Where Should Schooling Take Place?

For those of us who grew up in a conventional school, our schooling, our formal “learning”, took place in a classroom, with periodic field trip outings.

When most people think of homeschooling, they think of schooling taking place at the kitchen table or some formal school room in your house.  Like this:

Z working on phonics at the kitchen table

And obviously, from this picture of Z, our kitchen table is often covered in school related materials, usually K’s math or Little E’s art projects.

K working on Algebra while listening to an audio book

But, the kitchen table or  classroom is not the only place “schooling” should takes place. In fact, I urge you to consider it a last resort.

While some studies, like K’s Algebra, suit themselves well to the kitchen table or a classroom, we limit our kids’ education if we restrict their learning to this one little spot of the world.

True education, true learning, happens every day, in every location. It comes from practically being involved in the world, in life.

We learn not just from “school books”, but from real books, from experiences, from labor, from conversations, from being outdoors, from being involved.

We can study books about animal and plant life all we want, but it’s not the same as getting up close and personal with real live animals, insects, and plants.

Z and Little E working with a Llama

Our kids can watch videos about survival skills and study pictures of history, but it’s not quite the same as going out and creating their own re-inactments, building their own huts, and foraging for materials in their environment. Finding the right branches and mud, and figuring out just how it should go together.

Little E and Z with their homemade lean-to

Nothing tests that knowledge like spending a raining day hanging out in the hut you built yourself. :)

Life is about presenting ideas, sharing ideas, and having lots of discussions. It’s about being involved in projects, working together with others, and sharing your own skills and perspectives to fill your own unique spot in the world.

K presenting the current storyboard at a family business meeting

I encourage you to seek out life with your kids, to do life with your kids. Let them explore and find out where they fit, where they shine, what they are passionate about, and what they need to figure out to get to where they want to go.

School Books can go just about anywhere. They do not need to be relegated to the kitchen table, they can be taken outside…

J reading outdoors or in the car… Z reading about Ancient China while waiting in the car

Find a tree to hang out in, a hammock to kick back in, or a simply just lay out on the grass and taken in the world.

You never know what you’ll learn and experience by expanding the world beyond the classroom or the kitchen table.  This world is amazing, there are so many things to see and experience. School should not hamper our children’s education, but expand it.


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