How About “WorldLearners” Instead?

May 30, 2006 @ 3:25 pm | Filed under:

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.

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6 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. JoVE says:

    I particularly like the bit about being way to busy to go to school 🙂

  2. Penny says:

    Hi Melissa:

    I love the term “worldlearners” and the description you provided. Outstanding! Love it! 🙂


  3. Becky says:

    I love it! Where do I get the t-shirt?!

  4. Rebecca says:

    I love the new name. It rings true to me because much of our learning is done away from our home: in the yard, the park, the beach, the ballfield, the grocery store, on an airplane, at the sink in a public bathroom, waiting in a drive-thru, but most deinitely not in a schoolroom setting, which is why the term “homeschool” makes me knot up inside.

    A brilliant, revolutionary idea!

  5. Sarah says:

    Sign me up for a t-shirt too. 🙂 My hubby would definitely approve of this one.

  6. Shannon - PHAT Mommy says:

    Hi Melissa – thanks for the shout out! I’m looking into T-shirts. 🙂