your child will learn. Simply demonstrating a love of learning, with all of the “gee whiz” excitement that it deserves, is really all that is needed. The rest will take care of itself.
However, at the risk of falling into the trap of tooting our own horns, it is necessary to fight one or two more windmills:
RocketRedNeck holds a B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences with over 24 years of experience in space launch and defense industries designing/validating launch trajectories as well as architecting weapon systems and teaching other engineers in every subject from mathematics, statics, dynamics, aerodynamics, thermodynamics, air breathing and rocket propulsion, orbital mechanics, control systems, electronics, software and process. Prior to that RocketRedNeck taught skating to both children and adults, which is how he met GranolaGirl.
GranolaGirl holds a B.A. in History (Russo-Soviet) and both an M.B.A. and a M.S. in Finance. She has been a fund accountant for a major mutual fund company and has served as the senior financial analyst for a publicly held restaurant company before deciding to quit the rat-race and volunteer her time and skills to a chapter of Habitat for Humanity, as well as coach gymnastics to children (at least until our children came along). She is the primary educator in the family (although the children do teach us a thing or two) and considers the effort the most important work she has done to date.
Why don’t we have Ph.Ds? Simply because we did not want to educate ourselves beyond the possibility of useful employment 😉
Both Primo and Secondo meet and interact with dozens of different people across a diverse group of ages almost every day during activities like soccer, baseball, gymnastics, swimming, and rock-climbing. They participate in group activities, sometimes with 100’s of other home educated children. They attend summer camps, just like many other children. Sometimes they run around like crazy boys, and other times they wrestle. They even play the occasional video game (although we do try to limit that).
What they don’t do is sit in a brick-and-mortar building for six to eight hours a day getting an average of five minutes of the teacher’s time, only to come home for another one to three hours of homework. Every moment of every day is filled with something to learn, and they don’t even realize it is happening… except maybe during some math and spelling exercises.
So join us in this journey, the joy of learning, the exploration of the unknown, from the perspective of children, and hopefully some useful insights about education at home.