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February 3, 2010 / dcwisdom

Education Beyond "Formal" – The Challenge

Howdy, Friends!

On my walk this morning, I took my camera.  As you can see from previous posts, I am not the greatest picture-taker, although I’ve taken many pictures throughout the years.  But, my wonderful husband bought this budding photographer a very nice camera for Christmas. 

Thank you, dear.  The picture hog gets a new toy.  You may proceed to wonder how the pictures here and this story correlate.  Please let me explain.

Twenty-one years ago, our family began an educational process that was completely out of the ordinary.  We chose to educate our children at home. 

My parents, being highly educated and in the educational system, encouraged us even though they scratched their heads on the ‘whys’ of bucking a good public school education.  My mom gave me some great advice:  “Give them a good foundation in the three R’s, and show them how to find information on their own.”
Thereby began the process of non-traditional learning.  We provided books, maps, encyclopedias, dictionaries, library materials, videos, field trips.  So often I would tell my kids “Learn everything you can today.”
In addition to book learning, we attended church and Bible lessons, took mission trips and music lessons, participated in cooperative teaching with other families and community sports/education courses,  worked the family business, and helped with volunteer projects.
We continue to do many of these things. 
All but one have graduated from home high school and are attending/graduated college.   They are working, traveling, writing, skydiving, body-building, and are continuing their quests to learn something new every day.
“Ok, Debbie,” you are saying.  “What’s up here?  Bring it together.”
This is my project beyond “formal.”  I want to learn how to take a good picture.  I have a new, part-time job learning how to take professional photographs and videos and also enrolled in a photography class in the nearby community college.  Will this not be a fun way to spend the other side of 50?
The most wonderful way I am encouraged to continue my learning is by watching all of you.  I love seeing your projects and reading your stories, and you are teaching me something every day.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” 
“Learn all you can today.”
Whether you all realize it or not, we are all home schooling every day beyond “formal.”
Continue the challenge.