I love coffee. My favorite coffee drink right now is a salted caramel soy white chocolate latte extra salt with just a little whipped cream to hold the salt. My favorite coffee drink has changed over time; this is just the current favorite. The Starbucks baristas are always happy to make it just like I like it. That is because Starbucks makes handcrafted beverages, it is their shtick. As I was lying in bed this morning thinking with excitement about my upcoming trip, I realized that was what I am creating for my child, a handcrafted education. Homeschooling at its finest is about handcrafting an education. Most people who do not homeschool their children don’t understand this, but all you homeschoolers do. I get all sorts of questions about my son’s education. FYI, I use what I call a learner-centered approach with a liberal arts approach. It is academic, eclectic, and personally meaningful.
Someone asked me yesterday how Sean (my son) could take a month off school to go to India. UMMN, going to India counts as school. We will be volunteering at a literacy project, helping kids and adults learn to speak English. I think that can count as school.
Is he getting an education that will get him into every college? The answer is no. It isn’t our fault if college admissions haven’t caught up with the homeschool movement. Is he getting an education that will get him into some colleges? Yes. (Updated to add: He got into almost all he applied to and was offered a scholarship at several. For an academic homeschooler, eclectic is not only okay, colleges seem to like it.)
Just as some people like handcrafted coffee drinks and some do not, some colleges like applicants who have a handcrafted education, and some colleges want those who have had a mainstream education. Besides what is the worst that can happen, he starts at community college. I was a community college professor. I started my college journey at a community college. There is some great teaching going on at community colleges! All this talk about colleges makes it seem like the focus is on getting into college. It isn’t. We spend our time focusing on the ingredients, the recipe, and the process instead of spending all our time thinking about the end result.
My son’s education has changed over the years just as my favorite coffee drink has. This is not the first time we have taken an extended trip as a part of it, we have traveled to Peru, Ukraine, Hungary, Ireland, France, Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and made a couple of extended trips to the East Coast in the U.S. We live in California. This is the first time we have volunteered though. I hope it adds an extra dimension to the trip, sort of like adding extra salt to my favorite drink.
I could go on with this for paragraphs, but I have to leave with enough time to stop at Starbucks!
The next blog will be during the flight or from Dubai.
Love to all, Blair
Check out this article to learn more about Eclectic Homeschooling.