Monday, March 21, 2016

The Homeschool Anti-Bucket List: Part One

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What does the term Bucket List mean to you? I think of it as a catalog of things you want to do before you kick the bucket. It might be a list of things that you would want to do if there was a no-holds-barred approach to living life. No more responsibility, no more can't do, no more vital obligations to stop you from doing what a person wants to do. Those things that would bring delight, fun and joy, bliss, exhilaration, or pleasure. A bucket list. Let's think of it as a to-do list.

Therefore an anti-bucket list, it would seem, is a list of things that one would remove from their life that brings heaviness, doubt, or disconnect. A what not to do. Doesn't that sound good? Why wait? What do I want on my own personal homeschool anti-bucket list?

  I'm sure that some people would call it a Fuck It list rather than an Anti-Bucket List.  

My Homeschool Anti-Bucket List
  • Worry about external expectations - I don't know how much things that changed for new homeschoolers since we started homeschooling so long ago. Back in the day I felt so much pressure from everywhere around me to do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that. It was exhausting and completely unhelpful. Possibly I was experiencing the early growing pains of the homeschool movement, but I can tell you this, the external expectation were completely discouraging.

    Family members, the media, society at large. Everyone had input. I tried to listen to everyone and to take in the messages. But I found that fifty different people had fifty different opinions...yet I still didn't know what I wanted to do.

    Once I figured out how to let go of what everyone else thought I was able to target my own thoughts, those of my husband, the wants and needs of the kids, essentially the homeschool ethos of this family.

    Once I stopped listening...
  • The need to meet school standards - The district standards, the common core, the current educational wisdom, standards of learning, STEM teaching, requirements of various states for high school graduation.

    The fact is, educational theory is continually learning and evolving. Ten different educators could have ten different approaches to learning and ten different theories of learning. That is good to know because it reminds us, parents who homeschool our children, that we are entitled to our own informed opinions and approaches to the important questions of education: What is learning? What are the best approaches to passing along information? How do we learn? What is necessary to learn? What are the best environments for learning? What is essential curriculum?

    The suggestion that one-size-fits-all, that a Utopian world is possible with centralized educational goals,  or that someone else is an authority of your child, even over your personal, informed knowledge...well, it just takes a bit of common sense to see that this approach is nonsense.
  • Maintaining formal records - Not all states require formal record keeping of homeschool work. Book publishers have capitalized on this requirement and have designed dozens of different methods of maintaining records of work and lessons.

    Still every family probably keeps records in a different way. Who benefits from record keeping?

    Only organizations wanting to point fingers and XXXXX
  • Schedules - 
  • Meaningless paperwork - 
  • Getting Advice from Others - 
  • Feeling incompetent - 
  • Feeling like School at Home is Homeschooling -
  • Trying to please others - 

This is my list tonight. Next time I'll say more about the last few items on my Homeschool Anti-Bucket List. For know know that I'm openly calling out ridiculous and meaningless paperwork and criticism of the homeschool lifestyle.


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