Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Memories and Homeschooling

Remind yourself that each moment we're creating memories. Think of those moments as photos in a photo album.

I put this quote on my blog yesterday - and several friends, in real life (? weird term but you know what I mean..) and in email, have commented on it. On how much it spoke to them. On how it reflects the why of homeschooling.

The why of homeschooling? Isn't homeschooling about education?

Not really.

Gasp! Did I say that homeshooling as not about education?

Well, yes. Simply because it is so much more than that .

Homeschooling, unschooling , is about life.

And creating memories. Memories that are stored away, that make up the child and then the adult. Formation, in other words.

I think that strong positive family memories, exposure to activities and ideas and to other people, are what make a strong case for homeschooling. For the advantages of homeschooling.

You never know what will strike a chord with a child. Ignite an interest. Be tucked away in the scrapbook of memories.

For this reason, we unschool. We live and thus, by living together, we learn. We laugh together, read together, play together , watch movies together, eat together, do chores together, do some schoolwork together, talk together, get cross together, go to Mass and pray together ~ and hopefully build on this storehouse of interactions.

Last night, we prayed the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Yes, I was a bit silly during prayers - moving my feet in rhythm and prompting dh, the leader, simply because I have memorised this litany. Sigh. I am bad in prayers...

However, we did pray together, we did smile together, we spent time together and with our prayer intentions. Creating a scrapbook of prayer and family memories.

Today, we had French class at another homeschooler's home. The kids laughed as they listened to the CD and followed along in the French storybook. They tried to learn the Lord's Prayer in
French. They did French copywork, a la Charlotte Mason. And shared morning tea and active outside games.

Followed by going to the movies, meeting up with Jonathon and a family friend.

Lunch at Coffee Club....

A day of memories, fun, conversation and perhaps some sparks of learning.

A happy unschooling photo for that mental photo album.

"Education," said Sister Miriam Joseph, in writing on classical education "is the highest of arts in the sense that it imposes forms not on matter, as do the other arts, but on minds."

The Church clearly notes in the Catechism that parents are responsible for their children’s “moral education and spiritual formation.” This responsibility is so intertwined with the family “that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute” to the parents' involvement (CCC 2221).

To be honest, I am not necessarily the best person to talk about spiritual formation, being still in formation myself ( as my two or three regular blog readers know! ).

I hold, however, that creating memories, positive memories, educational and spiritual and relational memories, is important to the intellectual and spiritual formation of the child. Of the person. And of the family.

This is why I homeschool, why I am glad that we have homeschooled.



Mary G said...

Just the shot in the arm I needed today, Leonie!

I love the quote from Sr. Miriam Joseph ...


HopewellMomSchool said...

Wonderful thought-provoking post today! (Also again makes me (nicely) jealous that we aren't still homeschooling. We are still praying about it for our upcoming move though!)

Leonie said...

Mary, its a pretty cool quote, isn't it? Glad the post spoke to you, posting my thoughts is helping me as I try to be a better homeschooling mother. More positive. More mindful.

Lisa, as always you are in my prayers .

Anonymous said...

"being still in formation myself"... you realise you will always be in formation. Just when we think we know it all, the good Lord surprises us.. but hey, don't worry, you are in good company! BLV

Leonie said...

Yeah, I know - we are always in formation. But I realise I am still at the beginning, still have a LONG way to go....

Stephanie said...

Yes. Exactly. Schooling happens in the midst of a' that, but what is really happening is Formation. "Education is an Atmosphere," (Charlotte Mason) and children are highly "absorbent" (Maria Montessori). It's not next year's fourth grader we're making here, it's the coming wider world's human who needs to know to love and care for his neighbor.

What a good post!!! Thanks for this one.

Rachel said...


Hi! I wanted you to know I have nominated you for 2 awards:

The Kick Ass Blogger Award
The Brillante Award

Come to my blog to see why!


Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

This is a terrific post, Leonie - it's really critical to remember the points you make, imho!

Leonie said...

Ikwym Maria - I get trapped in the daily to dos, in hinking we need to do more maths etc and miss the bigger picture of formation and of memories...

Susan <>< said...

Love it!
Would you give me permission to post it on the rotating quote of the day banner on AussieHomeschool? Giving credit to you,m of course: either your first name or your full name?


Leonie said...

So glad you like it Susan - and yes you can def add it to the Aussie Homeschool Banner - first name or full name, I don't mind! :-) I'm honoured...