Monday, June 02, 2014

My brother's perspective on homeschooling

One of my brothers lives in Anguila. Vince started homeschooling his older two boys a year ago.  The boys are now 10 and 12.  He and three of his boys are in town for a couple weeks.  We are on our way to a family reunion.  Yesterday as we traveled down the freeway I asked him about his experience with and thoughts on homeschooling.

He said they are using K to 12.  He says they are homeschoolers in the morning and unschoolers in the afternoon.  He has told his boys that once they get their assignments done they can do pretty much whatever they want.  Vince said sometimes they'll drag their feet and he won't get lunch together until they finish their assignments.

(We've just had breakfast and are about to hit the road.  I'll add some more details this evening.)

We've arrived, so so I have time to add a few more details.

Vince has his own business and is able to bring the older two boys with him when he goes to work.  He is able to work with them a bit and provide help and encouragement.  As we were driving down the freeway we got talking about how some parents get so focused on academics, both with public school and homeschooling, that the full character of the student gets ignored.  We talked about some of the people we grew up with who did great in public schools and even in college, but floundered afterwards.

Vince wants his sons to have a solid academic education.  He wants to them know how to read, write, handle math, know history and so on, but it is more important to him that they learn initiative, how to work hard, to be honest and so on.

He did have a funny comment this morning.  We were talking about having lots of children and family size.  (He has four boys total.)  He said:

"In a large family it is just not possible to spoil the kids."

It is a bit of an exaggeration, but he did point out that with several children they all have to contribute some to the family, doing chores and so on, so it is much hard for children to think they are the center of the universe.

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