Creative Learning Connection

Homeschool Resources from a Veterean Homeschool Mom

Traveling Along the Lewis and Clark Trail

Family Trips

We have used family trips as learning experiences on many occasions, including going to numerous National Park battlefields across the country, and traveling to Jamestown in 2007 to celebrate the 400-year anniversary of its settlement. But one of the most memorable trips our family has ever taken was when we traveled along the Lewis and Clark trail in 2005. There were seven of us in our eight-passenger minivan and we travelled for almost three weeks. It was an amazing trip. In fact, as the younger children got older they often asked when we would do that again. Sadly, it was probably a one-time event, since schedules just become more complicated as the kids grow up.

Packing for the Trip

Of course, with seven of us in that van, space was at a premium.  As we planned the trip, we quickly decided that seven suitcases going in and out of the hotels almost every night would be a bit insane.  So, we went with three very large suitcases and one smaller one.

In each of the large suitcases we packed two days of clothes for each of us. And in the smaller suitcase we packed our overnight stuff and our swimsuits. That way we only took in two suitcases each night – the small one and one of the larger ones.  Most times we were staying in a hotel for just one night, but on several occasions we had more to see in the area, and we planned a two-night stay. Of course, on those nights we made sure we brought in a suitcase that still had two days’ worth of clean clothes in it.

Laundry Along the Way

And of course, we had to do laundry several times on the trip, since it was a 20-day trip and we only brought seven days’ worth of clothes. I did laundry one night at a hotel while the kids (which included my 27-year-old daughter) hung out at the hotel’s pool with a water slide. And I did it another time at a laundromat, so I could get our many loads done quicker.

For that trip, we had our general route planned out at least as we headed north and west from St. Louis (that was easy, since we were staying as close to the Lewis and Clark Expedition as we could do in a car). We had considered camping, to save some money, and be more like the Expedition, but we gave up that idea pretty early into our planning – we would have had to bring more gear for camping, which would have pushed us over the edge for fitting into our minivan. And it would have made it more difficult to arrive at our destination late at night, which we often did.

Hotel Rooms vs. Camping

So, we decided to splurge and go with hotel rooms, a decision we were very happy with. (We saved money in other ways – keeping a big cooler in the van with sodas and the makings for lunch meat sandwiches, so we typically only ate fast food once a day, and then only with water.)

We started the trip with our first two nights’ reservations made. Our first day’s drive got us to the St. Louis area, where we knew there would be much to see and do; since the expedition had officially begun at Camp Dubois, just a bit outside of St. Louis. But we had no other reservations made beyond that, because we didn’t know how far we would get each day. We had to make an average of 260 miles each day, in order to make it to the Pacific Ocean and then back to Montana for a family reunion in two weeks. But other than that, the schedule for those first weeks was fairly flexible.

Planning as We Went

So we worked out the details as we went along. My oldest did almost all of the driving, and I played navigator and tour guide. Depending on what there was to see and do on each particular day, would determine how close to the average we actually got. Some days there were too many sites to visit, and we logged significantly less miles. But some days the drive was the main event, and we could make up some of the earlier “missed” miles.

When we started the trip, we hadn’t discovered a particular hotel chain we liked, and we typically chose our hotels based on what we found in the little hotel brochures as we crossed into different states every day or so.  From those we could see what was ahead, what the prices of several different hotels would be, and which of our preferences we could get – an indoor swimming pool, a large room or two connecting ones, and free breakfast. And, while we had cell phones by then, they were not the mini computers we carry around with us these days! By the end of the trip we had found ourselves choosing from the Choice Hotels line the majority of the time, and that is still our go-to chain more than a decade later.

We couldn’t always get a hotel with an indoor pool, but we did on enough occasions to make the younger kids happy.  And on more than one occasion the teenagers were watching the younger kids in the pool while my oldest and I were repacking the van. (Wet swimming suits were a small price to pay for happy kids and smooth packing!)

Packing Sanely

Fortunately, moving our supplies was easier than it was for them!

Speaking of packing – two of the things that we did on that trip that helped immensely were color coding everyone’s tops and using gallon size Ziploc bags to sort clothes. Into each bag we could put one person’s shirt, socks and underwear.  The bags were marked by names and colors, making it easier to pass out clothes each day, and making it easier to sort the clothes back into the right bags and suitcases after doing laundry.

