Wouldn’t it be great if we could do an internship to prepare for life? Many career fields require an internship to gain the skills and experience needed in that field before engaging in it under their own auspices. Homeschooling offers just that: a one-on-one mentorship in the field of life!
As the parent and child journey through life together, the child can observe the practical application of what they’ve been studying, encounter situations where they see the need for new information, and gain an appreciation of the value of education.
We learn best with active engagement. Benjamin Franklin famously stated, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” The value of the real-life application of the concepts studied cannot be overstated. Study alone without a relevant utilization of the subject matter leaves the student with little motivation for retention. It is simply a matter of memorization of facts without purpose or practice.
The home classroom provides a window into the function of measurements and fractions when your child helps you bake cookies, divide a freshly baked pie, order curtains for a window, or purchase paint for a remodeling project. A clogged kitchen sink offers a science demonstration as well as practical life skills. Driving past an historical marker on the roadside can inspire a dive into history that goes deeper than simply reading pages in a textbook. Your backyard has an evident superiority over a blackboard covered with biology facts.
Working closely with your child as you teach them each day can reveal natural aptitudes that may otherwise go unnoticed. Homeschool parents can have insight into new talents they can reinforce through their child’s educational plan. On the other hand, the experiences your children encounter with you may be the spark that ignites a passion within them for a future career.
Removing the classroom walls and offering the world to your children as their enlarged laboratory frees their minds to probe thoroughly into details their textbooks provided Why? Because they apply discoveries for themselves! Frank Herbert, a science fiction writer, said, “One learns from books and example only that certain things can be done. Actual learning requires that you do those things.” Homeschooling gives your child the perfect opportunity to practice what they have learned from their books as they proceed from the page to the real world around them.
Many years ago, my sons’ history lessons progressed from reading about the Middle Ages to hours spent drawing up design plans, culminating in the construction of a life-size working model of a trebuchet. Those memories will last them (and me) a lifetime. Other excursions have begun with watching a cooking competition, experimenting with their own concoctions in the kitchen, then investigating the science behind their culinary successes—and failures!
Acquiring Life Skills
One of the most important tasks as a parent is to prepare our children for life on their own. Whether our child grows up to become a plumber, a doctor, or a stay-at-home parent, they need to know certain life skills. Those skills are best learned by first watching their parent use those skills, then trying them out under their parent’s oversight.
Real-life learning is one of the many benefits of homeschooling. Taking your child along with you to the bank, for example, gives him a front-row seat for one of the basics of “adulting.” Having them assist you in meal planning and grocery shopping provides invaluable tools for success later. Even daily chores that they are assigned as part of helping out around the house are an often-overlooked investment. Parents who can bring their child along with them to their job or involve them in their own business have even greater opportunities to offer their child first-hand real-world experience.
Of course, a traditionally-schooled student can find avenues for these skills. Still, the unique aspects of homeschooling, such as flexibility in daily living, the ability to customize courses to your child’s skills and interests, and the freedom to explore various educational paths, give it a marked edge over the alternatives. Homeschool is distinct in the advantages it gives the parent and child to spend the majority of each day together, living life side by side. This daily investment will yield a lifetime of rewards that are sure to include a noticeable profit in the range of real-world proficiency.
My own homeschool experience began 31 years ago when my mother withdrew me from high school. Although initially very resistant to the idea of joining my younger siblings to study at home, I quickly reversed my thinking as I realized that the approach to education allowed me to retain more, progress at my own rate, and find relevance to what I was doing. There is more motivation to attain knowledge or master a new skill when we have a purpose for it. Homeschool provides the ideal framework for discovering purpose as it occurs in the setting of real life.