Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Planting the seeds to homeschooling....

I found out recently that a good friend is going to homeschool two of her children.  I also found out that one of her other kids has a lot in common with my own son despite a 6 year age difference!  We got to talking about our boys, homeschooling, and so much more.  And, my friend asked me, "So, what made you decide to homeschool?"  Hmmm...that is a BIG question.  And, to answer, I have to go back to when I was a child myself, in fourth grade and wanting to know what made mushrooms grow.

Mushrooms?  Yes, mushrooms!  Imagine a huge backyard with gigantic redwood trees, undergrowth of ferns and moss, bushes and plants everywhere and tons of shade.  Imagine a yard with all kinds of great hiding spots among the plants and under branches, and behind little hills.  Imagine a yard filled with magic!  That's what I grew up with.  And it did seem magical.  There was always something new to look at or a new game to play.  We spent HOURS outside in our yard.  We had a big hill that we could ride our bikes down.  We had little trails winding through the bushes.  We had a blast!  And, we had mushrooms - lots of them!  We had all kinds of them but the best were the ones that had flat tops that would grow to several inches in diameter.

I was fascinated by the mushrooms.  They looked funny.  They smelled funny.  They felt funny.  (No, I never tasted them....)  In 4th grade I was fully becoming a science nerd.  I loved science and my teacher was by far the BEST science teacher in my entire school career!  But, I wanted to know what made these mushrooms grow.  I disected them.  I read about them.  I sketched and studied them.  But, nothing really gave me the information I was looking for.  So, I asked my teacher.

Boy, was that a let down!  The response?  "We don't have time to discuss mushrooms.  We have more important projects to take care of."  What?  Really?  I hadn't interrupted class to ask my question.  I hadn't said that I wanted to know about mushrooms instead of our other projects.  I wanted to learn about mushrooms in addition to whatever we were already studying.  It was like an intellectual slap in the face to my 4th grade self.  At that moment, I remember thinking very clearly, "I wish I could learn at home! I'd get a lot more done and know so much more stuff!"  At the time I had never heard of homeschooling but the seed was planted...

To be continued tomorrow with having my son, his early elementary years in public school and the transition to homeschooling...  I never did go back to studying mushrooms.  I know a bit more about them than I did in fourth grade, but not much...


  1. Thanks so much for including our East Coast seed bombs in your lovely post!

  2. That story sounds depressingly familiar! I can relate... Especially after having my parents called in for a conference with a history teacher in the 9th grade. The reason? Because when I finished my work I would read books that weren't on the assigned reading list. This was after I'd already finished all the books on my list! I was branded a trouble maker for reading Kafka. Ha! Luckily my parents stood up for me and I was able to take extra classes and graduate early. The school system is often not for the intellectually curious! Good for you for doing something about that!


We adore comments! Please leave some! Just note, Anonymous comments go to my spam folder, and I rarely publish them.