Before we went on the trip, we sat down as a family and chose 7 colors. Then I checked to see who had what colors of shirts and who was missing what colors. Trips to a couple of thrift stores and we were all set. Matching colors also made it easier to spot the other family members when we had stopped somewhere.

Entertainment Options

Another decision we made that proved very helpful to us, was to allow only one DVD per day. We brought along a container full of family approved DVDs and another one full of CDs. On the first day, the youngest one got to choose the day’s DVD, on the second day, the next to the youngest, and so on. There was no arguing over the chosen DVD, since each person would eventually get their turn to choose. And there was no arguing about additional DVD’s, since that would have resulted in fewer DVDs being watched on the trip, rather than more! (Being the “mean Mom” that I am.)

When they weren’t watching a DVD we generally had a CD on – and we rotated through several different series that were generally liked by all (Jungle Jam and Friends, Father Gilbert Mysteries, Chronicles of Narnia, and the unabridged version of Undaunted Courage).  Whenever I had historical facts to share, or things to point out, the CDs would be paused.

Reaching our Primary Destination

By the time we made it to the Pacific Ocean we had all seen, done, and learned an amazing amount of things connected to the Lewis and Clark Expedition!

And by the time we had returned, I had almost completed our journal of the journey, The Lewis and Clark Expedition Jaime-style. The book from Fodor’s Travel Historic America series, the Lewis and Clark Trail was very useful to us. If you are considering a trip along even a portion of the trail, that book is well worth the investment!

For more of our ideas on learning with travel, you might also want to check out our book, Learning as We Go: Teaching through Travels.

Concerns about Homeschooling through High School

Our High School at Home Adventures

When my family started homeschooling more than three decades ago, we weren’t committing to homeschooling all the way through high school; at the beginning the idea was to take it one year at a time. It wasn’t until our older students were teenagers that we finally decided we could indeed homeschool through high school.

From then on, the decision was basically made – to homeschool all twelve of our children all the way through to graduation. That didn’t mean that high school looked the same for all twelve of them, or that we didn’t make changes along the way. But we had at least made that initial decision about high school.

As with all other aspects of homeschooling, there isn’t one right way to homeschool the high school years. And while our family decided, for the most part, to homeschool straight through to the end, that isn’t necessarily the decision that all homeschool families will make.

But regardless of different family decisions about how long to homeschool, or how to homeschool, one thing we all have in common is that we want what’s best for our children!  Because of that, we want to be the ones to direct their education – whatever direction(s) that education may take.

And yet, in spite of those desires, many homeschooling parents fear the high school years.  Every stage brings unique challenges and unique pleasures. But, in my experience, there is something really special about the teenage years. The “difficult” tasks (like potty training, learning to read, etc.) are done by then. (Okay – teaching them to drive is not a piece of cake either.  But we survived that twelve times, so I’m guessing you can too.)

I personally like to teach teens. They can generally listen well, read well, and argue well. Call it “discuss well” if it makes you feel better, but with teens the two are basically synonymous. At this stage, our students are well on their way to becoming independent adults, one of our primary goals for homeschooling (or, at least in my humble opinion, it should be!).

Concerns about Homeschooling through High School

So, why are home schoolers so often intimidated by the thought of teaching their own teens?  The answers I usually hear include:

  • Concern over classes (especially “difficult” ones like foreign languages and higher math)
  • Concern over credits and transcripts
  • Concern about getting into college (I covered that question fairly extensively in the Homeschooling Questions and Answers blog post, so we’ll just look at the first two concerns in this post.)

Our first (of 7 and counting) College Graduate with his youngest sister.

Let’s start with the first of those specific concerns:

High School Level Classes

The idea of home schooling through high school causes unnecessary stress in many families.  How to handle higher level math classes, science labs, and foreign languages rank at the head of most lists of potential problems.  But why?  It shouldn’t be, for several reasons:

