Let's start with some music and dancing. Then I will share with you some of my favorite moments from the lectures I attended.
Music and Dancing
One morning, a group of moms sat around playing ukeleles.
This is the kind of thing I love at the Adventures in Homeschooling Conference. Everywhere you go, there's cool stuff going on.
One of my favorite experiences at the conference this year was the first night. They had a Monster Costume Party. All the kids got to dress up and go trick-or-treating (in August!) and after that we had a really fun dance party.
Kate dressed up as Draculaura from Monster High.
She was so excited, she wore the costume every day for the rest of the conference.
Some of My Favorite Quotes from Lectures I Attended
From John Bennett's Lecture, The New Consciousness of Education
“They say there are 2 million homeschoolers in the US. This is what they said in 2006, and they say it hasn't grown since then. How many of you have started homeschooling since 2006? As a math teacher, I demand a recount!”
“Education means to DRAW OUT. If you look at the origin of the word it means to draw out. It doesn't mean to stuff with stuff. Bringing out what is already there. You're not their teacher. You are the head of their school. Your job is not to stuff. Your job is to bring out.”
“When you follow your bliss, doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.” — Joseph Campbell
John Bennett also gave his lecture, Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary. You can listen to part of it here:
From the Lecture, What to Do Your First Year Homeschooling
“My son said, ‘I love homeschooling! Life is my classroom; every day is a field trip; and all my work is homework.'”
“Let go of your expectations of what they have to learn. If they're not into music, let them do what they are interested in.”
“WAIT before you buy curriculum! You can always get it later. It's OK to wait and do nothing for a while.”
From Steve Bertucci of Greatbooksacademy.org — Does How Matter in Education
“If you want to teach a 5-yr old about frogs you could get a text book with pictures of frogs and have them memorize a thousand facts about frogs, but if he's never been down to the creek and experienced playing with frogs does he even know what a frog is? Better to send them to the creek.”
“In Charles Darwin's autobiography, he said later in his life he considered himself damaged and he didn't think he could ever get it back. B/c he recognized he spent so many years in data that he almost totally lost the ability to enjoy to music or poetry. So keep singing and dancing — it's good for us.”
“The liberal arts. What's the latin root of liberal? Freedom – liberty. Liberal arts lead to freedom. Freedom to do something? Or freedom from something? It's about liberty. The man or woman who is educated, that person is much more likely to be free from ignorance, freedom from being taken advantage of liars and charlatans. You also have more freedom to do the right thing because you can recognize it.”
“Study of the 1000 top CEOs – more CEOs had a liberal arts background than any other. It's a generalized education. When you become liberally educated, the world gets bigger. You can specialize later.”
“What does school mean? It has a Greek root. Schola means leisure. What do we do during our leisure time? Things we love to do. Be with friends and converse. Ideally school is a group of friends pursuing the things they love — the true, the good and the beautiful.”
From Sandra Dodd's Radical Unschooling Lecture
(Paraphrase) “I heard a father in the restaurant. His son ate dinner and after dinner, asked for a candy bar. The father said, ‘I don't think that is a wise choice.' Then he gave him a lecture about why candy bars are bad for you. What the dad said was more harmful to the child than any candy bar in the world. Because the dad was telling the kid, ‘You're stupid. You're not wise. You want something that's not good for you.”
“In my life I put learning first. I always ask, which thing will help them learn more?”
“Movies and board games are just as valuable as science and math and reading. They are all the same thing.”
“You don't want to have to push them to the information or drag them to the information — you want to give them enough choices so that they want to learn.”
Question: “How do you transition kids from rules and chore lists if the kids are older?”
Answer: “Go gradually. Don't enforce so much. If they say, ‘I'm tired,' then say, ‘Go to bed.' Don't make a big announcement, ‘We're now unschooling.' Just start saying yes more. If kids can only drink one soda a day and have to go to bed at a specific time, they often grow up to have dreams of drinking lots of soda and staying up late — and don't we want kids to have bigger, loftier dreams than that?”
“Don't talk to your kids too much about unschooling. It's like chess. They make one move, you make one move. If they ask, ‘Where do babies come from?' You say, ‘From inside their moms.' They might not ask another question for another year. Or they might ask 5 more questions.”
“Sneaking and lying is not inevitable in teens. It's a direct reaction to so many rules.”
“Instead of childproofing the world, worldproof your child.”