Monday, January 24, 2011

National School Choice Week

Starting yesterday, groups around the nation are raising awareness about something I have long been passionate about. The choice to educate children in "untraditional" ways. I have also heard it referred to as "alternative" or "non-mainstream". None of these labels bother me in the least, but they don't exactly describe us either.

What is a tradition? defines Tradition as "the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice". Hmmm... seems to fit the way we learn, perhaps even more so than the public school model. So maybe a family style education is traditional.

When you talk of "homeschooling", using a charter school is one of the many alternatives, so in that way what we do is considered alternative education. We are blessed to live in an area, where not only do we have MANY alternatives, we also have the support to back up all those options. I am proud that we are alternative educators.

As for whether it is mainstream or not, well the stream we find ourselves floating along is teeming with bright, independent, well-spoken and highly imaginative young people. "Homeschoolers" are the main people in our lives- and there are plenty of them to enjoy! We meet new friends all the time, and we share the path with families we have known since our children were barely babbling.

What it comes down to is choice. I am beyond grateful for the information that was available to me as I grappled with what would be the best for our children. It works for our family- but that isn't to say it is a better choice for anyone else's, only they will know that. My hope is that they would find it easy to compare and contrast the opportunities that every child has.

Learn more about National School Choice Week here.

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