  1.  First of all, most homeschooling parents can personally handle teaching more of those classes than they give themselves credit for. (I had never read a Shakespeare play all the way through when I started teaching my first Shakespeare classes. And I certainly knew very little about teaching Government when I started that – but with may topics we can learn as we go, right alongside our students.)
  2. High schoolers can handle much more of the load themselves than we give them credit for. (And there are a growing number of online resources, such as Kahn Academy, where they can do upper level work on their own.) But, remember, though, even when they can be self-taught, they are not necessarily self-motivated! Your job at that point may become more of a director than an actual teacher.
  3. Nowadays, homeschooling mothers and fathers (as well as others in the community) are offering many of these subjects as classes. (And again, online options are multiplying!)
  4. Correspondence schools are another option that we’ve tried for high school classes.  It wasn’t one of our favorites – but it did work. (My oldest got her high school diploma through The American School.)  For some families it may be just the answer to these concerns.
  5. And last, but certainly not least, local colleges can fill in just about any other gaps in higher level high school classes.  When my fourth child got to the Saxon Calculus book the summer before his senior year, he decided that while he could do it on his own, he didn’t want to, so he went to the local university and jumped through the hoops to enroll in their Dual Enrollment program. Since then I’ve had several children who did Dual Enrollment and/or Early Enrollment while in high school.  It isn’t the answer for every student, but it certainly adds to a family’s options.

I can’t leave the topic of college without addressing one of my personal concerns after so many years of homeschooling. One of the growing trends seems to be for homeschoolers to rush their kids through their schooling and graduate them early. But I have to ask, why do we want to be in such a big hurry to graduate our students?

They certainly aren’t lacking for subjects that they can study at home. What do we gain and what do they gain by rushing the process, versus what is lost – more time with their family; more time to mature; more time to pursue special interests?  There are exceptions, of course, but I think home schoolers would do well to rethink this trend.

So, as you look forward (or at least ahead) to the high school years, please remember that home education equals parent-directed education.  Helping find the right places for them to study the subjects that they need is an important part of our everchanging role in their lives, even when we are phasing out of being their primary instructors. (When and how that happens will vary between families, and often between students within a family.) We should be anticipating the time that they graduate and move on to their own lives, and we can start that process slowly, rather than the day they are handed their diplomas.

High School Credits

How to award credits for high school classes is another big, but mostly needless, concern.  I know of two accepted standards for awarding a credit.

  1. Starting and completing a high school level textbook. (Or mostly completing one, since in reality, classroom teachers aren’t completing most of them anyway.)
  2. Logging approximately 120 – 150 hours in a specific subject – reading, discussing, listening to lectures, writing about it, and watching related videos all count towards the necessary time.  I found the book Design-Form-U-La to be very helpful when we started keeping these kinds of records, though sadly that book seems to be harder and harder to find.

Our family granted most credits based on the “hours logged” in a subject, rather than through textbook completion, since we used so few textbooks, even in high school.  Textbooks are not totally bad – but they are so two-dimensional! I cover more about that in my blog post, Homeschooling through Topical Studies.

Learning can and should be three-dimensional. In addition to the standard academic classes, high school (even at home) can include:

  • Athletics
  • Drama
  • Essay & speech contests like those sponsored by  the Optimist Club as well as a growing number of homeschool debate clubs
  • Real life political events such as God & Country rallies and election involvement
  • Youth in Government programs

All of my children did Mock Trial one or more years!

And students can receive high school credit for work done before high school, in seventh or eighth grade, if it’s high school level work.

High School Transcripts

Transcripts also intimidate many folks – but they’re really easy to do.  The standard way is to break courses up by school year, one section for the freshman year, one for the sophomore year, etc. But in our family, we preferred to show them by subjects instead, with all the English classes listed together, and then the math, and then the science, etc.  Like so much else, it’s easy to find samples to look at with an online search.

Transcripts need to include the student’s name, date of birth, and school years covered.  Each class listed should include the general subject it was in (such as science), followed by the specific Course title (such as Biology), a grade, and a credit (usually ½ or 1).  Not too complicated.

I hope this has helped you feel a little less intimidated by homeschooling through high school. This is an exciting time to be sharing that time with your children who are on their way to becoming adults.

In my book, Teaching Teens, I go into these and other related topics a bit more, as well as give example forms for counting credits, tracking grades, and making transcripts.

Happy Learning!

Cathy

Homeschooling with Topical Studies

Homeschooling without Textbooks

Do you struggle with reluctant students?  Or “lazy” students?  Are you having trouble hanging in there until the end of the year?  Maybe it’s time you reevaluate your methods, rather than giving in and giving up. Have you taken a look at homeschooling with topical studies? Maybe it’s time.

What are Topical Studies?

A friend and I coined the term “topical study” a number of years back to describe something more limited in nature than the “unit studies” that were becoming popular with many homeschoolers. A topical study is more the study of a particular topic within a subject, rather than the “all encompassing” type of study that a unit study often entails.  For instance, for much of our 35 years of homeschooling we studied history topically – the Civil War was our topic one year, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition was our topic a different time.  These topical studies might cover some other subjects as well, art or music, or science, for instance, but they were primarily designed to deal with a particular topic – for us generally history or science.

