Why not "homeschooling"?

Ok, it's a potentially divisive or easily misunderstood title. But it is relevant. The issue here is not as in "should we or shouldn't we"-- it is actually about the term, "homeschooling". There is actually a fairly complex history of people sparring over it and various other terms-- read: unschooling, etc. The purpose here is not necessarily to critique these other endearments or intents, but to be clear.

Honestly, regardless of what anyone may feel about the label of "homeschooling", I often use it just as a sort of lingua Franca substitute when explaining it for average mass education people. Doing so is not indicative of my subscribing to the term or its inferences, it often just avoids a mess. People not versed in the subtleties of the ideals aren't going to get it for the most part. A lot of them won't really care anyway, other than thinking they may be talking to a looney. So I think using the term can help to avoid confusion.

On the other hand, people who are intellectually involved with the discourse could be invoked to pull out their torches for the heretic. So avoidance can sometimes spare an unpleasant and unnecessary barbecue party.

All this is to say that if you have read any of my recent thoughts on the topic, you will have noticed a change in nomenclature. Recent evolution in thought has lead to the question, "why should what we do be called home-schooling and if not, what do we call it?"

The first point on this is why would we put so much effort to do this only to make it like school? We are intentionally different from school for a lot of reasons, so there is no point to include the term "school" in it. If we are going through all of this to emulate school, simply going to school would save a lot of hassle in the first place.

Secondly, our sole purpose is not about home nor is home the single place that should influence what happens there. Home is not a bad place, but using this word could create a cognizant boundary to knowledge in our minds that does not or should not exist. We should operate in such a way as to not live in a box. In reality, knowledge exists in the context of the greater world.

An effective alternative label should really say what it is we are doing. My hope is that, first and foremost, we are learning. Obviously, "learning" in itself is too generic for people to distinguish from other situations, so there should be a further description to communicate it's uniqueness. For a while, I went through a phase of using "home learning" or "learning at home", but as you can see, have moved on.

At times, it has been popular to say that "it takes a village to raise a child". Though there are some possible parallels to the above discussion about context here, "village" should not be seriously entertained as the missing descriptor. The news regularly bombards us with reports of horrendous after school clubs receiving federal funding, beyond questionable acts being allowed into school talent shows and school children conducting themselves in ways that should not be heard of. That is only the beginning. The results of ideologues letting the dubious characters in their village pipe-dream guide their children should be coming into clear fruition.

Though there could be other reasonable possibilities, "family learning" has come to be my choice for now (and will be the preference in content on this site from here on). The context of these terms may still seem somewhat confined, however this kind of learning takes place under the guidance of the family. Even though parents often have to rely on outside sources for knowledge or curriculum, they are appropriately instrumental to the process. Having this as a major relationship, as by nature, is good because parents have personal values they should hand down to their children. Especially in these times when parents get little opportunity to do so.

Why not "homeschooling"? original article at learningwilds.net

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