I've decided to do a different kind of top 10 people list. The inspiration hit me in the car last month driving to meet Mama B for berry picking. What occurred to me was that my homeschooling friends may not know how much they impacted my resolve to homeschool. They welcomed me into a wonderful community even though Lil'Bug is only 2.5 and most would think she is too young for school. I have difficulty making friends, but this group just let me slip in and suddenly I was part of the group!
But my inspiration really came from a stranger. I get asked a lot about homeschooling, and then challenged like this, "What makes you think you can do a better job than someone who spent 4 years in college learning about early education?" 1) I have three times the education/degrees as the typical K-12 teacher and 2) No they didn't. They spent likely 2 semesters worth of classes on specialized subject matter and got a B or better in their major. They only needed a C or better average in the rest. 3) Now this is the kicker, the best teachers I have ever known or had only, or barely, have a high school degree OR they flunked out of high school and went to college anyway. Seriously. It's not about generic assessment, it is about passion for learning.
So my top ten people impacting my home schooling right now are as follows:
1) My husband: He humors me most of the time, but is wholeheartedly and actively supporting Lil'Bug's education. He is the smartest most well read person I have ever met. He dropped out of high school 2 weeks before graduation and then completed his HS requirements at the local community college in less than that time.
2) Lil'Bug: One of the best teachers I have ever had. I learn so much from her everyday.
3) H. at minimemoirs: I am lucky I met her on one of the local boards. She really knows her stuff.
4) Mama B. makes a kickin' cup of tea and is the best listener. She is a stellar example of resourcefulness in homeschooling and resolve to start early. Her kiddos will thank her someday. We thank her now.
5) E. and the kids down the street. I was working on our neighborhood newsletter and googled the new family. Up came an article about "unschooling".....curious, I researched it. Then I got to know them. Amazing kids.
6) J. from my very first composition class. A homeschool kid with mad grammar skills and a natural leader. He was stuck on subject matter so I directed him to "unschooling" and a research project that compared his own experience of traditional religious method to the theory of unschooling. Neat. He was the first student in the class and the first to call me Professor ever. Then he became the college student newspaper's head editor, though I pushed him in that direction a little bit. Oh, wait, I thought homeschoolers couldn't get into college? :)
7) Montucky Rox. A woman and family member that I admire. We went to visit her and discovered that she had homeschooled and knew of John Holt. We even misplace our glasses the same way. Every time I connect with her we discover some other facet of connection.
8) The online community. Everyday I meet or connect with another family and get ideas and support from complete strangers. Like Amy at the Foil Hat or Needleroozer at Turtle Works or some lady named Christine who I thought was a local Christine until her icon popped up and it was not Christine but a blogger that I didn't know at Welcome to my Brain.....(see my blogroll for those links.)
9) All the rest of my family. We are lucky to have such support. I suspect that they really like that we travel as part of our learning!
10) Me. Can I say that? What comes down to the foundation of it all is that I know I can. I know it's right for all of us. My projected confidence and humor gets others to support us too. I do doubt myself sometimes, but I'm working on that. I'm the mom.
So who influences you? This isn't really a meme since I just came up with it and it's just a list. Should I tag someone? :)