Why Topical Studies Make Sense

Real learning involves getting familiar with something and getting comfortable with it!  Familiarity and comfort don’t come when one topic after another is thrown at a learner. They come from repetition and context.

We must encounter the same words, the same concepts, the same dates many times before we “own” them, before they become a part of our vocabulary, something that we remember. Textbook teaching does not lead to this kind of ownership very often.

In my humble opinion (my bias will definitely show here) History and Science should be taught exclusively with the Topical Study/Unit Study method through at least eighth grade (though I have to admit to sticking to that method even in high school).  Is it too painfully obvious here that I have an aversion to textbooks?  It’s not that textbooks are totally worthless, but I would have to say they are often close.  Let’s be honest here:  How often do you go to a textbook to find the answer to a question?  How much of what you endured “learning” through textbooks, do you actually remember?  Enough said.

Holt, Gatto, and Harris Weigh in

John Holt (a well-known unschooler back in the days when we began our homeschooling journey) talked about “how children fail” and “how children learn.” He suggested that if we have reluctant and/or lazy students, we should blame our materials and/or our methods, not our students!

And please remember that most of us are basing our methods and materials on the public school systems – because that’s the only thing we know.  As John Gatto (a New York City teacher of the year) reminded us in Dumbing Us Down, the public school system is failing, so why are we trying so hard to copy it?

Many years ago, Gregg Harris (a popular homeschool author at the time) proposed “delight directed studies” to take care of the problem of a reluctant student.  This can be our delight or their delight.  This is a very important point when you start looking at Topical Studies.  You need to pick something your family will get excited about.

Da Vinci has been a delight of mine for many years!

What if We Miss Something?

One of the questions often voiced about getting away from textbooks is, “What if I miss something this way, what if I don’t cover something that should have been covered?” My first response when someone asks that question is often, “Covered according to whom?”  Contrary to what some folks would lead us to believe, there is no one “correct” curriculum for, say, fourth grade, or sixth grade, or any other grade.

Also, remember that covering material does not equal learning it!   There is an important distinction here!  Please don’t miss it.  With topical studies, we cover less, and learn more.

Aren’t Topical Studies a lot of Work?

Why do we want to go to the “trouble” of topical studies? It is more trouble than just picking up a textbook and going through it.  But it is also more effective!  It’s more fun!  And it’s usually more enjoyable for students and teacher alike!

Topical studies also give siblings something in common: shared knowledge and experiences.  We can carry our “school” discussions much beyond the “classroom” this way, since several of us are studying the same thing at the same time.  And that includes the teachers, since they are now spending their time preparing a topical study, instead of writing out lesson plans, grading tests, and checking assignments.

Okay, But Now What?

I hope you’re convinced, and that you want to try a topical study.  But you may be asking, now what?  How do you actually plan the studies?

They don’t have to be long.  (Even though ours usually ended up taking up an entire school year or more, they certainly don’t have to!)  You might want to start with something small, like a two week study.  They don’t have to be involved.  And you don’t have to pull them from thin air.  A good place to begin is with a topic someone is really interested in.  That’s how ours usually begin.  The key to successful topical studies is often timing and interest!

Some good science topics to begin with

(But remember, “the sky’s the limit”!)

  • Birds
  • Bugs
  • Butterflies
  • 7 Days of Creation
  • Creation vs Evolution (we want our children to be critical thinkers!)
  • Gardening
  • Dinosaurs
  • Flowers
  • Endangered Animals

 

Biblical/Christian topics

  • Martyrs
  • Missionaries
Some good history topics
  • Indians (1 tribe/week or month, for example)
  • Presidents (1/week, for instance)

Specific Wars
  • Revolutionary War
  • Civil War
  • World War II
Specific Eras
  • Renaissance
  • Reformation
  • Middle Ages – knights, castles…

Geography studies
  • States (all 50 – 1 per week, for example)
  • Countries (from around the world, or within one continent)
  • Continent (maybe 1/month)

Anything else of interest to your family!!!

Once you have a topic, where do you begin?

  • The library
  • Your own books
  • Encyclopedias
  • On-line research
  • Used books
  • Multitudes of catalogs
  • Friends
  • Experts

I find that once I’ve chosen a topic – the resources practically jump out at me.

