More Decisions – Why? Choices (Part 9)

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I met my wife a half century ago.  That day changed my life forever.  What did I see?  What caught my attention?  What was it that made me say this is the girl for me?  We were both swept off our feet and for good reason.  It did not take long before we started planning our future lives together.  The rest, they say, is history.

I have been the most blessed and happy husband possible, yet I would not be telling the truth if I told you our lengthy relationship was without challenges.  I do not know where or why I discovered this, but I had a way of helping my wife and myself come back to reality and move on amicably to our next venture or adventure whenever we had a marital hiccup.
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More Decisions – Where? Choices (Part 8)

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Where to home educate is quite likely answered with a “duh”, but allow me to expand a bit.

The simple answer is home education takes place at home as opposed to at school.  However, while it may be easy to describe a school setting, home is a bit more difficult to pin down.

It is said that home is where the heart is.  Somehow, I suspect this includes more than a building where meals are most often served.  We are all acquainted with the comfort of being home.  I still remember hearing an older man stating that home is where you can scratch what itches when it does.  I like that.  Let’s face it, we are most free at home.  We do things there that we would never consider doing publicly.  Thankfully!
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More Decisions – When? Choices (Part 7)

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When should we do “school”?  This could be the shortest blog in history!

Follow a schedule that works for your family.  Amen.

We have seen everything from rigid schedules that start precisely at 9:00 AM (not 9:05) and go until 12:00 PM (not 11:50) with a fifteen minute break to virtually no schedule of any kind.  While a rigid schedule may not be to my liking, some families function better this way.  Alternatively, having no schedule at all is also not my favourite approach as I believe there needs to be some form of structure.

I also have seen home education programs start at 11:00 PM and go to 3:00 AM.  This may be why the children go to bed at 4:00 AM, get up at 2:00 PM and play until it’s time to start school.  These are likely the children that may be taking the night shift, when they grow up.  Although this is not my idea of a good schedule, it works for those who live with it.
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More Decisions – What Curriculum? Choices (Part 6)

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We didn’t know better and there was very little available at the time.  Thirty-five years ago, there were but a few well established school curricula that could be used at home.  All were based on school ideology and methodology, even if coming from a “Christian” perspective.  Still, we determined to keep it as close to school programming as possible so our children would not be harmed by our decision to home educate them.

This was a mistaken understanding of home schooling, one that has survived with new home schoolers to this day.  We are all nervous about this new venture and this is normal.  While there may be some people who have researched and discovered best practices for escaping school processes, most people know very little outside of the status quo school system and therefore feel much more comfortable with home schooling than home educating or unschooling.  This is okay.

Here is the best solution for this “what-to-do”:
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More Decisions – How? Choices (Part 5)

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Now that you have decided to home educate and a sponsoring school has been chosen, there remain yet more decisions to be made.

I remember when my wife and I first determined to bring our children home for their “schooling”.  Though we knew the school system was not meeting our children’s needs, we brought the school home and tried to make it fit our children.  This did not go so well for us.  Why could we not see that bringing home a broken system, only brought a broken system home?  It was not fixed by having a new venue or application.  An example I often use is, when a broken vehicle is dragged home, it remains broken.  The same can be said of schools.

Not only were we brainwashed with school ideology like most everyone else, but since both my wife and I were trained as school teachers we were even bigger believers in schools knowing where, how, when and what we should be teaching our children.  We had it so bad, we even entertained creating report cards in early November of our first year, until we came to our senses and realized we would be reporting to ourselves.  This was probably the beginning of the unravelling of our school-based thinking and transitioning to become unschoolers.
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Who Should I Register With for Home Education? Choices (Part 4)

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Have you ever made a bad decision?  I certainly have.  However, I do believe it is better to take the risk of making a bad decision than not to make any decision at all.

I made a bad decision several years ago while enjoying a bit of warm winter weather in California.  I could see the relationship with our associate school at the time was becoming strained, but I decided to wait and see what would happen.  Shortly thereafter, our contract with the school was terminated and the school attempted to take over our families.

This put us into a do-or-die situation, as we had no time to apply for our own accreditation.  Another school came to our rescue and we continued for another six years, during which time I did nothing toward the establishment our own school. This turned out to be another bad decision as this agency also came to threaten our demise.
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So, What’s The Attraction? Choices (Part 3)

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Talk about failure!  Every time I am informed a family is leaving Education Unlimited for another option, I am tempted to think we have done something wrong or failed to properly enable, equip and encourage them.

People are certainly free to choose the option that works best for them.   Our job has never been to argue with parents so we respect parental decisions even when we disagree.  Still, I always wonder what could possibly be the attraction of the replacement institution, particularly when people are sending their children back to school?

First things first.  I am not so naive as to think everyone should home educate.  There are situations that require students to attend school.  Even so, most people can and should choose home education simply because parents are best able to meet the individual needs of their children.
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A Big Decision – Where Should Your Children be Educated? Choices (Part 2)

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The fact that I became a public school teacher many years ago is somewhat of a miracle.  I always liked learning, but I never really liked school, particularly not grade school.  How did I end up working in a place like that?  I never aspired to be a school teacher, that’s for sure, but I needed a job.  I believed it would only be for the short term, but this career decision now includes nearly fifty years of history!

Even though my negative school experience challenged me, I decided that if I was going to be a part of that system, I would do my best to improve it.  This turned out to be a major case of naivety as I quickly learned the system is inflexible.  There was no changing it so the best I could do was give my all in the classroom where maybe, just maybe, I could make a difference.  Once a teacher, I realized very few of my colleagues were dedicated to training children and those who were tended to stay away from the staff room where true colours went uninhibited.
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Decisions, Decisions! Choices (Part 1)

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The other day, my wife, Faye and I decided to take a break from our increasingly busy workload to go to an outdoor music event.  Strangely, we could not decide when to head out, and once we got there the indecision continued.  Where to sit? What to eat? What to drink?  Sit alone or with others?  For some reason, neither of us could decide.  Too tired, maybe.  We found ourselves temporarily paralyzed by this indecision.  I finally picked a place to sit, setting us free from our paralysis, and the rest of the decisions came easily.

While later reflecting on this unusual experience, I realized that the inability or refusal to decide is what prevents people from moving forward, even from learning and growing.  When one thinks of it, life is actually made up of decisions, many decisions.  And every decision has outcomes, be they big or small, good, bad or inconsequential.
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