The Basics of Self-Education, by Georgiana
If you’ve chosen to homeschool, then you already know the value of education. Perhaps, like me, you desire to give your children a better education than you received. The only problem is how to educate them in areas where your own experience is lacking.
Gaps in my experience began to show themselves when we started digging into history and literature. I already knew I had deficiencies in upper-level science, and don’t even get me started on the fact I had zero experience with Latin and logic. But what could I do about it? How could I lead my children into territory where I’d never ventured?
Self-education. I realized I didn’t have to mourn over the classic literature and languages I’d never been exposed to, but that I had the power to enlarge my own knowledge base and make a date with the Greats without having to be spoon-fed.
- Enlarges your own vision and context of the world. It’s a personal journey that builds upon and enhances what you already know. There’s pleasure in learning for its own sake.
- Encourages those around you. What better example to your children than you cracking the books alongside them? Plus it establishes a base of knowledge that you can share. Remember, you can’t effectively lead your children where you’ve never gone.
There are a few things to keep in mind as you begin the journey, tips which will keep you from getting bogged down and giving up and will help you stay focused in order to make the most of your time.
Choose your subjects carefully.
When I decided to self-educate, I wanted to learn everything but soon realized it was a trap! Unless you have a blank appointment book and scads of free time, there aren’t enough hours in the day to master all the subjects at once. With so many amazing interests to pursue, you must choose wisely. Multum non multa. But how?
- Look ahead to potential problem areas. These are subjects where you were shorted and either need to brush up on or start learning altogether.
- Identify your children’s areas of interest. Even if your gap in science never bothered you before, you need to shore up the basics if you’ve got a budding Einstein under your roof.
- Consider subjects that fascinate you. If you have a particular passion, dig in and learn everything you can. You might just pass the passion on to your children.
Decide which method to use.
If you’re a classical homeschooler, it’s easy to choose that method of learning for yourself. But also consider other options, especially if you need to learn it sooner (kids are approaching that age/level) or have limited time. Talking to experts, video classes, online instruction, and taking classes from places like Coursera are all valid options.
Establish a time.
As busy homeschoolers, most of us recognize the value of scheduling. If you’re anything like me, if it’s not scheduled, it’s not going to happen. When do you have the most uninterrupted time? For me, it’s while my kids are doing independent reading in history. If your kids are quietly busy, you can be too.
It’s okay to let a subject go. Let me repeat that—it’s okay to let a subject go. I’m a fanatic about finishing something I start, and it bothers me to the core to walk away from a project. But self-education doesn’t have to be that way. If a subject isn’t working for you, determine why. It could be something as simple as not using the right learning method or perhaps you chose the wrong level to begin. You can make a course correction or let it go altogether—you have the power to choose!
Keep in mind that self-education is for you, hence the “self.” You can dig deep and become an expert, or you can shore up the basics so you can help your kids gain a foundation. You can learn in order to teach or you can learn for pleasure. Now that you’re an adult, the choices and the responsibilities belong to you.
Do you self-educate? What subjects and methods have you chosen?
Georgiana– Georgiana resides in the beautiful mountains of Arizona with her super-generous husband, and three talented daughters. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, and now has the privilege of homeschooling by day and wrestling with the keyboard by night. She’s the author of Table for One and A Daughter’s Redemption, and is exceedingly thankful for her own happily ever after. You can find her blogging regularly at www.georgianadaniels.com.
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