On the weekend, dh and I attended a homeschool conference. The keynote speaker was John Taylor Gatto.
Now, as much as I enjoyed John's talk, I admit to preferring his books to his talk.
Well, his books offer his experiences as a different teacher in the US public schools; show us what we can learn from his experiences and how schools can also learn from homeschoolers.
His talk, however, came across as knocking schools .I am just not into that. I think we need educational diversity, to suit our different children and families and communities, and I know that for some families school is a good option. Just as homeschooling and/or unschooling are good options for other families.
I also spent money at the homeschool conference - no news, right? I bought some new novels for the kids - Thomas and Anthony in particular are avid readers so new books are always welcome.
I purchased a book by Andrew Campbell - The Latin Centred Curriculum. I have read about this book at various homeschooling sites, so was pleased to have my own copy.
Campbell argues for a classical education, in an historical sense of the term. Studying a few subjects deeply and not necessarily studying a myriad of subjects in a shallow way.
So, I am back to thinking about the goals of education. I guess I like reading about education and pondering these ideas. I share my ideas and passions with my dh and children. They share their passions ~ I share mine ( fitness and education and books and movies and history..).
I am reminded that I like the passion of unschooling with the living books and good habits of educator Charlotte Mason and the idea of Latin and the classics from a classical education...
I hae always had a soft spot for author Laura Berquist's thoughts on goals, on ultimate vision for homeschooling. For us, it is family centred education, with freedom to explore interests. And, as Berquest states in Designing Your own Classical Curriculum, "..I knew that I wanted ultimately what we all want, the eternal salvation of my children. Academically, I wanted a truly Catholic intellectual formation. I hope to instill ( I would add - encourage, as children seem born to love learning).. a lifelong love of learning and to give my children the tools to pursue that learning."
Berquest goes on to describe her goal that her children should be equipped to attend an excellent university, and do well there. Again, I add - if they so choose. I certainly have valued my university education and wish my children be prepared for the same, if university is in their future. It keeps their options open...So far, university has been the case, for the four eldest sons...
Meanwhile, on the homeschooling front, a search has lead me to some links on classical unschooling. Interested? Read the following. :-)
Willa on Classical Unschooling
Ask the Experts - Classical Unschooling
A 7 part series on classical unschooling