Monday, August 14, 2006

Homeschool history in the making?

Can you think back a couple of decades or so ago, to when the first families began to make homeschooling an accepted practice? They had to contend with unfriendly school districts, vague or unfriendly laws, and--very significantly--a general lack of materials to go on with.

Today, a new homeschooler is confronted with how-to books from multiple perspectives and philosophies. There are homeschool groups and co-ops eager to take new homeschoolers under their wings and get them started. There are yearly curriculum fairs that present a bewildering array of materials on every subject you ever thought of teaching and some you don't plan to! New homeschoolers today have a wealth of experience and resources from which to draw.

Unless they are new homeschoolers in Poland.

Then they are faced with ambiguous laws and unfriendly school districts. There are no "how to homeschool" books in Polish. Not one. There are no seasoned homeschoolers to take them in hand and encourage them as they begin. Their neighbors and family members are not going to be enthusiastic about their undertaking.

Nevertheless, there is a brave little group of approximately twenty families who plan to begin homeschooling this fall. They've managed to secure "permission" to keep their children at home to teach them, and they have been convinced by the work of a Polish/American homeschool family of the "why to" homeschool, but they are faced with a blank when it comes to the "how to's." Believe it or not, this is where I come in.

I am traveling to northern Poland to speak to these families at the end of September, and I've been given a generous time allowance across a couple of days. Now I just have to come up with a plan to give them some philosophical background on education as well as some practical help to make the process as painless as possible. In two days, I can't fully equip them, but I hope to point them in the right direction and encourage them on their way.

I'm planning the first talk to be on the subject, "What is education?" I know what the schools in Poland are like, and I imagine that most of them don't really have a clue what "education" looks like. I'm planning to discuss living books, narration, nature study, journaling or "notebooking," and timelines. I'm going to have to discuss schedules and organization. In short, I want to make the time as rich and varied a "feast" as possible, so that each family will find something to take home that fits in with their needs.

I'm only slightly terrified.


At 12:01 AM , Blogger Calamity Jane said...

Hurray for you! And them! God bless.

At 5:10 AM , Blogger Melissa said...

Wow, do these families know how lucky they are to have you to come and speak to them? I'm sure you'll do a great job!

At 1:45 PM , Blogger Phyllis said...

This actually gave me chillbumps. One of my dreams is to see a homeschool movement started here in Russia. Maybe someday? I'm so thrilled that you get to have a part in starting one in Poland! I will pray hard for you and for those families!

At 3:03 PM , Blogger Robin said...

I will be praying for you! Please share with the Loop as to how it goes. HUGS!

At 5:11 PM , Blogger lastpaige said...

I am so excited! We are in the 'waiting for a referral' stage of adopting from Poland. Our facilitator said that the judges love adoptive homeschoolers because that life style is so condusive to bonding with new adoptees. I keep looking for information on homeschooling in Poland but come up with zero.

Oh - don't be terrified. What a blessing you will be!

Keep us posted, we'll be praying specifically for you!

Mrs. L

At 11:35 PM , Blogger Lady Liberty said...

Good luck,
You might also want to suggest or look at bookstores that cater to university and continual education. We have stores like this, but they are kind of hidden.
Oh, and there is always the publishers of the school books there kids already have. I have found loads stuff on their websites.


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