Home schooling done right

July 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm 6 comments

I know most of us don’t have the fortitude to home school our kids.  I know I don’t.  But IF I did, this is how I’d like to do it.
I read this article last summer in the Tribune about a mom who had home schooled her child since age 5.  After reading the article I was left being very impressed with the mom who included things in her home school program such as  “enrichment classes and lots of travel (they learned about Buddhism in Tibet, philosophy in Greeceand Taoism with an abbot atop China’s holiest mountain).  Less exotic but equally important was immersion in Chicago’s rich arts scene.”  Now THAT is a cool way to educate a child.  It would take a lot of work to prepare school-work for a child all the way through high school.

The great achievement was that the girl had been accepted into Harvard, Yale,  Princeton, Northwestern, and Stanford.   Clearly impressive for any child, but especially a home-schooled one.  Apparently when you don’t have “real” grades it’s hard for colleges to assess your application.  In this case the mom prepared detailed course descriptions, transcripts from outside coursework, and recommendation letters from tutors.  I get tired just reading about THAT part of the effort!

I met the mom this past year at a conference for parents of gifted students and it was funny because when SHE presented the story it was based a lot more on her daughter’s abilities (she says she is profoundly gifted) and desire to learn outside a traditional classroom.  As I read the article again, it was clear that this was no ordinary child.  She’s done things from teaching Shakespeare to youngsters to studying the harp in Ireland.

Whoever the driver of this feat was, it’s clear that the parents did everything they could to let the child’s passions and desire to learn blossom.

Reading it again this week, it totally shames me.  I had intended to do a short learning time with my son every day this summer (and make him read something everyday – besides the Tivo listings.)  I think it’s happened 3 times this summer.  Maybe.

The whole article is here in the Chicago Tribune archives:


Entry filed under: Random topics. Tags: .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ashamed too  |  July 21, 2009 at 7:43 am

    I have not completed the summer “lesson plans” I intended to do with my sons. We did read a bit for a couple of days. They both attend summer camp and a portion time is devoted to school work and they go on numerous field trips. They have aeven been to some museums that I never knew existed! So, I’m trying to relieve some of my mommy guilt by at least thinking the camp is doing something enriching with them. Get this…I even bought FOUR workbooks from the teacher’s store for the oldest—and they are still in the bag, LOL 🙂

  • 2. brenda  |  July 21, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    “In this case the mom prepared detailed course descriptions, transcripts from outside coursework, and recommendation letters from tutors.”

    I really hope the MOM didn’t do all that preparing. It’s one thing to work on college applications with her kid, and another thing to do all the work yourself.

    Of course I’d no more homeschool than I’d cut off my hand. I loved school, my kid loves school, and I see no reason to reject it.

  • 3. entering kdg  |  July 22, 2009 at 11:36 am


    Did you see this!?

    Also, is anyone still getting “the call” for any magnet schools?

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  July 22, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I haven’t heard of anyone getting called recently myself, but I think this time of year is usually kind of a dead zone in that respect. Right before school starts and the first week of school is when some shifting around happens as school find out that kids moved away and didn’t tell anyone, parents realize that they don’t want to drive 3 miles a day, etc.
    Now is a good time to get on the radar of a magnet school if you’re interested and let the principal know that you’d take a spot on a moment’s notice (assuming you would, of course.)

  • 5. Diving In  |  July 22, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    I have been spending about 15-20 minutes a day reviewing and learning newer school stuff with my kid.I read where this is supposed to help a lot with retention.

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  July 23, 2009 at 3:54 am

    D.I. – will you please come over here and crack the whip? I remain a pushover with my kid.

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