Depending on your topic, there may be oodles of free materials available for the asking:

  • County Extension Office
  • State Tourist Offices
  • On-line
  • State Welcome Centers

Two of my favorite, inexpensive resources for History, Geography, and Science studies are:

  • Dover Coloring Books
  • National Geographics

National Geographics have wonderful maps and pictures, and can usually be bought for very low prices at used book stores and places like Salvation Army and Goodwill.  (They do need to be edited occasionally.)

Scheduling a Topical Study

Start with a schedule/timeline for your study.  Do you want to study the topic for two weeks or two months?  Have a starting schedule, but be flexible…If it fizzles out sooner, stop!  If you’re having so much fun, you want to continue when your time is up, continue!

One main topic/day works well for us; we incorporate:

  • “Lectures” (one of my favorites)
  • Read alouds (a favorite for most of the students!)
  • Silent reading assignments
  • Research Assignments (give written or oral reports)
  • Art assignments (could include drawing/collages/sculpture)
  • Field trips as we can work them in

History through Topical Studies

With topical studies you can cover U.S. or World History in depth, over the course of many years.  Why “cover it all” in one year, again and again, never really going into any detail? With Topical Studies we never covered either World or American History from “start to finish” – but my children have a fairly good knowledge of both through the Topical Studies we have done throughout their many years of study.

In Conclusion

If you haven’t tried topical studies or unit studies with your family, please do.  If you have and didn’t like it, please try it again.  Your family could benefit greatly from the experience!

This blog post was primarily excerpted from my homeschool book, Topical Studies.

Happy Learning!

Cathy 

Homeschooling Questions and Answers

When we closed the doors of our physical space in December 2016, I knew there was one thing I would really miss afterwards – being able to encourage homeschoolers, both new and burnt-out veterans. So here’s hoping a blog will at least suffice for now.

After more than three decades in the role of “Veteran Homeschooler,” there were a number of concerns that came up again and again as I filled the roll of counsellor.

Concerns

I answered some of the basic questions on the page, Information for New Homeschoolers. That’s where I cover things like “is it legal,” how to get started, record keeping, etc. This blog will cover the types of questions I typically get from folks who have gotten past those early concerns, but are still overwhelmed. Here are a few of my favorite questions (with answers primarily excerpted from my homeschooling book, Organized Ramblings).

Since my preferred method to teach, both at home and in my classes, has been to stay as far away from textbooks as possible, that often shows up in my recommendations to homeschoolers. Does that mean I’m completely against the use of textbooks? Not entirely, but certainly close. I found through decades of teaching that topical studies were much more effective, generally cheaper, and more easily adaptable to multiple students. (More details on topical studies in the next post.)

What about Gaps in their Learning?

Yes, those will exist, but they will exist regardless of the method of education employed.

Our goals should include, teaching our children to:

  • Read and enjoy reading
  • Be excited about learning
  • Understand research options
  • Depending on our faith – to Love God

The specific details contained in their “curriculum package” are not really the issue.  Are we setting the foundation?  If we accomplish these things – what difference will the gaps make?  If a gap exists in an area that is really important, it will show up, and then it can be dealt with.  If it wasn’t important for that student, why does it matter?  And remember, a student who “covers” an entire “gap-free” textbook in one year has seldom learned much of it anyway!

My Husband only approves of Textbooks.  Now what? 

This is one of the most serious questions to deal with if you’re trying to approach homeschooling from another direction and it needs to be resolved in a win/win way – not a compromise, so much as a new approach.  What about using the textbooks – but using them a little differently than the “right” way?  For instance, use one history textbook for two students who are close together in age, instead of two different books.  And what about supplementing the textbook with other materials, and not trying to cover the entire book in one year?  Those two changes may help relax the home school pressures, and are often enough to relieve Dad’s concerns.

How important are Learning Styles?

Learning styles are important to a point, particularly if a student is struggling with a subject.   If a student is struggling to learn to read for instance, we may want to consider how that student learns best.  Is he an auditory learner, a visual learner, or a hands-on learner?  If we focus more on the students’ “style,” we may help them overcome some obstacles.

But beyond a “problem area,” we shouldn’t focus too much on learning styles. It’s better for students to get used to learning with various styles, than it is to focus on a particular one.  Visual, auditory, and hands-on methods can all reinforce each other, rather than one being chosen at the exclusion of the others.

