There’s a thing I have believed about education since I was about 11 years old. I remember it clearly. I was in Std 3, in history. We were learning about The Great Trek, and the teacher was explaining to us that in those days they didn’t have school and text books and teachers and classrooms. They couldn’t very well stop for school every day as they crossed the berg, could they? The Bible was their textbook, and from it they learned English, Dutch, maths, geography, history and science. They learned everything they needed from one book. Well, I should say One Book, really. It struck me that this had been true the world over, and that schools only really started around the Industrial Revolution. Of course there were institutions for education around the world. But for the most part, kids were too busy helping their parents run whatever business kept their family alive to bother much with schools and formal education. They learned by doing.
And they learned a lot.
So ever since then the thought has been growing in my mind and heart that the best education takes place in the real world, through the facilitation of parents who adore their children and want the very best for them. And I must confess (though you’ll know this if you know me), sending my children to school broke my heart. Every day, for over 7 years, I hated to do it. So why did I? Because I told myself I needed to grow up. Everyone does it. It’s normal and natural and right, and it needs to be done.
If I’ve learned anything over the past two years in particular and throughout my life in general, it’s to follow my gut. My instincts are often right.
So even though I’ve been very sure about home school, I haven’t had peace about a curriculum. However, yesterday that changed. We went to a home school curriculum open day, and spent nearly an hour with a couple who developed a curriculum called Oikos. I had heard of it before through another good friend, but the name didn’t appeal to me and, frankly, the website put me right off. So I didn’t even consider it.
However, after listening to the couple describe their thoughts behind the system, and then reading through the well-documented material, I’m completely hooked. Essentially, Oikos uses the Bible and character traits as the foundation for learning, and everything flows out of that. It’s exactly what I believe about learning, so we’re going for it.
The thing is that Oikos does not slot back into mainstream school easily. So we’ve had to decide that this is it, we’re not going back from this, which has taken some prayer and thought. But I know it’s right and I have peace about it, which is the main thing.
Now I need to work out what I can afford and what I absolutely must have to get started. Wish me luck!