It’s time for another Carnival of Homeschooling, hosted this week by one of my favorite blogs, The Common Room. In one particularly good entry, Shannon of PHAT Mommy suggests that the word “homeschooling” conjures up an unflattering and unrealistic stereotyped image—which is the same thing I was saying yesterday!—and she wonders how people would react if she started using the word “worldlearners” instead of “homeschoolers” to describe her family’s educational-choice-slash-lifestyle.
How do you think people would react if I said, “Oh, my kids don’t go to school. They’re learning how to think for themselves out in the world. They read and write and research their interests on the internet and at the library. They travel and take field trips and, my gosh, their schedule is just so full of social activities that they simply aren’t able to spend entire days in school! Homeschool? No, we’re not homeschoolers. We’re worldlearners!”
I told Jane about this post, and she said, “That’s PERFECT!” When people ask her where she goes to school, she usually tells them we’re unschoolers, but that, too, is a loaded term that frequently meets with skepticism or disapproval. It also confuses people who’ve heard me talk about how we study Latin, math, sign language, or history.
It’s not that we need to label ourselves, but the question does come up almost daily, and it would be nice to be able to answer it with a word that really fits.