Defining School

August 28, 2009 at 8:21 am (Uncategorized)

Having my nieces visit for 2 weeks early this month was a joy and I also made a lot of interesting observations.  One of the things the kids did quite a bit while the girls were here was play school. They LOVED having a "real" school room right in the house to play in!  My kids play school sometimes too, but with mine they "play homeschool".  Since my nieces go to public school there was a whole different dynamic to the game.  Playing school became much more structured!  When my kids play there is just a teacher and a student.  (Just like homeschool!)  Suddenly with my niece input school had all kinds of new things to us…like recess, a class pet, a principal, a secretary, writing on the whiteboard and homework!  I don’t spend much time thinking about traditional school, so it caught me by surprise to see how different the 2 views of "school" were. 

Another interesting observation was in listening to the girls talk about school.  My nieces are all fascinated by the concept of homeschooling.  They really wanted us to explain to them exactly what we do.  But, it’s hard because school is so interegrated into our lives that it’s hard ot tell where school stops and life begins.  When you go to a school building for a determined amount of time each day it is much clearer what you do at school!  I overheard one of my nieces quizzing my daughter on what we do for school 

It went something like this:

NIECE:  So what do you do for school?
DAUGHTER:  A lot of stuff.
NIECE: What time do you start?
DAUGHTER: It depends.
NIECE: What time are you done?
DAUGHTER: I don’t know.
NIECE:  What do you do for P.E.?
DAUGHTER: We take walks, we go swimming, we take some classes, we go to Park Day.  We do different things.
NIECE:  So what exactly do you do all day?
DAUGHTER: Pause….We do a lot of stuff, we go on a lot of field trips, we do American Girl Club too, I learn mostly from going places and doing things.
NIECE: Cool…

I thought it was such a sweet and telling conversation.  You see for us life is about learning!  We don’t segment off learning to certain hours of the day!  My children don’t associate education with going to a set place at a set time.  They just know they like to learn!  My daughter could have chosen to tell her about her Math-U-See, Explode the Code, Getty Dubay, Lapbooks, etc, etc, etc.  It’s not like we don’t use a curriculum!  But, I think in her mind it’s just all fun!  It’s hard to peg down exactly what is school and what it isn’t.  And that is just the way I have always wanted it to be!

Happy Homeschooling,




  1. Anonymous said,

    That's kind of what it's like around here too. Life and learning are so intertwined that when kids ask my dd about school, she has a hard time explaining it to them. I'm with you, it's the way I always wanted it to be.

  2. Jessy said,

    This past week my friend's public schooled son joined us for home schooling. The first couple of days I could see that he was very puzzled by our school. (We use a lot of Charlotte Mason.) He couldn't understand why we didn't use textbooks and lots of worksheets! LOL His Mom has told me that he RAVES about our schooling though and can't wait to bike down!

  3. TomySky said,

    Good stuff [smile]. Reminds me of all of the shocked revelations kids have had when they say, "Wait, reading together is school?! It's too fun to be school!" [laughing]


  4. said,

    I loved playing school with my cousin and little sister when we were little girls. 🙂

    How neat that both children were able to combine it all. 🙂

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