What about Tests?

Tests are another concern for some people when they consider using a more relaxed method of schooling.  “What about tests?” they often ask.  “What about them?” I usually answer.  Tests are not really necessary in most home school situations.  They help classroom teachers figure out what 20 – 30 students are comprehending on any number of subjects.  Test if you want to, but it’s not a great loss if you don’t.  (How many of us remember cramming for tests in high school and college – how much of that do you remember?)  Beyond math, what purpose do most tests serve in a home school situation, anyway?

But, if you really want or need tests (for your cover school, for your sanity, for the grandparents), why do you have to be the one to write them?  Another way to accomplish testing in a non-textbook situation is to have the student(s) write the tests. That’s not cheating – it’s being practical. And in writing a test someone has to examine the material that’s being learned and determine what’s the most important part of it. Especially with older students, that’s as important a skill as being able to take the test!

How do we do it all?

We don’t…Maybe I should have started with this one, since it is a question that I am often asked.  Repeat after me, “We don’t do it all!  We can’t do it all!  We shouldn’t do it all.”  There are only 24-hours in each day, and we really need to slow down and enjoy some of them.

When I was homeschooling, I personally did a very limited amount of housework – my children washed the dishes, did most of the laundry, swept, vacuumed, and…I guess you get the picture.  I generally washed laundry about once a week, for my husband and me.  That’s all the laundry I personally take care of.  (And there have been times when I have even delegated that…catch that important word, please – DELEGATION.  A very important word in any home schooling mom’s vocabulary.)  When I was really organized, I even had my kids cook most of the meals.  These are all-important skills for our kids to learn.  My older kids have all been shocked as they’ve left home and been around peers who didn’t know how to do these basic things because they never did them at home.  Mine left home confident that they could take care of themselves in all these mundane areas.

Work should be an integral part of our children’s life (even before they appreciate that fact).  Life is about balance, and sometimes we moms feel very much out of balance.  But maybe that’s because we need to give more of it up to God.  We can’t do it all, and we need to stop trying so hard!

What about College?

Many factors go into the college admissions process – grades, standardized test scores, recommendations, essays, and much more. These days colleges seldom discriminate against homeschoolers, with many even going out of their way to recruit them. So home-educated students are typically not at a disadvantage for getting into college.  If for some reason, they don’t get into the four-year college of their choice initially, junior colleges are a good way for them to “prove themselves” in the college world.

While I was homeschooling I wanted my children to be academically, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to go to college, if that was the direction God was leading them.  But college is not necessarily right for each of them, and oftentimes “delayed college” is the right answer.  Like the other major (and minor) decisions in their lives, this is one that should only be approached prayerfully and carefully.

By the time my youngest had graduated from high school, most of my children had started college (some while in high school, some straight out of high school and some with delays for other life experience), many had finished college, and some were somewhere along the path. As of the beginning of 2017 I have only 1 child who has never taken any college classes, 2 that have taken 1 or more semesters, 2 that have completed their associates, 2 that are currently working on their bachelors, 2 who have their bachelors, 2 that have their masters, and 1 who has a law degree.

And with the exception of the first two who each used a correspondence school for their high school years, all of my children have primarily been homeschooled in the less “school at home” manner I’ve described above. As they got into high school they all took some classes with other teachers besides myself, most of which were more traditional, text-book based experiences. And a few of them dual enrolled in some college classes while they were in high school (though we only went that route occasionally).

In Conclusion

I homeschooled my children for 35 years. Along the way I certainly made lots of mistakes, as all parents, homeschooling or not, are going to do. But my children not only survived the situation, they thrived in it, and at least the last time I checked, none of them regret having been homeschooled.

Primarily, they remember the things we did – the “field trips” we took to Washington, D.C. or to follow the Lewis and Clark trail, the endless battlefields and museums we visited. In a few cases, generally when it relates to the jobs they are doing, they even remember a thing or two they learned in a class – maybe from a textbook, maybe not.

Are there things they didn’t learn along the way? Most definitely. But all their traditionally educated peers can say the same thing. One of the big advantages with my children is that they know how to learn what they don’t know or where to go for help.

For all that, I don’t claim to have all the answers; in fact, many times, I think the best answer to a question is another question.  But maybe some of these questions and answers will help you get started or keep going.

Happy Learning!

Cathy, Mom of 12

Author of Organized Ramblings

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